Thursday, November 15, 2007

I know I am going to get bashed, but..

I know it has been four months since I had anything to report, and I still don't have anything to report. I haven't had time to check even one line of code for CUPS or an update for Max since my real life (tm) work is keeping me busy with quite a few 12 hour work days.

Thinks aren't looking good either. I am going to try to find some time to get the work I have done on the Internet, so anyone interested can go on from there, since I don't know if I am going to have time in a month or in a year from now.

I am not giving up, I just don't know when I can get back to everything.

I will try to keep you updated. Thanks for being patient.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

no progress yet

Tomorrow is my last day at work for this month, so I have a lot to do and I couldn't get any work done on BeOS. However, this weekend will be spend mostly working on CUPS, so I expect to have something to report on Monday. If not, then that means I have a new girlfriend... (working on it) and threading priority has changed!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007


Yesterday I ported the latest libxml2, version 2.6.27. This should help in other projects that require it. I have mostly been studying the inner workings of CUPS and will do so during the weekend. I will blog any progress made.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

and in comes the usual... "I wouldn't do it like this. It is the wrong way."

Well, I am trying to do it like this just to see if it can be done. I don't even know if I can do it. So please, either help with real suggestions or work, or get out of the way...

This is a general response for the people that would like it done in another way. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I would prefer if they stated it as their opinion and not as the teachings of the holy bible...!!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

CUPS requirements so far...

So far I have found the following requirements for the various parts of CUPS:

Perl 5.8.0
file 3.31
automake 1.8
autoconf 2.58
libm 5.4
libxml 2.6.2

perl 5.8.0 exists.
file 3.31 seems to be ported with no problems.
autoconf 2.58 I had to do a dirty port as BeOS R5 doesn't support flock
automake 1.8 can be ported after autoconf 2.58 (done)
libm 5.4 needs to be ported. I haven't yet managed to create the static library, however using trig.h PI definitions from Haiku makes it compile. Any help?
libxml 2.6.2 was a surprise as it seems to be ported with no problems. At the time of this post my dev system is running the libxml tests.

Update: Found out that ginstall is also needed. No time to check on that now. Be back tomorrow.

Now this IS cross platform!

BeDMDiceRoller running on Suse Linux with Flyab, without any change. Great work Team Maui

Monday, July 30, 2007

More on CUPS

I managed to compile the cups 1.1.23 source tree, but no drivers yet and it gives a Missing library error on startup. Probably I need to compile the rest of the cups tree as it contains the drivers and a database driven system for intergrating the drivers, called Foomatic.

To build Foomatic, I need the unix utility called File. I downloaded it and started porting that too. The newest version however did not compile due to the usage of mmap. So I downloaded an older version and it compiled after tampering a little with its code.

Tomorrow I will look into compiling the rest of the tree. But first I need to read a bit more on the architecture of CUPS.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Today I restarted work on BeOS Max V4 and I had an epiphany...while talking to my BeOS friends on IRC who suggested it :-). Why not try and see what would be involved in porting CUPS to BeOS R5. It has already been ported to Zeta with success, so I downloaded the source code and started playing with it.

3 hours into fiddling with the source code, I have managed to compile more than 70% of CUPS. A few functions are missing from BeOS, but I believe I can have it fully compiled. Having it work though is another issue!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Max update

It has been almost 3 weeks since my last post on the blog. I am currently under a lot of pressure from work, so it is going slowly. I won't be able to have a final release next month, so I will be giving a second Beta.

This beta will include the Haiku usb stack as an option. If it is detected that your system isn't supported by the R5 USB stack, the Haiku stack will be automatically installed, otherwise you will have to select it.

I will be keeping you up to date on progress. Thanks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Disappointed with Bernd

Although I consider Bernd Korz a friend since I have met him personally at Cebit a few years ago and I liked him, I am disappointed by his actions. Without offering any apology or explanation for the legal status of Zeta he closed his blog and he is not to be seen in the Zeta/BeOS (now only BeOS) community. He should at least do that.

