News Index

Website Upgraded to Drupal 5

News posted by nielx on Wed, 2009-02-25 19:49

This Saturday, the 28th of February, the software that powers the website, Drupal and 47 (!) modules, have been upgraded to the Drupal 5 platform. This upgrade creates the foundation to continue to improve the functionality and information on our website, as the demands change, also in the face of the upcoming Alpha 1 release.

While the upgrade team has concluded that most of the data migrated smoothly, there are some rough edges. Most notably, the data of the conferences did not migrate properly, and as such, we are now in the process of reconstructing the conference module. Please read on for a more detailed list of issues. Naturally we expect some more minor issues popping up. If you find any one of them, please check out the list below, and if the issue is not there, drop a comment!

The known issues are the following:

  • The conference functionality has disappeared.
  • Pages like the about page show authoring information, while it did not used to.
  • The OSNews and Slashdot icons are missing from the teasers
  • The Read more link needs some styling.
  • The image system needs an overhaul.
  • The legacy docs need to be restored. Reported by adek336
  • The lay-out underperforms on wide screens. Reported by kallisti5.
  • The new image gallery (thanks Remi!) has a wrong reference to certain paths
  • Updated copyright notices (meta tags and footer)
  • Changed "Haiku Screenshot Tour" under the "Learn More" block in the About page to point to the new gallery.

Drop a comment if there is more. We did not thoroughly test the functionality with the different permission groups. Is anything not working, while it used to work? Drop a line!

Haiku Finally Gets a Native GCC4 - full story inside!

News posted by umccullough on Sun, 2009-02-01 04:25
Michael's Quad-core compiling GCC4.3.3Michael's Quad-core compiling GCC4.3.3

As many Haiku community members know, one major hurdle that has been making it difficult to port new software to Haiku has been the lack of an up-to-date GCC4 compiler. While a GCC 4.1.2 cross-compiler has been available now for some time, cross-compiling software for a GCC4-built Haiku can be painful and frustrating. What Haiku really needed was a native GCC4 toolchain to run on a GCC4-built Haiku install.

That time is now! A native Haiku GCC4.3.3 is now a reality.

Michael Lotz set out to tackle this task and the fruits of his labor have finally been committed to the Haiku repository for all to benefit from.

Michael Lotz details the process he used

To demonstrate what process was necessary to perform this task, he has written a detailed blog post recounting his experience. It's a long read, and certainly lists some confusing concepts. If you were at all curious what it would take, going from a GCC2-built Haiku to a GCC4-built Haiku with its own native compiler, the steps are all there.

During the process, Michael was even "fortunate" to find and submit a patch for a bug in libiberty. You will read about the strange behavior that led to the discovery in his blog post.

Dogfooding is important... Yummy!

If you're paying attention while reading his blog, you'll note that Michael is "dogfooding" during his Haiku development. Not only does he use Haiku for development purposes, but it's also the only operating system he uses currently. This suggests a couple of important points: a) Haiku is stable enough to use daily and develop in and b) Haiku developers are serious about Haiku, intending to use it as their daily OS. I know of several developers who use Haiku daily for various tasks, including development. This demonstrates a dedication to the quality they are pursuing, and increases the likelihood that even little annoying things about Haiku are going to get fixed eventually.

What does all this mean? What's next?

Freshly-built Haiku running GCC4Freshly-built Haiku running GCC4

So, what should we expect from Haiku now that it has a native GCC4 toolchain?

I'm not sure - and that's the exciting part actually! This opens the door for easier porting of modern software, and more easily moves Haiku out of the "dark" GCC2 cloud that BeOS had lived under.

Several existing Haiku porting projects already require GCC4 to proceed and/or update to latest versions: Firefox 3, Webkit, VLC, and more.

Haiku already supports a "hybrid" environment where it is built with GCC2 for backward compatibility but also providing GCC4 libraries for future software support - or even more interesting: a GCC4-built Haiku with GCC2 libraries for backward compatibility. I think we'll see the latter becoming more common now with the availability of a native GCC4.

