There’s a new Haiku activity report, and there’s been a lot of activity over the past two months. My pick this time is progress on the ARM port.
tqh and kallisti5 are working on the ARM port. The bootloader is now running mostly fine in UEFI mode but there is some work to be done to set up the MMU before handing control over to the kernel. There are problems related to the “hardfloat” and “softfloat” ABIs on ARM, however. Until now we had worked with the “hardfloat” ABI for Haiku, assuming floating point hardware was available (as is the case on any modern CPU we could reasonably target). However, the EFI firmware does not properly handle these registers, and this seems to result in some confusion when passing data to and from the firmware. We may need to build the bootloader in soft-float mode (not using the hardware floating point processing), but that in turn creates some difficulties with properly configuring gcc.
On 64bit ARM, the floating point support is not optional, so it may be easier to move forward with the 64bit port first.
The ARM port is important for the future, since desktop and laptop ARM hardware may become far more available than it is today.
I don’t understand 99% of this update and haiku has lost a lot of mindshare momentum but I’m glad to hear they are plugging away at it. I look forward to the day when Haiku is a viable desktop,
I’d like to see RiscOS get its act together and implement pre-emptive multitasking and port to other platforms too but this is an even bigger daydream.
With the very talented, but somewhat small developer pool Haiku has, targeting something like the Raspberry Pi 4 makes a lot of sense to me, rather than trying to support the x86/x86-64 platform. Raspberry Pi has a very low cost of entry and with a smaller fixed hardware SKU for networking, storage, USB, CPU and GPU, it narrows the target for the developers, hopefully giving them the headspace to move beyond V1.0.