Don't get me wrong, this is not about the legal case, for which if ACCESS didn't care why should I, but it is about consistency. I have made some mistakes too, but I like to admit them so I can move on, or if I am misunderstood I like to give explanations.

Well, Bernd, if you are reading this, we are waiting. Please respond either way.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Haiku Distroes

I put a piece of news yesterday on, that work on WalterOS, a haiku distro is starting. This seems to have caused some debate on OSNews and on the OpenBeOS mailing list.

So to explain:

I personally believe that there should be rules when making a distro outside the rules of MIT, GPL and usage of brand names like the Haiku name. Those rules should be set by the team that controls the main system repository, and this is Haiku. All others should follow those rules.

I have no intention what so ever to cause any trouble for Haiku or to make an obscure claim to fame. Haiku has already said that they wouldn't want a distro before R1 is out and I agree with them completely. Also I don't have to be the one leading the distro that comes out if it is one, or even one of the distroes that come out. I just want to be a part of it. This is not about leaders it is about working to create.

Back in the early days of BeUnited, in September 2002, I had an offer to work with Simon Gauvin on a distro of Haiku for BeUnited and I accepted it. BeUnited however dissolved so I guess we can't do that. But I can surely work with others.

I can even say I had 2 offers of people wanting to work with me (in just under 24 hours!!). One of them was planning his own distro but thought it would be better if more people united.

So, this stage is just planning. It is not implementing anything, and all plans will be discussed with the community.

The only thing I hold for my self is the joy of participating in the effort to bring down Microsoft...

If you have any questions feel free to ask them. I will try to answer them all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

going on....

For those who haven't followed what has been happening the last few days you can read this: Zeta Officially a Dead Fish

and this: ACCESS Confirms Zeta BeOS Version Infringing

I have talked with David Schlesinger, the Director of Open Source Technologies at ACCESS on the matter of BeOS Max, and he told me that he sees no reason to interfere with the project. This is not official support, but it is the best we can do for now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A change is comming...

You can actually feel it in the wind. A sudden change in the Force as a Star Wars fun might say, or the wake of a time-space distortion if you prefer Star Trek.

The demise of Zeta is a sad day for the community. I personally wish it was able to find new funding, but it seems 3 in a row is too much. So what change am I talking about?

Well, I think Haiku will and should try to get the rights to the code written for Zeta, specifically drivers. Imagine R1 getting out with SATA support. Perhaps it is too early yet, but I think an exploratory contact should be made with Bernd.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Yabbing on...

I have worked a bit with Yab, and I found it extremely easy to program with and quite powerful. Now, of course you won't create a Diablo killer with it, or an office suite, but certain software and utilities can easily be created with yab.

A few features that should be added for a version 2 would be SQL support (SQLite and Postgres for starters), attribute and query support (after all we are talking about BeOS) and perhaps basic network support. What do you think?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

stop the presses

I here by stop every activity related to BeOS. My reasons are explained here. Thank you.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Haiku or what?

On the previous post a discussion has started that seems interesting. Instead of answering in comments I thought it would be an interesting article. So here we go:

Emil, posted a comment that proposes a few things and a short reply by two more bloggers followed (read them here). So here is my response:

Development of Haiku is now in a very good stage, and being a clean room implementation of BeOS R5 has advantages that I am afraid buying the code from Access won't have.

To elaborate, even if Access sold the rights to the code, they wouldn't allow certain patents to go with it. So open sourcing the code would be illegal even if someone owned it. Only Access can open source it and I don't think it will or will sell it for any amount under the 11 million US$ it cost Palm.

Even with 1/100th of that amount, haiku can go far and finish at least R1. So perhaps calling for a Haiku donation round would be better. We should address that question to Michael Phipps.

