[Server-devel] [XSCE] [ANNOUNCE] Release 5.0 of XSCE

Tim Moody tim at timmoody.com
Wed Jan 22 21:30:48 EST 2014

This is a slightly belated announcement of the release of the XSCE School Server version 5.0.  The full release notes are included below.  Those who have been following the project will notice the order of magnitude jump in release numbers, e.g. 0.5 has become 5.0.  This has been done to  avoid confusion between the XS and XSCE projects, especially as we approach the next release.
XSCE has been tested on a variety of  OLPC XO laptops and on 64 bit servers and VMs and has been installed on RaspberryPi, Trimslice, and experimentally on the Cubox. To get started (assuming you have git setup) please follow the instructions at https://github.com/XSCE/xsce/blob/master/docs/INSTALL.rst The 5.0 release can be cloned by  git clone https://github.com/XSCE/xsce.git --branch 5.0 --depth 1 or if you want the entire repository: git clone https://github.com/XSCE/xsce.gitgit checkout 5.0 The release notes that follow are at https://github.com/XSCE/xsce/blob/master/ReleaseNotes5.0.rst RELEASE NOTES The focus of release 5.0 is making it easier for contributors to participate.  This has been accomplished in three ways:1) Better DocumentationThe documentation concerning installation, configuration, and usage has been greatly expanded and clarified.  This includes information on alternative networking configurations and urls and ports to exercise the various services included.  There are also an increased number of troubleshooting tips.
The documentation is located at https://github.com/XSCE/xsce/tree/master/docs.
2) Relocation of Source to GithubWhile the source code for the School Server has always been public, moving XSCE to github encourages a workflow that is becoming standard in the open source software industry wherein a git repository is cloned and contributors work on their own branches and then create pull requests which allow code to be rolled up to the master copy.  Github facilitates this work flow and the School Server community has adopted it.
The XSCE project is located at https://github.com/XSCE/xsce.
3) Use of Ansible for InstallationThe XSCE project has been restructured around ansible playbooks. This has a number of benefits.  First, it allows independent developers to work on their individual contributions to the project (mostly) without tripping over other developers.  To further this aim an aggregate playbook 'addons' has been created as a home for installing the playbooks of these individuals.
Secondly, the effort to perform a testing cycle is greatly reduced.  Because ansible installs from a git clone it is not necessary to create a new rpm and install it in its entirety.  A simple git pull gets the latest version for testing and this version can be ones own branch or the master.  Ansible tags have been used widely throughout the playbooks so that it is now much easier to test a subset of functionality rather than having to test the entire install on each iteration.
Ansible is documented at http://www.ansibleworks.com/.
In addition to making it easier for a broader range of contributors, XSCE 5.0 includes the following:
Two FlavorsThere are gateway and non-gateway ('appliance') flavors of XSCE.  The installation attempts to determine the mode in which the server will operate based on attached network devices.
PlatformsXSCE has been tested on XO 1.5, 1.75, and 4 as well as on i386 and x64.
RPM Based InstallAn RPM can be produced from the ansible playbooks using rpmbuild -bb xsce-server.spec.  This RPM can then be installed using yum.
Not included in this ReleaseThis release does not address the recent announcement that Fedora Core 18 is end of life.  Experiments with Fedora Core 20 are promising and support is expected in a future release.
TestingTo get started please install git and then issue:
git clone git at github.com:XSCE/xsce.git
cd xsce
git checkout 5.0
Please help test this and file bugs at https://github.com/XSCE/xsce/issues?state=open
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