There are still some minor loose ends to tie up - such as providing the remaining development tools for a GCC4 Haiku (the GCC2-built ones will work, but they are not yet automatically installed with the "Development" optional package). Additionally, those who wish to build a GCC4 Haiku from within an existing GCC2-built Haiku might find it a little bit challenging. If you'd like to experiment, you may want to compile your own GCC4 Haiku from Linux, BSD, etc., or even wait for the availability of pre-built GCC4 images to appear.

These are very interesting developments, I hope you're as excited as I am at what the future holds :)

Happy Holidays from Haiku!

News posted by umccullough on Thu, 2008-12-25 21:18

On behalf of Haiku, we'd like to wish everyone Happy Holidays!

While the news may seem a little slow lately (people are likely busy during the holiday season), there has indeed been a few things happening of note.

One exciting announcement was from Christof Lutteroth letting us know that some final-year projects from the University of Auckland were prototyped using Haiku. While these prototypes and the code behind them are not yet publicly available, they have generously offered to donate this code to Haiku in the future.

In other developments, we have seen some improvements to Haiku's network drivers, including a couple drivers ported from FreeBSD by Ithamar Adema to improve the wired LAN support for EeePCs. Ithamar has also reported that he would like to work on porting FreeBSD's wireless stack where Fredrik Holmqvist left off.

It also seems that Oliver Ruiz Dorantes has recently completed Phase 1 of his Bluetooth stack and thus completed the associated Haikuware bounty.

There have been many other improvements to Haiku recently and you can always see what's going on in the Haiku Trac Timeline if you need a "quick fix". :)

Mailing list change

News posted by axeld on Wed, 2008-10-22 14:42

At the end of the month, the main user mailing list openbeos@freelists.org will finally be renamed to haiku@freelists.org, removing the most apparent reference to our previous name, OpenBeOS, that our project had until summer of 2004. The old archive will remain accessible, and all subscribers will be moved to the new list automatically. We'll even send you a reminder when it's done, so that you'll remember to send future mails to haiku@freelists.org instead.

Thanks to FreeLists.org for making this possible, they have provided an awesome service for us over the past 7 years!

Impression from BeGeistert 019

News posted on Fri, 2008-10-17 08:36

Stephan Aßmus asked me if I'd like to translate my article on BeGeistert 019 http://haiku-gazette.blogspot.com/2008/10/das-war-begeistert-019.html to English. How could I refuse? :) Here it is:

BeGeistert 019 was held last weekend in Düsseldorf and was, as far as I can tell, a great success. I've been to BeGeistert twice in the past (I think 2002 and 2003) and in my opinion the spirit of BeGeistert hasn't changed since then. Maybe there used to be some more non-coders among the guests and the focus was more on applications; that was of course because Haiku was still in its OpenBeOS nappies at that time...

Google Summer of Code 2008 and Haiku Code Drive harvest

News posted by axeld on Wed, 2008-10-08 09:18

We're very glad that Haiku has been part of Google's Summer of Code this year again. We were granted five student projects to improve Haiku. But since we had so many good and worthwhile project proposals, we set out to start our very own Haiku Code Drive. We asked for your help in the form of donations, and we were absolutely overwhelmed by the response we got from you, our community: we were able to sponsor 4 more student projects to work on Haiku.

Yes, of course, you know all of that already. The reason for this review is that, since both coding events are officially over by now, I wanted to give you an overview of what has happened, and how the students fared. Not all projects have been success stories, but we were lucky to have found some very talented students this year. We're glad we had you!

