Plex Media Center for OS X Leopard

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A few days ago, there was a heated internal email discussion going on amongst the XBMC team members. The topic: whether or not to kick me and the other OS X people off the team. There was an actual vote taking place, with retractions, explanations, concessions. One of the OS X people got called a rather offensive name.

I watched this all with a calm sense of detachment. Why? Because I’m totally over it.

When I started porting XBMC to OS X, and then joined up with our little ragtag team of like-minded individuals, the goals were simple: To take what we considered to be the best media center in existence, and make it run on the Mac. The second goal was to make it stable. The third goal was to integrate it fully into the Mac ecosystem. And the fourth goal was to make it even better than it already was.

What became clear to me watching this vote is that these goals can no longer be met as members of Team XBMC. That’s why I voted in favor of kicking us all off the team. I simply do not have the stamina, patience, or desire, to deal with all the drama surrounding our union. I will not go into details here, for the sake of professionalism, and it must be said that I still have a great deal of respect for nearly all of the XBMC team.

Having covered that, where to from here?

We will continue to work on XBMC for the Mac. We are forking the code (it will be hosted on Github). We will still keep roughly in sync with the Linux code, and of course the XBMC team is welcome to merge our changes back into their tree.

The biggest change here is that we will no longer be operating under the restrictions imposed by the team. We can clean up and simplify the settings as we see fit. We can remove features that don’t work right (sometimes, less is more). We can add whatever new features our users are asking for, in the manner of our choosing.

We will be announcing new support forums shortly, and we will be posting details on the Github repository.

Also, we’re definitely looking for talented graphic designers with an eye for typography to work on a top-notch Mac-themed skin.

If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you. And by “join”, I mean “work with us”. There will be no formal team, nor will there be any getting voted off the team. Think of projects like Mono, Wine, or Linux as models.

It’s an exciting time, and there is a lot more to discuss. Peace out.

EDIT: I’ve closed comments for this thread. It’s time to get some work done.


97 Comments so far

  1. tokyovigilante May 21st, 2008 10:27 pm

    Fair enough. It’s a shame that things turned out this way, but you have to look at what’s really important, and take the mature route. Well done, and looking forward to many more releases!

  2. bgausden May 21st, 2008 10:48 pm

    Quality doesn’t come from committees. Keep the team small, articulate your vision for the project and craft something you’re proud of.

    XBMC team’s loss as far as I can see.

  3. Frasse May 21st, 2008 10:56 pm

    Yeah, fair enough. I want the best media center available for OS X, if it’s called XBMC or something else doesn’t matter to me.

    This way, our media center could be better customized for our needs. I will still support Elan and your efforts. I should probably team up as a developer? I have many years with C++ behind me. However my skills are rusty at the moment. I don’t know crap about gfx.

  4. shumba May 21st, 2008 11:02 pm

    Dude. You rock! You guys have built a useable, easy to install product that has the features users actually want vs. a science project that seems to never quite get there (now I see why – their loss). A pity, but thanks for sticking in there, and will remain at the top of my RSS feed reader :-)

  5. Kemmey May 21st, 2008 11:04 pm

    Hear, hear!

    At first I was scared shitless at the headline, but then reading through the post, I calmed down. I’m overly excited that osxbmc is no longer restricted by old school xbmc, and I’m positively looking forward for an even better native mac experience!

    Keep up the good work

    Hurrah! :-)

  6. fpoil May 21st, 2008 11:08 pm

    Well, it’s a pity buf it’s often like that in open project…. Long life to xbmc porting on osx.

    And thanks a lot to all devs (linux and so on) for their works, because we, users, know that is a common work …

  7. JMarshall May 21st, 2008 11:09 pm

    All the best, Elan. It’s a pity it didn’t turn out differently, but such is life. Thanks for you contributions to the project. I’ll certainly be monitoring your changes so as to steal all the good bits ;)

  8. name required May 21st, 2008 11:11 pm

    I find this very worrying – I’ve seen a few projects just die because of infighting, or users moaning about updates taking too long and annoying the devs so much that they give up.

    Will forking from the Xbox/Linux/Windows team mean that OSXBMC will no longer be based on that code at all – i.e. will you not be merging back their changes from trunk into your branch, therefore all development on non-Mac-specific bits of OSXBMC will also be down to you? That sounds like a lot of work for a small team.

    I like the fact that OSXBMC is very similar to my Xboxes XBMC, and if I get tired of MacOSX, I can put Linux on my MacMini and still have a familiar XBMC – and use the same Python scripts etc.

    All that said, the XBMC library metadata format is rubbish, so a fork with something more useable than SQLlite and strange blobs would be nice – maybe NFO or XML files that could be stored within the directory structure (i.e. on my NFS server instead of on my Mini/Xbox’s local drive).

  9. Nathaniel May 21st, 2008 11:11 pm

    Naturally, a couple of questions arise:
    - Will you be keeping the XBMC/OSXBMC name? If not, how about a community competition to decide a new name?
    - Will this impact release schedules and the time between new versions?
    - Will there ever be peace in the OSS community?

    The answer to the last question is probably no :)

    Anyway, I want to congratulate you guys on your newfound freedom, and wish you all the best. OSXBMC is what made my $800 Mac Mini worth the money, and I can’t thank you enough for all the work you’ve done.

    I’m thinking about sitting down and learning to skin for XBMC, might be fun. If I feel I can contribute, I’ll give you a shout.

    Thanks for everything!

  10. Simon May 21st, 2008 11:25 pm

    I hope this dispute doesn’t discourage the OS X team from continue working on the project. Because so far the work have been amazing.


