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!
How time flies! The last time an update was posted here, it was about the release of Alpha 2. Since then, two more Alphas were released & the Beta – all showing significant progress towards R1. In that time, Haiku has seen a slight shift away from being a “pure” recreation of BeOS R5, and has introduced some changes and improvements to modernize the OS – adding (much-needed) functionality that R5 never possessed, such as Wifi & USB mass-storage support. Some of the old, stalwart fixtures of the BeOS and Haiku online community have disappeared, particularly BeBits & Haikuware – while some new sites have sprung up to fill in the gaps, like HaikuDepot (not to mention the related HaikuDepot app, which acts as a package manager/”app store”).
As for the site & myself, the lack of updates is due to two main factors. The first is that, sadly, I’ve had very little opportunity to use BeOS and Haiku over the last decade or so – Haiku wasn’t ready for day-to-day use at that point, and my last BeOS compatible hardware gave up the ghost long ago, so I’ve been using a mix of Windows & Linux ever since. That said, there’s rarely a day that goes by where I don’t either miss something about BeOS, or use something that I learned as a result of using BeOS in my day-to-day work – when connected to a remote *nix system via SSH, or when working with a MySQL database (and having to write a query with 9 “JOIN” statements and thinking “I’m sure this would be so much easier if it had been designed the ‘BeOS Way(tm)'”).
The second reason is that, as a (sometimes) web developer, this site had always doubled as a hobby & a test-bed that I could play around with new things that could have practical applications for work. The site is built on WordPress, however, which I’ve become less and less a fan of over time, and it’s been most of a decade since I’ve actively done development work with WordPress, so the site became less useful as a “sandbox”. However, the CMS that I currently use for work (ExpressionEngine) was recently open-sourced, so I’ve been considering a rebuild/migration to that software – as well as looking into doing a modern version of “TrackerBase” (a setup for using BFS’ database-like features to power dynamic websites), though I haven’t looked into the current state of web server/Apache/etc support on Haiku). And the design is long overdue for an update, having been built for substantially smaller screen resolutions than are common today & several years before “responsive design” became commonplace.
Stay tuned for more, and hopefully more frequent updates!
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