Can you believe they've come this far by now? Once known as OpenBeOS, Haiku today announced the release of the fourth alpha for Haiku R1. It seems like only yesterday when BeOS died and OpenBeOS rose form its ashes, generating a new hope among the legions of avid BeOS fans. Now, almost twelve years later, we've hit the fourth alpha.
BeOS & Derivatives Archive
Some good stuff from Begeistert 026, the recurring get-together for BeOS and now Haiku programmers. A lot of work is being done on the debugger, the Auckland Layout Editor (which sounds very impressive), and the Haiku port to ARM. Haiku on ARM is getting closer and closer to booting - for now it ends up in Kernel Debugging Land (a kernel panic).
Haiku's 64bit port is progressing nicely. "As you can see, this looks pretty much like a regular Haiku desktop. There's still a lot of things missing, though - not many apps or drivers yet. However, most things should be fairly simple to get working, typically just a few compilation fixes."
BeOS may be dead, but over a decade after its lamentable demise the open source Haiku project keeps its legacy alive. Haiku is an attempt to build a drop-in, binary compatible replacement for BeOS, as well as extending the defunct OS's functionality and support for modern hardware. At least, that's the short-term goal - eventually, Haiku is intended significantly enhance BeOS while maintaining the same philosophy of simplicity and transparency, and without being weighed down with the legacy code of many other contemporary operating systems. Computerworld Australia recently caught up with Stephan Assmus, who has been a key contributor to the project for seven years for a lengthy chat about BeOS, the current state of Haiku and the project's future plans.
Michael Lotz added code to generate QR-code for the KDL (Kernel Debug Land) ouput (which pops up when the kernel crashes). No more blurry photos with debug output, but a QR code which decodes to the clear-text KDL debug output. Here's one of the relevant commits, an example showing a QR code, and text from decoded sample QR code.
"Since my last blog entry I have mostly completed the implementation of the AWT/Java2D port. It is still in need of a lot of testing, but it is stable enough to run a lot of Swing apps out of the box." Pretty cool for Haiku. I wonder what the use is - besides Minecraft - but alas.
"During the coding period, I will first work on the boot loader. I intend to modify the existing x86 boot loader so that it is capable of loading both a 32-bit Haiku kernel and a 64-bit one. Once this is done, I will work on implementing the x86_64 architecture functionality in the kernel. Finally, I will port modules and drivers to the 64-bit kernel. Should I have time, I will also begin work on porting userland." Heck. Yes.
"Ultimately, Haiku represents a different way of viewing your personal computer. If you think that software shouldn't be riddled with bugs and incompatibilities and inefficiencies, if you hate being forced to swap out your hardware and software every few years because 'upgrades' have rendered them obsolete, and if you find that the idea of using an operating system that's fast, responsive, and simple is refreshingly novel and appealing, then maybe, just maybe, Haiku is for you." What fascinates me the most is that Haiku's not working on a tablet version. How delightfully quaint.
Back in September 2011, the Haiku project sponsored a Google Summer of Code student (Mike Smith) to develop guest additions for VirtualBox. The project was a success and was submitted to the VirtualBox project. The unofficial Haiku Google+ group just reported a Mailing List post by an Oracle engineer mentioning a "Haiku Port": "The biggest pending change is waiting for build tools integration, and this is simply time consuming. The quality of this contribution is very high." Lets hope this may be a sign that VirtualBox may officially run *under* Haiku at some point. On the other hand, this could just mean a "Haiku Port" of the VirtualBox guest additions. Judge for yourself.
"So... I have finally gotten around to finishing the Haiku tutorial I set out to complete over a year ago. I was hoping to have it done sooner, but I decided to then prolong graduation for another year. However, my thesis project has been a rocking success, and you can finally see the fruits of my labors. This production should be incorporated into the project as official tutorial material." Okay so yeah it's a tad bit cheesy, but heck, it's BeOS, so shut up.
Oh gosh, finally news that's got nothing to do with patents or smartphones or the comparing of male sexual organs. Haiku news! Michael Lotz has added preliminary support for WPA to Haiku, taking the first steps towards making the Haiku wireless stack a lot more useful.
Thanks to the hard work of Google Summer of Code student Mike Smith, a set of early VirtualBox guest addition drivers are now available for the Haiku operating system. Information, source code, and a binary package can be found on the haiku-development mailing list.
This article provides a brief overview of the Haiku operating system from a programmer's point of view, with sample code for an inter-application communication application. The Haiku API is simple and powerful and by the end of this article you will be able to use a variety of objects to write your own Haiku applications. Some C or C++ coding experience is useful.
Haiku Alpha 3 has been in development for more than 14 months. In that time more than 800 bugs have been identified and fixed, major sections have been updated, applications have been added and updated, and great progress has been made in supporting additional hardware. Here is a summary of updates, more details can be found here. Also inside, interviews with some core Haiku developers.
A few months ago, a bounty for porting Gallium3D to Haiku was submitted. As the target sum of $2000 has been reached, what's needed now is a developer interested in doing the actual coding work. (Gallium3D is a cross-platform video driver API, on which an increasing number of open-source Linux drivers are based.)
To understand what the BeOS and Haiku operating systems are, we first must remember that BeOS was developed with the multimedia user in mind. BeOS wanted to be what OS X has become today: an easy to use, attractive operating system. However, BeOS was a niche OS, destined for the media-hungry user. The percentage of audio and video applications available for Haiku is greater than the one in Linux, OS X or Windows, and the inner workings of the operating system were created in such a way, that the same multimedia passionate would find it easy to work with the user interface and files. Each application can interfere with other applications of its kind. A WAVE file selection can be dragged from a sound editor and onto the desktop, to create an audio file. Audio applications can interfere with each other via the Haiku Media Kit -- the corespondent of a Linux sound server. Applications like Cortex are a perfect example of how BeOS and Haiku deal with multimedia files: you can have more than one soundcard and use each one of those soundcards independently or separately. You can link one soundcard to the Audio Mixer, start a drum machine application and link that software to the Audio Mixer. If you want to output whatever you create with the audio application, all you have to do is drag the microphone and link it to the application's icon in Cortex.
Gutenprint is a suite of printer drivers that can be used with UNIX and Linux print spooling systems, such as CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System), lpr, LPRng, and others. Gutenprint currently supports over 700 printer models. Gutenprint was recently ported to Haiku, both increasing its printing capabilities, as well as extending its supported printer models. This article describes Gutenprint and the effort to port it to Haiku.
The Haiku developers are preparing to finalise which features should be present in the first official release of Haiku. "This general interest poll, is to allow you - yes you! - the opportunity to effectively express your thoughts on which features should be present in Haiku R1 (Final). For R1, a balance must be attained between delaying the release and making Haiku R1 a well polished, impressive and feature rich release."
Gutenprint has been ported to Haiku. "Michael Pfeiffer (wait, what?) intends on ironing out the configuration options and fixing any bugs that users experience. Please test out Gutenprint on Haiku with your supported printer and report back here, or file a bug report if you encounter problems. Anyone with a colour cartridge?"
Clemens Zeidler, one of the spearheads for the Stack & Tile implementation on Haiku, has let the Haiku development mailing list know that a new and improved (and refactored) version of the feature has been committed to the Haiku source tree. This new version is no longer a hack into Haiku's app server itself, but is it's own decorator, in Haiku/Be parlance.