Well, happy holidays, everyone, and what a wonderful season it is with a beta of Haiku for the first year ever!
Haiku Beta is finally here after several long years of waiting! And after being months overdue, my review is also here (and I do apologize to my readers it’s taken this long to get it out!)
And so, with that said, I look forward at taking a look at Haiku again… and here is my personal take on Haiku’s beta release! Beta! Yeah! Woot woot! Woooo-hoo! :-)
However… before we actually get into Haiku and have some fun with it, let’s look at a few of the changes that have happened since Alpha 4.1.
If you don’t want to read this part, hey, totally cool. Scroll down to the review. :-)
Now, we don’t have time to look at everything new in Beta 1 from Alpha 4.1 and won’t, (as years of improvements are in the beta), and so I’ve picked just three highlights I’d like to take a quick look at before we actually get to have fun:
One thing that can’t be stated enough is thanks to the Haiku team for all the work done to the system the user won’t see, but will certainly feel. One thing the Beta did is it added EFI to an official release for the first time.
In addition to adding EFI (much needed in this era), improvements to the debugger, serial tools, and other deep system-level changes, like updated drivers, a new thread scheduler, and several security features (covered in Haiku’s release notes) also very worthy of pointing out, and all of these are definitely a notable addition to the system.
Screenshot of something visible, the old Debugger from Alpha 4 next to the updated Debugger taken from the pre-beta screenshot set…
And beyond all the above, the number of tweaks, bug fixes, patches added, and new hardware support (even with the Nightly releases, some of my hardware that did not work now does) — and improvements to every area — really shine in the Beta! Again, be sure to thank the Haiku devs if you get the opportunity.
The work is impressive. Especially when it’s not near the same size as more popular platforms out there — like Gnu/Linux or the BSDs. It may have taken a long time to get here (and believe me, I wish a stopgap like Alpha 5 would’ve come in between), but the wait was worth it.
Anyways, on with the next highlight!
What this means for Haiku is big.
This is sorta a part 2 of last section of invisible highlights — but is also definitely a visible highlight as well. This feature is cool. Really cool. One thing about the Beta is that Haiku makes history with this release by introducing packages, joining several other free operating systems with an application center of its own, called the Depot, (which we’ll have fun with in the review). Shown below is the SoftwareValet in BeOS ‘Dano’, a relic of a different time.
Convenient as a cool front end with registration management may be, in the old days, to find new software like a port of the Arora browser, qemu, VLC, or an unofficial Firefox to BeOS, users usually would frequent websites across the Web providing popular Be software.
Two notable Be/Haiku software sites included BeBits and Haikuware. But today, that’s all changed… (and as of when this article was written, both bebits.com and haikuware.com re-direct to Remix OS.)
An awesome feature… with a mixed reception at first…
But before going on, it’s worth noting for history that reception for the new package wielding Haiku wasn’t always as wonderful as it’s become today. When the packaging features in Haiku began to roll out into the Nightly releases, there was a big change that happened to the system itself. In order to make packaging work as intended, certain areas of the system became read-only. Back then, this led to some debate with users in the community, who had become frustrated at first with the changes. This sparked both the ultimate closure of BeBits and Haikuware, and a short-lived distro of Haiku, (which eventually went nowhere).
And with that said, yes, if you’re upgrading from Alpha 4.1 to Beta, you will notice the changes to the system folder layout. Of course, while certain parts of it are read-only, not all of it is. For instance, if we go to edit /system/settings/cdrecord, we still get the shift confirmation dialog from earlier releases (as I also played with in the pre-beta).
But the overall point is that packaging eliminates having to get applications (and find and resolve dependencies) the old way and replaces it with a better way.
In with the new! Enter the Age of Packages…
So, today, the good news is that with the Beta release, Haiku has officially moved to packages, after a long time in Nightly mode, and providing software through the repos is now accepted as a way of distributing Haiku software. Packaging is a huge step forward for Haiku, as it provides a new set of useful features, and hopefully, it should be helpful for both developers and end users.
To see more about what packaging offers, and other areas that are worth highlighting about the BeOS and Haiku, please read the accompanying article to this review, What makes BeOS and Haiku unique.
To quickly recap that, so you don’t have to leave the review to read it, packaging gives us a unified set of packages that work like modules, activating on system startup, complete with a suite of command line tools, and the HaikuDepot. We also get an updater, package and/or system states, and the PackageFS itself.
