RISCOS Ltd. reveal development databaseBy Chris Williams. Published: 5th Jun 2004, 06:38:45 | Permalink | Printable
All your CVS commit are belong to usThe RISCOS Ltd. development team have this week opened the RISC OS development database to the public, allowing all users to see exactly what changes have been made to RISC OS 4 (from Select onwards) and when. Although RISCOS Ltd. publish feature overviews when new versions of RISC OS are released, the online database allows all users to view the development summaries that, until now, were for Select subscribers and Adjust users only.
Also, this is the first time the development summaries have been presented in HTML form, and made accessible via CGI. The online database organises the distinct components that make up the OS into two main categories, depending on where they traditionally reside: that is, either in ROM or on disc. From each category, users can select an individual component's CVS development summary, which is colour coded by milestone, and for the non-programmers that have just joined us, CVS is the popular version control software that RISCOS Ltd. use to manage the OS source code. So, although the Select documentation for third party developers remains reserved for paying customers, the summaries do give an insight into the amount of work involved in each RISC OS 4 release cycle, and specifically, where development time is spent.
Components such as Paint, the Filer, the Kernel and the WindowManager all boast fairly extensive development summaries, but unlike real life, size isn't everything: for example, the summary for MessageTrans seems quite small, but the fixes listed have resulted in a marked increase in system stability. Also listed in the milestones chart is one as yet unreleased version of RISC OS 4, namely Select 3i4.
"All the versions of the components that make up the OS - some 500-odd of them - have had their changes logged within CVS; those changes have a 'summary' that covers the change was that was made plus a lot more detailed internal development information," a RISCOS Ltd. software engineer explained yesterday, who also added that the new online database doesn't intend to step on the toes of Peter Howkins' module database. Peter's database covers module version numbers for RISC OS in its various forms, from Arthur to RISC OS 5, whereas RISCOS Ltd's database covers just RISC OS Select and Adjust, but obviously in much more detail.
The developer continued: "Since the internal info is confidential, only the summary details are released in the database.
"Because this is done for every component, it's possible to build up these change lists as necessary. Select users have seen them in the past in the form of change files that can be accessed through the Softload tool. The database makes this more accessible to people. If anyone wants to get at the raw data, could they please contact us though, rather than hammering the server to extract it from the formatted data."
Update at 15:09 5/6/2004
The article originally said Adjust1i2 was unreleased, but we checked again, and it has been released. Adjust1i2 fixes a few bugs found in Adjust1i1.
Database of RISC OS 4 changes - spot your favourite entry
RISCOS Ltd. website
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