Haiku's been prolific with the news as of recently and the latest are (as usual), good news. First, there's another developer working full time for Haiku, this time it's Ingo Weinhold who'll work for 160 hours (with rests in between of course). He'll continue to set his sights on low-level stuff, like the kernel. But that's not, oh no. Part of his job description is to take care of "R1 Alpha 2 release coordination". That's right, Alpha 2 is creeping closer and closer though there's still no date set in stone yet.

What has allowed this recent developers to get payed in order to work full time for Haiku? Donations. And donations have increased quite a bit, especially in the "one time" category, during the month of February. To give you an idea, between January and February the donations increased around 2030%!Impressive stuff indeed and everyone deserves a pat in the back. And speaking of donations, Haiku is working the kinks out so that they're able to receive donations not only from Paypal (currently the only way) but also from Google Checkout.

Stippi posted this Saturday a status update on the work he's doing on WebPositive. As he himself recognizes, a lot of work is left to be done (obviously) but a lot of work has already been done as well, and he mentions a few highlights:

  • Added General page in settings window with option to specify the maximum age of URLs in the browsing history and the download folder location.
  • Fixed some graphical glitches when scrolling sub-frames.
  • Fixed problems with programmatic opening of new windows/pages. The GSoC Melange web app was unusable before. The Haiku User Guide translation site is working now. Closing programmatically opened pages will no longer close the entire browser.

These 3 were just randomly selected from his list, as there are many others he listed. He continues to work on the browser so improvements should be seen steadily coming the user's way. Head over and read his full post where there's a download link as well.

I can't use WebPositive yet unfortunately, since WiFi doesn't work even with a new laptop I bought *smacks Colin* :)

TuneTracker Systems has kindly donated a new serial port driver to Haiku's community. The driver was commissioned by TT Systems and developed by François Revol, aka mmu_man, aka kungfu-coder (let's see if this one sticks) and works well with a series of serial (ah!) cards by Manhattan.

The code has already been commited to the repository and should be included to the build images soon. Good news.

Google has accepted Haiku as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code 2010!

This year, Haiku was one of 367 organizations to apply. A list of accepted organizations is available at: GSoC 2010.

For more information, please visit Haiku's GSoC-pages.

A couple of days ago we brought you the news that Stippi (Stephan) would be working full time for Haiku for a period, and that he would be working on the Webkit port. Today we bring you the news of his first blog post about the progress. And what progress it is.

Stippi writes on how he started working (along with Maxime) on the port and his progress, and even before that, when he first tried both Netsurf and Firefox (including trying to port Cairo to Haiku). It's a very interesting read, I assure you, and the end result is a, from the comments to his post, quite usable and very fast native browser (though there's still a lot of work to do of course). Giuseppe over at Haiku-OS.it posted some tasty screenshots for your voyeurism pleasure. Great work Stephan (and Ryan and Maxime), can't wait to see it progress.

Haiku Inc announced earlier today that it'll be hiring for 160 hours of development time, german coder (and really nice guy) Stephan Aßmus. Stephan will continue his work (in the recent time) on the Webkit port and Haiku's native browser, work started by Ryan Leavengood with the (for 2009's Google Summer of Code) Maxime Simon (interviewed at the time here at ICO). Hopefully, with Stephan working fulltime on this, progress will be swifter and results will be more visible to everyone.

Haiku Inc would like for this situation to occur more often, so they are encouraging other developers (who already have repository commit access) to submit their proposals. But, for this to happen, they're asking for everyone to chip in with donations, so if you're feeling generous, head over and donate.

Stippi whom you all know posted yesterday over at the Haiku website a long entry with some detailed benchmarks to determine which system was the fastest when building Haiku. The contenders were openSUSE 11.2, FreeBSD 8.0, OpenSolaris 2009.6, Zeta 1.2 and of course Haiku itself, with build r35024 taking the responsability to perform.

The winner? No, not Haiku unfortunately. It was FreeBSD with second place going to Linux (openSUSE 11.2). OpenSolaris took the last place in the podium with Haiku checking in at fourth. Still, not a bad result at all since Haiku performed just over 200 seconds slower than openSUSE, a mere 3mns (give or take a few seconds). This all to show the work Ingo has been doing to optimize Haiku's kernel (and which, according to him still has several places where speed can be gained).

In the deathmatch between Haiku and Zeta, compiling an older revision, Haiku wiped the floor with Zeta, turning in at 780.5 seconds against Zeta's 5214.7!! Impressive stuff.

As usual, there's much more to read so head over and read Stippi's full report. Enjoy.

Yesterday Begasus, that husly-loving slap-loving belgian ported the free turn-based strategy game Freeciv beta to Haiku, one of his many ports so far. He managed to port the game's latest beta and got it running on Haiku GCC4. He also tried the latest stable version but it was unstable so he went to the beta, which gets no complaints from us at all. Head over to his website and give it a try. Good job Luc.

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The QT-Haiku team has been hard at work and gave us a New Year's gift so to speak. According to their latest update the port reached a stage of stability which allows any QT4 designed application to be compiled and used under Haiku. They demonstrated that by adding a few more apps, in this case just some simple games and apps, all of which you can get at their download page.

The requirements for all of this to work, according to them, is a Haiku build (GCC4 or hybrid) revision 34770 or later and their new package QT 4.5.1 r110 or later. Go ahead and try it out. Well done guys.

Saw this over at HaikuZone (thanks Koki). Brazilian developer Gabriel Duarte managed to port  the console MSN client gtmess. The initial work was a bit of a pain but he managed to compile it using the GCC4 environment and run it, of which you can see a screenshot over at HaikuZone.

Gabriel plans to keep working on it and possibly add a GUI to it. Gabriel, if you're reading this, how about getting in touch with the IM Kit people? Maybe it would be useful for both? In any case, good job.