There are a ton of changes from Alpha to Beta, as I mentioned before. For now, let’s just look at a few things below I’ve picked out… as again, we can’t cover everything. (Like, improvements to Web+ (the browser), Mail, Icon-o-Matic, printing, media, and so much more.)
Below is a few Alpha 4/Beta tidbits, where I’ll point out just a few differences, (prefs mainly)…
Tracker and Deskbar preferences
We’ll play with Tracker and Deskbar prefs a bit in the actual review… but as you can see, the Alpha 4 versions began to visibly age. The Deskbar preferences pane was more crowded, the disk mounting was separate, and small improvements were to made to the Tracker preferences (which we’ll get to in Part 2). For now, here’s the old versions from Alpha 4:
Here, we can also see other changes, like the ugly buttons on the old Tracker, when the single window navigator is on:
Compare the old appearance from Alpha 4 to the newer Tracker below…
Old color picker: Alpha 4’s Appearance preferences
Here, you can see the old color switcher in Alpha 4, before it was updated along the Nightly path to Beta.
… and here’s a salvo of other Alpha 4 preferences.
Below, to save time, I’ve grouped several prefs in one shot (and will do that about three more times, again for the sake of time).
Yes, most of these are largely the same. That’s not the point. The point is that in the beta each looks much cleaner in the new version, as I’ll point out in just a bit.
That said, here is Alpha 4, shot 1 of 4:
Here’s group shot 2 of 4 (with Mouse, Notifications, Screen, and Network preferences, again, all from Alpha 4).
Here’s grouped shot 3 of 4, showing the old A4 Time and Virtual Memory preferences:
Here’s grouped shot 4 of 4, showing the old A4 ScreenSaver and Shortcuts.
Now, remember, the new preflets are largely the same. There are some preferences, like Network that were nicely revamped, (and I’ll point this out), but the point of beta is the attention to polish and detail. That’s what I hope to show here. Beware: this may get a little long. But hang on — it’s the last part before we get to the beta! :-)
Okay, so let’s get into the first shot. Starting with the most trivial changes first, in Keymap Switcher, aside from the word ‘hotkey’ being replaced, the arrow by System uses the new arrow design, and spacing in between the boxes is slightly improved. Keymap is also pretty much the same, but the key caps (or layout) does look cleaner in the beta, which is why I’ve included it here.
The more notable change here is in Appearance to the Mac-like scroll bar feature. In the look and feel pane, we now have a visual Arrow style section, showing what will happen. This is a definite improvement over the drop-down. There’s also another change here, (which we’ll save for Part 2.)
Mouse also gets a nice visual cleanup. In Apple-esque fashion, the three sliders lose their Slow and Fast labels, making the layout easier on the eyes. The spacing between the first half of the preflet and the second half is refreshing as well. And in saving the best for last, the mouse now looks much better, and resembles a standard desktop mouse, with curves and shine.
Network has been completely redesigned — and for the better. Status and toggles are much easier than in the old way, and services now join the Network pane for human friendly configuration, with nice ‘off’ and ‘on’ status for each. And gone is the drab drop-down and Mac OS 8-like design of the late 90s. Different network devices now have their own collapsible headings with clean, bold fonts, indicator lights, status, and well-crafted icons. It makes it so much easier to see what is wifi or Ethernet, just by looking at it. Kudos, Haiku.
Next on the list is Notifications, which has been gently revisited. The ugly button and caption has been replaced with a checkbox, the Display tab has been nicely folded into a position drop-down and two sliders — which also replace the ugly ‘hide for # seconds’ text box. And Notifications has been renamed to Applications, with a much nicer UI.
Last (but not least), Screen looks identical. Look harder, and you’ll see Workspaces centered now, and an ever so slightly neater ‘Set background…’ button, both of which make it more presentable. And it’s worth noting that behind the scenes (back to not visible stuff), internal improvements to resolution and colors have been made since Alpha 4 as well.
This vein of refinements continues to ScreenSaver and VirtualMemory — identical, but with a few changes. ScreenSaver gets less crammed, which makes it look nicer. In the virual memory preflet, “Automatic swap management” is clearer than the old label, serving as both a ‘section heading’ of sorts and itself. But personally, if this was the intention of the devs, grant auto swap it’s own section in beta 2, maybe?
Also, notice the ugly, rounded labels are gone in Shortcuts. (And while maybe typing a path in might seem harder to a new user at first, I think the new way is better than browsing for an app in an open box. And for the path wary, yes, you can paste them in.)
