I spent some time in a meeting discussing directions for the next development cycle today. Essentially we will drop a lot of old OS versions for being able to support things like 64 bit files and pthread awareness. For example we will require at least Solaris 7, AIX 4.3, IRIX 6.5, Tru64 5.0 and HP-UX 11. I will have to check what minimum distribution level (glibc) we need for supporting the Linux 2.4 kernel with large files. Naturally this will kill any backwards binary compatibility with plug-in modules, so we combine that with a new layout in the file system for all products.
I am in particular excited about the pthread awareness, this will allow us to eventually use multiple CPU's for the more compute intensive tasks. It also enables us to use Java JNI if we want to to call Java code from our C programs, this might be a useful extension mechansim.