Sunday, 09 March 2014 00:00

Upcoming Exodus 1.1 and full open source release

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So I've been pretty silent on this website since the first release of Exodus. Some family trouble came up mid last year, and with a newborn and 2 year old child on top of that, there wasn't a lot of time for me to work on this project for much of the year. I've been doing heavy development for several months now though, working towards the next release. The biggest part of what's coming in the next release isn't feature improvements though, it's the promised open sourcing of this project. A project like this is too big for one person to do alone, and I'm very open to anyone who wants to contribute to move this project forward, be it with new emulation cores, debug features, or bug fixes, all of it helps to improve Exodus and build it up. My main focus since the last release has been on making some critical internal source code changes I felt were required to complete, before other people start writing code on top of this platform.

The sourcecode for the upcoming version 1.1 release of Exodus will be hosted publicly on BitBucket, where I will push mid-release changes from then on. It will act as the live, central source repository for this project. The sourcecode will include an SDK for building your own plugins which can integrate with existing Exodus builds, and there will be documentation provided for that SDK, describing each interface and giving a basic overview of how the emulation platform works and is designed to be used. If you want to build your own emulation cores, you can develop and release them separately from Exodus if you want, or, if they meet the quality standards, have them adopted into the main Exodus repository to be included in future releases. Extensions can also be written which add new features and tools to the environment itself. This could be an integrated source editor and compiler toolchain for example, or maybe just a single new debug window for an existing emulation core. These can also be developed separately if you wish, and later merged into the main repository after review. I'll be doing code reviews and quality checks for any "pull requests" into the main repository, to ensure the goals and quality standards of the project are maintained, but I more than welcome contributions by others, so if you feel you have something you want to contribute, by all means, develop it. I'll be around on the support forum to answer any questions or offer any guidance.

In addition to the public source repository, I'll also be making a JIRA server public for issue tracking in Exodus, where you can see what bugs and improvements are currently in the system. The JIRA server will only be read-only for public access, with myself and any future maintainers being the ones who update the content, but the idea is to provide a transparent development process, where you can see what's being worked on, and along with the current suggestions page, vote for and influence future development work.

This is still a few more months away at this stage, but I wanted to let anyone who's watching that things are happening, and this project will be opened up soon, so watch this space.

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If you wish to make a donation to show your appreciation for this project, you can do so here. Your donation may go towards the hosting costs of the website, or equipment or reference hardware to assist in the development of Exodus. It may also go towards a bunch of flowers for my beautiful wife, to say thanks for your support and patience all those nights I stayed up late working on this project.