Google Summer of Code 2008

  • Andrej Spielmann has implemented sub-pixel antialiased rendering in the app_server. He was probably the only student that was always ahead of his schedule, and could even deliver more than originally anticipated. He also easily adapted to our coding style and produced a lot of quality code.
  • Dustin Howett intended to implement HPET support. At first, he struggled a bit with how to implement this in the best way, but eventually he found his way through this complex topic. However, he wasn't able to finish his project in time, and intends to keep working on it in the weeks to come.
  • Zhao Shuai implemented swap file support in the kernel that has recently been enabled. While it would be fair to say that the FreeBSD implementation and his mentor, Ingo Weinhold, helped him out a lot, he was very receptive of critics and always willing to try to understand how the kernel internals are working. In the beginning, he also wrote some overview documents about our virtual memory subsystem.
  • Alexandru Roman intended to add Zeroconf support to Haiku. However, he took a summer semester at school, and was surprised about the time commitment it asked for. He contacted his mentor, Ryan Leavengood, early on, and we're sad that he didn't manage to work on his project at all.
  • Adrien Lemaire was supposed to write a CIFS client for Haiku to let it access Windows shares. However, he was a bit overstrained with the project despite his nice application. He also didn't find the time to dig into the project, and unfortunately didn't deliver anything.

Haiku Code Drive 2008

  • Salvatore Benedetto intended to identify and fix most, if not all, of the remaining BFS bugs by first porting bonnie++ to Haiku. The plan was to add the missing functionality to Haiku that bonnie++ needs to run, in this case POSIX XSI semaphores. He experimented a lot with BFS, and we were able to fix several bugs together. He also implemented not only XSI semaphores, but also XSI message queues, and intends to complete his work by eventually adding support for XSI shared memory. During his project, he also ported the UDF file system to Haiku's current file system API. We're looking forward to see more from him :-)
  • Jovan Ivankovic was supposed to port CUPS, or parts of CUPS and integrate them with the Haiku printing layer. Unfortunately, he was not able to work much on it due to his health situation. We wish him the best!
  • Yin Qiu wanted to complete our ICMP handling in the networking stack. While he had a hard time with our coding style, he found his way through the stack, and came up with a good looking solution for error propagation and handling. Unfortunately it doesn't work yet okay, and is therefore not part of our repository yet, but he's continuing to work on his patch set. And we're patiently waiting for it :-)
  • JiSheng Zhang has written a DV media node based on the Firewire stack he ported as part of last year's Google Summer of Code. As far as I understand, he couldn't really test his work yet, though, as his Firewire hardware got lost at Olympia. In any case, he intends to stay with us to improve his work in the future.

So while we had our failures, overall we're very happy with our students. We hope to refine our selection process for next year, if we're lucky enough to be part of the Summer of Code in 2009.

And since our own Haiku Code Drive was so successful this year (even if we saved a bit of the money), we plan to continue this project in the future as well. On behalf of Haiku, let me thank you, the donors, again for making this possible.

I would also like to thank our mentors that have devoted much time for their students, and guided them through their projects.

BeGeistert 019 - Alphaville registration open

News posted by stippi on Sun, 2008-09-14 12:43

After the date has been known for some time, Charlie Clark in the name of BeFAN and the BeGeistert orga team is now officially inviting to BeGeistert 019 from October 11. - 12. 2008 in the youth hostel Düsseldorf. Reservations are now open and should be made as soon as possible. To learn more about BeGeistert, see the BeGeistert website. It includes more info on directions, car pooling and costs. BeGeistert has a long history as one of the most important, if not the most important BeOS developer and fan summit. In recent years, the focus has shifted more and more towards Haiku. Pretty much every European Haiku developer is usually attending. BeGeistert is also a platform for presenting independent BeOS and Haiku software projects to interested users or potential new developers for your team. BeGeistert is a great opportunity for getting to know in person a lot of people one only knows via IRC or e-mail.

The coding sprint, which has been so successful before the last BeGeistert in January, will this time be held the week after BeGeistert. If you are a developer and would like to attend at the sprint, please contact Stephan Aßmus, who is responsible for the planning. The stay at the youth hostel during the coding sprint includes three meals (35 EUR/night). The hostel is providing a small conference room during the days where we can setup our gear and have some fun coding.

