After 8 (!!!) years since posting the last update here, it seems only fitting that the first new post in nearly a decade be about the release of Haiku Beta 1. And I’m only 3 months late getting to it! The official announcement can be found here, and the beta can be downloaded from the Get Haiku page. Or for the impatient, and those who prefer to live on the bleeding edge, nightly builds are still available from the downloads page. Part of the motivation for this post is that I finally got around to installing it on an old ThinkPad T60, and hope to write up my impressions of it over the next few days.
For a quick update on BeOSNews itself, read on!
As everyone has probably already read on half a dozen other sites, the Haiku Project recently made the second Alpha version available, officially dubbed “Haiku R1A2” (R1 Alpha 2). Here’s the announcement on the Haiku website, IsComputerOn, BeGroovy, and OSNews.
The release can be obtained, in various formats & via various download methods, from the main Get Haiku page. The most notable changes since Alpha 1 are the inclusion of Wifi support (with support for WEP encryption and several common wireless chipsets) and, of course, WebPositive – a Haiku-native browser based on webkit (and with a GUI based on NetPositive).
Playing around with the release for a few hours should bring a warm glow to any old BeOS user’s heart (or at least the nostalgia center of the brain). A few quick first impressions: the installation has seen a few improvements, and it’s as painless as always. WebPositive is already stable and functional enough for most day-to-day usage, and it’s quite pleasant to use. And, even more so than Alpha 1, it is noticeably faster & more responsive than R5 on the same hardware.
The big news of this past week was the announcement that the QT toolkit has been successfuly ported to Haiku, thanks to developer Evgeny Abdraimov. A development release, with a collection of sample apps, is already available for anyone interested in giving it a try – it can be downloaded from BeOSFrance (or from this mirror).
The biggest immediate implication is that the QT & webkit-based browser Arora (one of the included sample apps) can now run on Haiku – a very nice bonus, given that BeZilla development has largely stalled and a Haiku-native webkit-based browser will (evidently) not be ready for some time. Arora works quite well in Haiku, based on some quick testing – it’s also very fast, I’d go so far as to say it’s the closest we’ve seen to a functional, modern NetPositive equivalent (a screenshot is included in the “Read more” section of this post).
BeOSFrance was (so far as I know) the first to break the news, followed by IsComputerOn and OSNews. And particularly in the OSNews comments, the announcement has sparked a lively debate over whether or not the presence the QT port is beneficial to Haiku.
Read on for some quick impressions and screenshots of the various sample apps (and a note on installing the dev release).
Back on October 10th, we received an EMail from Dane Scott announcing that BeOSRADIO has now entering its tenth year on the air. It seems like only yesterday that it first went on the air – and as users, developers, applications, etc have come and gone, BeOSRADIO has remained one of the most consistent fixtures of the BeOS community. Happy birthday to BeOSRADIO and a big “thank you” to Dane!
Read on for Dane’s announcement.
I just received some excellent news from Dane Scott, of TuneTracker Systems (and LeBuzz, and BeOSRADIO, and probably many other things that I’m forgetting): the TuneTracker radio automation software works under Haiku. This means that TuneTracker will be able to run on an underlying OS that fully supports modern hardware, and Haiku already has a porential commercial application – not something that can be said for many Alpha hobbyist OSes.
Read on for the news release from Dane, it also contains some good news for SoundPlay fans.
It’s now just over a month since Haiku’s first Alpha was released – and so far, the reception online has been overwhelmingly positive. On the official Haiku website, “nielx” posted “Alpha 1: A Week Later” (also noted on ICO) with some very encouraging stats. The number of times that the Alpha release has been downloaded is especially impressive – more than 32,000 at that point (closing in on 53,000 at the time of this writing).
More recently, OSNews has posted two separate reviews of the Alpha release. First up was Kevin Miller with his article “Seven Days in Haiku,” which focused mainly on hardware compatibility (running Haiku on a netbook) and includes an account of his experience testing out the experimental wifi support. Next was Alfonso Martinez with his “My 7 Days Using Haiku Alpha Release 1” review, which focuses on software compatibility.
And on a personal note, I’m in the process of finishing a (probably) 3-part review of the Alpha release. I’ve focused primarily on topics that should be of interest to long-time BeOS users, hopefully avoiding duplication of Kevin and Alfonso’s efforts. Stay tuned!
It’s amazing to think that it was only a few years ago that simply getting Tracker & Deskbar running on Haiku was viewed as a huge accomplishment – and now a full-featured, stable release looks to be right around the corner. Everyone involved in getting Haiku to this stage deserves a huge congratulations.