To start, I have already given about 200$ to the Haiku project in one way or another (mostly with direct donations) but I will be willing to put out another 200$ if an organized donation round starts.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Continuity of magnussoft Zeta

It seems that Magnussoft was expecting Zeta to bring profit very quickly. I don't know how much they have invested, but the short period they had financed Zeta for wasn't enough to bring more sales. Features like Multiuser and a couple of games are fine, but it needs more to get out there.

Fortunately they appear to be listening to the community as the post on the Zeta-OS site says. We will wait and see. Perhaps the horse isn't dead yet. Perhaps it is just a tired little pony :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

BeOS Max gets Wireless

Today I added some wireless drivers and tested them with real hardware I happened to have. Guess what (it's easy). They work great. So for now, Intel PRO Wireless 2100 and 2200BG are supported. The second seems to be found on a number of laptops, and mine has it too.

Intel PRO Wireless 2200BG work is closed source, so I have sent an email asking for permission from Patrick Lafarguette to use it in Max. Intel PRO Wireless 2100 is open sourced and it is the work of Michael Lotz.

No... not again!!!

Being a member of the BeOS/Haiku community for 7 years now, has been very exciting and it has also been a series of joys and disappointments. Lately everything had been going quite well... so I thought we are out of the woods. And then this happens. I guess you have heard about Zeta and Magnussoft. They have parted ways. This is the third time this has happened with this OS.

My personal belief is that Magnussoft should have tried more. However it is their decision and we can do nothing but respect that. As for Zeta, it is a great product and I have used it since RC1. It has made great strides and works with much more hardware than any other BeOS variant or derivative.

I disagree with those who say that there is no place for BeOS, Haiku or Zeta in the marketplace. I believe that those OSes are what an OS should be. Blazing fast and simple. Neither Windows nor MacOS X have that. As for Linux, despite its success (heck, I am using it as my main OS 50% of the time), it is becoming bloated and slow, and has more hardware problems than most people would care to admit (just try getting the latest ATI or NVidia card to work with it in 3D).

However, I agree that the price of Zeta is too high. Perhaps that is a problem. I mean, with my income it is not hard to put aside 100Euro every now and then for software, but it isn't so for every computer geek.

Finally I wish Bernd and his team the best. I hope they find a new home for Zeta soon. I wish I had a few million to spare...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

First impressions...

Anyone care to comment on Max V4 beta 1? Have you installed it? How did you download it (link or torrent?). Do you have a mirror site for it? Is it missing something important or something you use every day?

Post comments here. Later I will prepare a special forum for discussing V4 b1 and post the link here.

Fire away...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Max V4 beta 1

Go to to download the first beta of Max V4. Enjoy and give feedback.

Update: A torrent is now available at ThePirateBay

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Beta Version

A beta of Max V4 is being uploaded as I write these lines. Beware, this version is not for the faint hearted, although it is as stable as it can be since only a few things have changed in the driver section.

Also, it doesn't include the MaxUpdater yet, as it isn't ready.

It will take several hours to upload it on, since I only have a 256kbps upstream speed.

Anyone who wishes to try it and give me feedback is welcome to download it as soon as I have the link up.

Things that will be added in the next few days, on route to a beta 2, will be the Haiku Built system and several dev utilities. For the final version there will be 3 releases. A MiniMax with only basic system and apps, DevMax with all essential tools and Max (with everything on top...)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A few steps forward.

Did some cleaning up of the system today, updated the default bookmarks for Firefox 2.0 and added some feeds. It would be interesting to know what feeds the BeOS community follows more (even outside the confines of Haiku/BeOS) so I can include them, so don't be shy and comment.

One major update I did today was the inclusion of USB Patches so more usb devices will work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Development on Max V4 restarts today

After a month and a half pause, development will restart tonight. The pause was due to the workload I had. This is all behind me now and I am returning to my normal routine.

You may have noticed I already did some work on the site. I will update you with my progress starting tonight.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Haiku should be the first...

It should be the first to do this:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Zeta 1.5 and Games

Zeta 1.5 is now shipping so I decided to take a look at it. The time delay though to get them to send me an update to 1.21 and send them back my copy, together with the cost of all that delay and posting made buying a full copy of 1.21 a better choice (at least compared to the alternative).

