December 2018

Kodi v18 Leia RC4 – A new hope

It’s the days between Christmas and New Years eve, and some of our developers found the time do squash down some know issues. We hereby present you v18 RC4 that include several fixes we did past two weeks. There’s not really anything more to say than wish you all a great new year. As you might have guessed by now v18 will not be released in 2018. There are several reason for this, however we feel we shouldn’t rush a release just for the sake of releasing. There’s good hope it will be released very early 2019 once we ironed out the remaining issues we feel should be fixed.

To this point the current v18 version has been proven to be quite solid to use as a daily driver for those who were brave enough to try it out. Of course you should still keep in mind it’s not a final release yet and that on any upgrade a small glitch could happen as we are still doing rework. Once you decide to give it a try it is highly recommended that you create a backup first.

Changes in RC4 (and RC3)

Most notable changes to mention in this Release Candidate:

  • Update documentation regarding Python and Skin develoment: Kodi Doxygen 
  • Fix crash on certain music files that contain ID3v2 UFID frame
  • Do not list non-repo add-ons as “unavailable” in info dialog (the by default included ones)
  • Fix some interface info labels regarding music
  • Fix none responsive when minimising on Mac OSX
  • Fix path for looking up external subtitles
  • Replace vc140 redis with vc141 which fixes crashes on Windows (user should at least install this once)
  • Windows DXVA – fixed color values
  • Fix GUI Notifications rendering
  • Fix watched items in plugins (contains database upgrade)

Of course there are several more changes which are listed on our github repository found here: RC4 changes.

  • Fix crashes by pressing ‘x’ to stop DVD .iso image when “Player Process Info” is displayed
  • Screenshot: simplify logic and bail out if no folder is set
  • Android: remove mpeg4 HD restriction / use dts for unknown pts for mpeg4 (there might be some playback regressions that will be fixed along the way)
  • Change resolution (if required) on application starts (fixes XBXO resolution issues)
  • Android: Reset calibrations if GUI limit changes
  • Android: fix subtitle position problems
  • Fix resolution whitelist issues on Windows
  • Extend option to hide spoilers like text or images from the library view
  • Add support for new iOS devices

Of course there are several more changes which are listed on our github repository found here: RC3 changes.

Currently included

The past RC1 and RC2 release articles include the most notable changes we have done in v18. There are of course many smaller changes and improvements that we can’t even remember. I guess you will just have to try and find out eventually. For a more extensive list you can visit our wiki page v18 (Leia) changelog which will be update along the way. From now on all v18 releases will not contain any big new features as we are focussed on bug fixing or improvements only.

Make sure to also go through our news sections which contain all past announcements regarding the Leia release and some highlights of what it will contain.

 

The V18 Leia t-shirt

Inspired by the galaxy far, far away theme, our resident artist Sam went above and beyond and designed perhaps the coolest Kodi announce video of all time.

We loved his work so much that we’re modelling the Kodi 18 shirt after it along with more art to come. Here it is, our newest, coolest shirt: K-18L
(Available in several shirt colours and not just black or white)

Kodistore

 

Release time

Since we now started the RC cycle a final release will be on the near horizon. When the final release will actually be is yet unknown as it all depends on the stability now more people will start using the v18 builds.

That’s about it for now and we’ll go back at improving this upcoming v18 release. Should you wish to give it a try a new version is readily available each day as well as nightly version. We can certainly recommend trying it out however take in mind that it’s not fully production and living room ready yet (take a backup). So far a guestimate of several tens of thousands users already use it so it can’t be that bad can it. You can get it from the download page clicking on the platform of choice and hitting the “pre release” tab. For Android and Windows we have an easy to use download add-on which you can find in our repository.

Go to the Official download page and choose the platform of choice and you will find these builds under the pre release tab.
 

Donations or getting involved

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using v18.0 Leia. If you use this version, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after that, if asked and the bug is confirmed, submit the issue on Github (following this guide: How to submit a bug report). Do note that we need detailed information so we can investigate the issue. We also appreciate providing support in our Forums where you can. You can of course also follow or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page.
If you do appreciate our work feel free to give a small donation so we can continue our effort. Just find the big “Donate” button at the top of the website. All donations go towards the XBMC foundation and are typically used for travel to attend conferences, any necessary paperwork and legal fees, purchase necessary hardware and licenses for developers and hopefully the yearly XBMC Foundation Developers Conference.

 

May the source be with you…..

kodi help

How to Remove TVAddons Notifications, Community Updates From Indigo Addon

Are you annoyed by the ‘Community Updates’ popup from the TVAddons Indigo addon when you launch Kodi? Remove TVAddons notifications right now, fast and easy. Not sure what we mean? We have you covered! Our guide below you remove TVAddons notifications, either temporarily or for good. But first, what is this popup and why are […]

The post How to Remove TVAddons Notifications, Community Updates From Indigo Addon appeared first on Kodi Tips.

