SIL LSDev Linux Development

Language software for Linux and Mac OS X

A release date for FieldWorks

Finally, after many years of development, and a lot of hard hoeing, we have committed to a release date for a beta-test version of FieldWorks on Linux. This will be simultaneous with a test version of the rearchitected FieldWorks on Windows, and will incorporate the same rearchitected code.

However, the Linux version will contain a lot more untried code than the Windows version, since even the unrearchitected parts of the code have porting changes that have never been tried by users before, so we are being conservative about what we are actually committing to deliver. We can’t promise that it will be bug-free, but it will have all major functionality in place, and will not contain any known major bugs.

The date is May 22, and we plan to have Ubuntu packages for TE and Flex available at on that date. We still have some major functionality to finish up by the end of this month (SideBar library, Pango renderer) but we will then enter an intensive three-month bug-squashing phase leading up to the release. We will also need to work on creating Ubuntu packages for FieldWorks.

Note that the May release will not have the multi-user data access capability that current FW has, on either platform. This is a planned aspect of the release schedule for the rearchitecture, and the multi-user capability will be released, on both platforms, three or four months later.

9 Responses to “A release date for FieldWorks”

  1. Michael says:

    Hi Neil and team.

    This is great news and something I have been looking forward to for quite a while. With the release to the repositories are you planing on multi dist releases or are you sticking to the current dist? I only ask because I am using Karmic and testing Lucid as well and would test on them both if I can.


  2. Neil Mayhew says:

    Hi Michael,

    Once we have FW packaged then it should be relatively easy to build it for multiple releases, providing the dependencies can be satisfied. Currently, we’re doing all our work on Ubuntu Karmic and Debian Squeeze, so I’m fairly confident in saying it will be available for those, in both 32- and 64-bit architectures. However, it will need custom versions of various libraries, especially Mono and IBus.

    Nearer the time we will have a better idea of whether we have time to build and test on Lucid as well. However, since Lucid’s official release is just a month before our release date I think it’s best if we make our primary commitment to the current release, ie Karmic. Also, even on Lucid, I think we will still need custom libraries as some of the stuff we are using isn’t even going to be in Lucid.

    Thanks for your interest.


  3. David says:

    I want to congratulate the team on all they’ve done so far, and the
    thought of a linux release date for Flex is wonderful, even if May
    is a long way away…


  4. Neil Mayhew says:

    It doesn’t seem like a long time to us! :-)

    We are wondering how we are going to cram everything into the remaining time available, especially all the bug-fixing that will be needed to make it ready for general use.

    Thanks for your encouragement, though. Knowing that people are eagerly awaiting this helps to keep us going.

  5. Michael says:

    If you need help with testing for bugs I’m only a message away ;)

  6. Stephen says:

    Great news! Are you looking for beta testers? PBT has a growing Linux population.

  7. Neil Mayhew says:

    @Michael, @Stephen: thanks for the offers. We’ll make an announcement on the LinuxUser list when we’re ready for that. The May 22 date is for a beta release, but we may want to have a few brave people try out an alpha release before then.

  8. Neil Mayhew says:

    I was able to build and run FieldWorks on Lucid today. It required a few tweaks to our code, but nothing major. So I anticipate that we will be releasing on both Karmic and Lucid.

  9. Michael says:

    Hi Neil.

    This is great news. I think I will probably migrate all of my machines to Lucid once it is released so having a Lucid version available is, to me, a good thing. The other benefit is Lucid is an LTS and has already proven through its testing phase so far to be quite stable.

    I look forward to seeing FW working on my machines. I have been keeping an eye on LinuxUser just incase you make an announcement there.


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