Now don't think for a moment I am going to stop developing Max V4 because of this. I just would like to satisfy my curiosity, plus I have a couple of hundred Euros lying around I wish to spend.

So,I ordered all products (except Wonderbrush) and I am going to start a full review as soon as I get them.

This is what I ordered:
Zeta 1.21
Zeta 1.5 Pro update
MediaFire Pro
Amiga Classix Gold
Airline Tycoon Deluxe
Robin Hood: Legend of Sherwood

note: The reason I didn't order Wonderbrush is that I already own copies of Refraction and Pixel32 and I believe a third drawing program would be an overkill.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

News on Max v4

These past 3 weeks I have had to put aside the development of BeOS Max V4 for a number of reasons.

1) Got sick...
2) My Linux system got updated with a kernel that doesn't like the Nvidia drivers and now I can't get dual screen up, so I don't have the desktop space I am used to working on.
3) Last week we got 2 more contracts at work, with big organizations for our Law Office program and the Finance Ministry of Greece announced the change of property taxes, so we have to update the program (and database) we create for our customers (notaries, tax evaluation officials, Banks etc.).

All these set me back a lot and I don't think I will have much free time until mid March. As soon as I have more news, I will post them.

Monday, February 19, 2007

out of order...

I have been sick (came down with the flu) these past few days, and I couldn't get much work done. Hopefully this week will be more productive. Not sure yet what I will do first, but I have a couple of things planned so that next Sunday I should have something interesting to post.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Slow week

Actually I didn't have time to work on BeOS Max, because work at real life (tm) has been quite demanding.

It might go on for a few weeks, because just today a change in our property tax system has been announced that requires me to update my company's GIS driven property taxation software, but I think I can manage to do some work on Max too.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Even faster

I don't know how i did it, but MaxUpdater is now even faster. It loaded the 800 application info in under 6 seconds. It seems that serializing the read works best when all pieces of info are parsed with the code I wrote.

Now I start writing the code to handle the actual download and update. First update will probably be ready sometime on Sunday, because I have real life work to do also.

By the way, I will also give this to users of BeOS Max V3.1b1. The updates will start from that version. Any takers with unaltered Max V3.1b1 who wish to test it when it goes into beta?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yab / MaxUpdater Testing performance

Yab amazed me today.

I tried to get MaxUpdater to show an extremely large number of applications and dynamically create tabs, views, checkboxes after reading a text file with the info needed.

What was the result? Well, not only did it do it for 800 applications, but it took only 14 seconds, when I was told that just reading a file of that size would take a lot longer. However that wasn't what amazed me. It was the fact that dynamically creating the 800 views (1 view per application) didn't take more than a few milliseconds and only raised the usage of memory by 1/7th (from 7500kb to 8600kb) !!!

This is cool. Hope I have enough time this weekend to get further along with the MaxUpdater. Next step is to do a real update/install of an app from the Internet repository. So keep watching this blog for more news of progress.

The mandatory screenshot.

Monday, January 22, 2007

D20 Dice Roller app for BeOS

The Be Dungeon Master Dice Roller 0.9 is now online for download at BeBits .

The break from Max Version 4 is over. Development will now continue. I plan to do a break every 7 days, work on a different app for 2 days and then continue on Max Version 4.

So, what kind of app would you like to see next? Please don't say a new Word Processor!!! Some simple app you think is missing from BeOS.

I am planning to do more apps for DMs in the future too as I have outlined.

Logic behind MaxUpdater

First let me say this: BeOS way of installation is excellent. It is simple and brilliant.

So after saying that, it comes to terms that MaxUpdater is not going to change that nor should it and neither should any other package management application in the future.

MaxUpdater is just going to help users find what they need, or want, or must install and do it as simply as 1-2-3. In fact it is just that:

  1. Open MaxUpater
  2. Select Application(s) you wish to install
  3. Press install
Simple yet brilliant? Well it is the BeOS way, only in fewer steps if you need to install more than 1 application at a time.

