Friday, August 27, 2010

New Blog

I have decided that in order to keep everyone updated on the progress of Symphony Strata I should be posting a lot more information on the development process.  I currently try and spend as much of my free time as possible working on Symphony while still working full time as spending time with my wonderful fiancĂ©e and our kids.  That is never as much time as I would like to be able to devote to the project but I am determined to see Strata released.

I am currently working towards the first pre-alpha release of Strata which will let other developers jump in and help move the project forward.  Strata, like Symphony before it involves a lot of open source projects and in many cases we are using their code in ways they may not have envisioned.  So, the first update here should give you some background on the direction I am going:
  • The local Strata desktop will utilize a mozilla derived renderer as the original SymphonyOS releases did.  
  • The majority of the Strata applications will be served by a web server (most likely lighthttpd) running on two non-standard ports.
  • The Orchestra server from legacy SymphonyOS may make an appearance.
  • The release will include some X11 applications which will be run locally via the use of mozplugger to render them inside the desktop environment. When accessing the system remotely an application container will be created sharing the application via a vnc server in combination with an HTML5 vnc client (the vnc functions will be included but not fully functional in the first alpha).
  • Your Strata desktop, installed on your home machine will allow you to log in and access your files, apps, music, videos, images, bookmarks, etc from any web browser using the native desktop environment.
Currently I have a Strata desktop running in a Mozilla PRISM window on my Ubuntu laptop.  I can currently run web apps (like the file manager) along side X11 applications (Google Chrome) from within the Prism application window using a javascript window manager.  The key things I need to complete before the pre-alpha is released are:
  • Standardize the web app filesystem to make it easy to develop new applications
  • Complete the strata main menu system
  • Complete the mode switching portion of the system that allows the environment to know if it is dealing with a local, remote, or mobile user.
  • Complete various work on applications (basic media player functionality, file manager functions, code editor).
In order to keep myself motivated and moving forward I am going to attempt to provide at least two updates per week via this blog throughout the development process.