[Ros-release] ROS Fuerte Freeze Schedule Update

Ken Conley kwc at willowgarage.com
Mon Jan 30 20:20:25 UTC 2012

Summary: we're pushing back the freeze schedule of Fuerte by 4 weeks.

Hi all,

The good news is that the major core upgrades for ROS Fuerte have
landed, we are now building most of the full distribution on top of
these core upgrades [1], and can even try out them out in debian (sudo
apt-get install ros-fuerte-<stackname>).  The bad news is that we're a
bit behind schedule: we're two weeks behind the planned initial freeze
date, and there are some known issues with important core
tools/libraries (e.g. roslaunch, roslisp, and rosdep).

[1]: http://www.ros.org/debbuild/fuerte.html

To be fair to everyone who has to integrate on top of these changes,
we're pushing out the other freeze dates by four weeks.  We're being
conservative here: most of you should already be able to integrate
your stacks with confidence.

What are the required migrations?

We've already put together a migration guide to help you integrate on top
of the new system [2].  The migrations are fairly trivial and backwards
compatible with Electric.

The migration guide also has instructions for building your code
against the Fuerte changes.

[2]: http://ros.org/wiki/fuerte/Migration

What are the core upgrades?

ROS messages are now standalone: they can be used outside of the
rosbuild system and they have fairly minimal dependencies (Boost
Date_Time and small serialization libraries).  If you have your own
CMake project, you can easily pull in ROS messages and use them in
your code. This is an important change to support use of messages in
other standalone libraries, like PCL, Ecto, and some forthcoming

To support this, the other major upgrade is replacing the use of the
rosbuild system in the low-level stacks with catkin (online docs
coming soon).  The gist of catkin is nearly everything is done with
cmake now -- no rosmake, no Makefiles wrapping cmake, etc...  Code
built with catkin installs into FHS [3] layouts and uses the normal
CMake find infrastructure.  This means that anything built with catkin
can be easily used from other CMake projects.

As a corollary, we are now building catkin-based stacks with
git-buildpackage, so our debian-building toolchain is much more

However, even with all of these changes, we've worked hard to make
sure that the underlying system is backwards compatible with the old
rosbuild system.  In otherwords, if you use rosmake to build your
project, you can still use rosmake to build your project, and you
shouldn't really notice the difference.  We will migrate more and more
ROS stacks over time to use the new build system as it creates
higher-quality releases, but we hope to keep these changes seamless to
you as a user.

[3]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard

Releasing into Fuerte, Unstable vs. Fuerte

We've been bringing up the new system as 'fuerte'. We've left
'unstable' in place with the legacy system so that we can cross-verify
the two as well as enable stack maintainers to continue to release new

We are now opening up 'fuerte' for your releases.  You will need a new
release script as the old create.py script depends on libraries that
have been moved.  Instructions are here:


We encourage you to release into 'fuerte' instead of 'unstable'.  Now
that the new system has landed, our integration efforts are focused on
the combined system.
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