Sikosis's BeOS/Haiku Developer Blog

Haiku Video Tutorial

7th December, 2011 06:36 AM by Sikosis

Haiku: An Inside Look from Matt Nawrocki on Vimeo.

RhapsodyGuru writes "I hope you all find this interesting and enjoyable to watch. The target audience for this production is geared towards those into Linux/BSD/et al, but are curious about Haiku and what it can do for them."

Click here for the full story.

Posted in Video | Comments »

Migrating Haiku from SVN to Git

9th November, 2011 06:47 AM by Sikosis

Oliver Tappe recently gave a tech talk at BeGeistert 024 about migrating Haiku's repository from SVN to Git.

Posted in Tech Talk | Comments »

Mucking Around with libcurl

3rd September, 2011 04:40 AM by Sikosis
So, thanks to HDU 2011, I've been getting back into dabbling with Haiku C++ coding whenever I've been able to get a spare moment.

In that spare time, I've managed to start work on a new project called HaikuSCP, an open source GUI front end to scp, with profiles and drag n drop file support.

HaikuSCP v0.3

For awhile I've wanted to do a Dropbox client for Haiku, so I started to have a crack at it and kept getting strange cert errors; I then decided perhaps, I should try an easier web service first.

I searched through a list of popular web services and soon sourced something relatively simple, - the URL shortening service. With a couple of hours to nut out the libcurl functionality and a few more for the basic GUI, bitly was released to the public via Haikuware. for Haiku v0.3

These releases are the first versions, so when I get more downtime you can expect future updates.

Posted in Coding | Comments »

Haiku Down Under 2011 Report

27th August, 2011 02:39 AM by Sikosis
Haiku Down Under 2011It was a rather overcast day in Brisbane, Australia: Home of the Fourth Annual Haiku Down Under Virtual Conference for Haiku OS Users and Developers. It was virtual, in the respect, that the event was streamed live over the Internet once again using the uStream service.

We accept (and regret) that this service requires Flash, but at present, we still haven't found any other services that are capable of delivering the same features. One of these days, we hope to use a Haiku friendly service.

This year, HDU 2011 (#hdu2011) was hosted from one of the ITEE boardrooms at The University of Queensland where I, Phil Greenway (Sikosis) was joined once again by Mark Patterson (BeMark) and newcomer Daniel Devine.

We kicked off the event at 10AM (GMT +10) instead of 9AM like previous years, to enable us plenty of time to get all the hardware setup for the event. It was raining outside, which was unusual for this time of year, still this had no impact on our event.

View from Balcony

This was a good thing, as we managed to start on time and everything was going smooth. We did have a couple of issues, but we trust that didn't deter from the rest of the event.

Truth be told there were two hiccups during the event, one being when I was playing the Audio Interview with myself and Matt Madia. Unfortunately, uStream isn't very smart in the fact we were running a broadcast and they decided to play someone else's event stream in our browser.

Sikosis monitoring the Live Stream

So, it took us a few minutes to figure out what was going on. The other issue was with netPanzer, more on that later.

For those who missed the event, there is a recorded version hosted on uStream, so we encourage you to have a look. This year we didn't solicit for submissions, so the format was myself doing my usual coding session, BeMark was back again for some Qt stuff and thanks to the Haiku talk I did at LCA 2011 at the beginning of the year, I met Daniel Devine and he volunteered to help out.

Actually, Daniel was a prize winner from HDU 2010, so good to see him step up from user to presenter in such a short space of time.

Daniel Devine

I started off the event with a brief overview of what has happened in Haiku land over the past year, then I went into a coding session about Reading and Writing Files: The Haiku Way using the Storage Kit API. I also wrote some demos for BeMark to present on using Qt under Haiku doing reading and writing files as well; this was mainly so you could see the difference between the two approaches.

