At one time or another we’ve probably all developed a certain fondness for some particular piece of software, only to have it turn into a flaming pile of poo because the developers felt the need to make unwanted changes, or simply could not get along with each other. Some recent threads and posts lead me to think this is a problem in the making for Kodi, and the problem is bigger than most Kodi users realize.
To understand the scope of the problem and what is involved, you only need to go to two places – first, this Reddit thread:
And second, this thread on the Kodi forum, but now you will need to be logged in to see it, because one developer took it upon himself to censor the thread:
This can especially impact you if you use Kodi on the Android platform. For now, Android users have the option to use a forked version called SPMC, which was recently updated.
In my opinion, the developer that goes by the handle “FernetMenta” should step down and leave the project, if only for taking it upon himself to censor the discussion in the Kodi forum (link is to part of the same thread, so you will still need to be logged in to read it), as should any Kodi developers who perhaps think they are God’s gift to humanity and that their opinions are the only ones that matter.
EDIT (October 3, 2016): And it continues. See this Reddit thread: Addon developer asks: “Isn’t This Supposed To Be Fun?” Because apparently “Team Kodi” is not making it so.
Kodi is a project that badly needs to be forked or replaced. It seems like every new version breaks some existing functionality. It’s gotten so bad that I refuse to upgrade my HTPC to Kodi Jarvis. It seems ironically appropriate that the chosen name for the next release is Krypton, because it seems sometimes like the whole project is getting ready to explode and leave toxic remnants that will forever damage the good developers that tried to stay involved, but felt they could not continue given the way the project is being run.
The reason this affects free-to-air satellite viewers is because if you ever want to set up a PVR backend server using DVB-S2 tuner cards or USB-connected tuners, and if you don’t want to confine yourself to using Windows on all your systems, then more than likely you will wind up using TVHeadEnd as your backend server and Kodi as your frontend software. Many of the inexpensive HTPC boxes are now based on Android, and at present can run Kodi, but that won’t always be possible if certain Kodi developers have their way. I believe there may even be some Android-based satellite receivers that can run the Android version of Kodi. The bottom line is that if one or two overbearing developers get their way, our choices as to frontend software may be much more limited, and even on platforms such as Linux the software may not work as well as previous versions did (and who is to say that Linux versions won’t be their next target – after all, Android is mostly Linux at its heart).
It is really hard to operate and maintain a satellite backend system when the software developers keep breaking functionality. In the case of a satellite backend, you have at least three components at play: The DVB-S2 tuner cards or devices and their firmware (if applicable) and drivers, the PVR backend software, and the frontend software that interacts with the backend. If the developers of any of those break required functionality it can mean you don’t get to watch TV from your satellite dish(es) until the problem is resolved, assuming it ever is. Standalone set-top boxes don’t have that problem but the problem with them is that if there are any bugs in the firmware, it is up to the manufacturer to fix them and if they don’t, then you live with the bugs. So while the PVR backend is more difficult to maintain, at the very least there is the possibility of getting better software that will overcome any shortcomings of previous versions — provided that the developers of that software can act like adults and not spoiled children, destroying the software to gratify their own egos.