  11. xmbcfan May 21st, 2008 11:29 pm

    for the name osXbmc could be OSX Best Media Center ;)

  12. Jezz_X May 21st, 2008 11:36 pm

    WHY WHY WHY does you have to mention all the voting and stuff in public and then have the nerve to say “I will not go into details here, for the sake of professionalism” what a hypocrit
    All it does it put team xbmc as the bad guys and makes it sound like you MAC people have done absolutly nothing wrong to cause this situation to happen at all.

    Honestly I give up

    I hope you have a good time with your new found do what ever you want with no consult with other people (oh thats what it always was) and remember to obide by the GPL

    Cheers anyway for all the good times you will be missed

  13. Matthew Skyrm May 21st, 2008 11:36 pm

    If both the Linux port and Mac port were moving at the same pace I’d be concerned about this. The Mac version is flying and that is obviously where the momentum is right now. I’d prefer to see the solution with the cheapest hardware but my confidence is with Elan and the OS X team.

  14. MB May 21st, 2008 11:40 pm

    Good on you. I shake a broom at those causing shenanigans over the Mac port of XBMC.

  15. Cullman May 21st, 2008 11:57 pm

    @name required: I think it’s fair to assume both projects will continue to give and take code between them. Also, if for some reason the OSXBMC version was to move away from the look and feel of the original XBMC, I’m sure your needs will still be met by’s version as I imagine (and hope) they will still release their OS X version.

    @Nathaniel: I don’t think we know what we are going to do with the name yet. I don’t think it will have any impact on either team’s releases, the teams are already on a different release cadence.

    @Simon, Nathaniel: re: Peace in OSS and “the dispute”: While there has been some static between the two teams and it has gotten personal at times (and it can safely be said that I’m the biggest offender in that regard – at least from the OSXBMC side)…I can only speak for myself and to some extent Team OSXBMC. I’m hoping we can use this as a clean starting point and hopefully improve the relationship between the two groups. The two teams clearly have some different goals, different styles and even different senses of humor. This has resulted in more debate than work in some cases (again myself being one of the worst offenders). I’m hoping this split will allow both groups to pursue their goals faster, while at the same time continue to be able to share code, help each other out and even share resources (My offer still stands to host a trac server for Also, I don’t think we can ever thank the core XBMC team and its users enough for the work that makes up OSXBMC almost entirely.

    @Jezz_X: I think it’s only fair for our users to know that we just didn’t pick up our ball and go home, we were in the process of being voted out (and in fact half of our team had been already kicked out, our access removed from the team forums, etc). I think in general the OSXBMC team has been very discrete about issues sensitive to both teams.

    Lastly, I don’t believe “all forks are bad”. Here is an interesting read that talks about the history of the Emacs/XEmacs fork (, the author concludes that the fork XEmacs actually ended up helping the parent project in the long run.

    Here’s to less arguing and more releases for both teams!

  16. symm May 22nd, 2008 12:09 am


    I have to admit that the title made me catch my breath. I had been waiting to see if all the drama would cause you to decide that this pet project wasn’t worth the effort.

    I’ve been holding my tongue through this and actually threw away two posts I had drafted since I was concerned it would simply add more fuel to the “fire”.

    I have been amazed at how quickly you and the OS X team have made this a viable product and thankful for the pains you’ve taken to make it mesh well with the Mac environment. The way you handled his unpleasant episode only increases my respect for you.

    As a Mac user, I’m actually excited to see how you continue to improve the mediacenter (I second the name change idea) as a full Mac app now that you no longer need to be restricted to being a port of XBMC. I don’t say this to belittle the XMBC team. They’ve done fine work and I’m sure they will continue to do so on the other platforms.

    It’s just nice to see a multiplatform product done right on the Mac. As much as I love Firefox, I still get frustrated when it behaves differently than “native” Mac apps. Don’t get me started on the beast that is MS Office. ;)

    Thank you.

  17. FLX May 22nd, 2008 12:11 am

    Changes like this are always difficult, but it seems this was the best way to get rid of this issue.

    Props for both the OSX and the XBMC team, you guys keep rocking!

  18. Ed May 22nd, 2008 12:19 am

    I guess my only worry is that compatibility will be lost between scripts and skins etc. If that’s kept, I’m all for this. My experience of programming is that small teams of committed people are much more effective than large teams. Amazing things can get done in a short period of time with just a few people working hard.

    Good luck.

  19. Jelly May 22nd, 2008 12:27 am

    As with others, the title made me a little worried, as i love where osxbmc is going, and don’t want to see it crippled. After reading what you had to say though, i see it being a positive step forward. It’s their loss, they are losing a dedicated coder, with a fantastic project under his belt.

    Good on you mate, i hope that you don’t lose any momentum after this :D OSXBMC is so close to replacing front row (with sapphire plugin) for me, and it would be such a shame if the project stalled.

  20. mmusashi May 22nd, 2008 12:28 am

    I always find this nerds’ wars very funny :) They represent a nice microcosm of human pulsions: “vanity … my favourite sin”

    Elan, keep up the good work!

  21. topfs2 May 22nd, 2008 12:39 am

    All the best and good luck mates! Will be watching the progress.

    @name: Team-xbmc will keep releasing xbmc for osx so if you don’t like the fork then you can always use it. We haven’t gotten the build environment ready though.

  22. Ranglin May 22nd, 2008 12:50 am

    Jezz_X, I hate to say it, but you kind of do come across as the bad guys. I mean, XBMC is a great product, but elan and his team are making it even better and developing a worthwhile product for OSX users.

