Developer News: XOOPS 2.2 Development Roadmap

Posted by: Herkoon 2005/5/9 20:28:44 19739 reads
XOOPS 2.2 Development Roadmap
Written by Mithrandir

Welcome to the XOOPS 2.2 Development Roadmap. This roadmap defines the core development strategy for the XOOPS project for the coming period.

A lot has happened since the first XOOPS Roadmap (link no longer available)(released by Onokazu on 21 September 2002, and updated on 13 October and 26 December 2002), set the development path for the XOOPS system.
A tremendous effort of bringing together the knowledge, creativity and skills lead to the creation of an object oriented, extensible, flexible, secure and stable portal system: XOOPS 1.0. With the release of the first public Release Candidates, the development strategy was adapted to fit the needs, ideas and contributions put forth by the growing user community.

A big change in development came with the incorporation of the Smarty Template Engine, which in turn prompted many more improvements and enhancements. This meant that a large part of the XOOPS kernel needed to be changed, and thus the XOOPS2 system was born. Improving on a track-record of a stable, customisable and extensible system with very high coding standards, the XOOPS 2.0.x system quickly became very popular, as the fast growing user- and developer communities prove.

With popularity came innovation, improvements and the need for a better organisation. Many changes have been made, but the roadmap document hasn't grown along with these changes.

This development roadmap acknowledges and consolidates many of the changes that have already been made or are under way. This document puts these changes into a bigger perspective, painting the Bigger Picture so everyone can see where the XOOPS Project is headed and how everyone can contribute to it's progress and continuous innovation and improvement.

We have come a long way. The XOOPS 2.0.x system developers have created a series of stable, high quality releases, giving the user and developer communities an advanced and high-end platform for website implementations, customisations and module extensions developments.

The XOOPS 2.0.x development team, lead by Onokazu, set a high standard that is flexible and adaptable to a wide range of uses. Thus, 3rd party developers and designers can work on extensions and implementations, while the development team works on making the core fast and secure, and as stable as possible. But there has been a feature freeze on the XOOPS core ever since the first XOOPS 2.0 stable release. Core development has been limited to patches and fixes.
The incremental development of the kind we've had since XOOPS 1.0 is not enough for a healthy open source project. Many successful open source, community powered development projects evolve into better organised, more professional development projects, and it's clear that XOOPS needs a new roadmap. A roadmap that charts a path to an even better future.

Evolution and Revolution
The XOOPS development community hasn't been idle. On the patch trackers we find some extensions to the XOOPS core that are ready to be integrated into the main branch. A new core development project has been started, lead by Mithrandir, that aims to integrate a number of the ideas, concepts and codes submitted by the development community. The feature freeze on the XOOPS 2.x code branch will be (selectively) lifted.
The version number of this development branch is XOOPS 2.1, following the versioning scheme of the Linux Kernel (odd version numbers are for development and beta releases, even release numbers are for stable releases fit for production environments). The stable release of this project will be numbered XOOPS 2.2.

Parallel to this evolutionary development, we will start a revolutionary development project called XooSphere. XooSphere will be a complete rewrite of the XOOPS Core, aimed to create a highly advanced, extremely powerful and flexible web application platform for high end dynamic websites. This release will be a revolution in the world of dynamic web content management systems.

- With the amount of users, who need more functionality and flexibility, we have to evolve while waiting for the revolution.
- We have to experiment some times before getting it right. With the 2.1.x series of development releases, we can test approaches and prepare the mindset that will be used in XooSphere. Once the foundation for XooSphere is completed and frozen, it will be a smaller task to move a tried and tested approach to the new application framework.

Following the Linux versioning scheme, XOOPS 2.1 will be the first development release. It will not be a production-ready release, but somewhere between an Alpha and a Beta version. At 2.1.5, we will have reached the point where we freeze new features and work exclusively on getting everything working bug-free. This will lead to a 2.2 release that will be stable and suitable for a production environment.

A publicly available CVS branch is available from the XOOPS CVS repository and nightly archives are available from
Module developers at will also be consulted on items such as usability, processes and everyone is welcome to contribute with improvements where they see fit. Bug and Patches trackers on XOOPS' SourceForge project pages have categories for CVS Nightly and 2.1, respectively, where anyone can post bug reports or code snippets.

The lead developer on the project is Mithrandir, who will take advantage of submitted hacks, patches and the help from the XOOPS community in general.

Which features will be developed are not entirely frozen at present, but a general focus is on these features:
• Implementation of dynamic user profiles
• Enhancements to the Private Message system
• LDAP/CAS Authentication
• Theme-ability and a completely new look for the administration area
• Installation process re-developed to allow for module installation during XOOPS install

The following is subject to change as development progresses.

XOOPS 2.1.0 (Week 18) First development version of 2.1 with implementation of many bugfixes and patches submitted at; Admin area theme-able; Dynamic user profiles approach implemented; PM enhancement approach implemented.
XOOPS 2.1.1 (Week 20) Second developer version of 2.1 with more in-depth implementation of dynamic user profiles and PM enhancement.
XOOPS 2.1.2 (Week 22) Dynamic user profiles and PM enhancement finished; Feature freeze
XOOPS 2.1.5 (Week 25) Installation process includes module installation; LDAP/CAS Authentication implemented.
XOOPS 2.2.0 (Week 27) Stable release

(Last Updated Saturday, 07 May 2005)