Haiku: the recent history

Haiku archaic and fade? I thought so too. I was wrong.

That Haiku though fade, I tell the facts. But as it turns out, the facts are liars still the same. Not by themselves, and their interpretation. But we get them clean water!

The latest release of Haiku took place in 2012. The current, most recent version, still the R1/Alpha 4.1, released 14 November 2012. Nearly six years ago. Time in the computer industry flows differently than outside of it. For every five years in the calendar it is (or was, until recently) of events and changes as a hundred.

Comparison of time in industry and beyond we do, but not now. Just to note: for 120 “computer” was not a single release of Haiku. If you don’t count the nightly builds. Informal updates of the system.

The lack of updates for commercial software is almost a sentence. Any Manager will explain why it is necessary to release updates of the software as often as possible, even if there are no changes: the new release is decent news headlines, and the product must be constantly reminded.

In the beginning of the decade about Haiku published dozens of articles in conventional computer media, in our days they number closer to zero.

Fact? But Haiku never a commercial software product. Haiku is unique even compared to other free projects open source. To publish releases to about the system once again wrote, “in Newspapers”, community Haiku considers beneath his dignity.

The world is full of other important news.

In 2009, in the Haiku repository was made 5 555 changes. And in 2017 only 1 300. It is a fact. Wilting? No. In source codes of the aging operating systems, there are no changes over the years. At all.

In 2017, for the first time in the history of the BeGeistert conferences, it did not take place. Fact. And five years ago, conferences were held twice a year. Wilting? In 2018, in November, the conference will be held.

And about the archaic… In 2009 one of the main wow factors of the newborn Haiku was its similarity to BeOS, and the ability to run programs written for BeOS in the late 90’s. Programs for Haiku was written. It’s not even the fact that impression.

August 18 this year, the project Haiku is 17 years old. 340 “computer”. It is the late adolescence, adulthood, and… But not to jinx it, another fact I from you hide.

This is the eighth (penultimate) part of a series about Haiku. Previous parts:

  • First: Haiku (OpenBeOS);
  • Second: Who needs this… Haiku?;
  • Third: Haiku R1/Alpha1.
  • Fourth: Haiku: The Return Of The BeOS.
  • Fifth: Web+, WebKit and Qt4.
  • Sixth: WebPositive, the best web browser in the world.
  • Seven: Haiku – modesty and understatement.

R1/Alpha 3

20 Jun 2011, 13 months after the second alpha version, came the first release of Haiku in the new (our!) decade.

There are two ways to prepare the release for the issue: “until the last bug” or “to the named date”. A good test of the company’s management on the adequacy of: those who immediately require “to…” and “…” too good about yourself. In any case, commercial p/o just can’t wait for the latest bug fixes, late market entry can be fatal.

The developers of Haiku are living happy and peaceful life. They release releases only after fixing the last known bug. But do not envy, they do not pay for it. You too can bring to Shine a software product that write “for the soul”, as you like.

During these 13 months were identified and eliminated 950 bugs.

Compared to Alpha 2, the third alpha:

— Improved support of peripherals, particularly printers (via the service by Gutenprint;
— Added support for file system btrfs, ext4, and exFAT;
— Added localization for several new languages, improved support for languages with a hieroglyphic script, primarily Chinese;
— Modified Layout API (application programming interfaces that define the rules of mutual placement of elements on the screen when you resize the containing object);
— Improved the functionality and appearance of the user interface;
— Added a few new modes in the management of the Windows and added keyboard shortcuts to manage these modes;

And a lot more.

If such the list of improvements was composed for the commercial release of the operating system, the entire marketing Department went to look for another job – with terrible recommendations.

It would be necessary first to explain a bunch of tall tales about Gutenprint and then to report: starting with this version it is available. About the Layout API and the appearance of the user interface it was possible to write entire briefs.

R1/Alpha 4

The fourth alpha released 12 Nov 2012.

Her press release was, as always, the situation is simple:

— Fixed more than 1000 bugs (but, as it turned out, not all).
— In development environment comes with a new debugger;
File system BFS (native file system Haiku) improved support for NTFS and added support for Blue Ray disc;
— Improved support for USB OHCI drivers, and identification of processors;
— Improved system localization support, added new switch keyboard layouts;
— In the field of multimedia: added a new 10-channel equalizer;
— Added new drivers for networking: the pcnet driver, and the driver for “early support IPv6;
— In the OpenGL Kit, support for Mesa 7.8.2 (gcc 2) and 8.1.0 (in gcc 4);
— Improved virtual memory settings, changed the logic of creating the swap file;
— Added support for most Radeon HD chips and Intel Extreme;
— Changes in support for wireless networks: WEP replaced by WPA/WPA2.

Tens of thousands of people rushed to install the new version, and several thousand of them was expecting a terrible blow. Operating system, famous for the absence of problems, Vistula when you try to load it. Only on computers that have multiple configurations, but such never before was not.

“You ever tested it?” – wrote the user.

The quality of the system (not only operating) is not determined by the mistakes and the reaction to them. Bugs starting to show themselves only after release of the product in light, a common phenomenon.

R1/Alpha 4.1

14 Nov 2012 the release, which remains relevant to this day. Alpha 4.1.

To fix three bugs are gone in less than 48 hours. None of the developers of the system was not a configuration that was in trouble, had to quickly find it and, most likely, time off from work – release was issued early Monday morning.

In 2005 or 2006, Apple fixed the unpleasant bug in their system about the same…

The continuation (conclusion?) it should.

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