Plugins & Skins: Extend MediaPortal

MediaPortal was designed to be extended! Our success is obvious from the huge number of plugins and skins that are continually being developed.  The entire community actively participates in this development.  We not only welcome your participation, we count on it!

Community skins and plugin developers have direct access to consult with the core developers and designers regarding best coding methods and practices.  Many are invited to join our Team.

Create a Plugin

If you have a great idea for extending MediaPortal, why not develop your own Plugin?

Plugin Developers should consult our General Development Tips and follow our Coding Standards; as well as Localization and Translation methods.  Be sure to read our Plugin Developer's Guide.

Community plugin developers have direct access to consult with our core developers in the General Development Forum, or on our IRC channel.

One of the easiest ways to learn the ropes is to assist one of our Community Developers to develop and maintain an existing plugin.

MediaPortal supports several types of plugins. You can use each of these types to extend MediaPortal in a specific way. The plugin types are:

  • Process - work in the background without any user interface
  • Tag Reader - read media file tags
  • External Player - play media using external applications
  • Window (GUI) - contain a user interface and allow the user to interact with them.

Window plugins are by far the most interesting.

Design a Skin

One of the most popular ways to contribute to MediaPortal is to create your own modification of an existing skin, like our default skin Blue3.

Or, you may offer to help one of our many expert community skin designers to expand and maintain their community skin. Just contact the author and offer assistance.

If you wish to design your own skin, the best way is to start with an existing skin like Blue3(wide). You can change graphics and colors to create a whole new look without needing to learn too much about coding or our Skin Engine.

Once you get more advanced, you can start to modify the layout, and user interface to create a whole new concept. Please consult our Skin Architecture to familiarize yourself with the skin Engine and many options available.

The GUI Controls Demo plugin can help you learn how to use the various skin controls.

A Skin Editor, which makes skin design much easier, is currently in development.  A second beta release is available and it is nearing completion.

Development: Help Us Improve

MediaPortal is open source, which means you can contribute to its development.  In fact, many of our bug fixes and new features are provided by our top notch community developers.  The whole community benefits from your contributions.  To ensure they are effective, and approved, follow the guidance and links on this page.

Start Developing

Before you start, please read our General Development Tips to familiarize yourself with the MediaPortal Development process.

Of course, we need to ensure consistency and standards, so, if you are writing code, consult our Coding Standards for Developers.


Submit Patches

First, view the Roadmap, for any items not 'assigned' or 'work in progress" to ensure no one is already working on the issue.

If you find open or unassigned tasks you wish to work on, view our Patch Policy to learn how to submit patches. Assign the task to yourself, and mark it work in progress so others know you are working on it.

When your work is completed, submit your patches to our patch queue. Our developers review each patch carefully, and often request input from the Team on any major changes. No patch is rejected easily or without due consideration.

Remember, following our guidelines and providing multiple good patches may kead to the ultimate success of becoming a member of the MediaPortal Development Group!

Testing

Testing the alpha, beta, release candidates (RC), and reporting bugs and issues, is an essential role in the development process.

Every issue added to our Jira Bug Tracker must be confirmed by another team member or a user and based on a proper bug report.

Thus, even without submitting a patch, or code, your contribution can greatly facilitate development.

Localization

Localization is very important for using MediaPortal in different countries. Not only translating MediaPortal and our Deploy Tool (Installer), but also localizing EPG grabbers, tuning details and movie info grabbers.
language


Translation

The MediaPortal user interface and installer (DeployTool) are already available in a wide variety of languages. Please help us keep them updated, accurate and add new languages as well.

Start by reading our Translation Guide in the Wiki.  For instructions on downloading and using our MP Language Tool for translation, consult Localization of MediaPortal and DeployTool (Installer)

Then, submit your translations to the Localization of MediaPortal and DeployTool sub forum where our developers can review and approve them, or request further information.


WebEPG Grabbers &Tuning Details

Tuning details should now follow our new structure for tuning parameters in xml format. Simply view the structure of an existing file in the TV Server\TuningParameters folder in your Program Data folder.

Consult the WebEPG and grabber file structure Wiki pages to develop WebEPG grabbers for your region.

Then, submit your files in the Development sub forum for EPG-Grabbers and Tuning Details.


Movie Info Grabbers
Submit your grabber in the Development sub forum for Movie Info Grabbers.

Be sure to read the instructions in the sticky posts in each sub forum.

Submit Patches

Patch Guidelines - and how to find something to work on


We appreciate every help we get from our community. Especially if we receive patches. If you are a developer and want to contribute to this project, then you might wonder what you could do.
Your first stop should be our Mantis bug tracker. Or the roadmaps to be more specific.

