There have been some happenings in the Haiku world, development related. On one hand, Ingo posted an update to both his and Oliver's contracts, regarding Package Management. In it he describes the progress so far and what's coming down the road.

On the other hand, Pawel posted the news that Haiku now supports both ASLR and DEP. ASLR is "address space layout randomization" is always enabled from now on and as the name says, makes sure all areas in an app's address space are random, which helps in making overflows harder to exploit. DEP stands for "data execution prevention" and its main goal is the same, to increase security in the OS.

Great job everyone, keep it up.

After 6 straight years as a mentor organization, unfortunately Haiku wasn't selected for Google Summer of Code 2013. Haiku's participation of GSoC had its ups and downs, but last year was its strongest, hopefully it won't be long until Haiku is back in the GSoC game. Thanks to those who took part in the effort to get Haiku selected, it wasn't meant to be this time around.

Out of 417 total candidates, 177 organizations were selected, best of luck to them.

Michael Lotz updated last night Haiku's implementation of the wpa_supplicant, the wonderful piece of software that allows us to use our wireless connections while using our favorite OS. This brought it up to version 2.0 but more importantly than version numbering, it brought some big changes, where the users are concerned.

A small but most welcomed (at least by me) change was giving focus on start to the password field. Small thing I know, I just found it annoying. A big change is implementing leaving a network but an even bigger change (the big one) is "storing of the password using BKeyStore"!

I spoke with Michael this afternoon (thanks for taking the time) about these changes and one thing he mentioned is the work that still needs to be done, fixing the existing problems. His next target is to fix the autojoin logic. This is caused by the net_server initiating random autojoin requests which (if the password is stored) breaks the connection, though it's not noticeable by the user. This is a tough one, since the joining process is asynchronous, making it very hard to choose the right moment when to start an autojoin, especially when, as Michael mentioned, the wpa_supplicant isn't providing useful feedback.

One other thing Michael mentioned, for the (near?) future, is the possibility of integrating the keystore server into the registrar or the app_server. This would not only mean one less server running but also, seeing as the registrar already handles user management along with encrypted passwords, a very nice fit.

A couple more items were mentioned, the encryption of the keystore, seeing as at the moment it's in plain BMessage and making applications fully verified. Encryption of the keystore pretty much explains itself, you store keys, you want them to be encrypted. As for applications being fully verified, it's important since its goal is to prevent rogue applications posing as another and gaining access to its keystore. One possibility mentioned by Michael is to run a checksum over the running application which can then be queried.

Lots of interesting stuff in there, a big thanks to Michael for taking the time, I hope you enjoyed reading, I did.

Update: Michael just committed to Haiku's source some changes which include a workaround improving the autojoin handling problem mentioned above.

After a couple of delays, Ingo and Oliver have finally started working on their development contract which, as you're aware, will focus on the new package management system. This is big news for Haiku, since it brings it one (huge) step closer to R1.

Their contract is for two months of full-time working for Haiku, though to begin with, due to obligations with their previous contracts, they won't manage to do so, but hopefully it won't take long until they're working at full speed. Ingo's post (linked above) goes into some detail on what their next steps are, for example their first step is to looking into the package building itself, so head over for the full monty.

I for one can't wait to see the results of their work, so fingers crossed.

TuneTracker, the most (only?) successful commercial venture of BeOS/Haiku software has been going strong for years and we of course hope it continues for many more years. Dane announced a couple of days ago that TuneTracker will be moving to Haiku as their main platform (though BeOS-based systems will still be available), which is great news.

Fair Harbor Radio (formerly known as BeOSRadio) has been broadcasting/running on Haiku for almost a year now and according to Dane it's been running very smoothly, proving once again the stability of platform. TT Systems has ported over all their main products, which include, among others, Command Center, TunePrepper and Army Knife.

The change should happen within a month's time and we can only wish continued success for TuneTracker Systems. Awesome job.

News came out a couple of days ago from the Haiku mailing list that unfortunately "Real Life" got in the way of Haiku development once again. Ingo sent a mail to the list letting everyone know that some unforeseen changes in his current project will force him to keep working on it for a bit longer (could be days, could be a few weeks). Real Life sucks!

Good news is, the development contract (both his and Oliver's) regarding package management will of course happen, we just have to wait a bit longer to see the results. That's ok, we Haikuers (ugh...) are a patient bunch.

As you're aware, Haiku was chosen by Google as one of Code-In 2012's mentor organizations, allowing students to sink their teeth into open-source projects. Today Google has announced the winners, two per organization. Haiku's winners are Przemysław Buczkowski from Poland Vladimir Angelov from Bulgaria.

They, along with the other students, did a terrific job and I'm hoping they'll stay with the project. Congratulations to all the students who took part of the code-in and special congrats to the two winners, great job.

This year's Google Code-In has finished, now all that's left is for the winners to be announced (two will come from Google), but fear not if you didn't follow closely which and how many tasks were completed, for there's a wrap-up report! Scott wrote in the report last week, that in total, 168 tasks were completed by the students, of which there were at least 10 with 6 tasks or more under their belt. The report also mentions some of the students stood out (I think can guess at least two), which was impressive and we're all hoping some would like to continue with the project, making their contribution. All in all a very fruitful GCI, so congratulations to all involved, both students and mentors.

The GCI isn't the only good news connecting both Haiku and Google though. Very generously Google has donated $5000 USD to Haiku! As the update over at the Haiku website states, although this isn't the first time Google has made payments to Haiku, in the past they've all been part of GSoC, paying for mentoring services (and related expenses), so this marks the first time Google has actually donated money to the project.

You know what Haiku's hoping this will mean right? More development contracts of course. As you're aware, two contracts will soon start, Ingo's and Oliver's, but the project needs more, so if you're already involved in the project and you have the time to work on Haiku full time (and of the devs, who wouldn't like that), send them your proposal. And this is an interesting tidbit from the update: "There have been several suggestions of pursuing a crowdfunding effort, to enough funding to pay more competitive rates for a longer term contract". Interesting indeed... I'd say stay tuned :)

All of us here at ICO, and by all of us I mean myself, Frank, and all the sheep, would like to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. Good or bad, nice or naughty (at least one I know of), hope you had/have a great time with the ones closest to you.

Merry Christmas!

Some of you might remember LeBuzz, a blog created last century to report on BeOS, especially audio related news. It became quite popular among BeOS users/enthusiasts and for a few years it was one of the main sites among the community. Unfortunately it drifted away (as so many other BeOS/Haiku sites have), but Dane (from TuneTracker Systems) has now brought it back! It sports a new look and Dane is hoping to update it regularly and he's started doing so.

So head over and take a look and give a 'Welcome Back!' to LeBuzz.