As you are all aware (if not... wake up!), Michael Lotz is currently working full time for Haiku under a six month contract. He's been posting monthly updates on his progress but his latest update isn't of the kind we all look forward to. Unfortunately, due to some health issues, Michael and Haiku have paused the contract, pause which has been in place since the beginning of the year.

It's great that Haiku is giving Michael the time he needs to fully recover, which is what we all expect him to do, afterall, health is health, so for now we all wish Michael a speedy and full recovery, we look forward to what's coming down the pipeline for the duration of his contract. Get well soon!

P.S.: How great is it to have Frank writing for ICO again? \o/

Voptop client beta 1Voptop is developed by Robert Stiehler, as part of his bachelor thesis. The aim of Voptop is to create the possibility to telephone anonymously within a closed network and to hamper the tapping of phone calls by hiding them. The use of Voptop is free of charge.

The developer first planed to publish Voptop with VoIP functionality only, but found that a lot of sound cards in Haiku just supported "line out". To be able to do VoIP you of course also need a working "line in"/"microphone in". Because of this issue, instant messaging was implemented as well. The IM part is using its own "Voptop protocol" for keeping also the messaging secure and anonymous.

This first version of Voptop is a beta release for Haiku OS (clients for other OS might follow), but the client includes most planned features for the final release. Have in mind, being a beta release, stability and security have not been tested sufficiently. In order to install Voptop, simply unpack the archive under "/boot". After this is done you will find a reference in the start menu of Haiku under "Applications". A user manual can be found in the program directory at ("/ boot/apps/Voptop").

Download the client, have some fun and help improving Voptop by registering bugs in the bug tracker.

(This is my first post in years, but I have followed the development of Haiku all the time and I hope to start writing again)

Over at the Haiku website, a look back at 2011 was posted today and the first line says it all, 2011 was indeed a great year for Haiku. There were changes made behind the scene but the most visible accomplishments were by far the development contracts. According to the report, over 1,100 hours of full-time development was paid for this past year which helped Haiku improve by leaps and bounds, thanks to work done by (never forgetting all others who work on their free time) Oliver, Ingo and of course Michael.

And speaking of Michael, and this is the first big news of 2012, Haiku Inc. is now able to offer Michael a second 6 months contract! Amazing news indeed but even more than that, Haiku Inc. will be able to consider contracts from other developers, so if you feel you're up to it, let them know.

And of course, as always, donate if you can. Incredible work from Haiku Inc. and all involved, thanks guys.

Hey everyone, just a quick note to wish everyone out there, whether you already celebrated it or are still waiting for midnight, a great, amazing, very happy new year and may 2012 be better than 2011 was in every way.

Have fun!

As you are all aware, Michael Lotz (aka mmlr) has been working full time for Haiku Inc., coding on Haiku all day long (Lionel Richie reference!). He has been posting regular updates to what he's been up to over at the Haiku OS website, and the latest one was yesterday evening.

Michael has started working on the KeyStore, which will, once done, enable for example Haiku to store your WLAN's password, but got diverted by some bug hunting, which is an ever present... presence, when you're a dev. Michael's post is long and at times quite technical, but as always it makes for a very interesting read. I wish I could go forward in time and see, at the end of Michael's contract, what the end result "was". Head over to Haiku's site and read his full post right here.

As a side note, we (me and the sheep) here at ICO would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!


BeGeistert ended last Sunday and now the coding sprint week has ended as well and we have a report already! Adrien, aka Pulkomandy, published a bit ago his report on both BeGeistert and the coding sprint, giving us a general idea of what happened over there, while the rest of us stayed home.

During the BeGeistert weekend there were several talks and presentations, about for example Haiku's release process and the current status of the package management (also, I'm intrigued by VOPTOP). During the coding sprint, as you might have noticed if you followed the commits, there were a lot of them, raging from game sound API (Adrien himself) to low level stuff like memory corruption and debugger work.

