I wanna do it right this time
To begin the conclusion with a cliché, it seems like only yesterday when Haiku was nothing more than a faint dream somewhere far over the horizon. Bits and pieces of the project trickled down into cobbled together BeOS 'distributions', but Haiku itself wasn't something you could (or should that read 'wanted'?) to actually run on anything, except maybe an emulator to see how long it took to travel to Kernel Debugging Land this time.
Those days are long gone. For a while now, the project has been relatively stable, and many Haiku developers actually use Haiku quite often, and with the advent of self-hosting, Haiku really showed the world just how far along it was. The alpha still took its sweet time to arrive, but now that it's here, I'm happy it took so long. By taking their time, the developers have been able to deliver an alpha that is relatively solid and quite usable compared to other project's alpha releases, and this conservativeness can only be lauded in a world where alpha means beta and beta means release.
It seems odd to dedicate 3500 words to a mere alpha release, and technically, you'd be right. But, as many of you will know, OSNews has a... Thing for the BeOS, a history with it, if you will. Eugenia comes from BeNews, her husband is an ex-Be engineer, and I am a massive BeOS fan and once a proud every-day user. As such, this alpha is a big thing for OSNews.
Still, if you don't have all that emotional nonsense about the BeOS, you might be wondering, where to go from here? Well, obviously, this alpha is nice and all, but first let's move towards a beta and the final release of R1. But then what? Well, if we were to follow the advice of the Cheshire Cat, it really depends on where you want to get to.
And this is exactly what could be a problem. All along the path to R1, the Haiku developers could follow a set of very clear signposts: the recreation of R5. But what will happen when they finally arrive at their destination? What will happen then? What will happen to the clear focus that has served the project so well these past eight years?
Bah, let's not concern ourselves with that for now. People, the Haiku alpha has been released. Download it, install it, test it, have fun with it, and report bugs. And when you're done, talk about her, hang her out for everybody to see.