Tue. Nov 12th, 2019

Haiku R1/beta1 releases: Open source BeOS operating system

2 min read

The open source BeOS operating system Haiku officially released the first beta version after 17 years of development. The BeOS operating system was discontinued after Palm acquired it in 2001. The Haiku project was launched formally shortly after this. The first version released in 2002. The previous version of Haiku R1 Alpha 4.1 published in 2012.

Haiku

Changelog Haiku R1/beta1

  • New features

    • Package management
      Haiku’s package management system is unique in a variety of ways. Rather than keeping a database of installed files with a set of tools to manage them, Haiku packages are a special type of compressed filesystem image, which is ‘mounted’ upon installation (and thereafter on each boot) by the
       packagefs, a kernel component.

    • WebPositive upgrades
      employ a developer to work full-time on enhancing WebKit port and areas of the system relevant to it (which turned out to be nearly everything) for over a year.
      WebKit is a pretty hefty piece of software, and as a result working on bringing it up to speed meant also fixing a large number of bugs in Haiku itself that it exposed, such as broken stack alignment, various kernel panics in the network stack, bad edge-case handling in app_server’s rendering core, missing support for extended transforms and gradients, broken picture-clipping support, missing POSIX functionality, media codec issues, GCC upgrades … the list goes on.

    • Completely rewritten network preflet

    • User interface cleanup & live color updates

    • Media subsystem improvements

      Streaming support

      Previously, the Media Kit assumed that all media files were seekable, which of course streams are not. Now that assumption has been removed, and HTTP and RTSP streaming support integrated into the I/O layer of the Media Kit. Livestreams can now be played in WebPositive via HTML5 audio/video support, or in the native MediaPlayer.

      FFmpeg decoder plugin improvements

      Significant improvements to the FFmpeg decoder plugin were made, initially as part of the DVB tuner rework as mentioned below, and later on as part of the streaming work and others. Rather than the ancient FFmpeg 0.10, the last version that GCC2 can compile, FFmpeg 4.0 is now used all-around (even on GCC2 builds, thanks to some clever ABI trickery.) This means a much-widened support for audio and video formats, as well as significant performance improvements (at least for those on newer CPUs.)

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