posted by Kaj de Vos on Tue 8th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
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The Syllable project is pleased to announce that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and that the new version 0.4 of Syllable Server has been released. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Although the project admits it hasn't brought its unicorn factory online yet, extensive work was done on the nitty-gritty, so the full change log is quite long.

About half the packages in the system were upgraded, including key components such as the Linux kernel, UDev, the LFS init scripts, DirectFB, SDL, BASh, Packager, OpenSSH, REBOL/Core, the Cheyenne web server and CDRTools. Other important packages such as Ruby, Midnight Commander, Links and Transmission were also updated. XZ-Utils was added, providing the same LZMA compression as in 7-Zip, but in a different format that is becoming popular, and is better integrated with POSIX systems. TAr was upgraded and this version has support for XZ-Utils. Compression of the system distribution was changed from 7-Zip to XZ format. The latest development versions of Cheyenne and UniServe are included, which provide a new WebSockets framework for advanced persistent, full-duplex communication with the latest web browsers.

A few packages were downgraded to keep them in sync with Syllable Desktop, where some packages need more effort to upgrade than on Linux. Keeping software versions the same between Syllable Desktop and Syllable Server eases development and testing. The experimental Genode demo that was in Syllable Server 0.3 is not included anymore, because the new versions have become difficult to build on Syllable.

As an example of clearer system structure and improved security, the super user account has been renamed from "root" to "system". Logging in to this account has been disabled: you are now supposed to log in to the account named "administrator" to manage the system. From this account, you can use the sudo command to perform actions with system privileges.

Here is the updated manual, which explains the key abilities of the system step by step. Syllable Server can be downloaded here. Extra software is available here.

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