It’s that time again. After an extremely productive DevCon where we hammered out some nasty bugs, we’re proud to announce Dharma Release Candidate 1.
Major fixes since Beta4:
- A fix for a problem when pausing/seeking. This was known to cause static or erratic behavior on some amplifiers.
- Beta4 introduced a regression with Linux and Live users that led to broken or choppy playback. Please note that anyone upgrading to RC1 on these platforms is highly advised to remove ~/.asoundrc, and create a new one if you had done so previously.
- The Bootable LiveCD script is now much more reliable. What a great way to install to a flash drive!
And a few new features:
- After adding a source, you are now prompted to set content. This should be much more logical for new users.
- New icons for the addon browser.
We are nearing release… Download RC1 now and keep the good reports coming. Let’s get Final out the door!
It has been quite a while since the XBMC team has gotten together as a group to discuss the project in person. The time and effort it takes to assemble a group of people from around the world is truly staggering. We are proud to announce that this year’s conference is being sponsored by at-visions. Andreas Krause, along with some of the others at at-visions, has invited us to join them in Vienna for a weekend of conferences, hacking sessions, and a few beers while we’re there. Around 20 team members will be in attendance during the long weekend of November 12-14. We have invited a few of our partners and sponsors along for the conferences on Saturday, and we would like to ask any local users to join us for a beer or two on Sunday. Watch for a follow-up post with more info on the meet-and-greet soon. If anyone with any corporate interest in XBMC wishes to attend on Saturday, please contact us for more details.
at-visions is an international provider of sophisticated in-room entertainment systems for the hotel industry.
When we started to develop our ONEvision system we weren’t satisfied with the abilities of common set-top boxes regarding the design of the User Interface. The UI provided by other Hotel TV suppliers we found on the market weren’t really examples of great design, partly also due to the restrictions of the set-top boxes.
Our vision was quite different: we wanted any easy to use, highly customizable, proven and most of all beautiful and sexy User Interface. To put it in other words, we wanted XBMC. So we developed a complete solution: Hardware specially designed for the use in Hotel environments and able to run not only XBMC but a fully functional internet browser, a CMS providing all the functionality Hotels need to create their own content in order to drive additional revenue combined with the XBMC UI as a truly engaging starting point for guests to explore the opportunities offered by the marriage of processing power, HDTV and Internet.
We really enjoy working together with the XBMC community and we are happy to show our commitment to the XBMC project via sponsoring this year’s Developer’s Conference.
We Look forward to welcoming you in Vienna!
Well, beta 3 had a few regressions. So rather than moving along to rc1, we decided to throw out one last (we hope!) beta. There a few things to take note of:
- Live now contains an Audio Mixer. You’ll find it in the Programs section. Non-Live users (Linux and OSX) may install it from the add-ons browser. This replaces the previous scripts that attempted to set volume levels. As a result, volumes may be low or muted by default, but now you can adjust them with your remote.
- After installing a skin from the add-on browser, you’ll now be prompted to switch to it. It just makes sense.
- Don’t you hate it when programs add a shiny new feature and force you to use it, even if you absolutely hate it? We do too! If you don’t want to be notified about add-ons at all, now you can disable notifications completely. Just go to the add-on browser options and turn them off.
- Ubuntu Maverick packages are now ready for testing.
Strings have been frozen for a while already, but we decided it was important enough to get those settings in for Dharma. So translators please take notice.
This late in the release cycle, we are hoping that beta4 is relatively boring. If all goes well, we’ll push out an RC1 soon.
Visit the mirrors for the latest files.
Nearly one month after the release of Beta 2, the latest Dharma pre-release is ready for testing. We have been working very hard to to stabilize XBMC for the final release; there have been over 300 commits to the release branch since the last beta. Notable fixes include:
- Lots of Live fixes and clean-ups. We want Dharma Live to work out-of-the-box as much as possible. Those who have been plagued with broken ALSA upgrades and unsupported soundcards will be happy to know that these issues have been resolved. In addition, most ION/ION2 systems should just work ™, though there are a few small issues remaining.
- Shoutcast, which is now an add-on, was causing hard-freezes. Now Fixed.
- A bug causing redundant http requests has been fixed. Scraper sites (Hi TMDb and TheTVDB!) should see significantly less requests per session.
- Several new addons. Many scrapers have been fixed. The popular Transparency! skin is now in the official repository; a total of 9 available even before official release!.
