Finances and more!

As we approach Kodi DevCon (our annual team member conference) we continue our quest for greater transparency and openness in how the project is managed. We’d like to touch on project finances: specifically where the money comes from, and where it goes.

Outreach is a major expense. In the last year Team Kodi members presented at:

 

  • FOSDEM – both @yol and @lrusak gave talks (here and here)
  • Open Source Leadership Summit – @natethomas spoke (slides)
  • SCALE – @natethomas spoke, How to Destroy a Community (video, overview and slides)
  • Linaro Connect – @lrusak spoke (video)

 

Team members also attended:

 

Some attendance costs are fully covered by the conference organizers. Sometimes our team members pay their own way. Mostly Kodi funds or part-funds a trip. Your donations allow the team to play an ongoing and active part in the Open Source community; both sharing our own knowledge with others, and learning from them so we can make Kodi better.

 

Server infrastructure, hosting, bandwidth and CDN services, build servers, hardware items for testing, and some minor subscriptions, e.g. accounting software (as we need to file tax returns) are lesser but regular recurring costs. Some are offset by sponsors, most we fund ourselves.

Kodi DevCon is our largest expense of the year. We are a global team and the project talks mainly in text, via the forums or Slack. This creates endless opportunities for cultural, linguistic and more general misunderstanding. DevCon typically brings 20-30 team members together somewhere in a cheaper part of Europe and gives them a chance to speak face-to-face, share ideas, share some drinks and laughs – helping to defuse tensions that build up. We also get to talk about Kodi a lot (even more than normal) which spares our partners for a few days. They do get sick of hearing about it 🙂

The project has three sources of funding: sponsorships, public donations, and sales of Kodi branded tee-shirts and Raspberry Pi ‘flirc’ cases. There is zero advertising on our website and in our application – and this will never change (we reject many emails from advertising sales people each week). While we need to raise funds to cover our annual costs, we are not motivated by money, and nobody is paid by our foundation – we are 100% volunteers.

 

Kodi is free – and will always be an Open Source (GPL) project – because we chose to be Open Source and because it is impossible for us to change our license. We have never required contributors to submit a CLA, so they own the rights to their code, and a license change would need the permission of all contributors. Our oldest code (c.2002) cannot be attributed to a single author, and solving that would need us to rewrite an impractical volume of code. And the team simply wouldn’t allow the license change; especially @spiff our resident Viking who has been around since the original Xbox days.

 

We do like sponsors – as long as they are relevant and publicly supportive of Open Source software. Sponsoring Kodi does not bring any special treatment or influence on the team, and all sponsors are vetted by the board. Past sponsors have donated cash to our Foundation (our preferred option) or provided developers with hardware (spec. kit to write code on, not test samples) and one even bankrolled DevCon which was awesome. Current Gold sponsors provide us with free services (e.g. site hosting) which saves us a fortune. You can see their names in the footer of this page and we cannot thank them enough!

 

We are proud to announce our latest Diamond sponsor – Libre Computer, who manufacture a range of Allwinner, Amlogic and Rockchip single-board computer hardware for industrial and hobbyist use-cases (including HTPCs). We are normally shy when hardware vendors approach us with an offer of sponsorship, but Libre Computer has been funding a range of Open Source projects and Linux multimedia development that directly benefits the ecosystem around them in addition to their own products. We like their approach to FOSS, and we appreciate their support.

 

Interested in individually supporting us? – there are several ways:

 

  • Our Donate page has Credit Card, PayPal, BTC and Wire Transfer info
  • Amazon (US) will donate 0.5% of your purchases to registered non-profit organizations of any US purchases via smile.amazon.com.  We are listed as “Kodi Foundation” and here is a link to sign up: Amazon Smile

 

Thank you to everyone who contributes to Kodi and hopefully makes it possible for the team to have our developer conference in October – and if you know of a company contributing to Open Source who might be interested in becoming a Kodi sponsor, please drop us a line.

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Kodi “Leia” 18.4 Release

Another couple of months have passed since we last pushed out a release, and so, in our ongoing efforts to produce the best media software in the world, it’s time to squash another few of those more irritating bugs. Usual rules apply: don’t expect any new features, don’t think that this will change your life, it won’t make you richer or more attractive, but it will hopefully be more stable and usable for people who’ve been victims of any of these bugs.

So, what have we done? Well, you can find a full summary of closed pull requests here, but the summary would be…

Interface

  • Fix Missing text when sorting from inside addon
  • Clear/save focus-history when leaving window with focus on parent folder item
  • Picture slideshow fixes (Estuary)
  • Subscribe to controller install events (games)
  • Fix radio button text length (Estuary)
  • Fix season/episode formatting for video addons (video)
  • Don’t consider display mode ids constant (Android)

Playback/Display

  • Fix PlayMedia builtin for playlists (.strm) and “artists” smart playlists (music)
  • Fix PlayMedia builtin for smart playlists and playlists (music)
  • FFmpeg: Bump to 4.0.4-Leia-18.4
  • Load program from stream property without using streaminfo (video)
  • Fix initialization of AVD3D11VAContext structure (video, Windows)
  • Fix TS resume point, related to PR16314 (video)
  • Fixed memory leak, fixed segfault (video, Linux)
  • Fix PAPlayer to handle passthrough for TrueHD (audio)

PVR

  • Fix component dependencies
  • PVRRecordings: Prevent concurrent calls to video database

Other/General fixes

  • Use first protocol from add-on in add network dialog
  • Use exact matching for protocol in file+dir factories
  • Use of absolute paths in combination with hosts in URLs
  • Fix file times for vfs addons
  • Fix + sign HTTP folder
  • Corrections to filesystem CircularCache initialization and termination
  • Controller fixes
  • Delete stream details when video info is refreshed
  • Do not attempt to further resolve plugin paths for failing entries
  • Revert “fixed: We should always update stream details from player…”

Many – indeed, most – of these fixes are hidden deep inside Kodi and really shouldn’t be obvious to most people; unless you’re doing something that regularly hits one of them, you’ll really never notice. That said, they’re all real bugs, and real fixes, so thanks as always to all who found a bug, took the time to report it and, in some cases, provided a fix.

The full v18.4 changelog can be found in our GitHub milestone. If you want to read back on what was actually changed in v18 itself, you can find the corresponding articles in the blog posts – Kodi 18Kodi 18.1Kodi 18.2, and Kodi 18.3.

As usual, Kodi roll out on different platforms (notably, Google Play and the Microsoft Store) varies due to circumstances outside of our control. It may thus take a few more days, so just stay tuned.