We screwed up a bit with the timing for this Dev. Update (LOL), the whole article below was intended for April Fools, and only for a laugh… Don’t panic.
We know we’ve just released an issue of development update, but there was just too much going on in the past week that we feel obliged to tell you about them. There has been major changes in our community, and especially with AOSC OS.
As users of modern technologies, we often times find ourselves looking back at our older devices and computers and thought, why not put AOSC OS on them and make them useful again? This exact thought has led to our PowerPC 32-bit port which runs on Apple Macintoshes with G3 processors - many of which more than 17 years old now. So here’s what we did: We started a port to the Intel i486 architecture (and of course it runs on any newer Intel x86 compatible devices as a 32-bit system).
You may be pleasantly surprised on how fast your 486DX4, Pentium, and Pentium II are when running AOSC OS. They all run XFCE4 just fine, with at least an ISA/VLB graphics card, you will be able to run it with desktop composition turned on (fancy shadows and all that jazz…).
If we take a look at this screenshot of AOSC OS running on a Pentium 4 laptop (and of course, AOSC OS is blazing fast on it)…
You may have noticed a website running with no window decoration or any form of toolbars, and a system property window from Windows Me (?!). Well, as most of our developers have experienced Microsoft Windows 98, a great operating system (albeit not free and open source, nor did it Respect Our Freedom™), we admired the idea of having a web page displayed right at the desktop so you could get to know the newest information online without relying on the complicated Conky…
As for the system properties window, we have worked alongside some old dudes from the Windows Development Team to better integrate older Windows applications with AOSC OS. The integration was so great and complete that even these core Windows components could run and correctly identify themselves! Great huh? Be happy for us.
So far AOSC OS has been ported to various kinds of CPU architectures, but we have not enough people to maintain them. After extensive discussions, we plan to sell all our AMD64 devices in favour of a POWER8-based build farm - and thus deprecating support of AMD64 by the end of 2017. Instead, PPC64el and RV64g will be mainly supported.
For those of you who uses AOSC OS on their AMD64 devices, please migrate to any other architectures we still support. There are things we had to give up for others to work better, and unfortunately AMD64 is one that has to go…
To better serve our community members, and to aid our development effort, we have decided to create the following community-run departments in… our community:
On this note, we should all applaud for The Department of Shocking News, for their great efficiency in service since their establishment on yesterday. Richard Fortsworth Saltenfishery have produced a report on the heavy usage of unclosed parentheses in their chat history on the #aosc channel, and produced a lengthy paper titled “Shocking! And Here’s the Reason Why AOSC Members Are Using Unclosed Parentheses in their Conversations…”, and literally, the title is all that the paper contains, so you didn’t miss anything here.
(Here below is a public service announcement from our community member Staph Zhang…)
We are proud to announce that a new research center on anthropoids including great ape and human, is established with recent funding from n.s.f.
The Anthropoid Observational Study Center advances science and health by providing access to data obtained from observation of anthropoids. Proudly supported by and fully integrated with the AOSC OS, we are the world’s first observational study center that use computational resources to observe and obtain data from anthropoids, especially those with some fundamental knowledge of programming and Internet browsing.
As our valuable research participants, we welcome your input through using of our AOSC OS. As our valuable researchers, we also welcome you to use our AOSC OS to empower your researches through the use of the following software packages available:
This research has obtained prior approval through the Institutional Review Board of the Anthon Open Science Committee.
To help our developers through their long days of packaging, localization, infrastructure, and chatting workloads, we have set up an online service for purchasing snacks and drinks - exclusively for our developers and contributors. Here below is a quick look at our menu:
Developers and contributors rejoice, and enjoy your meals!
It’s that time of a year again (to look back), and I am very glad to say that 2016 has been a great year for all of us.
Lots of news and happenings around our projects, and we have got couple of new faces to our community’s development effort - most notably, Yi “Everette” Rong, who kickstarted the big endian PowerPC ports for AOSC OS, and to top things off, made an experimental go at AOSC OS on Windows 10 with his WSAOSC (Wa-Sao-sk) installer, check it out here.
