10 days till first v17 "Krypton" alpha release


10 days till first v17 "Krypton" alpha release

Community, Prerelease 

Martijn Kaijser

June 20, 20166 min read

We have been quiet for quite some time as our last official release announcement was about Kodi v16.1 “Jarvis” bugfix release end of April. We can assure we have not been sitting still as work for v17 progressed in a steadily pace. Our developers have actually been working on v17 since early December as a large part of our code base has been ripped out, put through the grinder and put back in a way that makes Kodi future proof which enables new and exciting possibilities. To be honest we actually wanted to do this upcoming alpha release a bit sooner (1st of May). However since we hit some code issues we decided to skip that date to first solve the problems. Next one was 1st of June however I was on holiday for some weeks and I guess we skipped that date as well. Fast forward to present day and all looks good to go and bring you the first “official” v17 alpha build which you as user can install and take for a test drive. Maybe not that exciting as some of you know we always build nightly version so you could have installed it whenever you wanted to. Still such a release marks a special milestone as it also means we’re gearing up for getting it out the door as a final version. This may still take some months though so don’t get your hopes up yet.


Since the dawn of time, or at least since 2008 each released version has received a code name next to the version number. Giving each development iteration a code name in a certain category is kind of a tradition that is not only applicable for software but also for hardware. Google does so for Android and Intel also names their chips. Who are we to break this tradition and as such we follow in their steps with a theme that started out with mythical places or names. For our v17 release we actually let the public chose the name and with an overwhelming majority they chose the name “Krypton”. Looking back so far at what our small team of developers has done to the code the name Krypton certainly gives a certain emphasis to it that fits. As you may have noticed it took quite some time before we came out with our first Kodi v17 alpha 1 and we have some very good reasons for that. Several years ago we set a path that we wanted to improve our codebase instead of just slapping on new features and this release will certainly be no exception to that goal. Certain parts of our code underwent a complete overhaul or in some cases even went through a blender to be almost rebuild from the ground up. Normally we highlight the main improvements for each alpha release however this time we will have to split that up in several blogs as there’s simply too much to mention in one go. More of that will be published over the coming weeks.

The improvements so far in v17

Well I guess you’ll find out soon enough by either giving it a try or wait till we do an extensive write up of most of the changes done. I say most changes cause there are far too many to even list and the the number keeps growing. One of them was already announced earlier this year which is the new default skin (read here). Looking forward to the changes and want to try it out? You can hold of for a few days till the “official” alpha is released or already download one of the nightly versions and install it. Only difference might be that we added some additional fixes in the mean time which are also included in the nightly versions. The download links are listed at the bottom of this blog or you can jump straight to the one and only official download location

Remember that these builds are still not ready for daily use unless you know what you are doing and want to help us do some testing. So far we have done most of the testing ourselves with the great help of the forum community that provided valuable feedback. With these alpha builds we try to gain some more attention to the general public and hopefully you are willing to help us further improve the stability of Kodi in general. These builds can simply be installed on top of your current Kodi installation. WARNING: Do make a backup of your userdata before proceeding as that gives you ability to go back.

Enough said. Downloads links are at the bottom…

The most awesome surprise in years…….

zappy-santaOver the years we have been playing with some random awesome and insane ideas that never came to life. Either they were to complicated, lack of skill sor we simply forgot about it as it took too long to realise. In the coming days however we will announce one of these ideas that has actually been talked about, worked on, discussed a lot and has actually been finished as well. It is something that’s way out of our comfort zone so we hope that this big surprise will be something you as users will be enjoying as much as we will.

What it is? Well it’s a SPOILER ALERT that can be use to *SPOILER ALERT***.***more info follow this link*

Call out for developers

As you may or may not know is that Kodi is maintained by a group of volunteers since its first inception dating back to the original XBOX days. Over the years many volunteers have spent countless days if not months on every aspects of what makes Kodi great. This consist of writing and maintaining the code base of Kodi, expanding to new platforms, maintaining the forum, wiki, website and download server and more……

So why do we need you? Well the fact is that over the years the core team of Kodi has remained about the same size while the amount of users went from couple of thousand to many, many millions. Not forgetting the fact that it went from only a XBOX application to what is now running on Linux, Windows, iOS, OSX, Android. All this still with the same amount of people. Now comes the time that we will actually start calling out for some help. To put it simple we want to ensure that Kodi remains alive on all platforms while at the same time lowering the support burden each developer now faces these days. Each of the core developers has his own specialty and since Kodi is quite big you quickly run out of developers that know enough of certain sections. Add to that the changes needed for each operating system upgrade that happens and all the problems that arise with that.

To put it in perspective we basically have only 1 developer for each section or even complete platform. As already mentioned the entire team consists of volunteers which means everything is done in their spare time next to having an actual day time job and a personal life. This results in having only a few hours at most to spend on what they see as their hobby which i can say they are passionate about. Over the years the team consisted of many different developers who gave all they could but due to whatever reason had to change priorities which resulted in not spending time in Kodi anymore.

So in short what we are looking for are C/C++ developers who are willing to put in some of their spare time in maintaining and improving our core code. This can either be doing some minor bugfixing, reviewing existing pull requests for code contributions or even creating some of their own code refactoring or feature additions. It really doesn’t matter if you are just a student just starting out on C/C++ or are already a senior programmer. We would welcome anyone who is willing to do their part on any improvement that is needed. A fair warning is that our codebase isn’t for the faint hearted as it’s quite massive and we are quite strict regarding code review before we merge anything. However don’t let this frighten you off as our current (or outside developers) will certainly give you pointers on improvements to get it included.

What we currently need most are developers with knowledge of the following components to improve current implementations to ensure the future of Kodi as a whole:

  • • Windows DirectX11 / audio / video

  • • Android NDK / audio / video

  • • iOS & OSX / audio / video

  • • General knowledge of C/C++ and willing to do some coding in areas of their interest.

For the moment the biggest problem is our Android version which lacks the attention it needs. The audio part is mostly in good shape however the video playback part needs some attention. Any bugfix patch can be send to our main github code repository for review straight away. If you are not sure or want to take on a bigger task or change feel free to open up a thread on our forum where you write down your proposal to get some initial feedback.

Wiki pages to get you started: https://kodi.wiki/view/Development

Forum: Developer sucbsection

Code on Github: https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc


Should you want to download and install this build please visit our download page.

Please report any problems on our forum https://forum.kodi.tv/ and not on the release announcement.

XBMC SF award 2008