Lots of news on SkyOS. Kaffe using GNU Classpath (without AWT) is now working fine on SkyOS, just like Wine. Although there is no Wine graphics driver yet, you can already start Windows console applications directly from within SkyOS (once a Wine/SkyGI backend is available Wine should run on SkyOS as good as it does on Linux, and will be available via Software Store). On the driver side there is now an ACPI driver including support for ACPI power/sleep buttons (a SkyOS service, the PowerMonitor, will react on power events with configurable actions like shutdown, reboot, etc.). And finally, the SkyOS LiveCD is shaping together and should soon be available. Take a look at the changelog for all updates. Note: If you have problems accessing the SkyOS.org website, please click read more for how to solve this issue. Other than that, read more for a first glimpse of yet another improvement coming to SkyOS.
Hell was already frozen anyway, but apparantly, the SkyOS team is trying to bring hell's temperature to absolute zero, since they are saying 2007 might see a release of SkyOS 5. "After what seems about 30 years worth of work (I'm sure even more to Robert), SkyOS will finally be released to the public. Lots of details are still being worked out on this one (as well as the obvious issues still present in the system), but we're really shooting to make it happen."
SkyOS has gotten a new virtual filesystem, dubbed BranchFS. This makes it possible to branch filesystems, convert read-only media into read-write media, and add SkyFS attributes to non-SkyFS volumes. "BranchFS makes it possible to make a reversible filesystem. By using your system partition you can revert to a previous state (with just one reboot) and and when using a CD BranchFS makes it possible to make changes to the content. BranchFS is still in heavy development but branching a LiveCD works quite well already. The first SkyOS LiveCD will be based on BranchFS."
After nearly three months of work, the SkyOS team has released a new build of their operating system. Changes include, but are not limited to: desktop compositing working with every graphics card, USB 2.0 stack (with keyboard, mouse, mass storage, printer, card reader, hub, USB-CDROM, and other drivers), SATA drives support, printing stack (about a 1000 USB and network printers supported), and CD/DVD recording support.
"Since SkyOS build 6179 was released many important milestones have been reached. Among them include USB support, printing support, a new Python port, but I think most importantly, DMA support. We set out to determine how much of a difference DMA made on the installation time, speed of indexing, program loading time, and general hard disk performance."
SkyOS has gotten DMA support. "There's support for VIA, AMD, Intel and SiS chipsets, more will come. What does it mean? Less CPU usage and a huge speed increase for the supported PATA/SATA controllers, just check the changelog for initial benchmarks." It is available as an update for beta testers, which besides the DMA update, also includes updated drivers.
SkyOS has gotten printing support using CUPS. "With the Printer Configuration it is now very easy to add and manage your printers, be it locally connected (USB) or network (Windows, Linux, Samba, IPP) printers. The entire printing system is implemented as a service (like most other SkyOS Subsystems), which can easily be enabled/disabled on demand. With roughly 1000 supported printers the next SkyOS build will enable you to print your favorite documents in various formats."
USB support has been (re-)added to SkyOS, including of course the USB stack, a UHCI driver, support for control, interrupt, and bulk transfers, a USB HUB driver, a USB HID Keyboard driver, a USB HID Mouse driver, a USB Mass storage driver for CBI devices, including USB Harddisks, card readers, etc. The USB stack has been written from scratch and a new release containing USB support is expected.
The SkyOS team has released build 6179 of SkyOS. Highlights: "Mono 184.108.40.206 and updated MWF (System.Windows.Forms) port; embedded Gecko widget; remote command interface for applications; binary image caching; inital DDK [ed. note: trust me, Robert's making a lot of people happy with this one)." This new build also includes new ports, such as Quake III, Python, SDL with OpenGL support, and much more. You can find details in the changelog.
Gecko, the powerful rendering engine used in Mozilla products like Firefox, is now available as an embedded widget in SkyOS. Using WidgetGecko you can easily add powerful HTML support to a SkyOS application with just a few lines of code. Embedded Gecko brings the SkyOS Media Station project closer to reality.
The SkyOS team has released a long-awaited update to its operating system. This new update brings full desktop compositing, various toolchain updates (everything is now compiled with GCC 4.1.1), new versions of various applications, 440 fixed bugs, and much more.
A set of major changes in SkyOS is now complete. The entire GUI subsystem was rewritten to support desktop composing including flicker free drawing, double buffering, full alpha transparency, plugable composing effects, etc. Secondly, PE support has been dropped completely, and all libraries, applications, drivers, and the kernel are now ELF binaries. Thirdly, everything is now compiled with GCC 4.1.1 and the latest binutils. And last, but personally definitely not least: SkyOS now has support for BeOS people files. Other than the above, a lot of bugs were fixed as well.
After a long period of silence, finally some news on SkyOS. SkyOS now has a dock-like launcher application, written by Lukas Linemayr. Other than that, the core components of the operating system are now available in a staggering 27 languages. The translation from PE to ELF is almost complete, and a new release, with desktop compositing, should be released shortly.
SkyOS has seen improvements in its rendering engine. "The main difference is that the window content is now buffered. The drawing operations don't draw on the screen anymore, but they draw into a application window private layer." This has some advantages, in the area of speed, special effects, and the fact that applications can now access each other's window contents.
The SkyOS team has released Build 5550 to beta testers. Highlights of this release: improved login and installer including progress bar; MMX/SSE and improved MTRR support which results in better VESA perfomance; Factory (utility used for building/porting software); support for Mono; Apache, APR, VLC, Perl, etc.; VMWare tools service; new Software Store; WebServer service; many improvements for developers; 206 fixed bugs since last beta; and much more.
Just a few days after Mono got ported to SkyOS, SkyOS now has support for System.Windows.Forms. A screenshot of the first C# application using System.Windows.Forms developed in and for SkyOS is available at the SkyOS website. Support is not complete yet, obviously.
Mono 1.1.13 has been ported to SkyOS. All mono assemblies for .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0 have been ported as well. Porting Managed.Windows.Forms has begun and is almost finished. SkyOS's lead developer, Robert Szeleney, was responsible for this difficult port. He has written an account of that process. "Porting Mono was not an easy task at all."
A new video is available at the re-designed SkyOS website, showing the proof-of-concept work on a Media Station application for SkyOS. This proof-of-concept shows the first steps of what will hopefully become a full, specialized application (or possibly complete version) of SkyOS in the not-too-distant future. Additionally, a number of other new features can be seen in this video.
There have been some interesting updates over at SkyOS. First of all, it now has a VNC viewer, so you can control other computers from SkyOS. Another interesting addition are a set of VMWare tools; SkyOS now has full clipboard integration with the host OS when running in VMWare. Also added is seamless mouse integration, so you can just move your mouse to the edge of the VMWare window, and it will automatically ungrab it. There have been more changes, you can see the most prominent on SkyOS's website. For the under-the-hood changes, see the changelog.
"The general feeling that SkyOS gives is... Simply great! A lot of work done under the hood seems to be paying back with a solid, responsive operating system. It scales very nicely, opening up a lot of OpenGL demos and other applications at once doesn't seem to affect stability, however it is currently very resource hungry (600MB RAM usage and up isn't anything strange while using Firefox, Gaim and having a few more apps open). Let us not forget that this is a debug build. It is completely usable and boots blazingly fast (~15 seconds from GRUB to desktop) though." My take: The best change? The new versioning scheme. Really.