    From my perspective as a user, it just seems that while the OSXBMC team is working towards releasing new versions of the software and making the experience better, certain members of the XBMC team (and lets be honest, it seems to include YOU, since many of the other members have already written threads wishing elan all the best) are bickering about when source code is checked back in and how elan called it osxbmc in an interview instead of xbmc for osx (boo hoo, who cares?).

    I’ve got news for you. As users, we don’t give two sh*ts about GPL licenses and GIT repositories and source code. All we want is a working binary that makes our experience better, and elan’s team is doing that at a pace that, quite frankly, puts the xbmc team to shame. Maybe you should remember that and consider that writing code might be more productive then getting caught up in mindless bureaucracy?

  23. topfs2 May 22nd, 2008 12:53 am

    Ranglin if the fork for some godforsaken reason would die without any code, then you probably would care ;)

  24. Kia May 22nd, 2008 1:13 am

    What about compatibility between scripts and skins? Will they keep working, or will the script/skins also be forked?

  25. spiff May 22nd, 2008 1:18 am


    don’t you even think about blaming jezz_x here. if anybody is to take the blame, that would be me.

    i’m not even going to take the discussion here, but the fact that you think this is about mindless bureaucracy shows just HOW much you do not understand the issue at hand.

  26. tetrakis May 22nd, 2008 1:18 am

    So…..there’s going to be two prjoects then for the mac? Am I reading the comments right?

    XBMC will release some kind of XBMC for OSX and whatever this project turns out to be?

  27. GPLrules May 22nd, 2008 1:32 am

    Projects like Mono, Wine, or Linux all release all of their source code before they release binaries, don’t they? :P

  28. eduo May 22nd, 2008 1:53 am

    Well. What can I say? I could fear something like this happening from the first day I tried the forums and the IRC channel. It was very clear back then that attitudes and drives were very different and they would, sooner or later, come to a crash.

    I have always loved XBMC, since it first came out. I no longer want to have an X-box there, though. I happen to prefer Apple products (even if I’m proficient with Linux and Windows) and would rather have OSX in a Mac Mini as my Media Center. OSXBMC came as a blessing to me and to hundreds of others (the irony is that now that the name can be used without anyone complaining about it Elan et al may not want to any more). It was clear from the incoming comments that the effort was appreciated and for some of us it prompted us to try and donate again into both projects (ironic, too, that the donation to XBMC I tried to make was rejected without further explanation).

    I am happy now, as both teams can keep doing what they do best without interference from the other and, as the nature of the fork implies, there can always be cross-pollination between both efforts.

    I’m not as happy about the plans to a new theme, not because I don’t like the idea but because I’ve never been convinced the best path was to put as much functionality into the theme itself instead of the theme engine. It’s my understanding currently PM3 does a lot of stuff that is not part of the theme API itself and this worries me. This and having other themes not understanding the concept of the different times of thumbnails and banners (I really love wide banners).

    Congratulations on both teams, for real. I’ll keep on using OSXBMC and will keep tabs on XBMC in the future but I’m sure there’s a lot of people happy the worst has already passed.

  29. Ranglin May 22nd, 2008 2:18 am

    @spiff: So, maybe you should explain the issue at hand? I guarantee that the way I see it is the way that most OSXBMC users would see it.

  30. Jezz_X May 22nd, 2008 2:28 am

    Ranglin yes indeed you only see it that way because all you see is the 1 side of the argument elan wishes to give on his blog. So how can you see it any other way?
    The team on the other hand have kept it all quiet and personal until it gets raised here in blog posts for all the world to see. So we reply

  31. zAo May 22nd, 2008 2:29 am

    The advantage and disadvantage of the opensource world.

    I’m glad you guys go on with the project, that’s for sure.

    I used to disign theme (more web related) and I will give it a shot. I’ll let you know when i created something that may matter.

  32. Siggi May 22nd, 2008 2:33 am

    Good luck man :)

    I really appreciate the OSXBMC team’s work and i look forward to the next release :)

  33. Weavus May 22nd, 2008 2:43 am


  34. spiff May 22nd, 2008 2:48 am

    team xbmc spent an embarrassing amount of time on this program. we only ask for one thing in return; that the source is kept open and available at the time of a binary release. (on this i can only speak for me as an invidual) this is due to my ideals, an open world where cooperation is the key value, not competition, and where sanity rules, not money.

    if we allow violations of those terms from so called “team members”, what can we do if some major corporation shows up and rips off our stuff? (yeh, fine i’m sure somebody will come at me pointing fingers, calling me paranoid). this is an absolute and i will take the conflict on it each and every time it turns out to be necessary (and just to make it clear, i raised my concern long ago, and was consistenly ignored for months). try to see a bit further than your nosetip (not meant in any offensive way) and i’m sure you’ll atleast see that there’s logic to my behaviour (whether or not you agree is another matter).

  35. Joachim Dagerot May 22nd, 2008 2:50 am

    I’m on your side. I don’t know and don’t care about the details. People tend to look too much into details when they are bored. I will continue enjoying your efforts!

  36. BrndonG777 May 22nd, 2008 3:14 am

    Bravo, on the way you handled the situation. You know whether or not you’re right or wrong in anyone else’s eyes is really irrelevant. You’re the one who has to get up everyday and face the consequences of your actions. As far as making them look like the “bad guys,” Well what I read was pretty much facts. Everyone took a vote, more people than not, including yourself, voted and you should leave the team, you were a bit upset about it and now you’re over it. Really, Dude I applaud your patience because me myself would probably not put up with the bitching and moaning of people who don’t contribute any other way. I enjoy keeping up with your project it still hasn’t reach the point I prefer it over Front Row for what I do but you are getting so very close. Really, I’m just waiting for that solid feel which like I said you are very close. Anyway, brush that dirt off your shoulder and do your thing.