Daniel Devine, who has a Linux background, gave a very cool talk about doing Python Web Development under Haiku. Some really great stuff here such as the django web framework and I was impressed to see that SickBeard ran under Haiku. As Daniel said, there's probably a lot of hidden gems out there that run under Haiku.

To build on the mini-session from last year called Haiku in the Workplace, initially, I was planning to use Google+ Hangouts for an interactive discussion. When it came down to it, we decided to just rely on good ole IRC and went through various applications that Haiku would need to be able to be used in a work environment. I'll be putting more information up on the Haiku in the Workplace mini-site in due course, so stay tuned.

Sikosis on the Mic

Unfortunately, because we ran over time and the video flickering issues we had running netPanzer, we decided to scrap Face-Off II and head off to have lunch instead. It worked fine the night before the event, but not on the day. We're unsure if we'll run this again next year -- if anyone has any suggestions on what else we could run, please feel free to comment on the HDU 2011 Survey.

This year’s prize winners were eNIGMa winning the Haiku® R1/Alpha 3 Commemorative CD and Omnimancer getting a copy of the Learning to Program with Haiku eBook by Jon Yoder aka DarkWyrm. These prizes were gladly sponsored by Daily Haiku and Haiku PC.

Once again, we’ve made the slides available in HTML form, along with the code examples to download via the HDU Code Repository, or you can view them using web syntax highlighting.


HDU will return next year on Sunday 10AM (GMT+10) 19th August, 2012 - once again hoping we can get the numbers (users, developers and viewers) involved up. We've setup a survey, so if you have some free time, please complete this. By doing this, it will enable us to tailor things for next year. It your chance to let us know what we’re doing right and/or wrong.

The statistics for the live stream picked up this year with 53 live viewers (that's 30 more than last year). Though the website stats were down to only 695 pageviews for the month of August. That being said, we appreciate and thank you for your support; we look forward to seeing you and more at the next HDU.

Reposted on the Official Haiku OS Web Site -

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Happy 10th Birthday Haiku !

18th August, 2011 12:00 AM by Sikosis
Happy 10th Birthday Haiku !On this day in History: Back in 2001, the Haiku OS (then OpenBeOS) project was started. The project has come along way in the last 10 years with 3 Alpha releases, formation of Haiku Inc and many improvements when compared with BeOS R5, which was the last release by Be Inc.

So, join me and others from around the globe as we celebrate all that is the Haiku.

Posted in Haiku | Comments »

Preping for HDU 2011

5th August, 2011 07:27 AM by Sikosis
HDU 2011Attention all Haiku fans, I've been working on the content for Haiku Down Under 2011 - the Australian Haiku Users and Developers Virtual Conference.

We didn't put out a call for submissions this time as thankfully regular BeMark and newcomer Daniel Devine stepped up to present. Hashtag this year is #hdu2011.

Be sure to also head on over to the netPanzer mini site as it has all the information and files you'll need to play in the Conference Tournament.

It's going to be a busy couple of weeks preparing, so we hope you can all make it despite the fact the in order to "tune in", you'll need a Flash enabled computer or an iOS device.

16 Days to go ...

Posted in Haiku | Comments »

Haiku Alpha 3 has landed

21st June, 2011 07:18 AM by Sikosis
Haiku Alpha 3The third release of the Haiku OS Alpha has been released to the public.

It has been over a year since the last update and this version contains many fixes and improvements - 800 bugs closed and 250 more subtle ones discovered by the automated software quality analyiser, Coverity.

Here's a short list of the updates:-

  • Improved read (and write support) for various file systems, which includes btrfs, exFAT, ext2, ext3, ext4, NTFS, UDF, and others.

  • Various enhancements for hardware support, such as IO-APIC, ACPI, video drivers, network drivers and USB.

  • Gutenprint is utilized to provide additional printer support.

  • MediaKit's support for decoding and encoding file formats has been improved.

  • New IMAP implementation. Mails are now synchronized with the server and not just downloaded like in POP3.

