Next release delayed - Complete rewrite

Hi users,

I'm sorry to inform you that the release of pidgin-lastfm version 0.4, which I announced for next week, has to be delayed for a while due to several bad issues. To explain this shortly:

Last month, Pidgin 2.5.0 has been released to the public. While this version contained many bugfixes and improvements, the crew also chose to upgrade the Perl API in such a way that it will only work with Perl >=5.10. Well, the problem now is that until today, few Linux distributions have Perl 5.10 in their stable branches, so users have to do quite nasty stuff to their systems in order to get Perl working in Pidgin again. Windows users should be fine here as ActivePerl are, to my knowledge, providing Perl 5.10.

Once Perl 5.10 goes into some distributions, we could easily let pidgin-lastfm depend on it by means of package management. However, it appears that the Pidgin crew are not only doing heavy upgrades, but also breaking part of the Perl API from time to time. The Perl API works through some strange overlay of the C API noone really understands, as datallah, experienced user and developer of the Perl part of Pidgin, once said to me on the Pidgin support channel. In version 2.5.0+, they for once decided to break the HTTP fetcher in a way that it will crash Pidgin every other time song information is retrieved ...

As I am not willing to go on that way, finding workarounds and having endless discussions with the support crew and my users who get angry with their plugin not working, I am rewriting the entire codebase in C and then distributing it just like any other Pidgin plugin. This will ease things especially for the plugin users, as it does not really make any difference for me as I have to go through all this C stuff once again after laying it down a logn time ago ;) ...

While we are rewriting the Pidgin plugin, we are also adapting to the API version 2.0, which will allow us to at last retrieve 'real' now-playing information (you know, the thing this software initially was intended to do but never did ;)) and even include some collaborative music experience stuff, like retrieving song and artist information in real-time in chats and stuff like that, let's just see what we will find ...

I can't tell when the work will be done as this means a hell of a mess for developers, testers and packagers, so please be patient while we do our best at gettign a new and shiny version of the plugin out to you.Remember you can still use pidgin-lastfm version 0.3b in any Pidgin version, given that you have Perl >=5.10 installed ...


Posted by Dominik George 2008-10-30

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