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.

After being delayed for a few weeks, the new target date has been met and Haiku is today releasing its Alpha 4 into the wild! Over a year has passed since Alpha 3, 16 months to be precise and lots of things have changed since that previous release, a couple of examples being the support for most Radeon HD cards and WPA/WPA2 support.

Of course, many more changes, additions and improvements have been put in place by the coders of this longe period between the two releases, so if you haven't had a chance to try out one of the latest nightly build, or even if you did, why not pop over and download Alpha 4? Better yet, why not order a comemorative CD for you to keep, while at the same time helping the project?

Happy Alphaing!

Update: Haiku just announced last night the availability of the update Alpha 4.1. When Alpha 4 was released, a couple of critical bugs were found to be affecting several users/testers, issues which unfortunately slipped through the testing process (even with Alex for example testing on his 5 machines). One was causing the Deskbar to freeze once Haiku booted, caused by a deadlock in the network stack. The other was a trip to KDL, caused by some improper sanitization of pci bus device nodes. But fear not, patches have been applied and Alpha 4.1 is now available.

YABGR! Yet Another BeGeistert Report! Rene (the yak man), after travelling for 245884683 hours finally returned home in the US, fresh from his Coding Sprint in Dusseldorf. As mentioned before here at ICO, he was working on Haiku's Debugger, fixing bugs and adding features, such as typecasting.

He has now wrote his report on his efforts while at the youth hostel (by the way, if you're visiting Dusseldorf, even when it's not for BeGeistert, I highly recommend it), going into deeper detail on what he's been working on and also giving examples on how to use the new features. So head over and enjoy his report and the pretty pictures!

After last weekend's BeGeistert took place the Coding Sprint and after the Coding Sprint we now have Adrien's report (although technically the sprint is still ongoing, seeing as Adrien's still in Dusseldorf). In the report Adrien covers the areas which received the attention of the present developers, namely the ARM port, FDT support, BMenu rework, Web+ Service Kit integration, Debugger improvements, S&T + ALE and also some old apps Adrien himself is working on. Adrien's report covers all those topics and provides a lot of information, some of which I was actually unaware, such as his work on Netsurf. On a personal note, I have to apologize to Alex for behaving like a giddy little school girl from the moment he told me of the work on Webpositive's backend and getting it to integrate into the Service Kit (imagine if we'd been talking about sheep...).

As for the ARM port, it has received a lot of attention this week here at ICO with two posts back-to-back and here's more information about it, this time straight from the horse's (aka Ithamar) mouth. He wrote his ARM progress report on his work over these past few days (he was supposed to leave on Monday, then Tuesday and kept postponing it again and again. That of course meant more time at the Sprint which equals more coding time) and what's lacking and what the next steps should be. It would be awesome to see Haiku running on my tablet, heck, on any tablet of course. And on the Raspberry Pi too for example!

So, if you're interested in the ARM port, dig in and start coding. If you're not, join in all the same and work on another part of Haiku! As someone else said some time ago: DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS!