Aug 012018
 

We hereby present you the third and last alpha build of Kodi v18 as we are going forward entering beta stage. This release is a continuation of the previous two with our continous focus on solving bugs and usability problems. So far it has proved 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.

Currently included

A full changelog is nearly impossible to create and in this release article we will only cover the basics. For a more extensive list you can visit our wiki page v18 (Leia) changelog which will be update along the way. This third alpha release contain no big new features as we are focus on bugfixing 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.

Stability and usability is key

In general the whole stability has been improved quite a lot. The times you still get glitches or occasional crashes haven been reduced due to just ripping out not so well coded parts and replaced with a more structured design and standard. Not that the old code was bad however over time new insights were gained and having newer code standards just make it better. Untangling all parts or components and make them behave better next to each other has been one of the biggest efforts done so far.

Current available skins

Due to changes in how Kodi works skins need to be updated for each release. As of this moment we have the following ones have been update by their developers and are readily available from our repository.

Adnoic, Aeon Nox 5, Andromeda, Black Glass Nova, ChromaConfluence, fTV, Grid, Mimic, NebulaOmni, Rapier, Sio2, Xperience1080

More will follow at a later point in time when we approach final release.

The story continues

Although we don’t really have a clear future plan or clear cut goals (except making a great media center) we would welcome any developer who wants to spend time on getting Kodi better in every way. Either improving the core code to newer standards, fixing bugs or implementing a new feature we haven’t thought of. Compared to years ago the code has become better to understand and follow for newcomers to get started. Once we get something written down of certain to reach goals we will certainly share them.

A great improvement has been made on the documentation that explains how to compile and work on the core code for Kodi. We highly recommend to read the article Kodi’s GitHub codebase new face and better documentation.

Release time

You might also wonder when we will actually release this as a final version? Currently we don’t really have a set time however it should at least be somewhere this year so. There’s still enough room left for improvements however we could change our minds at any point in time and just call it ready enough to start the release cycle. In short we can’t say or promise anything. For now we will start doing the Alpa release on a regular bases to bring further balance to the force.

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.

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.

May the force be with you…..


Kodi v18 Leia – Alpha 3
Source: Kodi

Jul 282018
 

Every software developer knows that keeping code documentation up-to-date is difficult and time consuming, specially if code in need of said documentation is changing fast. Like, Flash fast. Among code documentation, the process of compiling the code is probably the poorest of cousins. After all, developers do know how to compile the software they write and writing documentation is not as glamorous as writing code. Given a choice, developers will always choose the latter over the former.

Though that was not Kodi’s case, for years our build guides were spread between Kodi’s Wiki and GitHub, generating confusion. To make matters worse, guides were often contradicting, not kept up-to-date and generally lacking in detail. To solve this predicament, we decided that Kodi’s build guides should be kept alongside the code, where developers can easily update them when code changes.

Writing build guides might seem simple. It isn’t. On one hand, people writing the guides are usually very comfortable with the process and tend to forget small but crucial steps. On the other hand, guides must be written taking the average user into account, not the seasoned developer. Let’s not forget that the word “compiling” intimidates a lot of users, novice and seasoned alike and, as with many things in life, they seem utterly scary until you try. Once you know how to do them, they become an extremely easy and fun process. Most times, anyway.

That led to a conclusion: guides must not contain any ambiguity or room for interpretation. Plain spoon-fed copy and paste was the target. The result is a bunch of build guides for most common platforms and OSes Kodi runs on. Those include Android, FreeBSD, iOS, macOS, RaspberryPi, Windows and a general Linux guide. Popular Linux distributions among Kodi users, like Fedora, Ubuntu and openSUSE also have dedicated guides.

Starting with Kodi v18 Leia, our build guides are kept up-to-date against the current code base. Hopefully, up-to-date against a single pull request or code commit. This might seem of little importance but consider this: if, in two years time, you decide that you want to compile Kodi Leia for whatever reason, you won’t need to dig through the Wiki, forum guides, old HOW-TOs, etc, to achieve what should be a simple task. The correct build instructions are right there, alongside the code. Of course, there are things we can’t control and in two years a lot can change. Your shiny new OS or hardware might not be compatible with an older Kodi version. That’s not our fault, by the way. ;)

Producing nice build guides wasn’t the only thing we did. We also decided to overhaul Kodi’s GitHub face, making it a little nicer to look at and a bit more informative about the project. It now links to Kodi’s most important resources (downloads, site, forum, wiki, etc.), and has a section dedicated to those wanting to contribute to Kodi.

Since GitHub is a developer space, we couldn’t complete the task without providing a few guides for code contributors. This includes a contributing guide, code guidelines, and a simple git-fu reference guide for those not familiar with git.

The full list of new documents and guides can be seen here. We hope you like them and help us improve them and Kodi.


Kodi's GitHub codebase new face and better documentation
Source: Kodi

Jun 102018
 

We have been relatively quiet for a while and several months have past since the first pre-release Alpha build. Today we present you the second official Alpha build in this pre-release trilogy. It is a continuation of the first one which was released beginning of March and contains our continous battle against the dark side that consist of bugs and usability problems.


Kodi v18 Leia – Alpha 2
Source: Kodi