ROS announced the releases of the 12 ROS distribution, Melodic Morenia, which is a middleware software framework for building and stimulating robots. In line with its stable release cycle, ROS releases a new version every year on 23rd of May and this year was not an exception.
The new Melodic Morenia vesion comes with many new enhancements and upgrades. it is now available on Ubuntu Bionic 18.04, Ubuntu Artful 17.10, and Debian Stretch. 32-bit ARM (armhf) packages are also available on Bionic, and 64-bit ARM (aarch64) packages are available for Ubuntu Bionic and Debian Stretch.
Here are notable new features, API changes and improvements as listed in the release note:
class_loader header deprecation
This feature has been renamed while some previous ones have been deprecated in an effort to bring them close to multi-platform support and its ROS 2 counterpart.
Kdl_parser package enhancement
The ROS team wil remove the deprecated API in N-turle.
Kdl_parses features a deprecated method that is linked with tinyxml.
Improvements in pluginlib
The headers have been deprecated to allow for a closer multi-platform support.
The plugin_tool has been officially removed from this new Melodic Morenia version.
OpenCV version update
Due to standardization reason, the OpenCV usage version is restricted to 3.2.
The release note also specifies that 465 packages in the ROS ecosystem are in the initial release of Melodic, compared to 2020 currently in Kinetic.
The ROS team also welcome suggestions for introducing a missing package (like Lunar, Kinetic, or Indogo), requesting interested parties to submit their recommendation by contacting the maintainers at https://discourse.ros.org/c/release.