Another month, another Haiku activity report. January was a busy month for OSNews’ favourite operating system project, with a lot of love sent the way of the various ports to other architectures. Work has been done on the ARM and RISC-V ports, but also on platforms you might not expect in this day and age: SPARC and PowerPC. While some may question putting any effort into these alternative platforms at all, that’s a shortsighted position – work on other platforms often aides in uncovering and fixing bugs in the code for your main platform. It also prevents code from becoming more platform-dependent than it needs to be.
Amid the long list of other improvements, the one that stands out is merging support for SD/MMC cards.
The SD/MMC drivers are merged. It is now possible to read and write SD and SDHC cards using controllers compatible with the SDHCI specification.
This is one of those things that will make it easier to transfer files to and from your Haiku installation.
Yes. All true. Code from the beginning for portability. Abstract early. Test on multiple platforms. You need to do this to develop the mindset from the beginning and it saves a lot of work later if you need to re-use or port code. It’s easy to flag the implementation specific code and alternatives. The quirks of different compile platforms and compilers and versions can also be accomodated if you design for portability from the start so no hidden gotchas because compiler X treats code like this or compiler Y treats code like that.
I haven’t coded for years but used to use a text editor with integrated tools for building the code and returning warnings rather than rely on vendor tools. Also you don’t or rarely need GUI interface building tools if you know what you are doing. Microsoft don’t give Visual Studio tools away for free for no reason. It’s a way to capture people and alter the portability process so you are drawn towards focusing on the Microsoft way which by and large only works with Microsoft. It’s the same with Microsofts marketing speak where the declare product XYZ is portable when they simply means it runs on different versions of Windows OS.
The PowerPC thing has an intriguing upside: possible PPC64 support for the TALOS II secure workstation with something other than Linux or OpenBSD support. I like Linux, don’t get me wrong, but a big reason the x86 monoculture persisted was people only caring about DOS, Windows, and Linux as non-Apple platforms.