As mentioned earlier this week, we wanted to update the community on what we've got planned for Shoko and to give some clarification and possible updates on a few future projects & features that have been mentioned before on Discord. Its also important to note that not everything we discuss or bring up on Discord in regards to new features and improvements are actually planned for implementation. Sometimes its nothing more than just brainstorming and gauging reactions to said idea.
We've decided to stop work on the .NET Standard conversion that's been the focus since late last year. While working on the .NET Standard conversion we ran into issues getting our data source and import systems to play nice in a multi-threaded situation, which will be necessary for better clients and database improvements. Because of these issues we've decided to instead focus our efforts on rewriting Shoko Server implementing a more modular system allowing for different parts to be updated independently allowing for quicker turnarounds for patches. With the rewrite, we plan to change our database structure and code flow to handle the issues we previously faced during the .NET Standard work.
While this may seem like a lot of under-the-hood changes, these changes along with our new modular system will provide users with a faster and leaner Shoko Server. Users will be able to fine-tune Shoko Server to their needs and completely control what data is downloaded and from where with more precision. This will also allow for more robust 3rd party development as developers new to Shoko don't have to learn an entire codebase to add new features, for example a new community site or renamer.
We're hoping these changes encourages more developers to contribute to the project as this has been the main issue that's stopped new developers from contributing.
While there is no timeline for how long this will take, you can see the progress being made in the Shoko Serer repo.
It should come as no surprise that the current version of Shoko Desktop is for all intents and purposes deprecated. Besides fixing crucial functionality, adding or expanding on existing functionality requires a lot of work due to a variety of factors which the biggest being the age of Shoko Desktop itself.
With nearly 10 years of development, its codebase has become a jungle. Trying to fix something as simple as alphabetical sorting in the Collection tab took over 6 hours. This wasn't because it was hard to fix but because the code for sorting was spread out over multiple files that made calls to multiple others files.
Desktop suffers from the same issue Server does which is what we've planned to fix with Shoko Desktop 2
Shoko Desktop 2 is a complete replacement for Shoko Desktop and is designed to be cross-platform. We've had public alpha builds available in the past and plan to continue to have more going forward. We've recently spent a lot of time going over UI & UX design choices to simplify certain functionality while expanding others.
We're not stuck in an endless perfection loop but while we wait for needed functionality in Server we keep improving and changing our designs. This is why you see us post revised mockups from time to time for community feedback and why we can afford to make major changes eve with an alpha build available.
Awhile back we released part one of our Web UI update showing the new design and added functionality. The next planned feature update for the Web UI will add a customizable dashboard allowing users to display various widgets and even add new ones.
Theming support is also coming to the Web UI and will be a test run for how theming in Shoko Desktop 2 will work.
The Plex team announced awhile back that they would be removing the plugin directory and eventually remove plugin support altogether. When this was announced we decided to put Shoko on Plex into maintenance mode and instead focus effort on Shoko Metadata. This is still the current plan until Plex decides to completely remove plugin support.
Still in active development and our recommended way to connect Shoko with Plex.
While our My Anime 3 user base has decreased over the years, we still support the My Anime 3 plugin but as previously mentioned have put the plugin into maintenance mode and have left the door open for other devs to continue working on it.
With that being said, we currently don't have plans to support My Anime 3 with the rewrite version of Shoko Server in development. This is because the API My Anime 3 currently uses will not be present in the rewrite and there is no one on the team familiar enough or a user of My Anime 3 to make the required fixes and do the proper testing. We are willing however to provide support and help any developer(s) who are willing to work on this when the time comes.
Shoko Docs was recently rebuilt which you can about in the blog post, we left the design of the Dark Theme to the community and one of our community members "Konack" created it, check it out in the image below or viewing Shoko Docs.
We've begun work on an updated website with the goal of creating a better design and improving functionality. The redesign will also benefit from Hugo and be completely rebuilt using markdown to make updating for staff easier and provide a huge user related benefit which we'll discuss when the time comes, for now its a secret.
This should cover all the questions we've been asked the past couple of months and should shed some light on our upcoming plans.
As always, if you've got the skills and time, we're always looking to expand out staff roster.