So after a whooping 10k change-sets in the SVN repository and two more years than we wanted, it is finally here: T2 8.0.
You may wonder what took us so long. Indeed so do we! It is mostly an issue of free time to work on T2. After all it is a monstrous effort, maintaining all the thousands of packages and taking care (of most) CPU architectures, … And then we even open it all up like no other – with the easiest to locate, use, review, develop and cut’n paste source tree (the most popular vendors notoriously kept their build scripts, ISO generating glue pretty covered, even their source trees are often not too easy to get access to, nor elaborative, …)!
While T2 became recently more and more successful in appliance and embedded space (heck all popular companies appear in our web log: Palm, Nokia, Motorola, … I assume they are longing for some inspiration), few companies keep in contact with us, nor contract or sponsor the project. So pushing the huge project that is T2 forward is a night-shift, weekend-fun, or 20% @work project for many of us (even including myself)!
Another contributing factor is upstream breakage. Half a decade ago most source packages just worked, more then less. These days my personal impression is that it is now rather the other way round: KDE, GNOME, heck even GCC and the C library or just the Linux kernel have more and more source incompatibility with each new release. Incompatibility or bugs that we have to tidy up before it even just builds all together.
It is therefore most irritating when a cooperate users without an support agreement occasionally even call me personally at work, and bug me about bugs in the release candidate, random build issues of non-primary (read not even secondary, GNOME or KDE) packages in the trunk, and when a new stable release will finally be out.
I personally consider this a pretty dark and troublesome side of the Open Source medal, a trend that I saw rather increasing over the last years (and mind you, I am with Linux and Open Source since back in the last millennium’s 90th, when most people did not even know how to spell Linux).
And when I kindly ask to invoice the time or about donations some even get insulting and start to talk about not being open and artificially keeping the trunk broken.
However, fact told: it is exactly the other way round: for minor part we also had no T2 stable release, because our SVN trunk just worked so freaking great! We used T2 trunk builds in-house, for our own projects, servers, and customer projects all the time!
Given the shear modularity and flexibility we even cherry picked single package updates, new packages, and the like into shipping customer products trees all the time, too.
When I continue to receive those unsolicited phone calls I’ll think about getting our company such an expensive pay per call number – and better a secretary with it, too :-)