GSoC 2022 @ Kodi : Final Evaluation

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GSoC 2022 @ Kodi : Final Evaluation

Developer, Prerelease, Community 

Mohd. Shaheer

September 22, 20223 min read

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


Screenshot of Top Music Page - after UI rework


Album page

Screenshot of Album Page - before UI rework


Screenshot of Album Page - after UI rework


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.