Interview with kallisti5
Below, I present interview with Alexander von Gluck aka kallisti5, how I managed to carry out on January 22, 2012.
Premislaus: Hi! I am a member the polish community of Haiku, and I would like to interview you. I'm not expert enough in english to talk to you live via IRC. Therefore sends you translated questions. I hope you accept to carry out the interview.
At the beginning I would like to ask you who you are, where are you from, how to find the Haiku project and from where your interest for graphics drivers?
kallisti5: Nice to meet you! I am Alexander von Gluck IV, a 26 year old native Texan living near Houston. I originally found the Haiku project years ago while researching one of my long-time favorite operating systems (The BeOS). I popped in on occasion and initially showed interest in setting up a BeBits replacement site.
(A little digging turned up my first post to the Mailing List circa 2007: http://www.freelists.org/post/haiku/Haiku-software-site)
I have always had a really strong urge to understand computers at a lower level as far as I can remember. I can recall trying to write hobby operating systems as far back as 2003 (admittedly when I was at a very beginner level of programming)
Within the last few years I have been putting more and more focus in on learning C and C++. For all the work I do, I am still not a seasoned C/C++ programmer... My most comfortable language is php.
My first driver for Haiku was a USB WiMax driver for Beceem chipset devices. The Beceem driver was my first introduction to driver development and worked as a really good crash course in what to do and what *not* to do. I've suspended work on it for the moment due to the declining WiMax presence in the US. (http://cgit.haiku-os.org/haiku/tree/src/add-ons/kernel/drivers/network/w...)
My interest in graphics drivers came about when I was challenged by Urias McCullough of the Haiku project in IRC to give a shot at the radeon_hd driver.
Urias also donated a Radeon card (Radeon HD 4350) to me which gave me the initial push to start work on the radeon_hd driver. (embarrassingly, I've been a NVidia fan for years due to their Linux support and this was the first Radeon card i'd used in a *long* time)
Premislaus: For which the graphics cards, you will first made the drivers?
kallisti5: I would like to make modern r600+ Radeon HD cards the first devices... however they are also the most complex in Gallium. I still haven't decided.
Premislaus: Do you think that a open drivers for graphics cards, will be ever better than proprietary, if the development will continue as now?
kallisti5: Some day I think so. I have seen first hand that AMD is putting a *lot* of work into the open source GPU drivers with several dedicated developers. I've also heard that Intel is opening the specifications on their graphics chips quite a bit now.
Premislaus: When do you think we can expect support for OpenCL in Haiku?
kallisti5: AMD and the Mesa project have greatly invested in getting OpenCL support into Gallium (through the llvm driver) over the last few months.
As Mesa is working on OpenCL support in Gallium, and I am working on Gallium support under Haiku... lets hope soon :)
Premislaus: What do you think about PowerPC? You wrote one of the notes on the blog about these processors, and wrote some code to Haiku. Do you like other Haiku developers had any of the old computers? Maybe ZX Spectrum, Atari, Commodore, Amiga, Amstard, etc? And hence the sentiment? I think with such a small community and the number of developers, we need to completely focus on the x86 architecture. In particular, that the other architectures are poorly accessible and very expensive, and with the ARM could not yet make a PC. Unless the ARMv8 this will change.
kallisti5: I never really had any of the old non-ibm-x86 systems, they were before my time. (I do have an interest in them however)
I'm actually quite fond of PowerPC from a nerdy technical standpoint. We are all so exposed to watered down x86 on a daily basis, it's refreshing to poke at some new (or old) hardware. I personally would like to see Haiku run on PowerPC at some point, if for no other reason then the hardware is out there, getting dusty after Apple abandoned it, and it makes for an interesting hack. I also however agree that x86 needs the focus given the smaller Haiku community. If anything it's good to think of these platforms while writing code, it keeps you honest and reminds you that other things exist out there that Haiku may need to run someday on besides x86.
Premislaus: How would you rate overall development of the Haiku? What do you like and what does not? What would you change? What could be made better?
kallisti5: Overall I've always enjoyed working on Haiku. I just wish there were more talented developers out there that would help out (hint, hint) :)
Premislaus: What do you think that most users will probably migrate to the gcc4h version of Haiku, where being have such hardware acceleration and other stuff? The gcc2h can be only developers?
kallisti5: Full BeOS abi compatibility (eg, gcc2) has always been the design goal for R1.
I do personally feel that the fruit of having a binarily compatible BeOS clone running gcc2 as it's main compiler is getting less and less relevant over time. It's getting harder and harder to find use cases for closed-source BeOS applications from 1997-2001. I'm not at all saying supporting BeOS binaries is a bad thing... I just think we put too much focus on it at times. It gets more and more difficult to compile modern software under gcc2 given its age and lack of c99 support. gcc2 just isn't a target compiler for projects anymore.
I personally would like to see a gcc4hybrid image as the supported final release, however I know there are lots of folks who would disagree with me for good reason.
Premislaus: Do you play in any games and that Haiku can become a good platform for games( indie games)?
kallisti5: I'm not a huge gamer, however I would Love to see Minecraft under Haiku.
I've tinkered with porting a few indie games to Haiku.. and it's not difficult process... especially for SDL applications.
Premislaus: Which programs are missing you in Haiku?
kallisti5: Nothing really. I've been a full time Linux user for as long as I can remember. I do use Haiku daily, but Linux is still my powerhouse home desktop.
Premislaus: Did you have any contact with the polish community of Haiku? If so, what are your impressions? Do you have any association with the Poland and if you know any words in Polish;)?
kallisti5: Not so much, Texas is pretty isolated :P
Unfortunately, due to a busy job, Alexander could not have me to answer two questions. One concerned the anecdotes from the life of communities, BeGeistert and team developers Haiku. The second question was whether the differences in architectures of Haiku and Linux can cause that Mesa 3D can act more quickly on Haiku, or vice versa. The question was in general OpenGL performance, and can be better than on Windows...
I hope that what I wrote is understood in English.
I wanted to give it to the Blog-O-Sphere, but I did not see the button, in order to create a blog.