What's New on Calculate Linux (Oct 2012)

We’ve made it! After many alpha versions, we are finally releasing the first Calculate Utilities 3.1 Beta. Binary packages are now available for them in all CL editions. Let’s have a closer look at the changes.

The main news is where templates are stored. Changing their location implied some functional modifications as well. To get a better vision, what we’d see if we looked back?

  • v. 1.0: One Calculate Utilities package, referring to its unique variables and templates.

  • v. 2.0-2.1: Several packages with its proper set of functions and variables each, though global variables and functions were also used. Templates, for this matter, were stored within packages.

  • v. 2.2 - 3.0: Templates were stored outside packages. At first they were deployed with calculate-templates, then moved to the calculate overlay. Directories reserved for packages were distributed using conditionals.

Beginning with CU 3.1, templates will be based on events, whatever be the packages handling the latter. The current operation will be the key: configuring users, emerging or deleting a package, configuring the livecd at boot time, installing the system and any such.

Until now, you regularly saw messages informing you that such and such package had been configured with calculate-install. In fact, CU checked templates for configuration one by one. This is not going to be so in CU 3.1, as templates can now address any set of variables and functions they need that are available for them. Events, not packages are what makes run the whole thing.

Another good point is that Calculate Utilities can now address variables pertaining to any package from the template: all you have to do is prefix the variable’s name with the package name, period-separated, such as in install.os_install_ntp. This turns out to be particularly convenient with clt templates; up to now, calculate-install's variables were the only one to benefit from it. Besides, the ‘env’ flag has been added to template headers, for you to specify the package whose function and variables will be used by default. For instance: env=desktop.

With our new Calculate Utilities 3.0, you’ll be able to list variables again (this feature was not implemented in CU 3.0). Better still, the list is now retrievable from any CU tool, let it be a command-line one or a GUI one. You can also change the values of variables you are viewing; to give you a hint, Firefox features something like that.

calculate-desktop and calculate-client have been updated as well. This means you can configure users in the GUI mode: change the password for instance or else connect the host to a Calculate Directory Server domain.

/etc/calculate/calculate2.env and calculate3.env have been merged together, thus forming the current calculate.env configuration file. As you can see, this migration has been handled by the templates themselves: they really are powerful, aren’t they.

And even more is coming for the final release: please check the news page when the time comes :slight_smile: