Here we go folks: ramping things up, so we now have the first Beta for Kodi v20, “Nexus”.

As always, thanks go out to all contributors for their work. We are nearing 4,000 commits since v19 “Matrix” was first released on February 19th 2021. For everyone that has contributed, both those in Team Kodi, and all other developers that choose to roll up their sleeves and fix an issue – thank you. Everyone appreciates you for making Kodi better.

We also want to thank all those users who provide endless support on the forums, we appreciate you, and all the support anyone provides to our users.

Release notes

Addons

  • Assorted binary addon fixes/updates – imagedecoder, screensaver, vis. Thanks to @AlwinEsch as always for the huge amount of work supporting Kodi’s addon interfaces.
  • Fix/refactor “multi instance” GUI settings for addons. This work carries on from the PVR binary addons being able to have multiple backend instances (link).
  • New id3 tag metadata stream support for PVR Radio addons (link).
  • Add new SetVideoResolution with max resolution (link).

Database

  • Clean DB was previously broken in earlier Nexus builds. This has now been fixed by @enen92 (link).

Disc

  • Update libbluray to 1.3.2 for all platforms (link).
  • Fix a “double free” issue when ejecting a disk (link) – Sidenote: thank you @prahal for your first contribution to Kodi core.
  • Handle BD_EVENT_DISCONTINUITY (link).

Filesystem

  • UPNP fixes for picture handling (link).
  • First time contributor @ihipop improved support for subtitle formats when accessed via UPNP DLNA (link).

General

  • Fix bookmark resume for .strm files (link).
  • Fix jsonrpc Player.GetProperties response when playback from a widget is done (link).
  • Fix race condition in CJobmanager causing crashes (link) – Sidenote: @neo1973 is our newest team member, welcome to the team!
  • Application refactors. A large effort by @notspiff refactoring some very old code into more manageable chunks.
  • Assorted improvements found by static analysis tools. Thanks @Rechi.
  • Write correct duration to tracks in M3U playlists (link).
  • Improvements to the header inclusions for a lot of areas of Kodi. This is a step to improve build times in general that mostly aims to reduce the number of components rebuilt when changes were made in a few extremely common objects. Thanks @notspiff, @ksooo.
  • @rubpa has diagnosed and fixed a race condition in picture thumbnail loading (link).

Input

  • Mouse cleanup (link).

network

  • Another first time contributor @jjlin added support for HTTPS proxies (link).

Platform Specific

  • Unix based platforms

    • Android and Apple platforms now ship with Python 3.11 built in. Python 3.11 is a very notable release due to considerable improvements in CPython regarding speed. Checkout the python release notes for more info.
  • Android

    • Android builds will now be built as RelwithDebinfo by default for our Jenkins builds. This means nightlies and most other Android builds built by PRs will be with the more optimised RelwithDebinfo instead of Debug. This was done as some issues being investigated by devs was found to be purely cause by the slower Debug build types.
    • A number of improvements by @joseluismarti.
    • More class parameters have been added to allow more corner cases for starting android apps (link).
  • macOS

    • Prevent crash on exit (link).
  • TVOS

    • Sensitivity on the Remote has been reduced, and the tooltip and setting has been made more intuitive by @sy6sy2.
  • Windows

    • Remember window position of Kodi when run in windowed mode (link).
    • First time contributor @sryze fixed a cmake warning for windows building (link).
    • A new setting to allow setting the peak luminance for a display (link).
    • Fixes to slow python usage on UWP platforms (eg Xbox) (link).

PVR

  • Assorted EPG search fixes.
  • Added possibility to browse available PVR client add-ons from PVR settings.
  • Channels and Recordings now can be sorted by provider.
  • Various fixes and performance improvements.
  • Large refactoring improvements.

Favourites

  • Replace favourites dialog with new favourites window, providing different views and other enhancements.

Skinning

  • Added a new infobool System.Setting(hideunwatchedepisodethumbs) (link).

  • Estuary specifics

    • PVR Channel Manager redesign.
    • Click on PVR Home screen section icon now opens Channels window again.
    • Some smaller changes to the PVR OSD.
    • Extend music context menu functionality, add ability to play albums directly from home screen.
    • Extend video context menu functionality.

Subtitles

  • Fix for 3D MVC subtitles not appearing correct when frame packed (link).

