Best Answer xoblite , 08 May 2020 - 04:00 PM
first of all, let me emphasize how happy I am to discover that there is still some interest out there for *box in general and obviously xoblite in particular!
When I picked up the then roughly 8-year-old (!) xoblite bb4 RC3 codebase back in early October last year, it was more like a just for fun, revisiting an old love kind of thing. However, some of the foundations I had worked on for bb4 before losing interest (read: after having been at *box in a leading role for almost 10 years) turned out to be pretty solid foundations for further development, and I also had a pretty clear vision for what I thought a new xoblite release and shell for 2020 and (hopefully) beyond should be, and not be - often the more important prioritization in any form of product management. I will tell you more about everything in xoblite bb5 later, but at least in my own opinion it has turned out really well so far, and also way beyond what I was envisioning back then. I hope when I manage to wrap everything up that you will like it too, but the message is still the same as it was back in October:
xoblite will return. Expect different. Switching to bb5 mode, stay tuned...
With that I mean you should expect great things, but also something different compared to maybe what you're used to. For those of you who haven't been along for the entire journey, the xoblite and bb©Lean(Mod)(Zero) codebases have very little in common, so don't expect full feature parity with every little nitty gritty feature of those shells. Expect the old xoblite extra-large-supercharged and then some, with a long list of features not supported by any of the other branches - some of which you've seen hinted about in my various screenshots here and on boxshots. All in all, it's a pretty massive release - probably one of the biggest I've worked on at least. But again, more on this some other time.
So, apart from the many tens of thousands of lines of code of a project the size of xoblite, what else keeps a guy like me busy?
- Hey, I'm 48 years old nowadays, and I have a wife and two kids. They probably (ahem) think (ahem) I am a bit geeky polishing pixels again, but obviously they deserve some love still...
- I have quite a lot to do at work, which with the covid-19 situation on top means being at home, in front of a screen, 40-50 hours a week, even before considering additional "in front of a screen" pet projects like these.
- A good shell developer needs to properly eat his own dogfood, and I do that by working on plugins to test/harden various aspects of the shell as well as the plugin API. Last I counted (hehe), I had 6 new plugins lined up for release with or shortly after the release xoblite bb5; I will tell you more about these later too. But as a small teaser (in addition to my previous screenshots that is), they are called xDesignerGUI, xDesktopLauncher, xDesktopMeter, xDesktopAnimation, xDesktopNowPlaying, and BBCorsairCUE. Guess away! (and no, these are not half-assed efforts either, I don't do that really ).
- The more mundane stuff: Packaging (read: I don't outsource anything, so I need to create some nice styles/themes/etc to go with any release), documentation especially, but also website (and later some GitHub) updating, miscellaneous logistics, suitable grassroots marketing, etc - they all need at least some level of attention. With regards to documentation, keep in mind that not all users are equal, even though everyone in this thread are of course 1337 *box die-hards. Just sayin'...
- Keeping a certain Greek guy with an endless list of feature requests at bay. This is probably the toughest of them all... . The rest of you are peanuts by comparison...
- Finally, maintaining the fun is key as always - without the fun it's simply not worth the hard work, and as you can understand by now, it's a LOT of work. Taking pauses and time-outs every now and then is simply necessary - in all walks of life.
Last but not least - mea culpa, I'm a bit perfectionist, and my "Release Candidates" are typically pretty solid. But though sometimes slow, I am making great progress, even though I don't want to commit to a certain release date. So, when it's done. Keep the faith!
Over and out
BR//KHH (qwilk/@xoblite)Go to the full post