There is still a long way to go but we have just completed the first in a number of important updates that have been taking place in the background at NaN, both the noobsandnerds repository and the Add-on Portal have been updated…
You should find all the repositories now have correct and up-to-date information on whether or not they are still live and working. It’s been a painfully long and tiresome exercise going through each of the repositories working out which ones are now dead in the water but we now have a list of close to 500 repo’s all correctly marked up with broken status. We’re going to need your help on the add-ons though as there are about 5,000 of them!
A note to the developers:
Broken tags: As you should already be aware, there are many different tags you can use in your addon.xml files – one of them is the <broken> tag. If you know one of your add-ons is broken please add that tag to your addon.xml file rather than just leave it sat there with no information. Simply deleting the add-ons is equally as bad practice and causes users to search the web for dated versions of the files which as we’ve seen can cause severe problems and lead them vulnerable to malicious attacks. Below is an example of a properly formatted xml file using the broken tag:
... <summary>Bstrdsmkr's Addons</summary> <description>Download and install addons by Bstrdsmkr!</description> <platform>all</platform> <broken>This repository is now dead, if you're looking for the 1channel/primewire addon that can be found in the tknorris repo</broken> </extension> </addon>
By adding this tag in the description/summary area you can add very useful information that will show in the built-in Kodi add-on manager as well as Community Portal. It seems as though many developers are either unaware of this tag or are just choosing not to use it for some reason, it’s very simple to do and should take up no more than 5 minutes of your time. If you know the add-on is only going to be down for a little while while you’re coding up a fix you can even add that information in there to let your users know the add-on is still being worked on. The Add-on Portal (the system Community Portal uses) checks twice a day for updated tags and if you’re using the built-in Kodi add-ons manager the changes appear almost immediately so there really is no reason you shouldn’t be making more use of these important features.
Genre/Country tags: Another tag that seems to be forgotten about is the genre tag, this is not an official Kodi tag but one I created so devs could get more information out there regarding their add-ons. This was added approx. 18 months ago but it looks as though the information has been lost somewhere in the move from TotalXBMC to noobsandnerds so I’ll just go over it again…
The Add-on Portal will pick up any genre tags and then categorise the add-on into the appropriate genre sections (both on the website and Community Portal). Don’t miss out, make sure your add-ons are being correctly tagged and not overlooked by users – simply add the relevant genres to make sure make your add-ons always appear in the correct sections. The ability to edit your genres via the web form is now back and working again, you just need a minimum of 5 posts on the forum and hit the edit button on your add-on page. If you’re the developer of an add-on and don’t regularly use the forum just send a member of admin a PM with details of what you want updated and they can add the relevant notes on your behalf. If you want to manually add genre tags to your addon.xml files below is a list of the entries available.
The following items are comma separated and all go in the <genre> tag in your addon.xml:
Video tags: There is another really useful tag you can add to your xml, again this is not an official tag that kodi makes use of but it doesn’t hurt to add it in there. The Add-on Portal will scan for <video_preview> and <video_guide> tags. This is perfect for getting useful information out there and also making it stand out above the others, all add-ons with these tags (and a valid YouTube id inserted) will have their videos displayed on both the Add-on Portal and from within the Community Portal add-on. Below is an example of how to use these tags:
<description>TV Portal EPG</description> <platform>all</platform> <genre>livetv,usa,uk,french,canadian,german</genre> <video_preview>WdKIzajiBBI</video_preview> </extension>
The actual URL for the YouTube video linked above is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdKIzajiBBI
The id used in these video tags is the section after watch?v=
The above example will show a video preview but we can of course also use the video_guide tag for a proper guide on how to use the add-on. You can always add more guides via the web form on the Add-on Portal, however as explained earlier that will probably be a few weeks away from being up and running again due to the forum software changes which has messed up the login code.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully we can all get back on track with helping one another and pushing the boundaries of new innovative features. I know there are a lot of new devs out there who have probably just copied and pasted whatever they found in older add-ons and used that code as a template (I’m sure the vast majority of us started out that way) and I imagine this is what’s lead to the influx of poor coding styles and lack of understanding in how things work. I’m far from perfect myself and am learning something new every day but if we all do our little bit to help it makes the whole Kodi experience far more user friendly, much more enjoyable to use and more importantly should help future generations of add-on devs with a solid framework to work off. Talking of which, we will soon be doing interactive Python coding lessons so if any of you are interested in joining in (seasoned coder or total noob) then feel free to contact me via PM on the forum.