Video

  • Inputstream support for AV1 codec (link).
  • Don’t attempt to use hardware AV1 decode if forcing software decoding. This fixes AV1 thumbnail generation on devices that don’t support AV1 hardware decoding (link).

Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed to this release.

This is the first Beta release of Nexus, and we are quite confident in its stability, however always backup your configs before testing, and please let us know of any regressions or issues you find.

If you want to take the plunge, you can get Beta 1 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section.

As usual – well, it is open source – you can see what’s changed between v20 Alpha 3 and Beta 1 here.
For further information on changes for the entire Nexus release so far, we have highlighted most of the major features/changes in the previous Alpha blogs, go to our website to catch up on them here.



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Image of Flirc's Skip 1s remote, sitting on its box, in front of an open laptop.

This is perhaps a little short notice, but Jason from Flirc – a long-time friend of Kodi – is hosting an ask-me-anything on Cordcutters on 9th November 2022. We just wanted to let you know, and give him the chance to say a few words about what’s going on.


I originally made Flirc, my first product, because I was frustrated that I couldn’t use our same television remote control with Kodi. That worked really well for a long time, but, as the years passed, and our Kodi boxes evolved, I became increasingly irritated with the growing number of remote controls and the state of universal remotes. I thought I could do it better.

My vision for our first remote always favored a Kodi-esque environment – so much so that half our team now is comprised of Kodi leaders. Nate Thomas, who helped lead Kodi’s growth, and Sam Fisher, an integral part of visual design and Kodi animations, joined me on what would be a three year journey.

The Skip 1s Universal Remote is our first remote built on a strong foundation with big future plans. We plan on having tight integration with Kodi and custom products as we continue our journey. But Flirc wouldn’t exist if not for the Kodi community and their support.

So I’ll be hosting an AMA on cordcutters. Please stop by and ask me anything, or leave a question. Feel free to ask me anything about the remote, future plans, or my personal journey with cancer that lead me to start Flirc. I’ll try and answer everyone.

Wednesday, November 9th: 10 AM PT, 1PM ET, 18:00 GMT, 19:00 CET, 23:30 IST, 05:00 AEDT.

Ask me anything!

– Jason



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Top Automation Testing Tools That Will Simplify Your Software Development Process

The software development process is becoming increasingly complex. Consequently, software testing is essential to the development process. And you must accomplish it with high-quality standards.

Software testing is crucial because it ensures your software’s quality and reliability. But being able to test your software with accuracy and efficiency can be challenging. This is true when dealing with an extensive application containing many features.

Here, automating your software testing process can help you save time and effort. It also ensures the quality of your software.

So, which automation tools are best for testing your software? This article will discuss the most popular automated testing tools and their features.

Top Automation Testing Tools for Software Development

Here are the top automation testing tools you can use to test your software.

Selenium

The first on our list of automated testing tools is Selenium, which is used by many software developers as a popular open-source tool for web testing. It can record and playback actions and run tests in multiple browsers. It can also manage test scripts.

Selenium allows for parallel test execution. This will enable you to run multiple tests, reducing the execution time. It also supports Selenium Grid. This lets you distribute your tests across multiple machines for faster testing.

Appium

Appium is another popular open-source tool for automating mobile app testing. It supports most mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Appium allows you to write test scripts in Java or JavaScript and run them on real devices or emulators. This lets testers create tests they can execute locally or remotely without an Internet connection.

Katalon Studio

Developers looking for an all-in-one testing solution should consider Katalon Studio. It provides testers with complete tools for testing web applications and mobile apps. You can record test scripts or manually create them as acceptance criteria.

Katalon Studio offers hassle-free deployment. This allows developers to create and test cases locally or remotely. The tool makes it easy for testers to debug errors and view the results of their test scripts. It also has a built-in analytics dashboard that gives you access to detailed reports.

Cucumber

Cucumber works with a Behavior Driven Development (BDD) approach. This helps to clarify the user experience and avoid errors. The tool also allows you to create acceptance criteria. You can then use them to build automated tests.

Like Selenium, you can execute various frameworks for languages. This includes Java, Ruby, and Python. You can also use Cucumber to build a user interface or update the application’s database.

HPE Unified Functional Testing (UFT)

This software is Cross-platform and cross-browser. UFT is a functional testing solution that supports the latest technologies and protocols. The tool enables you to run automated tests on multiple systems. You can run them on mobile devices, desktop PCs, tablets, and more.

