First with the db abstraction. We currently have the PEAR libs installed and CVS is working fine. However, through some benchmarking we have discovered (as was questioned a week or so back) the ADODB is a faster method, especially with mysql. So with that we are changing from the PEAR method to the ADODB. This is causing a delay in the release of the first Rogue package, but the performance upgrades should be worth it. Ryan Fife and his team worked on the initial PEAR abstraction and Pablo Roca is completing the ADODB conversion. Ryan and his team did the hard work, and deserve a ton of credit to get the abstraction to where it is.
We have also modularized user.php. What this does is make the user.php more manageable, but it also opens up some real neat possibilities for custom modules. David Sedeño_Fernández has been working hard on this, and has a pretty good working system in CVS. With the delay, we have some time to make this even better before the release time.
Jim McDonald has created the new permissions system and it is now being integrated into CVS. This system has now gone through three redesigns before Jim got his hands onto it. It is very nice and flexible, and I think that everyone will like it. As we move through releases in the Rogue we will be fine tuning the permissions system, but by the first release you should see some very noticeable differences.
As always there has been some other improvements, enhancements, and new features added to the system as well. Tim Litwiller has improved index.php so that the start page does not redirect any longer, but still allows for a custom start page. This is working great in CVS and makes for a cleaner URL for your index. Jim McDonald has improved the variables that are passed to the themes, which will give theme creators even more options in the future. There are a quite a few other enhancements that I will wait to list on the day of the release.
Now since I know the first comment will be "When's is the Rogue going to be released?", I will go on and answer that now. It all depends on when the ADODB abstraction is finished. Once this is finished and placed into CVS, we will need a week or two to test to make sure we release the Rogue with as few errors as possible. So the short answer is, beats me. The release is more than a week away, but less than a month I would think. How's that for tap dancing?