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[Libguestfs] Roadmap for libguestfs 1.10 (next stable version)

It's been nearly 5 months since we last released a stable version of
libguestfs, and so I'm trying to get everything ready for the next
stable version.  This will be called libguestfs 1.10, and there is
already a fantastic array of new features, summarised in part here[1].


If there are bugs that you think ought to be fixed before 1.10 is
released, then you need to (a) file them (if not done already) and (b)
put 1.10 in the Devel Whiteboard field.  The current list of 1.10 bugs
is empty[2].

Road map

(Refer to the road map[3])

* Continue with general reduction in use of Perl.

Key to this was to rewrite the tools that are still written in Perl
into some compiled language:

  - virt-edit: This tool remains written in Perl, and the code has
    in fact got more complicated.  So I think we failed here.

  - virt-list-filesystems, virt-list-partitions: These tools are
    deprecated and have been replaced (since 1.8) with a new more
    powerful program written in C called virt-filesystems.

  - virt-tar: In 1.10, this tool will be deprecated and replaced by
    new (and more capable) tools virt-copy-in, virt-copy-out,
    virt-tar-in and virt-tar-out.  So I think this was a success.

  - virt-make-fs: Still in Perl.  I don't get a sense that this tool
    is being used very much (or maybe it "just works" so well that no
    one ever files bugs or complains about it ...)

  - virt-resize: Although this would benefit from being rewritten in a
    higher-level language with sane static typing like OCaml, the real
    problems are that it's very hard to resize VMs, hard to understand
    what goes wrong when we do it, and hard to test the tool.
    virt-resize is such a complex problem that it almost deserves to
    be a separate project in itself, like virt-v2v.

  - virt-win-reg: Needs to be in Perl because of hivex regedit deps.

* Make 'guestfish --ro' be the default, and get users to use
  'guestfish --rw' for write access.

This is probably going to get delayed (again) to 1.12.  The reason is
that 'guestfish --rw' is still not prevalent enough for us to make
read-only be the default, without causing a lot of user confusion.
However in 1.10 we have at least introduced the configuration file.

* Allow alternate methods to start the appliance, including through
  libvirt and by connecting to an existing appliance.  This was
  originally planned for 1.8 but we didn't get patches in time.

This is partially implemented; however I'm still waiting to get
patches to make libvirt happen.

* Deeper and wider support for progress messages.

This is basically done.

* Better handling of partitions, including MBR extended partitions
  (RHBZ#593511, RHBZ#602997, RHBZ#642821).

We've sort of agreed that we're going to write MBR and GPT
partitioning libraries, and ditch parted.  However there's no work on
this yet, and I'm not going to let it delay 1.10.


[1] http://libguestfs.org/RELEASE-NOTES.txt
[2] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/buglist.cgi?query_format=advanced&field0-0-0=cf_devel_whiteboard&bug_status=NEW&bug_status=ASSIGNED&bug_status=MODIFIED&bug_status=ON_DEV&bug_status=ON_QA&bug_status=VERIFIED&bug_status=FAILS_QA&bug_status=RELEASE_PENDING&bug_status=POST&bug_status=PASSES_QA&type0-0-0=anywords&value0-0-0=1.10&component=libguestfs&product=Virtualization%20Tools&classification=Other
[3] http://libguestfs.org/ROADMAP.txt

Richard Jones, Virtualization Group, Red Hat http://people.redhat.com/~rjones
virt-df lists disk usage of guests without needing to install any
software inside the virtual machine.  Supports Linux and Windows.

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