Amiga News and Community Announcements => Amiga News and Community Announcements => Announcements and Press Releases => Topic started by: 4pLaY on April 26, 2003, 05:12:49 AM

Title: AROS News Update + Screenshots
Post by: 4pLaY on April 26, 2003, 05:12:49 AM
Almost another whole months has gone by, which means that it's definitely time for another status update. I'm sure you're all perched for information about what's happening with AROS. ;-)


Matthew Parsons contacted Genesi and asked if they would be interested in sponsoring a Pegasos board to get AROS ported to it, and they thought it was a great idea! After some discussion on the ML and hard thinking on Johan Grip's part, he decided to accept the offer and try his utmost to port AROS to the Pegasos. All agree that he's the best suited for this task. The Pegasos board is at the time of writing on it's way to Johan. Hopefully this will result in AROS running on it in the near future!

Stefan Berger did some more work on the m68k-pp (Palm) port, which include bits of an input driver for the touchscreen and several fixes. He also committed parts of a native ARM port (it's not complete, and there are no promises that he will continue working on it).

When it comes to drivers, several things have happened:
Georg Steger has worked hard on improving the stability in ide.device and cdrom.handler. The former had several ugly race conditions, which could result in bad things happening if several programs tried to access the disk at the same time. Also added was better support for removable drives. As for cdrom.handler, there were several bugs in the startup routines and the filesystem interface (which meant PROGDIR: didn't work for programs started from CDROM).
Sebastian Heutling commited parts of a USB/UHCI driver, but it is far from being usable at this point. Before it makes sense to develop it further more work has to be done on the general driver architecture in AROS.
Martin Blom found some free time and ported AHI, although there are no drivers yet (except for the filesave and dummy ones). This is a great step forward for providing sound support to AROS! Writing a driver for hosted should be fairly simple (the only problem is time, as always) and it will probably the first one. You can see the preferences program running in a screenshot.
User Interface

On the user interface front, there has been discussions about using render.library and guigfx.library in Zune, picture.datatype and other places that would benefit greatly from them. The author was very positive to this, and render.library already has been ported long ago (although it has some endianness issues).

There was also a heated discussion on the mailing list about which buttons should be available in prefs programs, since there was a feeling that the traditional Save/Use/Cancel triad of AmigaOS is not enough. After a lot of discussion, it was finally decided on a compromise where the Save/Use/Cancel buttons where kept but the additional Test/Revert buttons (which don't close the window) was added.

Other developments of interest:
David Le Corfec, Georg Steger and Sebastian Bauer continued to code on Zune and made the Test button in the prefs program work, added a bitmap preview in the imageadjust dialog and worked on a experimental feature to reduce the flickering when resizing windows.
David Le Corfec managed to dig up some artistic skills and created some new def_Tool and def_Project icons to replace the 4-color ones. Some days later, Martin "Mason" Mertz contributed several more icons, including ones for def_Tool and def_Project. ;-) Some nice striped patterns were also created by David. Have a look at the screenshot.
Georg Steger fixed a bug in the hosted flavour which meant that the X SHM extension always was disabled. The graphics performance should now be a bit better.

Thanks to Martin Gierich who wrote jpeg.datatype based on libjpeg and Georg Steger who wrote png.datatype based on libpng, AROS now supports most popular image formats! The png.datatype supports transparency with indexed (256 colors or less) images. You can see them in action in the screenshot.

Some miscellaneous things that have happened:
Staf Verhaegen merged the diskfont.library sources with the MorphOS version, and then continued with reworking it in several ways.
Georg Steger fixed a bug in Locale Prefs which caused random crashes on i386-pc (but oddly enough not on hosted).
Fabio Alemagna fixed several bugs all over the place, after Martin Blom reported them during the course of porting AHI.
Stefan Berger worked some more on the port of gtlayout.library in contrib, aiming on being able to port Term in the future. He also ported another contrib program: MUImine (a rather nice minesweeper game clone).
Fabio Alemagna ported LBreakout 2, which is a very nice and polished breakout style game that uses SDL. There are however some problems when running in windowed mode or in 16bit screen depth (works fine in 24bit modes though). Take a look at the screenshot!
Olivier Adam wrote French translations for many programs.
Repository Cleanup

During the last month there has also been an effort to clean up the CVS repository, mostly spear-headed by Adam Chodorowski. Basically there are two parts to this effort:
Make sure that all software in the main tree follows the licensing policy (which entails checking the copyright and making sure the license are compatible with the APL, and make sure it is documented).
Moving software that we want to be part of the standard AROS distribution from contrib to the main tree, and moving things that don't belong in the main tree to contrib.

The following things have resulted from this effort:

The authors of FlexCat, which we use in development, have been contacted to clarify the license since the documentation is very vague about it. They confirmed that it is indeed licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

GRUB (our bootloader for i386-pc), libjpeg, jpeg.datatype, libbz2 (bzip2 compression library) and JanoEditor (nice text editor which will become the standard one in AROS) have been moved from contrib to the main tree. On the other hand, liblcc (part of the LCC compiler) has been moved from the main tree to contrib. Aaron Digulla did the actual moving directly on the CVS server, to avoid loosing the CVS history.

In the near future more software will most likely be moved to the main tree, like Regina (to provide ARexx compatibility), FreeType 2 (support for scalable TrueType fonts), libpng and png.datatype.

After a consensus had been reached in the discussion about buttons in prefs programs, Adam Chodorowski decided to write the first part of the AROS User Interface Style Guide about this topic. It's still a long way from being a comprehensive guide on user interface issues, but at least it's a start.

To avoid redirection and better handle the load, now directly points to the SourceForge web server.

Check out for more information and screenshots (
Title: Re: AROS News Update + Screenshots
Post by: bbrv on April 26, 2003, 11:54:47 AM
Hope the Pegasos works out well for AROS and Johan!

Best regards,

Raquel and Bill  :-)
Title: Re: AROS News Update + Screenshots
Post by: Trezzer on April 26, 2003, 12:52:04 PM
AROS looks nicer and nicer all the time. I can't wait for some TCP/IP support and a browser + IRC client.

Then AROS will be moving in permanently instead of the FreeBSD install on my x86 machine.
Title: Re: AROS News Update + Screenshots
Post by: wonea on April 27, 2003, 03:03:57 PM
Nearly there, I agree just needs a means to get on the internet, and a web browser.  Is Aweb okay for a port, I know they maintain a morphos.