Haiku Grows Swap Support

News posted by bonefish on Fri, 2008-08-29 15:34

Thanks to Google Summer of Code student Zhao Shuai successfully finishing his project Haiku does now feature support for swapping. As of revision 27233 it is enabled by default, using a swap file twice the size of the accessible RAM. The swap file size can be changed (or swap support disabled) via the VirtualMemory preferences.

Swap support finally allows building Haiku in Haiku on a box with less than about 800 MB RAM, as long as as the swap file is large enough. I tested this on a Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz with 256 MB RAM (artificially limited) and a 1.5 GB swap file. Building a standard Haiku image with two jam jobs (jam -j2) took about 34 minutes. This isn't particularly fast, but Haiku is not well optimized yet.

Haiku's swap implementation was heavily inspired by that of FreeBSD. At the moment it is not as sophisticated, but Zhao intends to borrow more of FreeBSD's optimizations.

Haiku to Exhibit at LinuxWorld 2008 in San Francisco

News posted by koki on Tue, 2008-07-15 00:20

LinuxWorld Expo 2008 Free Pass (PDF)LinuxWorld Expo 2008 Free Pass (850KB PDF)In February of 2007 Haiku exhibited at SCaLE 05, making its first appearance ever at an open source conference. Since then, Haiku has made appearances in many open source events worldwide. One big event that we have been targeting since last year was the LinuxWorld Expo; unfortunately, both this and last year we were unable to get a spot in the .Org pavilion. Fortunately, that's about to change. After some perseverance, creative thinking and thanks the good will of IDG World Expo (the organizers of LinuxWorld) and the ReactOS project (with whom we will be sharing the booth), we are excited to announce that we were able to obtain an exhibit spot at the LinuxWorld Expo 2008 to be held next month in the San Francisco Moscone Center.

We have secured a full-sized 10x10 spot (booth #1617), where we plan to showcase Haiku for the full duration of the expo, that is, August 5, 6 and 7. Our plan is to demo Haiku on two or more PCs, one of them hooked up to a projector which will display its image on a screen hanging from the booth backwall (like here). We will also hand out fliers and possibly a CD with a VMWare image, and sell Haiku t-shirts (if allowed) to raise funds for the project.

LinuxWorld has an average attendance of more than 10,000 people. This is many times more compared to the conferences that we have been attending in the past. Exhibitors include big names like IBM, ORACLE, ACCESS, CISCO, Fujitsu and Canonical, along with well-known open source projects like Fedora, Drupal, FreeBSD and Gentoo among others. Of course, the media is expected to cover the event, so the opportunities for coverage will potentially also be there. All in all, LinuxWorld offers us a great opportunity for very high-profile exposure, which makes it all the more exciting.

LinuxWorld 2008 Floor PlanLinuxWorld 2008 Floor PlanLast but not least, we can use some help manning the booth. If you would like to join us at LinuxWorld, please contact Urias McCullough (login required) so that we can register you for an exhibitor badge.

Update: If you are planning on attending LinuxWorld, please use the Haiku priority code "VPL56" to get a free exhibit hall pass ($50 value), access to the BoF sessions, 20% off the conference programs and more. Download this flyer for all details (850KB PDF).

LinuxWorld 2008 Overview

Notice: Scheduled Maintenance for dev.haiku-os.org

News posted by nielx on Wed, 2008-06-11 19:00

On Monday the 16th of June, from 09:00 GMT onwards, dev.haiku-os.org will be down for a server move and software upgrade. The website team has chosen to combine these two operations in order to minimize downtime. The operation is expected to take about three hours. Live progress updates will be offered on the#haiku channel on freenode.

The service will be moved to hosting that has been offered by Scott Palmer from Unixheads.org, a non-profit that is dedicated to providing hosting and mirroring services to open source projects. We would like to thank Scott Palmer and Unixheads.org for their very generous offer to take over the hosting of one of our services that is so vital for the community.