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This page outlines the developers' intentions for future releases of Zinc.

Users should post feature requests using the feature request form. Before posting a feature request you might like to scan this page to see if we already intend to incorporate your idea into a future release, and also you can browse feature requests submitted by other users.

Another way in which you can provide us with feedback is through our discussion forums, in particular the suggestions forum.

Next Version: 1.1

Zinc 1.1 will represent a significant rewrite of several core aspects of Zinc. Because of this it will not be network compatible with previous releases. The aim is to fix incorrect design decisions that will hamper the future development of Zinc.

From the users' point of view, the major changes will be as follows:

  • Overhauled map system - The map user interface will be overhauled to allow greater flexibility.

Some of the more technical changes are as follows:

  • Overhauled map data structures - The map's data storage will be a hierarchical data structure that can easily be saved to and restored from XML. The design emphasis is on future extensibility.
  • New network protocol - The original Zinc network protocol used hand crafted methods to transform messages to and from plaintext for network transmission. This proved to be expensive in maintainence. We then adopted Java serialization, however, this has turned out to be brittle and difficult to extend.
Unassigned Proposals

This section lists features and improvements that have not yet been assigned to a definite release goal.

  • Thread pooling for VMs
  • Non blocking IO - Currently Zinc servers and clients spawn a new thread for each connection they accept. Java threads have considerable overhead and so this approach is resource hungry. Use of Java 1.4's new IO API's would allow a single thread to service all connections in a single thread.

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