Rant of the poor state of xbmc for developers

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
nickthemagicman Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #1
I have been trying to dev for xbmc for the semester.

I am a M.S. student in comp sci.

I have to say this project has been miserable.

<rant>
The documentation is outdated and fragmented, the support/forum is poor, there's no best practices or up to date examples, the API changed/changes drastically every release it's like coding for a different program.

The freakin skins are thousands and thousands of lines of XML and could be done with an HTML parser for fractions of that size.

If the devs put a python interpreter in the thing, why can't they fit an html/css parser up in it?

The ONLY saving grace of the thing is the JSON RPC layer which is awesome.

CAN WE GET SOME BETTER DOCS WITH EXAMPLES JESUS MOTHER OF GOD.

</rant >
find quote
Karnagious Offline
Fan
Posts: 591
Joined: Nov 2012
Reputation: 24
Post: #2
(2013-12-05 01:42)nickthemagicman Wrote:  ... the support/forum is poor ...

As someone who tried to help in another thread but quickly reached the limit of his knowledge, let me be the first to tell you to piss off you ungrateful tool.
find quote
davilla Offline
Retired-Team-XBMC Developer
Posts: 11,478
Joined: Feb 2008
Reputation: 64
Post: #3
sounds like nickthemagicman has found his 1st project, patches welcome when you finish.


MediaInfo : http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
find quote
nickthemagicman Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #4
I really did appreciate your help and the help of several others. But it seems like even people passionate about this stuff are in the dark about a lot of issues that could simply be fixed by better docs!

This is a really cool product but if doc's and examples aren't the dev's top priority they're just hurting the possible thriving community.

@davila

The OCD person in me wants to spend a month documenting every aspect of xbmc so others don't have to struggle so much learning to write addons.

But the API isn't frozen and the new releases are every six months and any docs we write will be null and void, so we just have to suffer.....lol
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 02:13 by nickthemagicman.)
find quote
artrafael Offline
Team-XBMC Forum Moderator
Posts: 6,353
Joined: Jul 2010
Reputation: 113
Location: USA
Post: #5
(2013-12-05 02:10)nickthemagicman Wrote:  But the API isn't frozen and the new releases are every six months and any docs we write will be null and void,

So you don't think that's the same issue for the developers as it is for you? Yet, you rant:

Quote:CAN WE GET SOME BETTER DOCS WITH EXAMPLES JESUS MOTHER OF GOD.
find quote
nickthemagicman Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #6
How is it the same issue for the Devs, they write the code?

Xbmc needs a sponser or a kickstarter or something to get some doc writers up in here.
find quote
artrafael Offline
Team-XBMC Forum Moderator
Posts: 6,353
Joined: Jul 2010
Reputation: 113
Location: USA
Post: #7
Same issue for the developers because of the moving target that you had alluded to. None of the developers get paid to do this and they all have day jobs, so coding gets done during free time away from work and family and, if there's time, documentation may follow. This is a community effort, so if you see a need for improved/updated documentation, code and support, do your share and dive in there and help out. If the woeful state of the XBMC code, documentation and support is impeding your school project, then that's your problem because it isn't XBMC's raison d'ĂȘtre to serve as your case study candidate.
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 03:03 by artrafael.)
find quote
Martijn Offline
Team Kodi
Posts: 11,389
Joined: Jul 2011
Reputation: 165
Location: Dawn of time
Post: #8
(2013-12-05 02:45)nickthemagicman Wrote:  How is it the same issue for the Devs, they write the code?

Xbmc needs a sponser or a kickstarter or something to get some doc writers up in here.

In what universe doesn't the API of any software change?
Our devs keep fighting the changes Apple does each release.
Also Ms changes it. So your point is invalid.
Only difference is the got people paid for it if you buy the product.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forums before posting.
Do NOT e-mail Team-XBMC members asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting, make sure you read this first

For your mediacenter artwork go to
[Image: fanarttv.png]
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 07:40 by Martijn.)
find quote
Pline Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2013
Reputation: 3
Post: #9
I've actually been trying to write a new Python tutorial (the current ones are either out of date or just not very helpful): http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=User:Pline

Hopefully I'll manage to get it to a point where other people might find it useful. Feel free to comment on it in the Talk page (please don't edit the page itself yet, since I'm halfway done with a lot of parts and there's no sense in having a bunch of people stepping on each others' toes).
find quote
zag Offline
Team-Kodi Member
Posts: 1,706
Joined: Oct 2007
Reputation: 20
Location: UK
Post: #10
Right I've seen enough topics over the years on this subject. I agree 100% the documentation isn't good enough so I'm going to do something about it.

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Add-on_development

Watch this space!

Any help from people who have written an Add-on would be very appreciated Smile

You can sign up for a Wiki Login here, or post a tutorial in this forum thread.

HTPC - XBMC Gotham, OpenELEC, Harmony Smart Remote, Intel Haswell NUC, 40gb intel SSD, Core i3, 4gb RAM
Storage - 2 x qnap 8tb 419p+ NAS
Display LG 46" LCD + Casio Bulbless projector [PICS]
[Image: widget]
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-12 22:56 by zag.)
find quote
zag Offline
Team-Kodi Member
Posts: 1,706
Joined: Oct 2007
Reputation: 20
Location: UK
Post: #11
Ok the Add-on Development page is updated now so it should be much cleaner and easier to navigate.

There are still some missing pages so any help would be appreciated.

This is something any user could help out with.

HTPC - XBMC Gotham, OpenELEC, Harmony Smart Remote, Intel Haswell NUC, 40gb intel SSD, Core i3, 4gb RAM
Storage - 2 x qnap 8tb 419p+ NAS
Display LG 46" LCD + Casio Bulbless projector [PICS]
[Image: widget]
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 17:21 by zag.)
find quote
nickthemagicman Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Oct 2013
Reputation: 0
Post: #12
I'll help out after finals are over this week.

I'll write up some tutorials with what I learned.

I may need a more experienced person to go over them to make sure everything is done the best way.
find quote
Pline Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2013
Reputation: 3
Post: #13
I've mostly fixed up the Add-on structure page. Feel free to do more to make it better! (The section on translations needs work in particular.)
find quote
el_Paraguayo Online
Donor
Posts: 624
Joined: Feb 2011
Reputation: 14
Location: London, UK
Post: #14
(2013-12-09 18:22)nickthemagicman Wrote:  I'll help out after finals are over this week.

I'll write up some tutorials with what I learned.

I may need a more experienced person to go over them to make sure everything is done the best way.
Thanks Nick. Just post here when you've written up your tutorials and someone here will no doubt take a look.

Good luck with the finals too!

MythSuspendAlarm: Suspend and wake for next MythTV recording.
BBC Live Football Scores: Football scores notifications.
Random Movie Script: Play random movies from library.
find quote
Pline Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Nov 2013
Reputation: 3
Post: #15
(2013-12-05 17:20)zag Wrote:  Ok the Add-on Development page is updated now so it should be much cleaner and easier to navigate.

Looking at the tutorial section, I think it would probably make the most sense to make the first tutorial be for "list" add-ons (i.e. the kind where you just make list items and give them to XBMC). Is there a technical name for those?

Then after that, talk about how to make GUIs. Right now, making GUIs is first, which seems backwards to me. We also probably don't need separate pages for audio and video add-ons, since they're pretty similar.

Does this sound reasonable?
find quote
Post Reply