News Index

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.

Notice: user account changes on dev.haiku-os.org

News posted by nielx on Mon, 2008-06-02 18:23

Update: as of now this change is in effect. If you are encountering any problems, read on to learn how to get help.

The website team is constantly trying to improve the user experience of the various websites we maintain. In order to improve our existing infrastructure, we are currently preparing a move to a new server infrastructure, which is offered by the Internet Systems Consortium. ISC is a non-profit that, amongst many other things, hosts kernel.org. We are more than grateful for this offer, which will improve our responsiveness, especially during exposure on Slashdot or OSNews.

This transition means that we have to redesign several aspects of the server infrastructure. One of these things is the user account handling. Because of the interactive nature of the main website and the bug tracker, much of the functionality is tied to user accounts. Up to now we have been able to use the user database of the main website to authenticate users against dev.haiku-os.org. However, in the new environment, we have to break this connection, until a better solution is implemented.

On Monday the 9th of June, users of dev.haiku-os.org will no longer be able to log in with the account they created on the main website. If you have ever logged in on dev.haiku-os.org, you will be affected by this change. You will receive an email with a new (randomly generated) password, which you will be able to change to your liking.

Read on for a short list of questions and answers.

Q: I use dev.haiku-os.org on a regular basis. How will this influence my account details on www.haiku-os.org?

A: Your account details on www.haiku-os.org will not be changed. You will keep the same username and password you always had, and you can continue to log in on www.haiku-os.org with those. Only your login information for dev.haiku-os.org will change.

Q: I have never used dev.haiku-os.org, but I would like to in the future. Should I log in now with my current account details before the change on Monday?

A: No. Monday a new link will appear which will allow you to register a new account on dev.haiku-os.org. You will be able to create a new account whenever it is necessary.

Q: I want to change my email address. Does this mean I have to do it in two places?

A: Yes. After Monday you will have to change your account details on both www.haiku-os.org and dev.haiku-os.org.

Q: I am sure I have once logged in on dev.haiku-os.org, but I did not receive a new password. Neither can I register a new account under my old user name. What now?

A: Please send an email to Niels Reedijk (login required) with your user name and a description of your problem.

Haiku Code Drive 2008 to Sponsor Four Students

News posted by koki on Fri, 2008-05-30 20:00

It's official! Thanks to the incredible generosity of our community, and with a little help from Google, the Haiku Code Drive 2008 will sponsor four students, bringing the number of students that will be coding for Haiku this summer to nine. This is one more student than last year's eight sponsored by the GSoC alone! Shown below are the four selected students and their projects, in the order that the community ranked them through the Haiku Code Drive poll:

Salvatore Benedetto: BFS stress-testing, UDF port to new FS Haiku API

Jovan Ivankovic: CUPS port

Yin Qiu: ICMP error handling and propagation

JiSheng Zhang: DV media node

The response from the community to our call for donations to fund this program was incredible. In just two weeks, we received 120 donations from 24 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and USA), for a total of approximately $7,500. The promptness, degree of generosity, and global reach of the response by the community to the Haiku Code Drive is unprecedented in the history of our project, and hopefully a sign of things to come in the future.

The Haiku Code Drive 2008 offers each student $2,500 per completed project. So in order to fully sponsor four projects, on top of the community donations we are adding the $2,500 that we are scheduled to receive from Google for our participation in this year's GSoC. We consider this to be the best way to invest these funds, as they will both advance the goals of Haiku code-wise, as well as nurture the future generation of Haiku developers.

Finally, please join us in congratulating the selected students, and make sure you give them all the support and assistance that they may need. We want them to stay with the Haiku community for the long run. ;)

Haiku Code Drive 2008 Poll & Fundraiser Update

News posted by koki on Thu, 2008-05-22 20:00

It's been one week since we kicked off the Haiku Code Drive 2008 program, and the response so far has been absolutely awesome: in just seven days the community has contributed more than US$5,000 to fund the program, and the donations keep coming in! This is happening thanks to the generosity of the community, and now you have the opportunity to influence where you want the funds that you donated to go:

The Haiku Code Drive 2008 Poll has started and will run until May 29, 11:59 (US PST), so go cast your vote now! You will need to login, so if you don't have an account with the Haiku website, this is a good time to create one from here.

As we go into the last week of the Haiku Code Drive fundraiser, which ends on May 29th, we would like to get some renewed thrust, so we thought we would try a couple of things. We started by contacting Google to see if they could give us a hand in spreading the word, and they have graciously agreed to post some information about this Summer of Code like effort on their Open Source blog; they have a counter that shows about 4,000 readers, so this should give us some nice exposure.