All in all, it was a very productive week, and although it'll be difficult (near impossible) for this rhythm to continue (real-life sucks for this), let's see what the next few months brings for Haiku and for us. Good job everyone.


HSA, the Haiku Support Association, is responsible for organizing our beloved Begeistert. Not only that, it (as the name says) helps support Haiku by promoting development and promotion of our little OS that could (and hopefully will).

Even if you're not a member you can still help HSA. How do you ask? With only a few clicks and about 3 minutes of your time. The German bank DiBa is awarding the top 1000 German registered societies with 1000 euros each (nice) and you can vote for HSA. As I mentioned before, it only takes a few minutes since you can (and should) vote 3 times. Currently HSA is far from breaking into the top 1000 so head over, vote and spread the word as well. Just think, an extra 1000 euros could help land a new development contract.

On a related note, this coming weekend if BeGeistert weekend in Dusseldorf, followed by the week long Coding Sprint. Have you registered? If you plan on going but haven't yet, you really should, don't leave it to the last minute.

For the past few months, kallisti5 (aka Alexander) has been working on a driver for ATI/AMD Radeon cards, a work many of us have been anxiously waiting for... ANXIOUSLY! Yesterday afternoon Alexander posted his latest status update and things are looking better and better. Multi-monitor detection won't be a problem for example, although some limitations still exist of course (this is afterall a work in progress), such as only analog input works for now.

Alexander so far tested his driver with 4 cards (from the Radeon 2400 up to the 5830) and I can't wait to give it a spin on my Radeon Mobility 5650. So how about we all chip in and lock Alexander down in the basement with lots of pizza and Pepsi? I'll bring the pizzas.

Update: And just like that, this afternoon, with commit 42888, Alexander enabled the radeon_hd driver in the nightly build. So everyone with an AMD card download the next nightly and give it a go, see if you get a beautiful Haiku desktop or... not so much. Good luck and great job Alexander.

As I'm sure everyone's aware by now, Steve Jobs died yesterday after a long fight against cancer. I couldn't let this pass without writing a small note here on ICO. Like Apple or not, like their products or not (I for example am not a fan of either), we can't help but recognize the influence he had over the industry, changing how we view computers and even entertainment. I for one don't know if I'd have an Android phone today, if there would even be an Android phone.

Fan or not, I think we can agree we lost a one-of-a-kind yesterday...

Late last month (the 26th to be precise) marked the end to this year's Google Summer of Code, so it's been a time for evaluations and for looking not only to the past few months but also to the future. The first bit was taken care of with the GSoC 2011 Results article published over at the Haiku site, detailing which projects passed the final (four of them) and which unfortunately didn't. You have all the details in the above linked piece, but the projects which passed evaluation were:

  • Mike Smith's additions to VirtualBox™ are already meeting or exceeding usability expectations.
  • Nathan Heisey brought our support of SDL up to the version 1.3. Haiku is also really thankful for the collaboration we had from the SDL project having Ryan 'icculus' Gordon co-mentoring this project.
  • Gabriel Hartmann provided Haiku with a USB video driver for high-end webcams. His work has already found its way to Haiku's source tree; while not perfect yet, it should prove to be a good starting point for incremental work onward.
  • Sean Healy's project will enable 3rd party projects to access Be/Haiku's API with other langages than C++, namely Python and Perl.

Great work from these students but congratulations are due for all of them.

Along with that piece, we've had individual updates from 3 students. The first one to write it was Barrett who worked on the Contacts Kit. Although he unfortunately didn't pass the final evaluation, he intends to keep working on the project which I'm sure we all agree it's great news.

Next came scgtrp who's project, VirtualBox Guest Additions, passed evaluation. His work is already being used by several Haiku users and from what I've read, they're quite happy with it. As Barrett did, scgtrp plans to keep working on it in the future.

The latest update came from the Batisseur project, under the responsability of JRabbit. Not to break the pattern, he too will keep working on his project and on Haiku, planning to improve it and bring even more tools over to Haiku.

Pass or not, all deserve recognition and congratulations for their work. Well done.