Last on my list of prefs, we have good ole Time. Yay for time! The calendar is much nicer. Wow. Use Alpha 4 for a bit, then Beta — and the difference is strikingly relieving. Extra room given to the clock makes it so nice I so wish it was a new replicant. I find the larger clock face that nice. But hey, the good old Clock replicant and WordClock in the HaikuDepot make up for the loss. :-)
You had to be… patient… while Alpha 4 indexed file types…
And I have noticed one little thing here. Each time I’ve run the beta so far; it definitely seems this pesky box from Alpha 4 is thankfully gone as well…
I was going to cover this in the next part, but realize it’d just be easier to just have fun without sucking Alpha 4 in with us.
So as a last thing to look at, you also get to see that the Installer copied items individually, making it much slower than today, and this isn’t seen as clearly as when you really stop to compare the 414 items beta 1 will copy than the load of files from the alpha.
Overall, after visually comparing alpha 4.1, there are several tiny tweaks and improvements throughout the default application and preflet set that you’ll instantly notice from Alpha 4.1 — but as we’ve got a lot to show today, we’re just going to look at just a handful of changes for now… but all the same, for the changes big and small, kudos to the Haiku team and congrats on the first Beta release!
Let’s have some fun and get started!
Sorry, but that would make this article way too long! There’s so much to cover it’d make it into a book — but I will try to look at some more cool stuff as we do the review. So, seriously, let’s leave the highlights alone and get to that! :-)
Made it this far, past the opening list of highlights? Awesome, because now we get to actually get to have some fun with it! :-)
Okay, so the first thing that’ll greet you is the good old Haiku boot splash. Beautifully simple, this is one of my favorite boot splashes. The only ones, imho, that beat it in terms of coolness are the ones for the web/Palm OS and the Mac OS.
Similar to the classic Mac OS, in versions 7.6–9.2.2 (where the little puzzle pieces appeared), these appear in a nice row. Or, much more accurately, like the purplish orbs in the original BeOS, the startup blocks light up as little Haiku starts for us…
So, here we are! I originally wanted to compare the original alpha 4 welcome box (FirstBootPrompt) to this one to show how much nicer the extra width makes this one feels in comparison — but anyways, let’s get to installing!
We get some installer notes, which are worth mentioning as well. Notice these are nicely cleaned up from Alpha 4, making the amount new users need to read shorter. Nice. Let’s move on and click Continue.
Okay, so this is the Haiku Installer. Under Tools, we can write a new boot menu (and sector), and Set up partitions… opens DriveSetup, which we won’t need today, as I’ve pre-formatted a volume to save time (originally, I was going to cover that, but this review is commemorating a special release, so it’s going to be a long one!)
So let’s select our destination…
But before we go on — I’d like to add as an upfront reviewer… some of the text is clipped. Normally, this isn’t a biggie, but in the above pic, the lost word might confuse a newbie. (“Then click” what? Personally, imho, since the next line of text tells us to click Begin, maybe delete the ‘then click begin’ bit?)
Anyways, let’s install!
Installation is really fast. I wanted to catch the Installer just getting started, and as you can see, before we even see any blue, 121 of 414 have already made it! Sweet!
And for the doubters, yes, Haiku 64-bit does indeed use gcc7, as I’ve managed to capture below:
Beta 1! Woohoo! It’s official.
As this is a release, unlike with the more nimble Nightly branch, we do get guides here. Cool.
And oh yes, we get that sweet Noto font over the aging DejaVu Sans. Thanks for the new font, Haiku (and Google).
And lastly, here we are finishing up! I just had to capture one of my favorite parts, that good old trash can. :-)
And we’re done! Another… what, I don’t know — but let’s restart!
Here we are restarting into the startup blocks again. And as you can see, my system boots up in two bites. Halfway, a pause, then… done. Certain systems take longer to wake from hibernation than this. Again, like Dory says in Finding Nemo, it’s ‘built for speed’!
The lovely blue screen. Personally, I think of the BeOS or the classic OS X when I see it; for others, they might also see ReactOS/win2k/Server. But whatever. I do like it. :-)
And here we are — at a fresh, clean desktop. Yeah, it may look old. It may look blank. But don’t let your eyes deceive you. There’s a lot we can do here.
We’ll first need a desktop background to make this home. So let’s open the Leaf menu and mount a second volume; in this case, Storage.