  37. Ed B May 22nd, 2008 3:33 am

    Great work on this project. I use both XBMC and osxXBMC and appreciate both teams. I hope that in the future, both can benefit from each other’s work.

  38. kainen May 22nd, 2008 3:34 am

    That actually sounds like good news… being able to modify the settings to suite osx.. sweet! Keep up the great work :)

  39. jeppster May 22nd, 2008 3:44 am

    Keep up the good work Team XBMC or whatever you are now. :) I’ve all ready converted from Front Row and look forward to each bit of news.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  40. CharlesV May 22nd, 2008 3:57 am


    I’m glad this doesn’t seem to be slowing you down. I appreciate the need for open source licenses, but the process of cleanup and releasing code can certainly be a hinderance to getting something out the door (and wow, you guys have gotten something great out the door quickly). I wish you, and the XBMC team the best.

    I do think it’s a littttttle funny that xbmc for OSX requires the closed-source, illegal-to-distribute-binaries-made-with XDK, if I’m remembering correctly. It’s a shame to drag everything out, but it sounds like this will be good for both sides.

    - Charles

  41. Nobbe May 22nd, 2008 3:59 am

    Please dont let this affect your unbelievable work! Its a shame that even in this world (computers) we cant seem to get along. Now let us show the “world” how a great mediacenter will turn into the best media center ever! Will try to contribute how ever i can!

  42. Cullman May 22nd, 2008 4:10 am

    @spiff: In your opinion are we currently out of compliance with XBMC’s GPL license in any way? If so please let us know, and in what way, so we can remedy it immediately. Thanks!

  43. gebur May 22nd, 2008 4:16 am

    That´s sad… But a understandable. Mac-people are usually a bit like like religous fanatics. No wonder they piss people off… ;)

  44. spiff May 22nd, 2008 4:35 am


    i haven’t followed the svn logs lately but if everything which has been released in binary form is available, then obviously no.

  45. Russell May 22nd, 2008 5:15 am

    Damn first the fat boys break up, now this??

  46. platanito21 May 22nd, 2008 5:26 am

    I can’t say I’m surprised but to me its a shame that this couldn’t me resolved in a better way. That being said, I think this would have probably ended up happening anyway. Its hard to make a mac-centric app under the umbrella of a team that works on a different platform. Not because Team-Xbmc would try to cripple the project in anyway (which I don’t think they did) but because there are fundamental differences between our platforms. Mac people tend to just think of things in different ways (not saying its better or worse). Elan approached the project in a way that benefited us mac users most (at least in the short term) because we’ve been eagerly waiting for a media center program like this and he worked is ass off to get us something we could use in just a few short months. We had updated versions on almost a weekly basis. We we love him for that.

    Ideally though, it would have probably been best to keep all the ports under the same umbrella so that we could look to each other for support but I think I can speak for many mac users in saying that we probably often feel like an orphan child in the general forums and don’t often get the answers we are looking for. On more than one occasion I’ve been met with hostile remarks just from simply asking a noob question (which happens on most forums anyway when a new group of people show up). But I’ve also gotten answers to things from people that have been using the product for a long time and I fear that this will be lost now.

    All that being said, I think there is a great opportunity for this mac port to thrive now. I’m a little scared about compatibility issues arising with skins (since there already are many issues) but I think we as a mac community can come up with some great looking skins (since we are used to having great looking GUI’s and have a sensibility for nice aesthetics). We just need some experienced coders (which i fear is going to be hard to get since lines might be drawn in the sand because of the forking). Having to learn how to skin will take a little while but if thats what we have to do i’m sure we’ll end up having some great looking skins before the year is up.

    I’m an experienced graphic designer so I’m willing to help out in any way possible (and if I’m too busy to help out designing skins then I can at least help out by providing my professional opinion). Good luck with everything for both teams and lets start recruiting some talented people.

  47. Scott Frazer May 22nd, 2008 5:40 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the GPL doesn’t require that source be checked back in to the truck of a VCS, it just requires that it be made available upon request.

    “But if you release the modified version to the public in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code available to the program’s users, under the GPL.”

    Wouldn’t a simple tarball of the source used to build a binary satisfy this requirement?

    Also, I believe that the GPL doesn’t require that you make the source available on the web, only that it be made available upon request. People generally do this on the web simply to avoid the overhead of processing the requests.

    That said, I’m a user, not a developer. My focus is on a usable binary at the end of the day, and I use enough closed source software that I personally don’t care whether the final product is opened or closed. The fact that this particular code is branched from GPL code means that it has to stay open, obviously.

  48. spiff May 22nd, 2008 5:55 am

    a tarball would be fine, but they refused to provide that as well. a note along with the binary explaining where you can inquire for a copy of the source would have been fine. they didn’t put that either.

  49. bmfrosty May 22nd, 2008 6:07 am

    I think – in the end – this will be of benefit to XBMC as a whole. I personally hope that the fork will give all of the participants an opportunity to put all the hard feelings and arguments behind them. It looks like this has been a hard time for everyone lately.

  50. Ed B May 22nd, 2008 6:13 am

    Why didn’t the Mac port just make a branch in svn like Linux did? Just curious.