  • More applications now use Haiku's Layout API, making their GUI's more resilient to font changes and localization. Furthermore, the layout API has continued to progress towards being stable and public. However, this API is not finalized: it may change at any time, so developers beware.
So, what are you waiting for ? Go grab a copy today.

Posted in Haiku | Comments »

Haiku and GSoC 2011

24th March, 2011 03:02 AM by Sikosis
The Google Summer (Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) of Code™ 2011 is on again and awesome news, the Haiku project is taking part for the 5th year in a row. Thanks to the participation of various individuals in the community, particularly our Google Summer of Code admin Matthew Madia and those who volunteered to become mentors, Haiku was selected as a one of the 175 mentoring organizations; out of the 417 organizations that applied.

Haiku and GSoC - Sikosis

So, to honour that, I printed up Jorge Mare's flyer for the event and plastered it around the University of Queensland's IT and Electrical Engineering school, where I work.

Posted in Haiku News | Comments »

LCA2011 - Day 1 to 5

28th February, 2011 08:00 PM by Sikosis
Here is the day by day blog of the Linux Conference Australia 2011.

  • Day One

    First, let me get this disclaimer out, I'm not a big Linux fan or user. I see it has it's place and I certainly use it (I have it running on my Sony UMPC at present), however, I'm not a rabid fan boy. That being said LCA is of course, very linux focused, but it's also Open Source focused and that's where I come in.

  • Day Two

    Day 2 began with the highlight of the conference, the morning keynote by Vint Cerf, the Father of the Internet. He gave an excellent talk and he's a very smart, switched on man.

  • Day Three

    As today is Australia Day, I'm not attending LCA2011, but instead having a BBQ and drinks with friends and celebrating the Top 20 DnB of 2010. Hope you all had fun, it was a bloody hot day.

  • Day Four

    Day 4 was another hot one in Brisbane, but was kicked off with a great keynote from the creator of sendmail, Eric Allman. Very nice talk on why he did why he did and what he would have done. Very humbling.

  • Day Five

    Today is the last day of LCA 2011. Whilst not the official last day, as there is an Open Day on tomorrow with stalls and such, in reality though - today is the last day.

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Haiku Alpha 3 - Soon ?

31st January, 2011 08:37 AM by Sikosis
Haiku Alpha 3 - Soon ?"There is talk again on the haiku-dev mailing list about a possible Alpha3 release soon.

Things we can expect to see in the upcoming release are some of the things that were worked on by Google Code In students, such as better support for more languages, a couple new screensavers, improved (optional) SDL libraries, etc."

Excellent news as it's been awhile since the last alpha. I tend to use the nightlies instead, because there are more features and fixed with them.

For more information, head on over to BeGroovy.

Posted in Haiku News | Comments »

LCA2011 - Day 5

28th January, 2011 08:00 PM by Sikosis
Today is the last day of LCA 2011. Whilst not the official last day, as there is an Open Day on tomorrow with stalls and such, in reality though - today is the last day.

Day 5

It also happens to be the day I deliver my talk on Haiku. Mark Pesce was the keynote speaker and he certainly caused controversy with his talk. Both confronting in his stance against Facebook and how we need a public Internet system, but also his use of explicit material, which violated the sexual harassment policy of the conference.

Mark Pesce - Keynote - Smoke Signals

I thought the images were over the top and bad taste, especially since we were told as speakers not to do anything that wasn't G-rated. But that's as far as I thought about it.

We broke for Morning Tea and then I decided to head down to N block to see Paul Harvey's talk on Foswiki -- mainly, cos we chatted a fair bit at the Speakers Dinner and Foswiki looks interesting.

Paul Harvey - Foswiki

Once, he'd finished, I then needed to rush off to the room I was presenting in, which thankfully was only down the corridor. Due to the main keynote going over time, all the other talks got pushed forward, so I waited another 5 minutes or so, before presenting in front of about 50-60 people plus whoever was on the live stream.