Not to be out done, Icenowy Zheng made an explosive progress on AOSC OS’s ARM ports with her aosc-mkrawimg and aosc-os-arm-boot-flasher projects. Dozens of images are released for Allwinner devices and Raspberry Pi, and Kernel updates on these devices got more and more intuitive.
Progress on our localization effort were looking better than ever, we have continued our effort with Simplified Chinese localization for FOSS projects. GNOME, MATE, Audacious, Freedesktop.org, etc. have received our continued support in this particular area. Most notably, with joint effort from Arthur Wang, Zixing Liu, and I personally, Wine’s zh_CN translation had reached 100% completion for the first time since 1993 - and yes, that’s when the project started.
Looking ahead, 2017 will be equally if not more interesting for AOSC. Development will be resumed on AST’s Startup Toolkit with a brand new UI and more universal support for Linux distributions other than AOSC OS; RISC-V will (potentially) see its first commercial hardware debut, and thus a new port for AOSC OS is imminent; ACBS, a replacement for our ABBS will bring better reliability, multi-tree support (forest.conf), and security to our AOSC OS packaging work. And of course, AOSC OS will see more improvement on dependencies, installation support, and user experience.
Before we get carried away, this has been an awesome year coordinating this community and working with all of you guys. And here to my sincere gratitude, and I wish all of you a happy new year!
— Mingcong Bai
Can’t believe it’s already been half a decade (and I have grown so old from who I was when AOSC has just got started in 2011). But nevertheless, happy birthday, AOSC! And I am so proud of you - not for you being the biggest or the best community, but the most honest and progressive of all communities!
I remember when I said that we shall bring creativity to China - for China only - and bring technology advancement to high school students… And of course, I also remember that I had once said to all my earliest friends and collegues that we shall leave the community when we finish high school, and let the new generation bring in new ideas and achievements…
But as here I stand today, the community means so much for me, and for all those contributed along the way to simply leave the community alone (and to be honest, we are still very small, way smaller than we had anticipated… “way back when”). Projects and ideas still piles up from within the community, and our most important project in the community, AOSC OS, have just released its first feature update to the fourth generation Core.
It is truly incredible when looking back half a decade ago, to see the past, naive selves. The challenges and criticism we faced in the years have only made us a better community, with more and more mature thoughts and methodologies. Back in 2011 when AOSC OS was still a custom release of OpenSUSE made in the SUSE Studio - who would have thought that we could one day become a full-fledged independent Linux Distribution with six (and the 7th coming) architectural ports? And back when we were attacked for being a bunch of crybabies, who would have thought that we could be one of the strongest Chinese Simplified/Traditional localization workforce for great open source projects like GNOME, Wine, and FreeDesktop.org? And back when we still were afraid to show our work to others in the field, who would have thought that we could deliver patches, bug reports, and suggestions to upstream projects in great quantities?
I do realize that we are still largely an unestablished community when compared to virtually anything else, with less than 20 people active for development. But today, in AOSC’s birthday, it will only do justice to our beloved community to continue our optimistic moods, and to hang onto our work ethics - to never question what we could achieve, and only to question if we have done the best for our projects.
Looking ahead, there are still lots of great ideas yet to be implemented, like a more integrated collaboration infrastructure for our developers, and new ports and improvements to our AOSC OS. There will be more challenges ahead, and even questions to our own ways - but fear not, we are known to be a… well, good crowd of people to say the least - to make the possible from unlikelihood. We have always did, and we always will.
My dear friends and collegues, as the founder of this community, please accept my most sincere gratitude. This community could never have been what it is today without you, nor could I struggle alone.
— Mingcong Bai
A big thank you to Tianhao (James) Chai for creating the banner for our 5th anniversary in Minecraft (and on AOSC OS too)!
And here is a map for this “monument”.
So here’s a (very) late recap on the 3rd AOSCC (AOSC Conference) held in Shanghai, on July 16-18. Several first’s were achieved this year:
Several community matters were determined for the coming year:
Friends of our community have kindly taken some nice photographs during AOSCC, and they are listed below:
More details about AOSCC 2017 will be posted later this year, and hopefully we will see you again in Guangzhou (good luck staying cool in the summer)!