During the recent BeGeistert conference, several key Haiku developers participated in a massive coding sprint, fixing so many issues and bugs it's almost scary. As Stephen 'stippi' Assmus details in a report he wrote for the Haiku website, the coding sprint really was a coding sprint. "All in all, the coding absolutely dominated," Stippi notes, "It was actually quite intensive, on Wednesday, I realized that I had not been outside since Sunday evening."
A lot of bugs have been squashed, with quite a number of them focussing on issues related to installing Haiku - such as bugs related to partitioning and initialising. These are important fixes as Haiku's installation experience was anything but accessible. These bug fixes will enable a more traditional OS installation, something the first alpha could really use. Even though less relevant, my favourite bug fix is definitely this one:
Anyway, the coding sprint has contributed massively to the feeling that Haiku is ready for an alpha release - but it's not there just yet.
To further illustrate Haiku's state, Axel Dörfler has uploaded a pre-apha Haiku build, and he plans to update it as the actual alpha release draws closer. This release does lack the newer and faster ata driver, and OpenSound is also missing. "This should just give you an idea how the alpha currently looks like, if we wouldn't do anymore polishing," Dörfler notes, "ie. it should point out where we need to keep working on primarily."
With a bit of luck, Haiku fans may find a nice Christmas present under the tree.