We want to integrate announcements with our continious integration (CI), which is in the works.
We thought about integrating the new-version announcement into VFX itself, so when you spin it up it checks wether it is the newest version (of course this can be diasabled). I like your idea of also announcing it in the forum, so people can eventually provide direct feedback to that very version.
the 'f' packet manager will be included into VFX eventually, so you can always make a 3rd party extension and put it on theforth.net.
Baked in packages will have a merge mechanism in the future, so that they should not be stale anymore. We really don't want to jump the gun too soon, but to get the CI setup properly, and then extend its feature set.
We will look into updating cocoa in the next release, thanks for reminding us to do so.