5 Minutes Prior to my Haiku Talk

Now let's get one thing straight. I was presenting at a Linux Conference with a MacBook Pro, a) because I was using Keynote, which is a superior presentation software and is only available on a Mac and b) I was running VMware Fusion virtual machine image of Haiku for maximum capability with the room's projector and access to the Internet via the MBP's wifi.

Lego Decal for MacBook Pro - to appease the crowd

So, I thought I would do the right thing and cover up the shiny white glowing Mac logo with a decal. I also happen to be a lego fan and as it shows evolution, something that Haiku certainly has definitely gone through; it all just fits. But that wasn't enough for some people:-

"I'm a little disappointed that the talk on the Haiku OS isn't being given on a system
running Haiku. #lca2011" - ctudball


"Haiku presentation done on a Mac at #lca2011. I was under the impression I was attending
a #Linux conference. Clearly, I have been mislead." - slanteig

Still, there were a few nice tweets by Mike Sampson (@mfsampson):-

"Building Haiku on Linux looks fairly simple." and "Haiku uses vector icons!"

As for the talk, things were going well until I got up to the demo, when I tried to copy two files from the same Virtual CD at the same time and one of the windows locked up and went white. I tried to kill it (twice) to no avail. I ended up just rebooting the VM and whilst it was doing that I explained what I was going to show and by that time it had rebooted.


As my friend Jimmy Ti says, that just goes to show how resilient Haiku is -- and I guess he's right, but I just can't believe why these things work the night before when you're on your couch at home, but on the day in front of people it goes wrong. :(

I was just getting to the Paladin coding section of my talk when the helpful volunteer staff member held up the "5 Mins" left sign -- I thought err, this demo is going to take at least 5 minutes, so I scrapped that and went straight to the hey scripting demo and only picked two of the several examples I had. The rest will go on my scripting page.


At that point, the volunteer was holding up the "CUT" sign, so I quickly jumped to the conclusion slide and then powered through all of them until I finished. Then came question time, where the first question was about flash and then it was a bit of a blur for me, I was in a daze because I had all this material prepared thinking it wasn't going to be enough and it ended up being way too much.

A bunch of people also came up to me at the end to say they would try it out or they were old BeOS fans and were sad the day it died; two of them said they then switched to Linux when BeOS went under. There were a couple of comments on that the UI looks a little dated as well.

Haiku by Phil Greenway

It was then time for lunch, so Paul Harvey (Foswiki guy) and I went down to Nandos and then we parted ways, as I went to see Sarah Sharp's "Growing food with Open Source" -- a talk I've been waiting to see all week and I wasn't alone in that.

Sarah Sharp - Growing Food with Open Source

She talked about her experience leading up to the conference and then showed how she made an Arduino detect if a plant needed water via her home made water indicators and if it did need watering would turn on a water pump she had got out of a battery powered desktop fountain. Very cool and inspiring stuff.

Sarah Sharp - In demand

Marc Merlin did a talk on Misterhouse and X10, ZWave and a bunch of other home automated solutions, something I've been wanting to do for awhile and the prices aren't too bad at the moment. We broke for afternoon tea and when we came back it was Andrew Tridgell of Samba fame to show his Automated Coffee Roasting Machine.

Andrew Tridgell + Automated Coffee Roaster

Amazing stuff as he showed us how he worked out how to write a linux driver for the USB multimeter, which was reading the temperature of the inside of the bread maker, which was full of coffee beans and had a heat gun pointing at it.

It was then time for the lightning talks, where the most interesting one to me, was the mention of the first ever PHP Conference in Australia. They've just got a website -, a twitter account and the mention of an October in Sydney conference date.

PHP Conference in Australia!

Once those talks were over, a slide was then put up about how much money had been raised for the QLD Floods Appeal - $28, 239. Awesome job.