You can also perform regression testing with UFT. This is possible by comparing the results of your current test runs to those from previous ones. This software allows developers and testers to focus on their applications’ functionalities. They don’t have to write low-level code.

WorkSoft

Do you want top-notch Agile and DevOps software testing? Then look no further than WorkSoft. This software automates manual testing tasks. It helps you identify defects early in development.

The tool features a robust reporting module. This generates detailed reports on your project’s progress and performance. You can also use WorkSoft to measure quality assurance metrics.

IBM Rational Functional Tester (RFT)

IBM’s RFT helps you automate manual test cases and accelerate software development. The tool integrates with IBM Rational Quality Manager (RQM). This provides a comprehensive solution for automated functional testing.

You can also use RFT to create reusable test scripts. This will be usable across multiple platforms. It has a storyboard testing feature. This allows you to create test cases by dragging and dropping objects onto a canvas. The tool also offers an advanced inspector to view application elements’ properties.

Telerik Test Studio

Telerik Test Studio offers a comprehensive set of tools for automated testing. This tool can create automated tests and run them against any application. It supports many browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

It also supports various programming languages, including C# and Visual Basic. This tool can create tests that simulate user interactions with your application. You can also run parallel tests against your application. This will help you identify issues faster.

SoapUI

Developed by Smartbear, SoapUI is an open-source testing tool for web services. It provides a platform that allows you to create and manage automated tests. You can use this tool to test SOAP-based web services or RESTful APIs. It supports various programming languages, including Java and C#.

This tool does not support web and mobile apps but provides a platform for you to write tests. You can use SoapUI to create unit tests, functional end-to-end, and load tests for web services.

Conclusion

Automation testing is a great way to improve the quality of your software. It helps you quickly detect bugs and other issues, saving time and money. If you don’t have an automated testing tool, investing in one is a good idea.



Is Web 3.0 here? We don’t know, but Kore 3.0 certainly is! Shiny, decentralized and software-based, it’s ready to take over your old, centralized, atom-based remote.

As a major release there are lots of changes, too many in fact to list here, but the main ones are:

Migration to Google’s Material 3 UI guidelines, which include:

  • Complete review of themes and colors, adding support for light and dark modes based on the device’s settings, and for dynamic colors, which change the UI colors depending on the current wallpaper (only available on Android 12 and up);
  • Update of buttons, text boxes, icons, images, etc. to the latest UI standards;
  • Review of transitions between sections and within sections;

Redesign of most of Kore’s screens, namely:

  • The Remote screen, adding the current playback state, and better media controls, allowing for direct control of what’s playing;
  • The Now Playing panel, adding the current playback state and media control buttons;
  • The Movies, TV Shows, Music and Addons screens, which went through a redesign, particularly on the actions section. All the previously available actions are still there, they just got moved around (well, except for the IMDb link, which was often broken, and therefore was replaced with a generic Google search). Note that the “Play locally” function is now called “Stream”, which is more appropriate and concise;
  • The Artist details screen, to show the artist albums beneath its general information instead of on a separate tab;
  • The connection status indication (connecting, not connected or connected) has been improved and made explicit on the various screens;
  • The top app bar is collapsible where appropriate, and the remote section allows the background image to use up all the screen;

Redesign of the notifications

  • Integrating them with Android’s media notifications, which allows for better control of what’s playing when Kore is not in the foreground. Note that, if the media notification disappears after a few minutes even though something is playing on Kodi, that’s caused by aggressive battery optimization settings which forcefully stop the notification. This happens with some manufacturers that don’t follow Android’s guidelines, in a futile and artificial attempt to extend the battery life, and the solution is to check the device’s battery settings applied to Kore (the way to do it depends on the specific device, more info can be obtained at https://dontkillmyapp.com/ );

… and lots and lots of code cleaning and generic bug fixing (like for instance, fixing the access to media storage in the local files section).

Given the level of changes, there certainly are bugs lurking around. If you find one, please let us know at the forum or on GitHub so we can make Kore a better remote.

Hope you like it.



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Google Summer of Code Sun Logo

Hi, everyone! I am Mohd. Shaheer, Computer Science undergrad in freshman year. I am a GSoC contributor working on the project “Finish the web interface” for Kodi. I have been working on this project for the past 3 months. This blog post contains my experience through phase 2 (Final evaluation) of GSoC and an overview of my work during that period.

In my previous blog, I wrote about my work up until the mid-evaluation of GSoC. You can find it here.

