This is my blog regarding an OS that truly represents the AmigaOS spirit going beyond it.
AROS.ORG AROS-EXEC AROS World
The end is nigh...
We're nearing the end of the year and one must ask now - was 2008 the year of AROS?
Looking back at some of the remarks ans discussion about AROS , it looked like AROS was near completion (which wasn't) and that a lot of users and developers would join the the AROs effort.
There was two major points which were catalyst for these statements. For one Amiga Users were becoming increasingly fed up by the MorphOS lack of update and the lack of hardware for AmigaOS 4 / Law suit between Hyperion and Amiga Inc. The official statements done by Amiga were even more painful regarding the vapourware nature of an AMIGAOS5 (or AmigaAnywhere 2) better then MacOS X!...
AROS native in SAM440 was regarded as a major step to make AROS more universal, and a Operating System across platforms. Hitting the PPC architeture was also a proud statement of ARO regarding hardware support. AmigaOS4 being tied to AmigaOne and lack of hardware for MorphOS was a critical point to both closed source OS. So people started to believe that AROS was actually going to make it where others didn't. Indeed Dr. Michal Schulz ended the project and provided SAM440 with the first AmigaOS inspired OS. But eventually AmigaOS4 made it to the SAM440 also, and MorphOS 2 was released to the efika machines... Still it was a significant success that changed many people opinion about AROS altogether.
The Open Source Browser work was conducted by Robert Norris, and his past record quickly made the project a huge success in all the forums. Traveler was going to be the name of the AROS App running a port of the Webkit. It reached pretty far with a simple app launching the Webkit work done so far. Then Robert Norris began to feel that the AROS wasn' aiming high enough, and proposed a fork from the main AROS dev tree. Then alleging personal issues he abandoned the AROS and the Traveller project. That was a painful time for AROS and it sure hurt all the AROS people who saw the exit of a coding genius with sorrow. The lack of a decent browser also hurted the AROS intended respect in the OS area. But he left a near complete port of the SQLITE, CAIRO and WEBKIT engine among other important libraries, and that's something that will not doubt have significant impact future development.
E-UAE Integration was also a early bounty, and one that promised a lot since it was Richard Drummond (the E-UAE author). And there was a lot of optimism since early statements from Richard seemed to indicate it to be a relatively easy and almost complete. But time gone and no word was heard from Richard anywhere. Even E-UAE stopped dead. So the legions of amiga-fans coming to AROS quickly dispersed onto other projects...
To end all of this Michal Schulz expressed its desire to leave AROS development. A few months later AnubisOS is announced and while it's not a AROS fork it has many AROS dev team - so far no one know how to categorize this. But some hostile reactions have already been noticed in Amiga/AROS forums and blogs although mixed with some more positive remarks...
Reading all of these one would say that it was a pretty bad year. Well far from the truth... In the mean time a lot of effort was directed to AROS itself and provided validation of the FFS partitions, improvement of the Installation procedure, ata.device, format utility, wanderer features, making AROS really usable. More apps and games were ported, including a MMPORG client Eternal lands.
Krzysztof Smiechowicz undertook a project aimed at reviewing the AmigaOS 3.1 API re-implementation status in AROS to better understand what is needed to achieve goal no 1. of the AROS roadmap, Staff is proposing the major steps towards AROS v1.0 ABI... VmwAROS reaches version 0.91 and shows what AROS is all about! Above all AROS is now self compilable - now that's something milestone and thanks to Stanislaw Szymczyk.
So more than hype and simple achievments AROS introduced serious and important core modifications which will make future development a bit more solid (hopefully).
Present status has 6 bounties open and they promise a lot. - For starters finally the Kickstart ROM Replacement (Phase I) has been taken by bheron. No progress status is known so far... - Port AROS To EFIKA & USB Mass Storage have been taken by Dr. Michal Schulz. More PPC platform development means more universal AROS, and the USB mass storage device will make the native versions independent and really usable. - Port AROS to run on Windows/Cygwin is underway, and promises to provide the Windows devs more easier system to set up (Amidevcpp is pretty usable and standard for cross platform development). - Finally we might get a complete all round USB stack system which support multiple devices such as scanners, cameras, pdas, audio devices and much more. The author has proposed it's own terms for the bounty: Poseidon USB
Out of the Bounty arena there's a lot of work going on Regarding the Open-Source Browser, Stanislaw is already working on the Netsurf port. We might get a decent browser in AROS before 2009 - keep your fingers crossed!
As for the E-UAE integration thanks to Paolone Besser (AmiBridge) and O1i work we might just see it in the near future.
So was 2008 the year of AROS? Not maybe in the hype remarks that so many used, but considering the adversities that it has faced throught all these times I believe it was a pretty damn good year! Well I mean - still is...