  51. Ossau May 22nd, 2008 6:26 am

    Do you have any plan to port XBMC to the AppleTV? That would be a great complement to unify a multimedia network over the home.

  52. bob rooney May 22nd, 2008 6:28 am

    Since i have been an xbmc-user for 5 years, i find the fork very sad especially because recently i thought about getting a mac mini – but now i fear i have to wait for a nice linuxbox ;)

    Anyway, since the apple-guys seem to me a little fanatic sometimes, i think the fork should be seen as an opportunity to let the always praised “apple creativity” flow and maybe we will see really great ideas and innovation. So, i wish the osxbmc-project (or whatever it will be called) all the best and will of course watch it closely – could be that the project will convert me also to an apple follower ;) .

    I am not worried about the xbmc-project because also mediaportal was somehow forked years ago and xbmc is still here and progressing well.

    The only thing which I hope is that there will be at least a little info on the new osxbmc-site to give the team-xbmc the credits they deserve for 5 years of great code.

  53. superpea May 22nd, 2008 6:38 am

    @Ed, Kia, platanito21:
    I just wanted to jump in and address a common concern. We consider the current scripting and skinning capabilities of XBMC one of the coolest aspects of the whole system. Kudos to TeamXBMC for their vision and work in those areas.

    We have no intentions of breaking support for that. If anything, the scripting support will improve (at least the stability!).

    That being said, we will over time likely extend and improve on all aspects of the system. There is a chance that some skins/scripts could require some tweaks to work going forward. Again, no way of knowing today, but there is no intention of breaking anything. The developer/skinning community that has sprouted up alongside XBMC will continue to be embraced by this work.

  54. adrian May 22nd, 2008 6:43 am

    I thought you were going to kick us out of the mac hehehe, but its incredible your decision fuck the xbmc team, thanks for doing this for us and giving us xbmc :)

  55. iordonez May 22nd, 2008 7:15 am

    @adrian we in no way intend to fuck the XBMC team. We don’t want this to be a us vs. them war. The main purpose of this is to go our own way and hopefully this will let us work together without problems in the future.

  56. rickler May 22nd, 2008 7:21 am

    @XBMC developers: i used xbmp then xbmc and it is a fantastic media player. For the last 2 or so years I have been getting irritated that some developers have been less than civil in the forums especially to noobs.

    Since OSXBMC has in development I have been excited again at the progress of Elan and the OSXBMC team. They have been churning out release after release amazing speed. They have been more than helpful to everyone interested.

    Elan has always said he was going to integrate the coding back into the tree. Now the split has happened I am more excited than ever as the stranglehold has been broken Elan and Co can express themselves properly

  57. Jeroen May 22nd, 2008 7:40 am

    @adrian: way to go being an ignorant twat. Remember without the XBMC team you wouldn’t have OSXBMC at all. So typical people immediately feel the need to choose a side and completely dismiss the efforts of the other side. Think before you speak.

  58. usro3 May 22nd, 2008 8:07 am

    well done. thanks for all from spain.

  59. hotzenpl0tz May 22nd, 2008 8:35 am

    If there are substantial differences now when it comes to code structure/quality/whatever now, this will not change in the future. To me that pretty much means, any changes/additions made by the osx team that might benefit the whole project might never make it into that project – because of time restraints from the original developers or because they don’t agree with the coding style or whatever. It could even mean, that one party goes one way with a feature/addition and the other team disagrees on the way it is implemented and implements it in a different (cleaner?) way, leading to 2 incompatible versions. If that happens to be in the skinning engine for example, this could lead to incompatible projects – ultimately hurting the both projects. But that is the way it goes I suppose – let’s hope I am wrong.

  60. ChoccyHobNob May 22nd, 2008 8:37 am

    I feel very sad now :-(

  61. JakobMetzger May 22nd, 2008 8:53 am

    I would be interested in helpig with a specific skin for osxbmc or w/e the name is now. Ive played with skinning xbmc before so im not a complete noob and could pick it back up fairly easy.

    I have done a lot of work on the carpc oriented AMP( forums)
    I worked closely with Bobby B. (aka Aychamo) and designed the web browser interface and the radioshark menu not to mention little tidbits here and there on the overall program.

    Elan, if you are interested just shoot me an email. I’ll go ahead and get back on IRC tonight to see if I can talk one on one with you.

  62. ChoccyHobNob May 22nd, 2008 9:05 am

    Well you can put me down to be a member of the team (as long as I don’t have to stop being a part of the XBMC community too). I have typographic and themeing skills, still working on my skinning but I’m happy to help in any way I can.

  63. Brandon May 22nd, 2008 9:09 am

    As an XBMC user from the beginning (back when it was XBMP and didn’t even support SMB shares) I’ve watched it grow from an unstable pile into a solid app. Kudos to Team XBMC.

    While they have excellent coders, they have never proven to be very interested in interface design or usability. I myself applied to help them in this area when they first put out a call for developers years ago, but they had no interest, and it continues to show today.

    So in my opinion, fork on, baby! This is the beauty of Free software (not just “open source”). Whatever the fork is called, the potential OS integration and usability improvements will make it by far the most desirable media center application on any platform, hands down.

  64. elitist May 22nd, 2008 10:58 am

    Too quick progress and success hurts compliance extremists…

  65. imfloflo May 22nd, 2008 11:29 am

    Some amazing skins team you can maybe contact to develope a mac skin :

  66. Jezz_X May 22nd, 2008 11:39 am

    imfloflo lol thats pretty much me and one other guy (these days) the other guy blackbolt is busy with real life and I’m way to disheartened by this whole incident
    I don’t think it will happen

  67. tESTer May 22nd, 2008 1:20 pm

    why is it that everyone’s panties got bunched up about this gpl issue? is this why there was the “voting”?

