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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Changes in OS/4 OpenLinux 13.6 and beyond

So as the next release of OS/4 rolls closer, people are asking whats going to be our key features in OS/4 OpenLinux 13.6.

Aside from our visual enhancements we are working on the lower level services.

Live performance will be improved.  Some of you have said that you use the OS/4 live USB to fix problems with Microsoft Windows, so we will improve that performance.

New kernel.  Of course we will have improved driver support and and more bug fixes.

Boot-Repair will be included with 13.6.  Some of these EFI machines have a tendency to mess up the GRUB bootloader, so we are including a GRUB repair tool.

Updated Steam client.  Yes, Steam has been our most popular inclusion by far.

Illumination software creator will be returning.  We are in talks with Bryan Lunduke on featuring his development environment with OS/4 OpenLinux, Gambas will also remain as thats our most popular choice.  Bryan did an awesome job with Illumination Software Creator and customers liked it and people have been asking for a return so thats our intention.  We are hoping our talks work out and we want to bring you what you want.

Amiga support.  Why?  Users have requested it.  Since we reached out to the Amiga community its been a great building relationship and we do look forward to enhancing that relationship.  Now, I am a realist and our core audience and community could really care less.  Now, there are some people that do want it and we will include FS-UAE so customers can use their own ROMS and AmigaOS files.  Now we will also include AROS as an alternative method for those who dont have ROMS and want to run classic Amiga apps and games.  Amiga Forever we will not offer outside of our current bundle.  Now, with all shipping systems we will offer the IcAROS operating system in a VM.  IcAROS is a complete distribution of AROS and offers the best out of box AROS experience and Amiga like experience on x86 hardware. Performance is outstanding in VM's coupled with our hardware.  Now, that will be a choice so if you want your hardware with that VM, just put it in your order notes.  The AROS application in OS/4 OpenLinux will be removable for users who dont want it.

Updated QT.  QT 5.1.0  will be included in 13.6 and for the first time ever, if you order a custom configuration, you will be able to request KDE as your default desktop.  Now, QT is a popular development environment and runtime.  Even though Workspace Manager is a GTK environment we have an awesome integration with QT.  And we are about to improve that.  Workspace Manager/XFCE  has served us well since 2008 and the XFCE community has been AWESOME to work with and at times disagree with, but great nonetheless.  Workspace Manager 2.0, will be a complete rewrite with razor-qt as its underpinnings.  Razor-qt is a lightweight desktop manager based on the QT toolkit.  Starting with 13.7, Razor-qt will be INCLUDED with OS/4 in the repositories until at such time that Workspace Manager 2 can be a drop in replacement for Workspace Manager 1.0.  Now, in 13.7 we will be making a razor-qt based system so that users can start porting applications, evaluate it and we hope you love it as much as we do.  Its really an outstanding environment. But, we will not be discontinuing Workspace Manager 1.0, as Workspace Manager 2.0/Razor-QT becomes our standard DE, Workspace Manager 1.0 will still be offered for up to a year after the official release.

Our SPARC port will be released in 2 weeks and we are excited about that.  We have had awesome collaborations with SPARC vendors and they have been most helpful in getting this port ready and its as functional as OS/4 Enterprise Linux is on x64.  So an awesome job has been done on that front.  OS/4 SPARC Enterprise Linux 4.1.3 will retail for $500.00 USD and we will be hiring individuals to simply maintain that port.

OS/4 OpenLinux 14.  When will it be released?  When its ready.  Many of our beta testers have it.  Progress is moving along, after the SPARC port is done the development team will be rolling full steam ahead on 14.

OS/4 OpenLinux 15.  Some questions have been asked, will it be based on Debian or Fedora?  To tell you the truth, we have builds utilizing both environments.  An RPM distro and Debian.  Right now, we are looking at Debian.  But its up to our community.  RPM distros have compelling tools, we wont ever deny that but our userbase has been Debian lovers and personally, I like Debian.  But I like to explore options and to blindly ignore an option simply due to community likes or dislikes is a foolish thing to do.

So the future is bright, we are having a ton of fun and look forward to ,as always, bringing you guys the best operating system in the world.

Thanks guys.

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