This is a general roadmap for Arca Noae, covering various areas of focus. Consider this an overview of what we’re doing and what we’re planning. Please refer to specific roadmaps for greater detail.
From time to time, we may re-order the priorities of various projects based on what is needed by the majority of our users. For example, boot support comes first, followed by peripheral connectivity and networking, followed last by convenience features. As new technologies and standards emerge that affect our users, we may change our priorities accordingly. If support for a particular device or type is really important to you, we are always open to additional funded projects. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your needs further.
Current Projects (active development)
The first release of ArcaOS, codenamed Blue Lion, launched in May, 2017. The 6th maintenance release of 5.0 was released August 2020.
Our new UEFI support is in testing as of January, 2020. Set to debut with ArcaOS 5.1, this will enable ArcaOS to install and boot on more modern systems than ever before. Our UEFI support completely removes dependence on traditional BIOS services.
The erstwhile successor to AHCI, NVMe is becoming more and more common in modern portable systems.
Development continues on xHCI support (USB 3) to improve compatibility and add features.
We are adding more ported and packaged software to our subscription RPM repository, thereby adding value to these services. Subscribers will be able to add the Subscription repo to Arca Noae Package Manager to be able to download and install these updates on demand.
We are adding new packages to the free stable repository. Software here may be created by any third party, and packaged for inclusion in our free repository, available to all OS/2 users, whether subscribers or not. These packages may then be downloaded and installed via Arca Noae Package Manager.
Enhanced printer support for OS/2 (with and without CUPS)
New printer driver packages are in testing to support a wider range of modern printers, both with and without CUPS. These drivers augment the already rich support for venerable models as provided by OS/2 itself. In addition, ArcaOS ships with an improved PostScript printer driver pack, and CUPS drivers for Brother lasers are downloadable via Arca Noae Package Manager. A new Epson inkjet printer pack will soon also be available.
We plan to expand MultiMac to include support for a limited set of wireless network adapters, commonly found in hardware suitable for ArcaOS. Eventually, these drivers may completely replace available GenMac drivers for chipsets which remain in use.
Medium Term Projects (close to development; planning)
Uniaud is considered to be in maintenance mode, with no planned support for adding new drivers or resyncing with more current ALSA. Instead, a new audio driver, based on that used in FreeBSD is being considered. This should make adding support for new audio devices much easier in the future.
Work continues to improve networking performance for ArcaOS under hypervisors such as VirtualBox and VMWare. In addition, networking under VirtualBox may be greatly enhanced by a MultiMac virtio driver, which is under consideration.
SNAP Graphics for OS/2
We plan to offer an updated SNAP accelerated graphics driver this as a standalone product, suitable for installation on Warp 4 or eCS systems. This updated version should provide better SMP stability and support for more modern chipsets.
Native audio for WinOS/2 (and later, DOS) sessions
Through the Data Transfer Audio (formerly Data transfer Agent, or DTA), it is possible to direct audio from WinOS/2 sessions to Uniaud (or another MMOS2-managed audio driver). This will make it possible for classic 16-bit Windows 3.1 games to come alive. DTA is already working for WinOS/2, and is planned for release with ArcaOS 5.1. DOS support for DTA is also planned, to provide SoundBlaster emulation for classic DOS games and applications.
Long Term Projects (speculative; open-ended; not yet planned)
MultiMac continues to expand, and we see no reason to stop. As new network adapters come to market, MultiMac will be enhanced to support them where such support makes sense.
Support for SATA RAID and SAS controllers
We are investigating the development of drivers to support a limited set of SATA RAID and SAS controllers under OS/2.
Support hard disks larger than 2 terabytes
Currently OS/2 supports hard disks up to 2 Terabytes. Several possible solutions for larger disks are being investigated.
Support for booting OS/2 from hard disks with a GPT partition layout
The MBR support in the BIOS has been replaced by the GPT disk layout which is part of the UEFI standard. Once UEFI boot support has been fully achieved, GPT will be moved to active development. Many other components will need to be considered, here, including the all-important Logical Volume Manager.
Support for NIC teaming
While not currently planned, there have been some broad discussions at Arca Noae concerning the ability to bind network adapters together to form virtual teams for load balancing and failover.
Arca Noae is open to considering the porting of an existing Bluetooth stack to the platform, or the development of a new one from scratch, should demand arise and the work be funded.