Roadmaps:

  1. MediaPortal 1
  2. TV-Server
  3. DeployTool / NSIS

There you can find all the confirmed bugs and new features the team agreed to add.
If an issue was not yet assigned to a developer, then you can give it a try if you want.If it is a time-consuming change, then it would be wise to start a work in progress thread, to avoid that someone else starts to work on the same issue.

But to get a patch into our svn, a few criteria have to be met.
This is why we have created a description in our wiki which explains the patch process from start to end in detail.
Please read and follow it if you are going to submit a patch.

Contribute: Get Involved

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MediaPortal is open source software licensed under the GNU/GPL agreement. That means you can contribute to it and affect its development. Our development is not only community driven, but relies on your participation.  You may fix reported bugs; rework or add new features; or create a new plugin or skin to extend and enhance MediaPortal.  However, you do not need to be an expert coder, there are many other valuable ways to contribute and affect the future of MediaPortal.  If you:

  • strongly support open source software and ideology
  • feel passionately committed or even addicted to MediaPortal
  • appreciate the dedicated work in MediaPortal
  • thrive being part of an exciting, brilliant, dynamic team
  • want to develop new skills, and make new connections
  • love communicating with brilliant minds worldwide
  • desire to turn creative ideas into effective solutions
  • want to help create the media center of the future

Then Team-MediaPortal is the place for you.  So why not get involved?

Donate!

Financial assistance is always appreciated since it is used mainly to purchase hardware for testing.

MediaPortal supports many different HTPC configurations and hardware devices.  We try to test as many as possible; however, we depend on your contributions to keep up with latest technology.

Promotion

Do you frequent other forums or HTPC websites, write a blog, or use social networking sites? If so you can help promote MediaPortal by posting, writing or sharing information about latest developments.

Forum User Support

One of the easiest ways to contribute is by helping other users install, configure and use MediaPortal correctly.  Just start answering questions in our Support forums or check the Recent posts.

Bug Reports

Quality bug reports are invaluable to our developers to fix bugs.  Learn How to start a support or bug report thread.

Check our Bug Tracker to see if the bug has been reported.  Then submit your report in the correct Forum: MediaPortal 1 Bug reports for the current stable release, or Alpha/Beta/RC/SVN Builds if you are testing a Development version of MediaPortal.

Always post log files with your reports! Even if there are no errors noticeable in the logs, they may contain other useful clues for the trained eye. The exact SVN revision you are using, your operating system, file locations, active plugins, and much more can be critical information.

Proper testing and bug reporting is a fast track to an invitation to our Test Group.

Improvement Ideas

Even if you are not a developer, you may have a brilliant idea to improve MediaPortal.  If so, post in the the Development Forum, under Improvement Suggestions.

Our developers often watch this forum looking for good ideas. Or a community developer may choose to create a plugin or patch to add your feature request.

Development

You can contribute to the development of MediaPortal by fixing bugs, reworking or adding new features and then submitting patches to our Code Patches forum. Please consult our Development page for further information.

Translation & Localization

MediaPortal is available in many languages thanks to contributions from the community. You can improve your existing translation or add your language as a new one. See our Translation Guide in the wiki.

MediaPortal 2 and several MediaPortal 1 plugins now use Transifex for managing all the language files. Just sign up at Transifex.com and request being part of your MediaPortal language team.

Plugins & Skins

MediaPortal is designed to be extended and enhanced.  So, if you have an idea for a new plugin or skin read our Plugins & Skins page and get to work!

Documentation

The MediaPortal Wiki is a collaborative project; anyone can browse and search our wiki.  You can contribute straight from your web browser. No downloads or installs are needed. Just log in using your forum username and password.

For further information on how to contribue to our wiki, see Documentation: Share your knowledge.

Website Feedback

For issues about the Team-Mediaportal.com website, including incomplete or outdated Wiki pages, use the website feedback form, or report them in our Website, Forum, Wiki Feedback forum.

Still not sure?

Visit our IRC-based discussions, join #mediaportal on the Freenode IRC network (irc.freenode.net) and chat with the team or other users and community developers about how you can help.

About The Project

The vision of the MediaPortal project is to create a free open source media centre application, which supports all advanced media centre functions, and is accessible to all Windows users.

In reaching this goal we are working every day to make sure our software is one of the best.

         

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Support MediaPortal!

The team works very hard to make sure the community is running the best HTPC-software. We give away MediaPortal for free but hosting and software is not for us.

Care to support our work with a few bucks? We'd really appreciate it!