Monday, November 19, 2012

New kernel, new build environment

Even if a final decision has not been taken yet, we are experimenting for Icaros Desktop 1.5 a new AROS kernel, the one Krzysztof Smiechowicz is backporting from ABIv1. Does this mean Icaros is now moving to ABIv1 and older applications will stop working? Absolutely not. Goal of this effort is adding to ABIv0 more than 18 months of development in the ABIv1 branch, which was not backported to ABIv0 before. This basically means more speed, more stability, more realiability, and also some good news in the hardware support, but at this stage there are still some glitches that must be fixed to avoid regressions, which would not be a good presentation for a new point release. We are, however, heading to this new kernel even before it will be submitted to the main AROS code, because we believe we should be ready for the day it will happen. Changes already made to Icaros Desktop 1.5 would have forced people installing it from scratch, since most paths changed from version 1.4. But the new kernel requires a different version of GRUB, making a reinstallation de-facto mandatory. For all these reasons, I also decided to change my old and usual Fedora 8 VM development build with a newer one, based on Ubuntu Linux (see the photo). The new virtual machine's duty will be compiling Icaros Desktop ISOs from now on. My usual scripts needed some little changes to work properly in the new environment, but now everything is fine. Whoever would like to help us finding bugs and fixing issues is welcome: just ask to become a beta tester using the email button on the top right of this page, and you will be able to download all incoming betas of your favouire distribution.

PS: becoming beta-tester is easy, but to continue being that, your feedback is mandatory. Beta tester list gets "polished" every 60 days and people who don't contribute with their answers will be silently removed.