Now, I gotta say — I like the added security of being given the choice of whether or not to mount read only, and hope it stays. To me, though, the ‘errors’ part made sense in A4, but hopefully this’ll change in Beta 2, as I haven’t had any issues.
Okay, so I have a folder called My_Haiku_Backdrops, which are exactly that… a few concept images with Haiku’s leaf I’ve made for fun.
And here, the picture opens in ShowImage, the default image viewer for Haiku…
… which we can scale to fit and then set like so:
It adds a little bit of a centered gradient to the desktop, but hopefully it should still look true to the original.
Now, in the past, I usually popped the Deskbar to the top of the screen (using the handle by the clock, btw). But there’s a lot of usability you can only get from the Deskbar being on it’s side. Let’s take a look…
So, one thing Haiku has is a dedicated Deskbar preferences pane. Let’s go ahead and change a few things to feel at home…
I’ll go ahead and check the sort option (with Tracker first), and I’ll also resize it a notch. Now, the ‘icon size’ caption isn’t entirely accurate. It also resizes the app blocks, which I find very useful, and is why I scale it up a bit.
The area I wanted to mention (which is what one misses out on when used as a ‘menubar’ or ‘taskbar’) is the app expander. When new applications open, they’ll expand out as a list, allowing me to see what windows I have open nicely.
Much as I like Haiku, the default palette is a bit gray for my taste, and after four alphas and one beta, I think the colors are officially here to stay. Let’s first head to the Preferences menu (left open so you can see the default set):
And open Appearance.
Similar to Mac OS 9, Appearance is a central location for changing fonts, colors (but here, it’s in a more 90s, freelance style), font smoothing, and the scroll arrows. Let’s first make the title tab text a bit bigger…
And as you can see, this takes after BeOS directly, where all UI colors are free for the changing. It’s also similar to older Windows iterations or other old systems, in contrast to the predefined color palettes in the earlier mentioned classic Mac OS. Notice we have new color controls in the Beta that dynamically change as the sliders move, unlike Alpha 4.
Okay, so after several minutes of tweaking everything, including making the title text a blue ink color, I’ve got the colors set close to how I like them.
In the next tab, while we’re here, you can see that new to the Beta, we have a nice split from one decorator trying to do it all, like in Alpha 4 and earlier. Appearing first in the Nightlies, the first is the default or Haiku style, and the second is a more R5 style. And hopefully, having the two decorators will allow Haiku to quietly add more of its own character as time passes, as it already has in getting to beta. (And as already shown back in Part 1, the scroll bar widget gets added as well).
Okay, so with nothing notable to see in the font smoothing (i.e. antialiasing) pane, let’s move on to my first stop — the demos!
Okay, so for anyone that has read a Haiku review from me before knows, I love finding clocks. And personally, I always have fun with the Be/Haiku one, which includes a nice, pocket watch looking version that’s always a joy to open and keep out on the Desktop. :-)
Clock has several faces that can be alternated through by clicking, so for the fun of it, let’s set the Be face. And since Clock is a replicant (what the Mac would either call a desk accessory in olden times (or a widget in 10.4+), and what Windows Vista/7 would call a gadget), we can pull a new clock out by the replicant handle in the bottom corner…
And from there, I usually let go, then drag it again to where I want it.
And before moving on, just to re-cap (for anyone new), deleting a replicant is done like this…
So, now that I’ve recapped Replicant Basics 101, here in the bottom right corner is our cute little clock:
Chart is definitely a personal favorite. A replicant it is not, but once an animation setting and a display type are set, the magic begins! Chart is a star chart demo that plays a cool starfield simulation, which is one of the first go-to applications I open whenever I see Haiku. :-)
For the newbies, there’s several space types: spiral, amas, and choas; with slow and fast rotations, slow and fast forward motion, and a synergy of both in free motion.
Just to show the two other modes beyond the galaxy or spiral mode (shown above), here’s a shot of it doing chaos mode (free star placement)…
… and in amas mode (clustered star placement):
Next up is FontDemo, something that shows off the capabilities of font rendering on the BeOS and Haiku platform. Simply drag a slider, or group of sliders, and Haiku will instantly transform our font into whatever we want, live. In the Be releases dating back to where this demo had debuted, freely messing with and stretching out fonts freely like taffy would have been stunning.
