It's about time I posted an update on what's going on with South development, so here it is.
Firstly, there hasn't been much work done in the last few weeks, due to exams and there being a Ball to help run. Now that's over, development will crack down. 0.6 is going to focus on the following new features:
- Less parsing, more introspection. The default way of getting fields' definitions will be to introspect them; the implementation of this is pretty much complete already, and can be found in the 'noparsing' Mercurial branch. Custom fields (which cannot be introspected withour prior knowledge) have two options; provide a south_field_triple method to tell us their definition (preferred way), or as a fallback the parser will be used. This feature solves many issues, including dynamic models, and also doesn't lose the ability to work with most custom fields right from the start.
- Reverse dependencies. Just brought up by one of the Ella developers, this is a good idea that should have been in South a while back. You'll be able to specify 'this other migration depends on us' as well as 'we depend on that other migration' - this helps pluggable apps around a common core.
- Fixture migration. Since I know this is going to bite me in the ass at some point, I'll be rolling in the fixture-migration someone mentioned at EuroDjangoCon (uses the test runner to make a temporary database, loads an old fixture set, an old schema, migrates, dumps the new fixture). I haven't fully tested this yet, so it might not make it for reasons of impossibility, but I'm reasonably confident.
- Signals. There will be post-migrate and pre-migrate signals added to help developers add in custom code that needs to be run after migrations or before migrations (the latter helps people trying to carry out a deployable app rename, for example)
As well as those new features, there's also around 25 bugs that need fixing, and will be tackled soon, hopefully. I aim to get a beta release of these out in the next month, especially in the light of South's allegedly high penetration rate.
The last piece of news is that I'm moving my main development efforts to Mercurial (and specifically BitBucket), and only pushing mostly-stable trunk phases to Subversion. There's a github mirror of whatever hg-git deems to be main development, but that's for convenience only, and because I can do it in one command.