Q: Let’s talk a little about XBMC itself. What would you say separates it from other media centre and HTPC software?
JM: The biggest thing for me are that it’s completely opensource – both in terms of code release and the development model. This has led to a large, active and enthusiastic community being built up around the project, which pushes the development further than could be achieved with a closed model. The obvious difference with XBMC is it does not attempt to restrict you in any way, whilst still attempting to be as user friendly as possible. The commercial media centre offerings cannot compete with this, and we think we’ve done a better job than the many opensource projects out there on the user friendly side of things – though obviously there’s still a great room for improvement in this respect!
Q: As a project, XBMC never seems to sit still. It has evolved from an Xbox hack into one of the most full-featured and customisable media experiences available. What influenced the decision to go multi platform?
JM: As with most major new things that affect the project, the decision to go multi-platform came from a developer fronting up and putting in the work. Yuval was responsible for the port to linux which was the main departure point from the xbox. I’d done some initial work earlier on porting to win32, and once the linux port was working nicely, Elan Feingold did the initial porting work to OS X. This is the great thing about open source – developers from outside the main team can come along, grab the code, and make changes as they see fit.
Q: Despite the long release cycle, XBMC’s feature set continues to evolve at a rapid pace. How do you keep the project from stagnating?
JM: We don’t have to do anything as a team really – the community as a whole is so enthusiastic that it keeps things running along far faster than we could if we were doing all the pushing. I personally find I don’t have enough time to implement even 20% of what I’d like to, and I’m sure other developers feel the same way.
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