    @Jezz_X – trust me…we don’t need you.

    and btw….whats with the “voting off the island” crap?

  68. elan May 22nd, 2008 1:26 pm

    Jezz_X is an extremely talented designer. Let’s please try to keep the discussion civil, I really don’t want bad feelings on either side.

  69. Jezz_X May 22nd, 2008 1:28 pm

    quote tESTer “@Jezz_X – trust me…we don’t need you.”

    Now why do you have to go say stuff like that all I did was reply to the guy above me and you have to go and make it a personal attack
    I never said you needed me I just said that site he linked was me and another guy

    Any wonder we get upset

  70. atrus May 22nd, 2008 1:29 pm

    I still do not really understand. There MUST be something else around this that has not been said. I refuse to believe that the fact that Elan did not make the source available the first couple of days after each beta-release are the actual problem. NOONE would create that much fuzz over just that. Small annoyance yes, but WW3 like we are seeing now? And I also do not understand the issue some are bringing up not mentioning XBMC on this site. The bloody name is everywhere. This project probably increased the interest for all other platforms as well. A lot.

    Noone here besides the 10 year old nosepickers are questioning the fact that we have a lot to thank the XBMC Team for. But the, for us, unnecessary bitching about source code just a day after a BETA or ALPHA release, are giving you this reputation. At least that is what I feel. I am actually on of the guys who would like you guys to become friends, so to speak. Elan and his team would benefit from that partnership, amd when you have cooled down I am certain that you will see that the opposit are equally true.

    5 cents from a meddling Swede :)

  71. Jezz_X May 22nd, 2008 1:29 pm

    thanks elan I appreciate the good words and your a great coder too and I will miss you to talk too now all this is official

  72. elan May 22nd, 2008 1:32 pm

    @Jezz_X: No need to miss me, I’m only an email or chat away. You may even see me around in IRC every now and then :)

  73. Steve May 22nd, 2008 1:40 pm

    I have so had issues with these guys in many many ways, and they keep claiming their cool about things, love suggestions, love help, etc, but man they are one fucking grumpy ass group of programmers.

    I feel for you, if you search some of my threads I have gotten into many arguments with them, its about time someone told them to fuck off and stop acting like high schoolers

  74. jayman978 May 22nd, 2008 2:24 pm

    First off thank you to all of the XBMC developers that brought XBMC to this point. I have never owned an Xbox and probably would never have been exposed to XBMC if it wasn’t ported to OSX. I am sure I am not the only one who can say that. There is no room for venom now between the teams or from anyone who benefits from the years of hard work of all of the developers. We should wish all the best to both the XBMC developers and to Elan and the OSXBMC developers and leave it at that.

    With that said, Elan I am willing to help in any way I can. I am a graphic designer/ web designer and would love to help with interface design.

  75. loa May 22nd, 2008 3:20 pm

    Best to both teams- we really appreciate all of your efforts.

  76. but why? May 22nd, 2008 3:34 pm

    but why would osxbmc not release the source code? that’s clearly an unusual approach, and it is not obvious that it should be defended, regardless of what system you’re running and whether you’re a user or a developer…

  77. elan May 22nd, 2008 3:39 pm

    @but why: Dude, please quit with the trolling. The source has been checked in. The new code will be checked in. We’ll post a GIT tag for every single release, in concert with the binary release.

    Now please, take your tinfoil hat off.

  78. lankz May 22nd, 2008 3:53 pm

    @elan: mate, when i wanted to tinker with the source and didn’t have the ffmpeg build you were using, you had it in svn not 5 mins later… it’s disappointing to see all this stem from the small issue of synchronising binary and source release.

    you have my, as well as many others full support in bringing what is the best media centre over to the mac. i am a software engineer at yahoo! and would love to help out.

    fyi i still haven’t fixed that vobsub bug :)

  79. RandomComment May 22nd, 2008 4:02 pm

    Seems a bit silly you didn’t just upload all your changes to some webspace, you’re all trying to improve the same app.

    Hopefully things will stay pretty much the same and both teams will continue to work together (less chance for more efficiency now i guess), sharing their code and providing the best media center for any user.

  80. keith May 22nd, 2008 4:11 pm

    As someone who has been in groups with conflict, this seems to be the same thing that happens to lots of people.

    I think people who are fans of OSXBMC need to respect the professional stance that elan is taking here in the comments. Regardless of what people think of what he and the other devs did in the time leading up to this decision, obviously both sets of devs want to leave things relatively peacefully. There is no reason to pursue further nitpicking.

    I do, however, believe that this truly will be a good opportunity for OSXBMC. I switched to Mac a year ago and I think the way that the project has gone so far was as good as it could be in trying to move the XBMC project to the type of application that an Apple user would feel is a truly killer app for the platform. Now, hopefully, the project can aim at some platform specific perks.

    I am very interested to see where the skin discussion leads, as I have long thought that an enhanced version of the xTV skin would make the app an unquestionably superior product than FrontRow.

    On an unrelated note, Leo Laporte (of TWiT and TechTV fame) has on several recent occasions mentioned that he plans to buy a MacMini and put OSXBMC on it. It is this kind of true Mac fan support that could make this project huge.

    I have to admit that I never would have considered joining the XBMC development team, but with this split, I very well might try my software engineering skills at helping out in some way I can.

