Roadmap

(Thanks to Mika Pesu for reminding us to update this roadmap.)

Road to 011

The roadmap for 007 started with "GoboLinux 007 will not be a major departure from 006, but rather, a gradual improvement". This one is no different. We always try to improve gradually, that's why there are no points in our release numbers: in one sense, all releases are major releases, in another, all of them are point releases. It's a glass-half-empty/glass-half-full thing.

Looking back at the roadmap for 007, I see that featurewise, it ended up being quite precise, but timewise, it failed miserably. We first planned it for July 2003 but only delivered it in October, a three-month delay. For 010, no date promises were made, but if I recall, the original plan was for December, and we released it in early January. Quite an improvement. :)

By now, the development version of the Scripts, ie, the latest dated snapshot, is already considerably better than the earlier version that was frozen for 010, which means that 011 can't take too long to be released. So, the planned release date for 011 is "as soon as possible", once we get the planned features worked out. (I would say it could be out as early as late February/early March, but don't quote me on these numbers.)

Now, on to the features.

GoboLinux 007 and 010 featured large improvements, namely the installer and hardware detection. These would be hard to top on 011: the plan is to have smaller things as new features, and focus on improving these larger features that were introduced in the last releases.

So, what's new to be expected:

  • New bootscripts. They are going to be as simple as the current ones, but more modular than the current ones. While some scenarios need extra complexity (daemon management, dependency-based boot, runlevels) others just need a few programs to be launched in a certain order at startup and "that's it". We believe it is possible to support both in an elegant manner. And do all of this in a themeable way, of course. ;-)
  • Improved shell agnosticism. As zsh users, we don't like it when we are forced into a bash-world. So, we won't try to force users of other shells into a zsh-world, either. This means a change in the way environment variables are handled, and the adoption of wrapper scripts instead of shell functions and aliases whenever possible.
  • Kernel 2.6.x. GoboLinux 011 will most likely ship with kernel 2.4.x by default, but it should provide 2.6.x (and associated tools) as an option. There is work underway for this, including the port of GoboHide.
  • Integration of Compile. "Compile" has proven to be a success among the GoboLinux community, so it will be made canon, with a server infrastructure set up by the time 011 is out so that users can upgrade their system through the network, either downloading binary packages or compiling at home.

Some things from the 007 roadmap still hold true as to-do work:

  • Automate the base system build process. Compile already holds most if not all of the recipes necessary to build the Base system, and we have a mostly-automated build script to generate the ISO image, but we haven't got to the point where we can shoot "go" in one end of the pipeline and get a ready-to-ship ISO in the other end. We'll try to have this on 011, but this is an ever-evolving, long-term task.
  • Improve the collection of packages. This is an obvious, but tiring item, which will always be on every roadmap. Ideally we want every package shipped in the CD to be in its latest stable release. Also, we haven't settled if 011 will remain a 1-CD distro or not (most likely it will), but the decision of "what goes in" is always a hard one.
  • Improve documentation. Documentation has improved slowly but steadily. This situation should improve as the system becomes more stable in its shape and changes are less frequent.

The i386 port

GoboLinux 010 is still i686-only. There is an ad-hoc 007 port of i686 out there developed especially for the Eu Cidadão social project, but it never featured a complete package set that warranted a proper release. We plan to use it to bootstrap a proper i386 port. Compile should be an important tool in this task. There is a considerable chance that 011 will feature both i386 and i686 versions, but this is a lower priority than the items listed above.

The long run

(yet to be written :-) )

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