Money Raised for QLD Floods

The closing theme was where to next -- of course, setting up the announcement of next year's conference in Ballarat, Victoria.

LCA2012 @ Ballarat

To me, it was a decent conference. Not being a hardcore Linux guy, there wasn't everything there for me, but there were certainly parts of it that I really enjoyed and have been inspired by. The goal of my talk was if I got at least one person to look at Haiku then I've done my job ... and I think I did that.

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LCA2011 - Day 4

27th January, 2011 07:40 PM by Sikosis
Day 4 was another hot one in Brisbane, but was kicked off with a great keynote from the creator of sendmail, Eric Allman. Very nice talk on why he did why he did and what he would have done. Very humbling.

Eric Allman

After Morning Tea, I was very much looking forward to Rusty Russell's Advanced Coding C for Fun! talk ... even though at the Speaker's Dinner when he asked what I was talking about, I said "the Haiku Operating System" and he said "Oh you're that nutbag." (laugh) -- and boy, he's out there.

Rusty Russell

That being said this was the first time I'd actually gotten to see some code and code demos, which was great and he went through building up from a couple of hundred to a think nearly a thousand lines of code by adding other libraries to tackle what he was doing, where he enabled code to be upgraded whilst still running and did some hairbrained "impossible" solution with even more lines of code to do it as well.

I then walked from L to N block to see the man with the 3 coloured dyed hair, Stewart Smith, give his no holds barred talk on RDBMS, Apple for it's fsync, NoSQL, MongoDB and more.

Dropping ACID

Earlier in the week I saw someone's tweet that there was a sushi place around Kelvin Grove campus. So, for lunch I went for a walk and happily found it, with it's nice portions of salmon nigiri *drools*.


It was quite hot and I wasn't feeling the best, so I decided to head home and hop on the video streams from the conference, as I'd had no luck with them earlier in the week, I was pleasantly surprised when it did work. It was quite cool, as I was able to jump from room to room, without having to do all that walking :)

I checked out a session on Perl Programming Best Practices, Jon Oxer's awesome Kinect project, where he's using his hands to control a Parrot (helicopter drone) and other things he's wired up around the house thanks to Arduinos; plus a little bit of Google's Go, which to me it's like solving a problem I don't have, but as my friend Jimmy Ti points out they made it for themselves and then released it to the world.

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LCA2011 - Day 3

26th January, 2011 09:00 AM by Sikosis
As today is Australia Day, I'm not attending LCA2011, but instead having a BBQ and drinks with friends and celebrating the Top 20 DnB of 2010. Hope you all had fun, it was a bloody hot day.

Cooler from LCA2011 by Qt (Nokia)

BBQ for Australia Day

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LCA2011 - Day 2

25th January, 2011 11:32 PM by Sikosis
Day 2 began with the highlight of the conference, the morning keynote by Vint Cerf, the Father of the Internet. He gave an excellent talk and he's a very smart, switched on man.

Packed House for Vint Cerf

I stuck around for a few of the sysadmin sessions, especially the interesting talk about Carrot and Stick. Carrot doesn't work. The Stick does. Make the developers TALK to the Customers. It works! I also liked the Samba 4 talk, as we rely heavily on it at work. I then got up and walked down to L block and checked out the talk on MeeGo, which was as about as informative as the Wikipedia entry. I would have liked more from this talk.


Still, Nokia treated us to a brown paper bag lunch, which wasn't too bad with Chicken sandwich, cookies, Snickers bar and apple.

Free Lunch thanks to Nokia

We were then going to learn about doing Android development using C++ and not that dirty four letter word *java*. Unfortunately, the bad news is you have to make your C++ app trick Android into thinking it's a Java app and you also have reduced functionality. In the long run, it didn't seem really worth it -- again I wish there was some code demos with this talk.

Ryan Stuart then gave an impromptu talk on the mobile web app for LCA2011 that he wrote in 24 hours using Sencha.