Next up, we have Haiku3D, which spins each leaved letter of the logo as 3D objects. Depending on the card and/or graphics mode, this will either show up in monochrome (like here) or they’ll be in color.
Behind that is Cortex, which we’ll cover in another review. On the bottom, we have the spinning GLTeapot demo showing off the FPS it can do under load (remember Be is fully multi-threaded) and OverlayImage, which explains in the box what it usually does.
Next up, as one of the cool demos, we also have Mandlebrot, which does exactly what the app name says it does: draws out a mandlebrot set on the screen.
The Beta, (again through years of incubation in Nightlies) adds a salvo of features, including a series of named palettes shown below (where A4 just had Palettes 1–4), and a series of sets, (the original, plus burning ship, tricorn, Julia, orbit trap, and multibrot).
Below, you can see one can choose the set to draw out (such as the orbit trap) or change the palette colors:
And before we quit, just one more: here’s what that looks like in Lightning mode.
And before we quit the demo, for those hoping I’d get the open menu out of the way, here you go. :-)
Two built-in games sit inside the Demos folder in Haiku. The first is Sudoku, which I’m not the biggest fan of, to be honest… and Pairs, a fun, simple memory game featuring the Haiku icons as cards. :-)
There’s also the Playground, an app that allows drawing shapes on a canvas. For now, let’s just do a simple rounded rectangle…
As it’s just a demo, you can’t save your shapes (although you can take a screenshot and clip it with ShowImage).
The good news and/or bright side, though, is that there are plenty of choices to paint with, like the included WonderBrush, plus apps in the Depot like ArtPaint, and Krita, so to the artists out there, if you want to draw, there’s fun places to do it. :-)
Most of these are under “Desktop applets”; others aren’t, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let me guide you through a few of these, in case you’re unfamiliar. The full set is:
- Workspaces: A workspaces applet and tool
- PowerStatus: A battery monitor
- LaunchBox: An app launcher
- ProcessController: A process (and thread) utility (in the Deskbar)
- NetworkStatus: A networking applet and tool (in the Deskbar)
As the last two are already in the Deskbar doing their job by default, let’s look at the first three.
Workspaces is incredibly powerful. For one thing, it is a replicant, so we can move a copy out just like Clock. And if you right-click on a replicant, it’s just going to reveal it’s options (as shown below)… however…
If you right click on the Workspaces applet itself, and a wealth of hidden options appears!
You can change the number of workspaces, tell it to change spaces on scrolling, show it in the Deskbar, and more. Keep in mind Backgrounds prefs allows you to change the backdrop per workspace, and Be historically allowed depth changes as well. Workspaces on Haiku are quite impressive, and definitely deserve the mention.
Next up is the PowerStatus applet, a nice little applet that shows the battery info, or can live in the Deskbar. But if you need a bigger and better battery monitor, it becomes a replicant, complete with text on top.
Last, not certainly not least, we have the LaunchBox. By default, its top chrome is shown, which I’ve turned off. It is basically a fully configurable app board that can sit anywhere on the Desktop, vertically (default) or on its side, complete with an icon size preference, so it can scale as big or small as it needs to.
So, after pulling out the Workspaces replicant, the Clock replicant, and putting LaunchBox at the bottom on its side, our desktop can look something like this…
So, after browsing through all the demos and applets — let’s open a few applications!
We’ll start with MediaPlayer, the calculator (DeskCalc), and the default text editor (TextEdit).
So, my experience with MediaPlayer is that if your sound card works, for the most part, it’ll work. :-) And in this case, thanks to retrieving an Ogg Vorbis clip of “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair” performed by Mike Ambrose in 1990 from Wikipedia (source here), here’s what MediaPlayer playing a song looks like:
Oh, and did I mention it doubles as a VLC like player of sorts that does video, too? We’ll get to that later in the review, but for now, let’s keep exploring…
Okay, remember when I mentioned that not all replicants were applets? Well, it’s true. DeskCalc, the included simple calculator, can also become a replicant, which means that we can drag it out like the others. What makes it interesting is that the chrome becomes transparent. Interesting…
So, next in our batch of applications, we have one of my personal favorites, StyledEdit. You can see what it looks like below. It’s very simple… but also is rather useful as well, and per its name, can style and color text nicely. It’s name is somewhat similar to TextEdit, which is kind of interesting as both candidates for “OS X” had an “edit” editor. But anyway…
So, the first real thing to really look at here as that the Beta has a beautiful palette of colors now in the Font menu. Back in Alpha 4, this was just a list… and it didn’t look as nice as this does. So, to whoever added this, thanks.