Phase 2 (July 25th — September 5)

This phase turned out to be more challenging than the previous one.
During this phase, the first functionality I worked on was “Implementing the Video playback” which involved working on the following pages — Music Video, Movies, Tv Show, Seasons, and Episode.

I started with the videoid_int page, which contains information about a music video. Before that, I noticed that we didn’t have a working Music video page (previously implemented). There were some inconsistencies with its routing, with the json-rpc calls which fetched the metadata and with elm json decoders. So, I fixed these issues first.

I worked on the front end and created its UI from scratch which included rework of the music-video card UI. The basic approach in order to implement video playback functionality was by using JSON-RPC Files.PreparedDownload method, we can get a PreparedDownload path for the file which we want to play by making a request in this manner :

{"jsonrpc":"2.0", "id":1, "method":"Files.PrepareDownload", "params":{ "path": "/home/xyz/Videos/test.mp4" }}

We can expect the returned PreparedDownload path to be something like – "vfs/%2fhome%2fxyz%2fVideos%2ftest.mp4" which we can be fed into the src of the html5 video player
(“http://localhost:8080/vfs/%2fhome%2fxyz%2fVideos%2ftest.mp4”)

An issue arose when we tried to do so — CORS Policy. Since we were sending an HTTP request to fetch the JSON data from the Kodi RPC server, we were facing issues with it. Therefore to work on it during development, I suggested using an extension in a browser that allows CORS. Web sockets, which were used to retrieve json data, could have made things much simpler, but during development, things don’t always go according to plan :).

Animated image demonstrating how Kodi will show a sample of the selected video

Videoid_int page

In Chorus 2, the video playback was done through a pop-up window that had an HTML5 Player. To make the user experience better, I implemented a modal for it.

In a similar manner, I implemented the video playback functionality for the movideid_int page where I implemented the page’s UI from scratch, worked on its routing, modified json decoders, and created new ones from scratch.

Animated image demonstrating how Kodi will show a sample of the selected video

movideid_int page

Tvshow pages required more time and effort than others. I implemented its UI, front-end, and backend from scratch. I also had to create two new pages from scratch — The seasons and the Episode page. I created new objects and decoders for each of them and wrote JSON RPC calls to fetch data for them.

Screenshot of Tvshowid_int Page

Tvshowid_int page

Screenshot of Season Page

Season page

Animated screenshot of Episode Page

Episode page

Another functionality that I worked on was “Filter functionality” for all the pages. I created a fully working front-end and wrote filter methods that would filter the objects based on particular fields such as genre, artist, album, etc.

Screenshot of Filter functionality and reworked Movie card UI

Filter functionality + reworked Movie card UI

While working on the functionalities, I also reworked the UI of previously implemented cards and pages. For example:

Top Music Page

Screenshot of Top Music Page - before UI rework

Before

Screenshot of Top Music Page - after UI rework

After

Album page

Screenshot of Album Page - before UI rework

Before

Screenshot of Album Page - after UI rework

After

On September 5th, the official coding phase of GSoC ended. It was a great learning experience and my first internship in freshman year. I learned a lot and would love to keep contributing to Kodi on this project and help in any way possible.

Again I would like to thank my mentor – Razze 😄 – and Kodi Community for being so supportive, and helpful, and for making sure to give positive feedback about my work which kept me motivated.

This post was originally published on Medium.



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Time for another Alpha release for the upcoming Version 20 “Nexus” release of Kodi.

As always, thanks go out to all contributors for their work – not only those in Team Kodi, but also to all the third party users that choose to roll up their sleeves and fix an issue. Everyone appreciates you for making Kodi better!

Release notes

Addons

  • Some crashes in addon installation and repository checks have been corrected (ksooo, howie-f)

  • AlwinEsch has implemented a large feature to allow multiple instances of the same binary addon.

