Several developers have been contracted by Haiku, accepting a total of 800 hours for USD 8000. "In the past few months, Haiku Inc. has been making a vigorous push towards hiring contractors in an effort to bring R1 Alpha 2 and R1 in general closer to being released," Matt Madia wrote in an email to me, "They have accepted developer contracts totaling 800 hours of development time for $8,000 USD. As of the beginning of this week, less than 200 hours have been completed."
You, loyal OSNews readers I'm sure, have already been introduced to one of the contractors: Stephan Aßmus. He's one of the main developers working on WebPositive, the WebKit-based browser we've already reported on a few times here on OSNews. After fulfilling his first contract, his contract has been extended, so we should see WebPositive mature even more.
Another contractor is Adrien Destugues, who will be working on the Locale Kit. His contract runs for two months coming summer, so expect improvements in the Locale Kit soon. Ingo Weinhold has also been hired as a contractor, and as is to be expected, he'll focus on low-level matters: the kernel/system and improving POSIX compliance. Hopefully, he'll also manage the alpha 2 release cycle; this will depend on whether or not a final decision regarding alpha 2 can be reached within his contracted period.
Speaking of the second alpha, it's closer than you'd expect; there are still a number of bugs they want fixed, but the list looks relatively small (although a small list doesn't imply easy to fix, of course).
I should mention that you can donate to the Haiku project, and as you can see above, it appears to be money well spent. I'm technically not in favour of mentioning donation efforts on OSNews (we're not a charity), but as some of you are undoubtedly aware of, I'm sort-of a long-time BeOS zealot. Sue me for breaking my own arbitrary rules.