All the other features are just add-ons. Useful, but not essentials.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Taking a break and DMing...

Yesterday I took a break and played a small Dungeon and Dragons game.

Before playing I did a little search to see if there are any programs on BeOS that can help Dungeon Masters (yeap, I am a DM... geeky heh?) and I found there is none. So today I decided to start a series of small programs. Don't worry, MaxUpdater and Max V4 are proceeding as scheduled. I just had a little more time off work....

So here we are. Introducing the BeOS DM Dice Roller

I will upload the program with the code as soon as one more feature is implemented.

Friday, January 19, 2007

more progress

MaxUpdater is progressing quite well. It now loads, parses and displays lists of Updates and Applications. It even creates categories on the fly and puts all applications belonging to a category on the correct Tab.

Next step will be to know what applications you have already installed, so they will be checked by default and shown on a different tab with installed apps. Unchecking them would mean unistalling them. Installed updates will not show on the list by default.

Now if anyone can help with making the interface better looking (I am a software engineer, not an artist) I would be very grateful.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

MaxUpdater progress

Milestone 1 was reached with MaxUpdater.

It can now use wget to download itself (or any other file) from our file repository and it also updates itself.

The code will be 100% open, so you anyone can review it. Also I have decided to add 1 more feature to MaxUpdater. The ability to create your own repository so others can add it to MaxUpdater.

What I am thinking of finally creating is something that will work like the CNR service of Freespire.

Any thoughts, ideas or coding help would be appreciated.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MaxUpdater System

Design of the updater system is progressing. Main functions I wish to include are:
  • Download and install critical updates automatically
  • Download and install applications on demand
  • Download dependencies and install with dependant updates
  • Uninstall option for non critical updates
  • Distribution of packages to other BeOS Max computers in the same network
For now, MaxUpdater get a list of update packages from my main download site. A full mock-up app will be created next and I will post screen shots as soon as it is ready.

Plans for BeOS Max V4

These are the things I am planning for BeOS Max V4 so far:

  • Update all available applications and drivers
  • Choose and include best application per type that is missing
  • Include all required stuff for Haiku development
  • Update system
  • User/Expert documentation system
If you think of anything else (that doesn't need mastery of C++ and BeAPI) post a comment.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

BeOS 5 PE Max Edition V4

Well, as you might have seen on BeOS News sites, I have posted info on the site on an upcoming version of BeOS Max.

It will be Version 4 to be exact.

So to answer the major question. Why?

First of all let me say that 3 years ago I told the community that V3.1 would be the last version of BeOS Max, since a commercial alternative had gone public. Zeta had a lot of success, but it also had a great failure. YellowTab wasn't viable as a single product company. So it had to sell the product and close.

Although Zeta is being developed, Magnussoft is not doing its best to keep it alive. I find it quite annoying that I have to return the product I purchased from Yellowtab, to get an upgrade. This for me is a show stopper. I don't want to wait in line at a post office, to send a package back to a company whose products I order from the Internet. I just don't have the time. (edit: This is only one of the things that Magnussoft did that bothers me.)

So I decided to go back to BeOS Max and see what I can do there, now that Haiku has made such progress. And although it doesn't support everything Zeta does, I found out that with a few tweaks and additions it is quite usable.

Finally, I decided to upgrade the installation of BeOS Max V3.1b1 to a more usable one, so I can transfer it to other PCs and at the same time find out what progress has been made in overall.

Please take note, that I am not promising a release yet, since I don't know when it will be ready, but I'll see what I can do and keep you up to date here and on the site.

Vassilis 'vasper' Perantzakis

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Not much to report...

but I thought I'll let you know I am alive :-)

Happy New Year. May this year bring an R1 release of our favorite OS, Haiku.

Although not much work has been done on YaGui or anything else on Haiku by me, I am here and I am planning a few things. I will post some news of my plans soon I hope.