2018 – Looking Back…

So, the sun starts to set on 2018, and another year draws to a close. At the same time, we stand ready to launch Kodi 18 “Leia” in the very near future, which opens a new chapter in how Kodi is structured, how it functions, how it’s used. It seems like an appropriate time to stop and draw breath, then, and take a look backwards: what’s been good, what’s been bad, the what-went-wells, the where-do-we-still-have-challenges.

First up, then, the positive stuff

Internally, there have been very many changes and improvements to Kodi’s core code that, while not immediately obvious on the outside, make life a lot easier to both maintain and expand the application. Architectural changes, such as the move towards Python 3; support for Python scrapers and binary addons; movement of functionality out of a global/core approach and into a more local/modular system; improvements to the Videoplayer such as shader support and overall speed/quality improvements. And it’s not all about the code itself: documentation has been revamped, with some superb work and good ideas on how we can better keep track of how Kodi is built.

The Kodi Team continues to grow, with new members joining us in every capacity. That allows us to be more structured with our internal processes, as well as (e.g.) bringing in more Google “Summer of Code” students to work on specific elements of the code. Indeed, a shout goes out to those GSoC students this year: good work, done professionally, seen through to the end, rolled into the application. As some of them joined us this year at DevCon, we’ve put effort into making that meeting more structured, constructive, focused, and more accessible to the new Team members so they feel more welcome, more quickly. We have an active team of round-the-clock moderators who work to keep our forum in shape – violations, spam, noise. Add a sprinkle of automation here and there and, hopefully, users can find what they need and get the community help they want without getting buried.

One of the eternal challenges in any large, dispersed organisation – perhaps made more so when everyone is a volunteer – is internal team communication. We’ve made active steps this year to improve this: new internal tools, more collaboration, more organisation, greater transparency and openness. We all know how the open source community can have some famous and pretty public disagreements; while we still have our fair share of these within the team, we’ve generally put a lid on the worst of these, diverting energy into the application instead of internal arguments. This also extends to external communication and interaction sometimes: having spent some time on self-reflection, we’re a lot more aware of how we come across to new developers and contributors, and how attitude can impact directly on people’s willingness and ability to contribute. We’re continuing to work on how we use GitHub and the pull request process, for example, to hopefully get more contributions, more quickly – submitted, reviewed and committed.

Extending the idea of external communication, we’ve made some major updates to the wiki, many of which reflect the significant functionality changes we’ve seen. We have the new forum, and new paste site, and generally a much more usable and polished public face. Linked to the submission/merge process as well, we’ve actively sought to get more external testing of changes through mirrors and nightly/test builds, all of which combines to give more stable code and a better user expereince all round.

Now, for a lot of users, much of that might be all well and good – “what about the application features, though?”, I hear you cry. Fear not, kind reader, for there has been much work there as well. From platform support, such as H.265/HEVC on Pi and collaboration with Android SoC vendors, to DRM support and possibilities that opens up for official content add-ons; a return to our roots with Xbox One support; the release of the long-awaited retroplayer gaming support as part of the official Kodi build; a significant re-work of our music and related library capabilities. Some of these are admittedly more revolutionary than others, but all of them build a more solid, stable, expandable platform for future releases.

 

Is everything perfect, though? No, of course not. Any retrospective has to really look at where we still need to improve.

We’ve made great steps forwards on communication: we can still do much more. We need to streamline our internal tools so people get to know about what they need and not drown ourselves in noise (forum, Slack, GitHub, email…). We’ve been working on internal policies to resolve issues between team members – we’re not a company, we don’t have an HR department, so we need to simply agree “the rules of the road” that govern attitude and acceptable behaviour (hey, we’ve all been on the Internet long enough, you know what it’s like sometimes!). That in turn touches on the external communication and attitudes towards people: we still need to complete the pivot from “this sucks…” to “thanks for the contribution, might I suggest…”. Streamlining the code, documenting it better, modularising it, making it easier to offer up changes without spending five years familiarising yourself with all aspects of the code base – all of these will hopefully help on this aspect.

GSoC has been a success for us, as covered above. But we always need more developers and new ideas. We need to become a more attractive project to work on and work with. We need to be more accepting of change, more welcoming of criticism or suggestions, more open and transparent about how, why and where things happen in what is increasingly an enormous, “black box” project from the outside. While all projects of this type are revolving doors of contributors, we lost some core talent this last year; similarly, though, some people have rejoined the Team, resurrecting some of their passion for Kodi and what it could become. The hippy in all of us would like less drama, more love, and for everyone to just get along, all of the time. 

And, finally, we need to work more on the vision for Kodi. It’s true that we’ve been painted with the piracy brush for too long. As we introduce new features, as the DRM functionality beds in, we have to hope that this changes, and we can get back to the primary reason most of us work on this application: because we genuinely believe it is, and will remain, the best one-stop home entertainment and multimedia platform in the world.

 

Those were our thoughts. Maybe you have your own – in the spirit of openness and communication, then, perhaps you can share those ideas with us through all of the normal channels.

In the meantime, as you ponder Life, the Universe, and Everything, we wish you a peaceful end to 2018. Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, whether you celebrate anything at all, we wish you well for now and the future. 

Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

Team Kodi.