Thanks for the comments, it is always interesting to know what everyone is thinking and how the project is perceived.
New features are a way to keep the motivation up. Jessicah is working on UEFI because otherwise she can’t run Haiku natively on his machine. Likewise, Kallisti5 spent a lot of time on the Radeon driver, and other people worked on USB3 support. If the devs can’t boot the OS on their own machines, the project will die.
Bug fixing takes a lot of investigation effort and is often not a very rewarding task. Hours or days of research, and at the end a barely noticed 2 line change to fix the problem. Not everyone can do this all the day.
The x86_64 port is already mostly complete and running well. It already was when we released alpha4, but we wanted to let it mature for some time before making it officially stable.
The PPC port is making progress because someone donated PPC hardware to one of the devs. mmu_man is working alone on this and it is not interfering with other things. I don’t think anyone can demand one of the devs to stop what he is doing (such as a port to PowerPC). If someone enjoy coding on PPC, why could we force them to do ARM?
We are very much aware that there has been way too much time since alpha 4. However, you are going a bit far in the other direction. When we do a release, there is a significant effort in quality assurance and testing before the release is shipped. The main point of package management was related to that, in two ways:
- By allowing for easy system updates, we can relax a lot our QA effort for a release, because we can update it later. This means we can release more often because there is less effort to do each time.
- The package management allows to automate a lot of the work in doing a release (rebuilding “optional packages” was getting un-manageable).
We can’t just pick a random nightly and tag it as a release. There is always something broken, and we want to limit regressions that users have to face. We try to have a reasonable release rate, and we have failed after alpha 4. There are multiple causes for that: lack of planning, underestimation of the work required for the package management, and lack of discipline from some devs who merged things too early into the trunk.
As for PR, there hasn’t been much activity on that side for a few years. This is yet another task that can be tackled without help from the same old developer team, and even completely outside of the Haiku project. For example, Leah Hanson did some articles and talks about the Haiku Vector Icon Format and that did raise some awareness about Haiku. Other people could do the same. If you want to organize an interview with a dev, I’ll be glad to answer questions. But I don’t think it is my duty to run after this. I usually prefer to work on the backstage.