[Frugalware-announce] Review of 2011

phayz noreply at frugalware.org
Tue Jan 17 00:11:52 CET 2012

Before too much of the new year goes past we wanted to take the opportunity to
review the achievements of 2011 and look ahead to what's planned for 2012.  It's
an exciting period in Frugalware's development with the development team making
progress in many areas. This article highlights some of the major achievements
and planned projects but not all of them. If you are interested in following the
progress of any particular project, subscribe to the appropriate mailing list:
frugalware-devel if you're interested in development discussion of all
Frugalware projects, and frugalware-git-commits if you want to track individual

First on the list is the two scheduled releases: 1.4 and 1.5, both of which were
released on time. Long-time users of Frugalware have become familiar with the
twice-a-year release of stable editions. These don't happen by magic but instead
are the result of the development team's hard work. The number of packages
available in the repository continues to increase and so does the workload of
maintaining them. Many thanks to all the development team, both old and new (in
terms of their time on the development team, not their ages. :P ). Each of last
years' releases had significant improvements and the highlights were:


  * The Java development kit was changed from the binary Java SDK provided by Oracle
    to OpenJDK. This was in fact a great change because later in the year, Oracle
    changed the distribution licence which required all distributions to remove it
    from their repositories. Oracle's future JDKs will be based on OpenJDK anyway.
  * LibreOffice was forked from OpenOffice and available almost immediately after it
    was publicly released. Of course it helps that Frugalware's leader - VMiklos -
    is also a LibreOffice developer. :D
  * fwife, the GUI Frugalware installer developed by Elentir, was available as part
    of the default installation.

  * Frugalware was available for the ARM architecture, exciting all those who had
    one, maybe even two or more ARMs. (Sorry, I couldn't resist such a bad
    English-language joke).
  * systemd was introduced as the new init system, which meant we had a more
    reliable, faster init system. Although a lot of discussion about systemd has
    been focused on boot-up time, that was not the only focus of its design.
There were also significant improvements in other areas:FWLiveFWlive, the Frugalware live CD was resurrected by Baste after a few years
without any development. The project was not entirely abandoned but none of the
active developers had enough time to devote to it. Thankfully Baste made great
progress and a beta release is already available. Having a live CD available is
great because it means that anyone interested in trying Frugalware can do so
without changing or possibly harming their PC or laptop.ArtworkThe default themeing applied to all desktop environments continues to improve,
mainly thanks to Devil505. Themeing includes a custom desktop background, icons
theme, window manager theme, GUI widgets theme, mouse cursor theme, and login
manager theme. Together they give they make the default desktop of all desktop
environments look fantastic. The result is so good that it was mentioned by the
Linux Outlaws podcast when they mentioned Frugalware 1.4's release.Games, games, gamesOver 20 new puzzles, strategy, board and FPS games were added to the repository,
including: Megaglest, 0 A.D., Bos Wars, Frogatto, Widelands and Red Eclipse.
Just when you thought you might get something productive done, a developer
packages a new game. :DNew Bug TrackerWith a lot of effort from Xarkham, the old Flyspray bug tracker was replaced
with a shiny, new deployment of Trac. Amazingly he exported the existing data
from Flyspray into the new BTS. Since requests and bugs are both tracked in the
BTS, it's a important part of the Frugalware infrastructure.Farewell to CarlWe said farewell to Carl Andersen, who had been providing Danish translation for
all Frugalware projects over several years. He moved on to using another Linux
distribution and we wished him well. One of Frugalware's aim is to be accessible
to as many people as possible, so translations such as those provided by Carl
are vital. It may not be exciting work, nor bring fame, but without many people
simply wouldn't be able to use Frugalware at all.New Developers2011 was a great year for the development team, with several new members and
some returning after a break. Priorities and circumstances change over time for
everyone so the team will never stay the same all the time. It's important that
we have new members joining, with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. I'm not saying
that the existing developers are getting old but time marches on for us all.
Cedynamix and Jercel returned from a break and we were excited to have them
return. New members to the development team included: Slown, Baste, Centuri0.

What's planned for 2012?Although 2011 was a busy year, 2012 is sure to be exciting too. There are
several projects already underway which will probably be completed during the
year. FWLive will continue and hopefully become part a new option for each
release. Bouleetbil is contnuing to work on pyfpm, a GUI package manager
developed in Python. Although we already have a GUI package manager it's no
longer being maintained or developed.
Now is a great time to get involved in Frugalware's development, helping package
management, translation, documentation, testing or anything else you would like
to do. If you're interested, post a message in the forums and one of the
development team will help you get started. There's no minimum level of
technical knowledge or experience required because there are many non-technical
tasks which you can help with. Let's make 2012 a year to remember!

More information about the Frugalware-announce mailing list