Orocos Toolchain 2.9 release

Dear Orocos community,

Finally, more than three years after the last official release of the
Orocos Toolchain
according to the web page (http://www.orocos.org/orocos/toolchain), we are
planning to release version 2.9 in the near future.
There was a version 2.7 and 2.8 released into ROS hydro and indigo,
respectively, but they never made it into a full release and primarily
addressed build system related issues in the ROS ecosystem.

Since version 2.6 almost 1200 commits have been pushed to the master and
release branches of RTT and Orogen, with a lot of bug fixes, new features
and contributions from the community. Many thanks to all collaborators!

Peter already wrote an initial draft of the release notes for versions 2.7,
2.8 and 2.9, which can be found in the toolchain-2.9 branch of the
orocos_toolchain repository on GitHub:

The toolchain-2.9 branches of all repositories are tracking what we would
consider as the release candidates:

- rtt: https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/rtt/tree/toolchain-2.9
- ocl: https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/ocl/tree/toolchain-2.9
- log4cpp: https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/log4cpp/tree/toolchain-2.9
- typelib: https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/typelib/tree/toolchain-2.9
on rock-15.05)
- orogen: https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/orogen/tree/toolchain-2.9
on rock-15.05)
- rtt_typelib: https://github.com/orocos
-toolchain/rtt_typelib/tree/toolchain-2.9 (based on rock-15.05)
- utilrb: https://github.com/orocos
-toolchain/rtt_typelib/tree/toolchain-2.9 (based on rock-15.05)
- (utilmm was removed from the toolchain package.)

The latest API documentation for RTT can be found here:

- http://orocos

For RTT and OCL, most of the issues and pull requests on GitHub have been
addressed and fixed during the last weeks and we are quite confident that
we reached a stable state with some useful new features. There are some
caveats that might break existing applications when upgrading to version
2.9, so please read the caveats section of the release notes carefully.
Feel free to open pull requests with additions and corrections to the
document, and of course open issues on GitHub for every problem found
during testing the release branches.

The currently known regressions are:
- https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/rtt/pull/123 : sometimes a sample on
a port arrives out of order due to one-way writes
- https://github.com/orocos-toolchain/rtt/pull/84 : there were some
remaining issues with the .cmd() semantics in rtt scripts, but appears to
be fixed right now.

Would it be realistic to release version 2.9 officially towards the end of
next week as a source distribution on www.orocos.org (tarball) and in ROS
jade (probably without orogen) or would you need some more time to test the
release candidate? Of course the web page also needs a major update and
some old documentation has to be removed. We hope to find some time for
that after the release, but any help is appreciated.

We also tried to bootstrap the toolchain-2.9 branches with bootstrap.sh and
autoproj <http://www.orocos.org/wiki/orocos/toolchain/quick-start-linux>,
but unfortunately this failed because of incompatible dependencies in
Ubuntu Trusty. Without going into details, could someone with more
experience with autoproj please upgrade the build and autoproj repositories
on GitHub and verify the bootstrapping procedure? How does autoproj decide
which branches of the source repositories to checkout? There is no branch
info anymore in autoproj/source.yml

Looking forward to your comments!
Johannes and Peter