There is one more thing that we would like to try, with a little help from the community. We have drafted the following brief announcement:

    Haiku, an open source project dedicated to the development of a new operating system inspired by the BeOS, has launched the first Haiku Code Drive, a Summer of Code like initiative designed to sponsor students to write code for Haiku. The program is funded by the community, who also gets to choose which candidates get to be sponsored through a public poll. The Haiku Code Drive program, initially thought out to give one more opportunity to the students that applied for Haiku in the Google Summer of Code 2008 but were turned down, has a total of five candidate students/projects. Haiku is accepting donations here until May 29th, and is holding the Haiku Code Drive Poll from May 22nd through the 29th. The results of the fundraiser and the poll are scheduled to be announced on the Haiku website on May 30th.

So, we ask that you submit this announcement to as many technology and/or open source related news websites, blogs, mailing lists, forums and/or any other venues that you think may be appropriate and receptive to the goals of the Haiku Code Drive. The goal is to reach out to a wider audience beyond our community as a means to help with the fundraiser effort (or at the very least raise awareness about Haiku and the Haiku Code Drive). You are free to edit the text to fit whatever specific audience you may be targeting, and to translate it into other languages as well; we only ask you keep the underlying message and that you do not change any of the links. We have heard from many non-developers ask what they could do to help Haiku; here is something simple that you can do, that has the potential to make a difference.

Together we have come this far. Let's make one last push to make the Haiku Code Drive 2008 even more successful.

Introducing the Evanston Haiku User Group (eHUG)

News posted by Yuri Wordsmith on Thu, 2008-05-22 19:19

I am pleased to announce that a new Haiku User Group is being started in Chicago. The Evanston Haiku User Group (eHUG) is the second user group in the US focused on Haiku, and we have a temporary website at ehug.wordpress.com. We are very similar to other user groups already in existence, but one of the differences between the eHUG and other HUGs is the fact that one of our primary goals is to design and build a computer specifically for Haiku. We currently have two members and the president of the group is Yuri Wordsmith, myself.

Steady Progress towards Alpha 1

News posted by stippi on Sun, 2008-05-18 11:27

This weekend, the Haiku project has seen some nice leaps forward. Two items are especially noteworthy: Ingo Weinhold and Axel Dörfler have finally nailed bug 2059. This bug specifically prevented serious use of Haiku for anything else than testing, since it meant that the kernel could crash at any time, especially when there was heavy disk activity. All that was supposed to be written to disk at the time of the crash was lost. Luckily, due to prior fixes to the file system journaling and log replay, it didn't mean that your entire file system would be corrupted, but at least anything that you were working on at the time would be lost. So the fix for this particular bug is getting us much closer to our goal of a usable self hosting situation in which you can actually use Haiku for development. This is our most important goal to reach before we wanted to release the first alpha of R1.

The second noteworthy achievement is build system support for a mixed GCC4/GCC2 Haiku environment. It has been known for quite some time, thanks to the explorations of Haiku developer Michael Lotz, that it was possible to set up a GCC4 build of Haiku to run GCC2 applications or vice versa, by installing the respective libraries into certain places so that the correct versions are used for linking. What was missing was support in the runtime loader (the system component used to launch applications and link them to the shared libraries that they use) to do this automatically and on a system wide level. Also missing was support in the build system to effortlessly produce such a hybrid Haiku build. Both of these items have now been implemented by Haiku developer Ingo Weinhold. Also related to this, Michael Lotz had researched the stability issues that GCC4 builds of Haiku were suffering from some time ago and tracked them down to a problem in the specific GCC4 version that Haiku is using. They can be avoided by simply turning off a certain compiler optimization feature. All this combined means Haiku can use GCC4 itself while maintaining our stated goal of binary compatibility to the large pool of GCC2 applications in an automated and transparent fashion.

A few serious issues remain before we can release the first alpha. Some concern missing or buggy functionality that affect the self hosting goal with regards to the development tool chain. A completely native port of Subversion is the last item on this list. As far as I know, some bugs in the TCP implementation are preventing it, but progress is being made on this front as you read this. Formal testing is being conducted to make sure the entire tool chain will work correctly and reliably. Axel Dörfler is currently working on the device manager, the system component which manages everything concerning hardware and drivers. There are some issues with regards to hardware interrupts that, when fixed, will hopefully clear up some driver problems that can be experienced on certain hardware.

I want to conclude with a big "Thank You" to everyone who is helping with tracking and reporting issues in our bug tracker and to everyone providing patches and of course to the Haiku developers themselves! Personally, I am very excited about the progress that is being made. Thanks to everyone who is contributing towards this goal!