- Many more small fixes. Small fixes are good.
There are still a few known bugs:
- CrystalHD support is great, but drivers and libraries still require manual intervention for installation in Live/Linux. This may or may not be fixed in time for release.
- No packages for Ubuntu Maverick are available as of now. We’re working hard on this.
- A few small miscellaneous bugs. Small bugs are bad.
Update: All users of Live Beta2 or earlier are advised to backup their XBMC profile (~/.xbmc) and reinstall. Due to the way some drivers were installed before, a smooth upgrade is unlikely. This should now be resolved for future releases.
Go forth and download!
Thanks to the excellent mirrorbrain project, we will be upgrading the backend to our mirror system tomorrow to take advantage of some new features, some of them were even added at our request (thanks again Peter)! As a result, beta testers for the upcoming Dharma release may experience a brief downtime tomorrow afternoon (US time). While it has been designed to be a seamless upgrade, there is always room for the unexpected.
While the update is taking place, users will be unable to fetch or upgrade add-ons. Please watch for the all-clear here before submitting bug reports or reporting issues on the forum.
Update: Done! Users should have experienced less than than 1 minute of downtime.
Just over two weeks after beta1, the next pre-release version of Dharma is ready for testing. We have closed many bugs, touched up some translations, and updated a substantial number of addons. With beta2, we also made the last-minute decision to include web-interfaces as addons. This means that we will be able to keep the new interface (still a work in progress, should be ready by final) up to date, and also developers may submit their interfaces to the official repository. There are several in development already: some for file management, some for editing metadata, and some to simply control XBMC remotely.
A note on versioning. In the past, we have used a year.month scheme to denote the stable versions. This has proven problematic because it forced us to estimate the release date, and to bump the version number if we fell behind schedule. In addition, this complicated the work of packagers on various platforms who were having to keep up with our version changes. Therefore we have decided to call Dharma 10.0, and the next stable (codenamed “Eden”) will be 11.0. Simple.
The same warnings from beta1 still apply. Dharma is quite stable already, but don’t forget that it is still in beta. Builds for all platforms are uploaded and ready to go. Download the latest in mediacenter goodness right here. Ubuntu users may use the svn ppa repository for pre-release builds.
Feel like helping? There are several recent reports of hard-freezes while browsing movies in the library. This is likely due to our thumbnail generator and we need samples to reproduce the issue. If you are running into this while using Beta1 or Beta2, please file trac ticket and be prepared to send us the sample file that we request. Without samples, we can’t reproduce and fix the problem.
Today we announce the first beta in what we hope is a very short pre-release cycle. Dharma has been in development for over 9 months now, and we’re quite happy with the result.
The improvements are too many to name, but head over to the milestone page to get an idea. By far the biggest new feature is the Add-ons system. Our community is full of talented script-writers, skinners, and designers; we wanted XBMC to display their full potential. The result is a powerful and flexible system that allows for complete customization of the XBMC experience. Gone are the days of digging for the latest version of buggy plugins, or incomplete skins in our forums. Most of our users probably never even made it that far.
Currently available video sources.
We have refactored everything that doesn’t belong inside the core of XBMC to be an addon. So in the future, your scrapers, visualizations, skins, etc. will update automatically (unless disabled). Since opening the xbmc.org repository a few weeks ago, submissions have been pouring in. We expect to have a very nice collection by the time we reach our final release.
But don’t let the add-ons take away from the loads of other features (hardware acceleration, anyone?) that have gone into XBMC in the last 9 months. We’ll be sure to hi-lite some of the other big features in the coming days/weeks.
Install new skins from inside of XBMC
For those brave users, please give beta1 a shot. Builds are ready for all OSs, visit the download page to grab them. If you stumble upon any nasty bugs, be sure to send us a QUALITY bug report. Beware of (at minimum) the following:
- As always, treat this as beta-quality software. Be sure to back up your profile in case you decide to roll back.
- The clunky old web interface has been removed. We’re working hard to have a new one ready for final release.
- svn-ppa users may have to remove old xbmc packages before installing Dharma.
- You may have to reset your screensaver and visualization settings after upgrade. These are now addons.
- Pre-Dharma scripts/plugins/skins will NOT work with Dharma, but most have been updated accordingly.
Enjoy. And to the add-on creators: keep the submissions coming!