    Best of luck to both groups!

  81. iordonez May 22nd, 2008 4:59 pm

    @lankz and keith: For now we’re still a bit scattered, but we would love any help we can get! Even if you just log into trac, pick a bug and expand on it or fix it. In the near future I will be setting up some forums for users, developers, well wishers and haters to get together and discuss. Stay tuned!

  82. elan May 22nd, 2008 5:02 pm

    We’ll also post GitHub information as soon as we have it.

  83. iordonez May 22nd, 2008 5:03 pm

    @loa thank you for taking a positive stance, I’m personally getting tired of the flame wars that seem to have been going on :D

  84. william gates May 22nd, 2008 5:20 pm

    Why? I understand that everyone wants to get credit for doing a good job that I understand, however this is getting ugly. It was pointed out… on this forum no less.. and various others.. that élan would publish, once this next version was released. Why in the hell would the team at XBMC be all pissed about that? XBMC is a wonderful program on many platforms… period. Does this require a new fork… ummm maybe not really. I understand Élan’s side and I understand the XBMC side, but let’s be honest.. it was stated… and has happened before that everything will be released.. so why make it a huge deal? Everyone gains when everyone works together. Love the way things are going on the osxbmc front and I hope it keeps rolling!

  85. elan May 22nd, 2008 5:30 pm

    @william gates: (Can I call you Bill?) Please, let’s not rehash things. There are certainly things I could have done differently too that might have pissed off the XBMC team less. Point is, we’re continuing on, there’s still a lot of love, and everyone benefits.

  86. Joe May 22nd, 2008 5:33 pm

    I’m curious why you didn’t release the source? Too much clean up? Focusing on getting testable binaries in the wild? Both valid reasons.

  87. elan May 22nd, 2008 5:34 pm

    @Joe: Yes, those were the primary reasons, along with (3) I’m lazy and coding is more fun than merging. GIT means never having to say you’re sorry.

  88. tofuhero May 22nd, 2008 5:53 pm

    I understand spiff’s attention to detail regarding adherence to the GPL license, but if that is the ultimate issue which caused this split, it seems a bit on loose ground. Perhaps elan & team sometimes run a bit loose and fast, but look how far they’ve come in a few months. And at what sacrifice? That the source/binary releases are not always in precise parity? I think that’s a reasonable tradeoff, and certainly not cause for schisms.

    Ultimately though, I think this is probably an unintended blessing. The XBMC codebase, from what little I’ve seen, was not exactly built with multi-platform in mind, both from a philosophical viewpoint, and a historical viewpoint. While the Linux branch guys did great work in alleviating some of this, XBMC is not exactly the most MVC’d codebase. This isn’t as much of a concern when you clone the interface for each platform, but when you’ve got a platform like OS X with unique interface and user experience requirements, you run into problems keeping code parity.

    So forking the OS X platform is probably the wisest choice in the long run, until such time as the codebase is completely overhauled to separate the presentation layer from the underlying engine in an easily extensible way. I could be wrong, as I haven’t been closely involved with the project’s code, but this seem likely the ultimate source of frustration and probably elan’s main reason to leave.

    Here’s hoping that both branches are successful and thriving for a long time to come.

  89. d4rk May 22nd, 2008 6:02 pm

    WARNING: long post.

    All the best with the fork guys.

    Elan, the goals you mentioned are pretty much part of our goals as well. Hence, our original invitation to you to join the team. Of course our goals apply to all platforms we support, not just OS X.

    As a developer for multiple platforms, I also think that most of those goals can be achieved with superior results using high quality, well thought out, design patterns rather than speedy implementation. For the most part, I think that’s where we differed as developers.

    I have to comment on this statement:
    “There will be no formal team, nor will there be any getting voted off the team. Think of projects like Mono, Wine, or Linux as models.”

    Those are terrible examples.

    We gave you commit write access within a week, maybe two, of you just demonstrating your work, without even looking at your code. Good luck trying to get commit access into a another popular GPL project with just a few screenshots. If this were Linux or Wine, you would still be _emailing_ patches to the lead developers, with no certainty that it would even make it into the tree. Even if all your patches were accepted (surely after multiple rewrites), you would still probably not have commit access.

    There is always a formal team, whether you like it or not, otherwise it would just be chaos. By “there will be no formal team”, do you mean that nobody else will ever get commit access? If others do, they automatically are part of the team and whether you like it or not, that’s your “formal team”. In addition, by saying “nobody will ever get voted off”, do you mean that once you give commit access to someone, you will never under any circumstance revoke that access? If you do and you consult others to make your decision, that’s the same as getting “voted off”.

    You seem to dislike the fact that a vote took place. Would you have preferred it if every developer had the authority to simply kick others off the team and drop their privileges at their whim? IMHO, the decent thing to do, in case of a disagreement within a group, is to obtain the consensus from everyone. Maybe there’s a better way, but a vote seemed obvious and simple enough. No different from the polls you’ve conducted on your blog, except this was internal.

    To others reading this blog, the GPL violation was _not_ the only reason why the teams decided to part ways. There were definitely other factors at play.

    As someone else mentioned, the official OS X port with continue regardless of the fork and those interested are free to contribute. Yes, we probably follow stricter code guidelines because we’re multi-platform and want all platforms to have the best experience possible. Talented devs should have no problem following them and very talented devs will actually want to follow them. As I mentioned previously, Elan was given commit access fairly soon after he demonstrated that he had a working port, so as opposed to how it seems to be portrayed here, the XBMC team has minimal bureaucracy. We only have guidelines so that team spirit remains high and code quality is top notch. Soon after Elan joined, 3-4 more devs have joined the team.

