You may come across a problem where Kodi says something is incompatible when you try and install via the relevant repository (shown below)
What does this mean?
Every add-on has details stored in a text file called addon.xml and this tells Kodi what’s required for the add-on to work. When you see this message there’s a good chance the add-on does actually still work just fine (or reasonably well) but the developer hasn’t got around to updating the text file. A good example is when Gotham came out the version of xbmc.python being used in that build was 2.1.0, however the previous version of XBMC used v.2.0 and unless the developer edited their addon.xml to show the new version number it would be marked as incompatible. It’s a very simple fix and anyone can do it, you just open the addon.xml in a text editor and change 2.0 to 2.1.0.
If I Manually Edit Will I Do Any Harm?
First of all you need to understand what this actually means… When Kodi installs add-ons it checks the addon.xml file and for every dependency that’s in there it will check and make sure they either exist on the system or are available to download from either the developers repo or the official kodi.tv repo. If they aren’t available then Kodi will refuse to install the add-on, however you can use Community Portal to get around this using the backup install method and that will allow you to install. There’s no guarantee the add-on will still work but it will at least allow you to install and try modifying it if required. Editing the the addon.xml file will generally do no harm but you may find some things glitchy, I wouldn’t recommend bumping the skinning engine version number until you’ve read about what’s actually changed in the skinning engine and how it may affect you – you could end up with some pretty serious glitches!
Common Causes & Fixes:
Bad Module Installed: If you have a repository installed which re-uploads others work or you’ve installed a “build” from a wizard there’s a good chance it may have installed some modules which aren’t compatible with your version of Kodi.
With each release of Kodi there is a new repository made specifically for that version. For example if you have Kodi 16.0 installed then the pre-installed repository will be designed for that release only, installing contents of this repository onto a newer or older version could cause serious problems.
Currently if you’re having problems with some of your add-ons failing to update the only solution is to manually find which module has been installed incorrectly and also find out which repo(s) is installing this version. If you have a repository which contains hundreds of add-ons then the chances are that’s all re-uploaded stuff and there’s a good chance it will break your Kodi install. There is a module called script.module.common and there is a specific version for different versions of Kodi – this is often one of the add-ons which end up getting corrupted due to bad repo’s being installed.
Python: The addon.xml also holds details of what python version is required. With major Kodi releases they can switch to a newer python version and the version number will be higher. Because the addon.xml clearly states it requires a lower version number than is installed it will be marked as incompatible. You can safely update this version number and see if it works – there may be changes needed in the add-on code to make it compatible but often it’s something small or sometimes no changes required at all.
Skinning Engine: As we briefly touched on earlier, if the skinning engine version number (XBMC GUI) has increased you should check the forum for the latest updates to see how it will affect your skin. It may be nothing but usually if there’s a change in the skinning engine it means something will have broken somewhere and a code change is required. Can you simply bump the version number like you can with python? Yes you can but you risk having future problems if you don’t do research first.
If a plugin is marked as incompatible the chances are that’s absolute rubbish and it actually will work fine (if you can get it installed!). It’s most likely just a case of Kodi being extra vigilant and not allowing content to be installed that it thinks is incompatible but Community Portal will allow you to install these add-ons and bypass such checks if you use the backup install method. It’s not recommended but it’s a good way to check and see whether or not they do actually work.
If it’s a script or a skin and the skinning engine has been bumped up the chances are it will still work if you bump up the version number to the correct one BUT you will almost certainly have some skinning issues. A good example is when XBMC upgraded from Frodo to Gotham, everything worked fine apart from the on-screen keyboard – it was impossible to use a keyboard without editing the actual skin code.