Ryan Stuart @ LCA2011

There was then a brief talk on Android Scripting, which looks interesting and I might have to look into it some more when this conference is over.

Android Scripting

I then saw John Williams give a talk on FGPAs, which was good, even though I had a little power nap for a couple of minutes during it; I blame the vending machines being out of stock. I then checked out Carol Smith, Google's coordinator of Google's Summer (Winter) of Code.
Carol Smith - GSoC

At this point, it was time to head up to the shuttle bus to take us to the Speaker's Dinner at the Brisbane Convention Centre (Mezzanine), where we had drinks and nibbles in the lobby, before heading into Bongo Hero before having a nice meal.

Speaker's Dinner

Mains   Dessert

At the speakers dinner I got to chat to a couple of people from the LCA community, including a rather cheerful chap who was taking photos and was doing a theme of "faces" and so snapped me when trying to make me laugh. His flickr photostream can be found here.


Speakers Dinner - Me in the background

I was then in a little pain and thought it's time to head home, so I decided to take a brief walk through the flood affected streets of South Bank, noticing the thin layer of mud that coats everything, but at least it will eventually wash away. I then snapped this nice picture of the Wheel of Brisbane.

Wheel of Brisbane

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LCA2011 - Day 1

24th January, 2011 05:36 AM by Sikosis
First, let me get this disclaimer out, I'm not a big Linux fan or user. I see it has it's place and I certainly use it (I have it running on my Sony UMPC at present), however, I'm not a rabid fan boy. That being said LCA is of course, very linux focused, but it's also Open Source focused and that's where I come in.


At this point, I'd also like to give big kudos to the many people working behind the scenes at LCA. Due to the Brisbane Floods, these guys and girls were able to get in 10 days everything they had done over the last 12 months. As far as I could tell, there weren't any hitches, apart from some odd issues with Linux laptops and the projectors.

Registration at LCA2011

The day began with registration, which was pretty painless and then we received the free schwag including a Yubikey, which I was stoked about. Been after one of those devices for ages, but just hadn't got around to getting one.

LCA2011 Schwag

The first session I went to was on PiTiVi (video editing software), then "An Approach to Automatic Text Generation", which was a little disappointing as it was just showing off BOM's new forecasting system, which QLD doesn't get til next year. The next session was on "Practical Go", which I thought was going to be real world examples of using Google's Go language. Google had already come to UQ last year to do an overview of Go, so unfortunately, this talk was about the same.


We then broke for lunch (which isn't included) and so we headed for the local shops that are on QUT's campus. Nandos! What's to think about -- so we headed there and I think so did everyone else :)

Making Music with Linux

After lunch was a great talk on "Avoiding Development Monoculture", which I enjoyed and then I went back to the Multimedia + Music room to see the session on Making Music on Linux. Jack is a pretty good tool for routing audio, but some of the other tools such as Rosegarden and Ardour, seem a little simple but "do the job".

The State of PHP

Afternoon tea was then served, complete with spring rolls and then it was time for "The State of PHP" talk. PHP 6 is dead -- long live PHP 5.4 or 6 or 7 or whatever it's going to be called.

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One Week til Haiku @ LCA2011

20th January, 2011 04:49 AM by Sikosis
Haiku at LCA2011Linux Conference Australia (or LCA for short) is due to kick off on Monday 22nd January, 2011 -- with myself, presenting a talk on Haiku, one week from today.

It'll be a well rounded talk starting off with some history and then delving into what makes Haiku so good. Of course, I'll be talking about what's missing and what's being worked on. I've also got a demo planned where I will be doing some basic coding stuff (BButton launching a BAlert) and some hey scripting.

I'll be posting on twitter under @sikosis using the hashtags of #HaikuOS and #lca2011 (for the conference).

I've been advised the session is going to be recorded, so I'll post the link when it's available. This is the first time I've delivered a long talk (45 minutes) in front of large audience (100 to 300 people), so wish me luck.

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