    Anyhow, that’s long enough, good luck to all involved in the fork!

  90. elan May 22nd, 2008 6:33 pm

    @d4rk: Given that you think that Mono, Wine, and Linux are terrible examples of open source projects, I guess we’ll just agree to disagree. Someday I’ll go to the Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Code Good and then maybe I too will write high quality code.

    Projects like Linux demonstrate how to scale an open source project. There is no formal team, and there is no getting voted off the team.

    Thanks again for all your help figuring out OpenGL problems; you are extremely skilled at graphics programming.

  91. dende May 22nd, 2008 6:40 pm

    @elan: dude, you need to do comedy…your comments crack me the flux up. LOL @ GIT means never having to say you’re sorry. LOOLLLOLOLLLL

  92. ??? May 22nd, 2008 7:30 pm

    I don’t know enough about this either way. The only thing I hope for is a better XBMC on OSX.

  93. davilla May 22nd, 2008 8:23 pm

    The reference to Linux as your idea open source model is amusing. Spend a few months on LKML and you will find that Linux Kernel is not the free flowing open source project you think. One does not have git commit access at all. The only git commit you get is the git you create yourself.

    The process goes like this, you submit patches which might or might not be accepted. Sometimes there is discussion, comments and even ridicule if your patch is not up to their quality. If it’s really bad, they will just ignore you. But always someone will review your patch and either accept it or reject it (sometimes by ignoring it). If you are really good with patches and spend about a year or two doing this, then you might, just might get patches accepted without review. But no one but Linus Torvalds has git commit to his tree which is the birthing ground for any Kernel release. So Linux is more a dictatorship than an team environment. You don’t get voted on or off. You just get patches accepted/rejected or ignored. And you don’t get git commit to any git but your own.

    With LKML, if you dared push a Linux Kernel GPL binary without source, LKML would eat you alive. They take GPL issues very seriously.

    Best of luck with the fork. Don’t forget to fork the documentation and support aspects. That’s expected from open source project forks;)

  94. d4rk May 22nd, 2008 8:53 pm

    “Given that you think that Mono, Wine, and Linux are terrible examples of open source projects.”

    I see you intentionally misquoted me for effect. No worries, I’ll restate. I said those examples are terrible to compare your fork to. I didn’t mention open source anywhere (and neither did you in the paragraph where you made the statement).

    “Someday I’ll go to the Zoolander School for Kids Who Can’t Code Good and then maybe I too will write high quality code.”


    “Projects like Linux demonstrate how to scale an open source project. There is no formal team, and there is no getting voted off the team.”

    Feel free to believe that. The “formal team” for the Linux kernel are the maintainers, and the ultimate authority on what will or will not make it into the Linux vanilla kernel git is Linus Torvals. That’s why there are many unofficial patches for the Linux kernel as well, maybe you weren’t aware of that. Just making statements in an affirmative tone doesn’t magically turn them into facts.

    Also, projects like Linux and Wine don’t hand out commit access like free candy like we do.

    Not to mention that contributors to Linux face constant patch rejection, which of course generally ensures higher quality code. Would you have preferred contributing to XBMC via patches, which may or may not have gotten reviewed immediately, and which you would have had to rewrite many times just to maintain compliance? Maybe, but we thought that giving you commit access would give you much more freedom.

    Basically from your post and from your reaffirming multiple times that there will be no team, your stance is that if everyone had unconditional commit access to a source, the project would blossom? Interesting idea and I’d be curious to see how that turns out. I’d reckon QA in such a case would be non-trivial.

    Of course on the other hand if you didn’t allow unconditional commit access to everyone, but instead accepted contribution as patches and other forms, you’d be operating exactly like how we do now, so I don’t see how that workflow would be an improvement. The change would be that you would be in complete control, which is basically what this boils down to IMHO and which is a perfectly valid reason to fork. But that’s being straightforward and not good for publicity I suppose. It’s better for publicity to say that Team XBMC restricted your “freedom”. Seems to have worked, as is obvious by reading many of the posts here.

    “Thanks again for all your help figuring out OpenGL problems; you are extremely skilled at graphics programming.”

    You’re welcome and as I’ve always said, I’m glad to help.

  95. straff May 22nd, 2008 9:08 pm

    @d4rk Quote: “Talented devs should have no problem following them and very talented devs will actually want to follow them.”
    Bit petty no?
    I personally have used XBMC for many years and purchased my mini just for XBMC. How many people have bought mini’s just for this? I wager quite a few!
    It is a shame because all devs involved are highly talented unlike most of us :-) As with any project there are going to be personas that just don’t play nice together and after all the flaming & recriminations et al what’s done is done, there’s a split and I think XBMC for OS X / OSXBMC will roll on nicely as there are now plenty enough backers and supporters for this to continue.

  96. perez May 22nd, 2008 9:24 pm

    After reading d4rk’s posts, I can clearly see the motivation behind OSXBMC’s reason to fork. How did you put up with this for so long? Good decision OSXBMC!

    Hmmm….maybe I can start making t-shirts with TEAM OSXBMC on them. I’d make out like a bandit.

  97. d4rk May 22nd, 2008 9:31 pm


    Sorry, that came out wrong :-) What I implied was that most good devs, in general, automatically lean towards writing code with good design patterns, especially for multi-platform projects. I’m not saying we always do that but that’s why we have code guidelines/code reviews to help us when we stray.

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