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Re: What next?

On Wed, 2005-06-01 at 13:59 -0400, Elliot Lee wrote:
> Maybe it's time to start the brainstorming for Fedora Core 5 and Fedora
> Extras 5 - what major features are you willing to put effort into?

We should ship a GCC 4.1 preview compiler so we can continue to
demonstrate improvements on the java front.

Most of the improvements of late imply ABI breakage because we're
extending the library in incompatible ways.  Restricting ourselves to
non-ABI-breaking changes in GCC 4.0.x limits our ability to continue to
demonstrate innovation. 

I also blogged about my personal ideas for java in FC5 recently,
reproduced below.....

Fedora Core 4 is getting close to “done", and I think it’s safe to say
that we hit the Free java trifecta in this release: OpenOffice.org 2,
the Eclipse IDE, and Apache Tomcat. Congratulations to everybody who
made this possible! But what next? FC5 is right around the corner…

My personal wish list is as follows: gcjwebplugin, Azureus and RSSOwl.

Michael Koch’s gcjwebplugin is important for obvious reasons. I’m less
worried about the GUI work here than the security work. I’d rather see
us ship a secure plugin that could only run a handful of applets than
nothing at all. Let’s put security work ahead of AWT/Swing.

Azureus is a wildly popular and innovative cross-platform and extensible
bittorrent client. It seems to be a permanent fixture on the Most Active
and Top Downloaded lists at sourceforge.net (#1 on both this week).
There are lots of plugins for it, including some to let it act as a
powerful podcasting client (which is where my interest lies). It uses
SWT and almost runs out of the box on gcj today. I posted a screenshot
of it stumbling along on gcj about 6 months ago. The current release
fails to run for a number of reasons, including their use of com.sun.*
classes for secure sockets. This is a common problem (witness
OpenOffice.org) and Sven de Marothy has been maintaining a nice page to
help educate people on writing portable code. We need to promote this

Like Azureus, RSSOwl is an SWT based app that almost runs today. It’s a
popular and well reviewed RSS feed reader. Sven de Marothy and Robin
Green (no relation, btw) have both reported some success running on

Azureus and RSSOwl are real success stories that complement the current
Fedora Core/Extras offerings. My recent experience with the jogl and
lwjgl communities tells me that project maintainers are willing to put
work into getting their projects working with Free runtimes. We need to
engage the Azureus and RSSOwl developer communities to see if they are
willing to help make this all possible.

I also wonder what the base compiler for FC5 will be. My guess at the FC
and GCC schedules make me think that we could be using GCC 4.1, which
would be nice. But 4.0.x is also possible. We should suss this out ASAP
as it impacts how we go about getting these apps running.

Well, this is all just my personal opinion - but I think it’s all
possible. I hope I can convince everybody else!


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