    This allows, for example, two instances of a PVR addon (e.g. PVR.HTS) to run using different backend provider instances. The usage of this will require updates from the various binary addons that will start to happen, so if you are interested in helping your favourite PVR addon to implement this, check out the above PVR.HTS PR, as well as the following PVR.Demo PR

Database

  • ksooo has been optimising various things in our db wrappers for better performance (link)

DVD

  • Fix DVD Menu indicators for DRMPrime (link)

Filesystem

  • Fix NFS for Windows platforms after some recent NFS updates
  • Several NFS improvements/cleanups
  • Initial NFS4 implementation (link)

Font/Glyh

  • Several improvements around our Font/Glyph Handling code from several team members (ksooo, thexai, sarbes) – improvements that should help low power machines in particular, but all platforms generally.
  • Harbuzz glyph caching improvements (link)
  • Fix some inconsistencies with RTL languages and certain skinning components (link)

Games

  • Improvements/cleanups regarding controllers (link)
  • Fix crash if controller info files don’t have correct info (link)

General

  • Rechi has done a bunch of leg work implementing improvements from Static analysis tools like CPPCheck (link) and ClangTidy (link)
  • Remove obsolete addons from Core Kodi install (link)
  • Fix wrong player playlist type for STRM file playback (link)

Input

  • Fix using mouse to drag/drop some controls (link)

Platform Specific

  • Linux GBM

    • Ability to set HDR Output (link)
  • MacOS

    • Allow the OSX arm64 (Apple Silicon) build to correctly find appropriate binary addons from repositories.
  • Windows

    • Fix incorrect window positioning when transitioning window to fullscreen and back (link)

PVR

  • ksooo continues updating/refining/fixing all things PVR related

Skinning

  • Estuary

    • Show titles when “Flatten Hierarchy” setting enabled (link)

Subtitles

  • Further improvements/refinements to subtitles from CastagnaIT

Video

  • Fix for 3D MVC Playback (link)

Once again, consider this an alpha release. Backup your configs before testing, and please let us know of any regressions or issues

If you want to take the plunge, you can get Alpha 3 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section.

As usual – well, it is open source – you can see what’s changed between v20 Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 here.



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Are you eager to improve your home? If so, then you might want to explore the different types of technology available to invest in. There are lots of examples here worth exploring. The trick is to find the right option for you which will provide the greatest value. Here are some ideas to consider right now. 

Pexels Source CCO License

Smart Home Systems 

First, you should think about adding a smart home system to your property. These are budget friendly and easy to install. However, for a completely seamless level of interaction, you may need the support of a contractor for the initial setup. 

Smart home systems are available from a range of different brands including Samsung. As such, it’s worth exploring the different options that are available on the market today. For instance, some systems provide you with the opportunity to set smart routines. This essentially means that the tech will respond seamlessly to perform connected results at certain times of day. In the morning, this could include bringing your lights on slowly or raising the blinds in your bedroom. In the winter, it might mean turning on a heated floor system. It all depends on your personal needs and what you require. 

Security Tech 

You might also want to think about upgrading your home with the right security technology. Believe it or not, crime rates are on the rise right now. So, it does make sense to ensure that your family is protected with the right systems in place. In terms of the different types of systems that you can explore, you might want to store with a CCTV setup

CCTV systems act as useful deterrents and may prevent criminals from considering breaking into your home. Systems like this are also useful because they can provide peace of mind. You just need to set up your system the right way. For instance, it’s important to ensure that they are not recording anyone else’s property without their permission. This can result in a legal headache that you will definitely want to avoid. 

Other security options worth exploring include smart locking systems. Smart locking systems provide homeowners with more control over entry points. You can even use systems like this to check when someone has arrived home. This is useful if you have independent children and you want to make sure that they get back home from school at the right time. Research also suggests that these smart locking systems provide greater benefits compared to other similar alternatives. 

Entertainment Choices 

In terms of entertainment choices, there are countless tech options that could be worth exploring. For instance, you might want to set up a home entertainment system in your property. This can be the perfect space for watching movies and enjoying shows on the best screen possible. If you are interested in this option, then you will need to choose between a TV and a projector system. Both options provide significant benefits. However, the latter is a lot more expensive. This is due to the fact that you need to purchase everything separately. The good news is that you can get the tech that you need for less than you might imagine with solutions such as Net Voucher Codes. This will allow you to save a fortune when you are upgrading your home entertainment technology. 

Remember, the best image is just one piece of the puzzle. There are other choices that are important here too. For instance, you need the right sound set up. In some cases, this could include a complete surround sound speaker system so that the sound hits you from every angle. This can provide an incredibly immersive experience.



Kitchen Tech 

Pexels Source CCO License

The kitchen is by far one of the most important rooms in your house. The right kitchen choices could add as much as 25% onto the real value of your property. This is great news, but what do buyers want from a modern kitchen? The majority of buyers will be keen to ensure that they have a kitchen filled with the latest tech.