And similar to SimpleText on the classic Mac, we can change the font names, styles, and sizes right from the menus as well.
Just like in earlier versions, we can also change alignment…
And do find and replace.
I wanted to point this out, because in Alpha 4, that nice little title tab wasn’t there. And now it is. Very nice little refinement. :-)
In going back to the Document menu, we can fetch document statistics, just like earlier versions (but it’s worth pointing out to show the features this little editor has!)
Okay, let’s quit and move on…
Feeling like it was taken right out of Be or the Mac, we are still asked to “don’t save” or “save”.
And again, here’s the save box. Nothing has truly changed since Be; it’s still reminiscent of something out of 2001. And that might be downright awesome… or sorely ancient. Depends on the way you look at it, I guess.
But personally, it’s a classic. Let’s go ahead and save our document to the Desktop. Since BeOS code names were Maui and Dano, how about naming it after Hawaii? :-)
So, after saving the file, I felt compelled to cover this, as most people look for Properties or Identify when they click on a file.
So, similar to the Mac OS (which the original BeOS was partly inspired by), doing Alt+I or clicking Get Info pulls up the same info.
The info box works like I’m used to from BeOS and the Mac, with basic attributes (who, when, where, what), a file association menu, and permissions. So, really quickly, that’s where the properties are for a file. :-)
You know how on Mac (inherited from NeXt), there’s services available to the application you’re in? BeOS has add-ons, which allow you to choose specific actions for a file, like zipping it, finding out more about it, searching files for text, or even setting folder backdrops and opening a terminal on the spot. In the Haiku Beta, that’s still here.
Sure, you can open a context menu in Tracker, click Unmount or do Alt+U, and remove a disk from Haiku that way…
But, just as I like to do, you can also drag volumes into the Trash, and at least most of the time, it seems to work. I love ‘trashing’ disks, which is why I’m giving it a mention here. :-)
And yeah, we can demo the Trash by putting our test pages in it and emptying it. One thing about Haiku is that like BeOS, again it’s built for simple power and speed at the whim of the person behind it. And thus, the trash can empties without complaint, trusting the user understands its meaning.
And that does bring us to Tracker preferences in-depth. Just like in earlier versions, we get the usual desktop prefs: show disks in a stack (that opens to a Tracker window, like the Computer view in Windows and Mac OS 10.0+).
Here, we get some useful options that I alternate between having on or off, depending on the mode. And nothing’s really changed in this pane, either.
You can show the path in the title, switch between spatial and browser-like file browsing (and I personally think both are awesome given the right scenario), hide “dotfiles” (like .hidden or .DS_Store, stuff used on Unix(-like) systems), and enable type-ahead filtering (cooler than it sounds; what this means is start typing, and Tracker will narrow everything down to what you’re typing instantly). I think the other two boxes (list folders, outlines) are self-explanatory.
Third pane is the volume indicator prefs, which is what those little green bars (or red if you’re out of space) are next to the drives, kind of like in Microsoft’s “Longhorn” or Vista did. But personally, (I know, I know, I’m siding with my Mac again), I like the OS X way of just toggling text under volumes. Still, this is pretty nifty! And I’ll definitely note: look at the new color controls in the Beta again… inherited from the Nightly builds after Alpha 4, these are pretty cool!
And finally, there’s the disk prefs pane, which unlike in Alpha 4, now lives in Tracker prefs. I think the options explain themselves; basically, this just asks what to automount on demand and when starting up — now that is something I wish could be this easy on other systems I could name. :-)
Okay, so before we leave Tracker alone and find something fun to do, let’s look at the system folders really quick. There’s so much here we could cover, really, but I wanted to point out just two for today, grouped into one shot:
- Packages and non-packaged folders. New to Beta (if you’re upgrading from Alpha 4) is the packaging system, and along with it, new areas for holding packages and non-packaged items, which are not part of the packaged filesystem. Inside packages, you’ll notice all the packages that comprise this copy of Haiku, which we can see, drop packages in, or take them out. There’s also the administrative folder, which is where Haiku stores package info and states for the system.
- The launch_daemon. Secondly, look underneath Haiku’s various system services called servers. You’ll notice launch_daemon inside. Similar to Mac OS, this allows for a faster and smoother boot process in Haiku’s new beta, and is definitely worth the mention.