2007 in progress

So, a bit of progress since my post about 2007.

  • OpenMoko released phase0. Believe it or not, but there are people on our planet, who use fully open/free software based mobile phone right now. And one of them is located in Poland. And it seems even more clear that final, public version will have WiFi with fully open source driver. Whoa…!
  • Ubuntu 7.04 beta is out. It’s boring to say, but it simply works. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m totally sure I can advice this OS to absolutely anyone who’s not vendor-locked-in by some very specific windows-only software. It is a great news – Ubuntu 7.04 is another great layer on which we can build new things. There’s nothing more to catch up, the road ahead is to set trends, not follow them. Whoa…!
  • Optimus keyboard gets into pre-order mode! I know – 1500$ seems to be quite a lot as for the keyboard. But it simple means that from that moment we can say that the world *has* a keyboard of this kind. There’s no other way but to go forward and wait for it to become cheaper. Use your imagination what could you do with such keyboard. For an example, look here.

I’ve also revisited my Project Watch. I need to update it, and will do that soon, but as for now, little progress raport:

  • America’s Army port to Linux is dead. Pitty. Attal is dead. Pitty. Danger from the Deep got 0.2 release, and it looks very cool. I like it! Planeshift is exploiting their 0.3.x line and developing 0.4.x line which should get more user coverage. 0.3.x line is pretty playable, but lacking really addicting stuff for me.
  • Graphic software projects got a lot of website updates, but also some significant progress. Crystal Space passed 1.0 mark which is very exciting since it’s one of the most popular open source game engines. CS is now mature and stable! Yake may seem to be dead, but it’s not. They abandoned 0.5 line and went straight forward to 0.6 which is in beta mode and I hope will be released soon. Ogre3D is just step ahead from 1.4 line which is an exciting update. Blender updated to 2.43 which is a huge step forward. Just look at the notes. Most of this are updated from last year Summer of Code, and the work made for Elephant’s Dream movie (Open source movie made exclusively in OS software). Whoa…! Only Gimp is still in wannabe-2.4 mode, while 2.3.x seems to be superstable and usable, and I really think that they should go with this and skip to 2.15 cycle.
  • InitNG is back alive once more, with a new maintainer, they’re progressing pretty well. I miss any new benchmarks but I think that InitNG and upstart will became natural choices for all distros one day. Kernel is soon to be 2.6.21, and I hope that 2.6.22 will finally bring reiser4 on deck. Overall it seems that kernel project is super stable and progressing without any problems. KDE4 deserves separate article, as I’m building it every week or so and following their progress very close, but let me just say that they’re totally on the track, a bit behind in terms of front-end GUI apps, but a lot happens under the hood with plasma, decibel, phonon, nepomuk, strigi, and friends doing great work. Every day, my SVN update of core libs is very long. They’re working very hard. It’s soo cool to follow their progress now. I love Dolphin! Koffice 2 seems to be another exciting thing, you can live test how the text in Kword overflows curved based object! Still, front-end is a bit behind, not many visible changes since KDE3.5, it’s rather slow (debug mode etc.) and crashes, but I can see how they’re shaping up for the release, making libs ready and stable enough to switch the focus to front-end, and if the amount of work will stay the same, then I’m sure KDE4.0 will be amazing 🙂 Krusader and Amarok are progressing well with each release, digiKam released 0.91 line which I love, K3b went with 1.0, and MPlayer is still releasing in the lim->1.0 model. I’m a bit worried about GCC though. They’re far behind the schedule, GCC 4.2 is not ready for it’s prime time while 4.3 progresses ahead. It seems that they have a lot of energy to add new things, new optimization models etc., but bug fixing is not trendy and they lack dwarfs to do it. Ardour is really next to 2.0. Ubuntu and SuSe are superstable, superusable and well… great distros. Gentoo is in the “let’s discuss our goals” mode now, as well as Debian. A bit criticizm, a bit arguing, a bit flamewaring, I hope it’ll all settle down soon.
  • Firefox is working on Fx 3, not much progress on front-end, but a lot of back-end changes mostly in Gecko 1.9. You’ll love Gecko 1.9, trust me 🙂 There’s also some discussion about Gecko 2.0/Mozilla 2.0/Firefox 4. Just basic concept designs and a bit more specific stuff in JavaScript 2.0 land. Flock is getting ready for 0.8 release and 0.9 code cycle. Similar to Firefox, Flock went through a lot of back-end changes that should make road to 1.0 straight forward. 0.8 won’t contain much new stuff (but it’ll base on Fx 2, so there’ll be new stuff anyway ;)), and you should expect much more new features in 0.9 and then in 1.0 of course 🙂 Bugzilla 3.0 is sooo next to your doors, that you should start using it right now. It’s cute (in this abstraction model in which a bug tracking tool can be cute). Azureus is preparing for 3.0 release which will be a huge change. WordPress released 2.1 and progresses toward 2.2 with my Flock’s friend Lloyd Budd on board. Psi is still waiting for 0.11 release which is a bad thing. I’m using their nightly, and it’s stable enough for the release, I’m sure. Drupal 5.1 and MediaWiki 1.9 are cool upgrades to use, but nothing more. Mozilla Developer Center switches to MediaWiki 1.9, finally!
  • OpenOffice started finally releasing updates, we have 2.1 online, and 2.2 RC’s. Not much for Joe Average but it’s faster and more stable. I hope to see big changes soon as they’re working on 2.5 or 3.0 thing.
  • Subversion seems to be a bit slowdowned by it’s success. We have 1.4.3, but not much new, no major issues fixed, no big features included, no major speedups anywhere. Waiting for a better security model with per-directory write access (would be perfect for big projects like Mozilla, KDE etc.)

There’s MUCH more going on around. It’s just a short update on some of the things I’m tracking. Show me any other part of software world with so much going on so fast.

Hope you like it 🙂

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