For instance, you might want to invest in a smart fridge. A smart fridge will guarantee that you can check what you have in your fridge while you are out. It can also remind you to put certain items on the shopping list each week. You can also use a smart fridge to come up with recipes based on the ingredients you have available or the type of dishes that you might want to try. 

Another great tech choice for the kitchen would be a heat induction hob. Also known as a smart hob, a system like this will only heat the surface of the pan you are using. This can stop you from wasting a fortune on energy that you don’t need. 

Bath Tech 

Alternatively, you could think about exploring technology for your bathroom. Bathroom tech comes in all different styles. For instance, you could think about adding a smart shower to your home. As well as making your bathroom just a little more luxurious, a smart shower can give you everything you need for a great morning routine. A smart shower is even more eco-friendly. This is just one more way that you can keep your energy costs and specifically your water bill under control. A smart shower will alert you when it reaches the optimum temperature. It can also reduce the flow of water depending on your preferences. This tech can even play music for you while you shower, providing the perfect, peaceful way to wake up after a long sleep. 

Another great tech choice for the bathroom would be heated floors. These will be useful during the winter months when the floors can feel ice cold after you step out of the shower. It’s just a matter of ensuring that you hire a contractor to complete the work the right way. Low quality standards of work can impact the enjoyment and comfort that an addition like this will bring to your home. Ultimately, you can spend a little improving your bathroom and ensure that it’s a dream come true. 

Maintenance Tech 

Pexels Source CCO License

Finally, you might want to think about investing in maintenance technology for your home. A great example would be a smart vacuum. As the name suggests, a smart vacuum incorporates smart technology. Essentially, it will clean your home without you ever needing to lift the finger. Say goodbye to spending hours on the vacuuming. A smart vacuum will do all the work for you. The only issue you’ll need to bother yourself is with the stairs. This tech isn’t quite advanced enough to handle that job just yet. But upgrades are being designed every day. 

In terms of other maintenance choices, you could also think about options such as self-cleaning equipment. One example would be a self-cleaning oven. This does exactly what it says on the tin and will stop you needing to worry about cleaning your oven regularly. You can get similar systems including the dishwasher too. It’s just a case of finding the right choice for your needs and your budget. Ultimately, this type of maintenance technology will save you time and ensure that you have more to spend on your family, social life, or even your business goals. It can even help reduce stress levels too. 

We hope this helps you understand that there are countless types of technology which can dramatically improve your home and ensure that you are living the tech dream. These are just some of the options that we think are worth your time and consideration when upgrading your property. 


TheTVDB Logo

Hello Kodi community. This is Scott, the founder of TheTVDB. There has been some confusion related to the availability of our API and the various Kodi scrapers for TheTVDB. Hopefully I can provide some clarity.

TheTVDB was originally written in a weekend in 2004, with features and data slowly expanding with varying degrees of thoughtfulness. Inevitably, some mistakes were made and the industry has changed considerably in the years since. Through a complete restructuring of data a few years ago, we attempted to not only correct past mistakes, but also become more flexible in how we accommodate edge cases and non-traditional series.

This rewrite forced us to create a new API that correctly represented the new data structure and was built using more scalable technology. We included a transformation layer that continued to allow the old legacy APIs to function using the new data structure, but it takes a lot of time and money to run so we can’t leave it up forever. In the two years since, we tried easing the transition away from the legacy APIs:

  • We announced that we would eventually be shutting down the legacy APIs, but stated that we would provide enough time for developers to update their code.
  • We reached out to key systems that rely on our API, like Kodi, to ensure a smooth transition.
  • We contracted an experienced Kodi developer to write updated TV and movie scrapers that work off our new API and the latest versions of Kodi. Kodi’s board graciously offered feedback throughout this process.
  • We’ve restructured our moderator and support tools and teams to make sure we can support developers and users switching to the new API.

Note that as before, our API remains entirely free for end users of the Kodi TheTVDb library scraper (and, indeed, for many other projects). We do have a subscription service for anyone wishing to support our site, but it is entirely optional and not required to use the scraper.

Our current plan is to turn off our legacy APIs at the end of 2022. All Kodi users should switch to our official TV scraper by that time, as all other TheTVDB scrapers will cease to function. Anyone that wants to try out our movie scraper as well is welcome to do so, but the scrapers are entirely separate and do not require each other to function. Note that this conversation is very much about scrapers, but the API change may well impact other add-ons which use the legacy model. We don’t want to adversely impact any users, so please get in touch if you’re a developer who might be affected.

