Over the last couple of days, Haiku has made available three new ways for everyone interested in the project, to be able to donate to it, namely Goodsearch, Flattr and Bitcoin. Goodsearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo and with every search you perform (after choosing to whom you'd like to donate), a penny gets donated. With Flattr you can set a  monthly donation budget which you can then divide amongst the ones (people, organizations) you wish to "flattr". Bitcoin dispenses any introduction really, it's a digital currency which usage and acceptance has been growing as time goes by. Haiku's bitcoin address is 1CvgfZCz9Scw3711zU1SN59Q8rvas3FgU1.

Great to see Haiku Inc. giving its supporters new ways to donate and by giving them more ways to donate, hopefully the total amount will increase as well.

TuneTracker Systems has been, for years now, the most successful commercial enterprise, when it comes to BeOS (and now Haiku) software, as I'm sure you'll agree. The first version shipped almost 13 years ago, in June 2000, and it's been a long road to reach the new System 5.

With this new version, TuneTracker is finally fully running on Haiku, the team having felt it's now mature enough for 24/7 operation (though Fair Harbor Radio has been running on Haiku since 2011). Not bad for a Alpha branded OS, is it? With Haiku they can, for example, offer their clients the option to get a system with up to 4TB drives.

I've said this before, time and again, but once again this is amazing work by Dane and his team and we wish them continued success, for many, many years. Here's a TuneTracker history lesson and click below for their press release.

As you're aware, Rene Gollent (the yak man) has been working away on improving Haiku's debugger, an essential tool for developers. ICO has written about it in the past, at last year's BeGeistert. Rene recently wrote a post over at Haiku's site detailing some of the new features he introduced to the app.

Some of them are Return Values, Improved Typecasts and Array Ranges, among others. It's a long post and, I confess, too technical for me, but judging from the reactions I've seen all over the place, it's not only impressive work, it'll prove very helpful to developers working on Haiku/3rd party applications. Nice!

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.