This year, Team-XBMC held its annual XBMC Dev Con directly after LinuxTag in Berlin. We like to come together every now and then to meet face to face and discuss the state of things, the future of XBMC, and socialize a bit too. In attendance this time around were pike, chadoe, spiff, elupus, jmarshall, WiSo, alcoheca, vdrfan, MaestroDD, and blittan. Attending from Boxee (who were nice enough to sponsor XBMC Dev Con 2009) were yuvalt, vulkanr, eli, and erez. Also mot2dk, Haggy, and Clumsy made it to LinuxTag but not to the XBMC Dev Con. Overall, it was a great success. Below is a brief outline of the topics discussed.
jmarshall has posted before about his proposed video library makeover, and now he’s ready to put it into action. The goal is to combine the file and library views into one useful mechanism, while making it easier and more straightforward to add, organize, filter, and display content. Watch for a post on the dev blogs with much more detail from jmarshall in the near future.
We’ve received lots of complaints about the addons structure (or lack of it) in XBMC, such as finding and installing third-party plugins, scripts, scrapers, and skins. As a result, an in dept discussion has started about the possibility of adding an official addon manager inside of XBMC itself so that everything would be available directly from the interface. Also, there was much discussion about different ways of organizing the plugins and scripts to keep them up to date. Plans are far from finalized, but surely the results will be up to XBMC’s usual high standards.
WebBrowser and Flash Integration
This one is only a maybe, but they are still being evaluated. To be clear so that it is not misinterpeted, this has nothing to do with adding a full-blown embedded web browser in XBMC, only the ability to grab media content (such as flash) from the web for use in plugins.
We believe that the current 6-month release schedule (based upon Ubuntu release cycle) is still viable, though it will be shifted by a month or so to give us time for testing with the new version. We will also probably start doing interim releases as new features are added. These will not go through the same testing schedule as the major releases, but should reduce the need for users to compile their own builds or look for third-party sources just to keep up with the latest bleeding-edge features.
The XBMC community has always been great about contributing to the translation effort, and blittan has stepped up to help ease this work. He will be coordinating a move to Launchpad so that the community will be able to become even more involved in translating XBMC languge files and keeping them up to date. Also, to help alleviate some of the redundant translations, some ‘common phrases’ will be added that all third-party addons can use as well.
It’s time to knock the dust off of xbmc.org and shake things up a bit. We realize that most of our loyal users just go straight to the XBMC Community Forums because that’s where all the good stuff is found, but we’ll be making a concerted effort in the near future to reorganize our site. We hope to make it easier to find the current news and developments all in one place.
Watch for these and many other changes in the future. We’ll be sure to let you know as plans unfold. And If you haven’t already, don’t forget to Vote for XBMC Media Center in the Sourceforge Community Choice Awards!