I hope everyone can understand how we got to where we are and why we need to take these next steps. We’re available for support within the scraper threads (TV, movies), but prefer issues to be reported directly on the Github repos (TV, movies). Detailed information about configuration is available on the wiki (TV, movies).

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support of TheTVDB through the years.



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Image of La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona; Photo by Sung Jin Cho on Unsplash

Hello – okay – new teeth, that’s weird. So, where was I? Oh, that’s right… Barcelona!

Well, we did it. After a couple of years of pandemic-induced isolation, we managed to get most of the team together in early April for the first time in forever. We successfully brought people in from as far afield as western Canada and Australia, from Europe and from India, for a few days of brainstorming, hacking, direction-setting, updates and, yes, beer. Without straying into politics, we had notable absences, of course, from our Russian and Ukrainian team members. Stay safe, guys: you were genuinely missed.

As a break from our normal day-by-day account, this year we’re writing this as a retrospective of the whole conference, so you get the flavour of everything all in one go. Think of it as a badly-consumed tapas, then… so, off we go.

As usual, topics were many and varied over the days, including:

  • SAKE: Simple ASCII Kodi emulator – an emulator for Kodi add-ons that can run and debug all the basic Python stuff
  • PVR multi-instancing – so you can have multiple copies of the same PVR addon (e.g. for different backends)
  • v20 and release management – a general conversation about how we do releases, when, communications to the community, etc.
  • Generalised timeshift – extending the existing PVR timeshift mechanism to a broader capability, perhaps to be rolled back into core Kodi code (instead of duplicating in every PVR addon)
  • TheDataDB – a special guest slot from a former Team member, talking about more generalised metadata storage – lyrics, logo artwork, etc. – separate from e.g. episode listings
  • Smart home – ideas and existing developments to integrate home automation into Kodi in various ways
  • LibreELEC update – a broad update on developments around one of the major platforms for Kodi
  • V4L2 status update – HDR, DRM, ffmpeg patches, and everything to do with core video display on Linux platforms
  • Binary addon sandboxing – ideas around improving security and resilience by improving compartmentalisation of binary addons
  • C++ 20 – options and plans to modernise our code to current standards
  • Jenkins deep dive – an overview plus challenges and opportunities around the open source automation server we use to test/build
  • Board stuff – internal governance and oversight of all things Kodi
  • Android maintenance and Play Store – our ongoing issues with a lack of Android devs, and implications (e.g. our current inability to update in the Play Store because of API versions)
  • Flatpak – how we maintain an support our Flatpak, general Flathub changes and how to improve the user experience in the future
  • GSoC 2021+2022 – Google Summer of Code – updates on students’ work, plans, mentoring, and so on

There were also things we can’t really talk about – top secret plans, and bar bills, for example – but this gives a flavour of what we discussed. There’s enough here to keep us all busy for many years yet, and that’s before new stuff inevitably gets added.

In the meantime, please delight in a picture of your favourite open-source devs, relaxing in the sunshine after a hard day huddled around laptops and projector screens.

Kodi team photograph, Barcelona, 2022

Onwards!



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Slightly delayed Alpha 2, but here we go. We had a bit of a wild ride more due to behind the scenes update and changes – however, the good news is that it’s given us more time for fixes and additions.

Release notes

Platform Specific

Python

  • Android and Apple systems have had their Python version bumped to 3.9.13 in accordance with the latest release of the CPython 3.9 series. Of note, there have been fixes by the CPython team specifically for issues raised by Kodi community members around some crashes. Thanks to those members raising the upstream issues, and the fantastic CPython team for fixing them.

    Please note, this does not affect any of our Windows releases, or if you are using Linux.

Filesystems

Closed Captions

  • Fix an instance of Closed Captions not working. A forum member was able to provide an extremely helpful sample that allowed @enen92 to track down an issue with closed captions not working correctly. Incidentally, this also fixes Closed Captions for some Inputstream.Adaptive streams as confirmed by @CastagnaIT.

Subtitles

Bluray

Thumbnail Images

Skinning

Skinners, have a look on the forums for more info.

Once again, consider this an alpha release. Backup your configs before testing, and please let us know of any regressions or issues

If you want to take the plunge, you can get Alpha 2 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section.

As usual – well, it is open source – you can see what’s changed between v20 Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 here.



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