According to this piece over at BeOSFrance (in french of course), it seems that Jean-Louis Gassée has confirmed, in writing, to BeOSFrance, the non-existance of any agreement between yellowTAB and Palmsource, the owners at the time of the Be, Inc IP. This is a new development in the ongoing saga about Zeta's legality (or not), and a surprising one, considering that there was a meeting between Bernd Korz and Jean-Louis a few years ago, during which Zeta was demoed and discussed.

As always, we'll try to bring you more details on all of this, if and when possible. Stay tuned.

Update: I mentioned above that this JLG claim was strange, because of a meeting sometime ago between himself and Bernd, "strangeness" confirmed by Bernd and today by Rémi (from BeOSFrance) by comment (as you can read below). Jean-Louis' comment was made back in November 2004, before such meeting every happened. Thanks all for clearing this up.

Where to start... first of all, Google has decided to assign 7 students to the Haiku project, in preliminary status, but those were the exact number which Haiku had requested. A very good sign even more so taking in account that 42 students applied to work for Haiku in total. On April 12th the list with the accepted student applications will be posted at Google's Code site. Some pre-GSoC work has already been done and you can see the fruit of such labor in this screenshot.

On another note, Pacman is now running on Haiku. No, not the game but the package manager, part of Arch Linux. As you can see in this update over at BeUser.de (in german of course), coder and user TimGroe2 has been busy at work and has been able to get the app to work, as you can see from the screenshot. It's incomplete still of course, but file management already works.

Another busy coder is aldeck, he got both Bethon and Python (in its version 2.4.4) running on Haiku as well. You can see here some screenshots and also download the apps.

One last item. I was pointed to this screenshot and there you can see a cute new... friend. See what I mean? :) Thanks Ralf.

Update: Silly me, forgot to include in the mix the Lecture that Bruno Albuquerque will be giving at FISL 8.0 (the 8th International Free Software Forum), which will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil. His lecture will be entitled "Introducing the Haiku Operating System" and will take place on Friday 13th (spooky) between 15h and 16h (that's 3pm and 4pm in the US). If you're in the neighbourhood why not drop by?

Update 2: As you can see from a comment to this piece, Biffuz was able to get his app (work in progress) AtomoCAD to run from within Haiku. You can read the details and see a screenshot at his dev blog. Way cool.

Magnussoft, through their ZETA-OS site, issued a statement yesterday where they reveal that their distribution of ZETA has stopped, in effect immediately. According to their statement, this is due to ownership doubts raised by Mr. Schlesinger of Access Company, in a post over at Bits of News, later confirmed by e-mail to the same site:

"We have, however, sent "cease and desist" letters to YellowTab on a number of occasions, which have been uniformly ignored. If Herr Korz feels that he holds a legitimate license to the BeOS code he's been using, we're completely unaware of it, and I'd be fascinated to see him produce any substantiation for that claim."

Mr. Schlesinger goes on to state that, on the matter of BeOSMAX, he (and thus Access I presume) has no formed opinion and is still gathering information on the R5-based distribution.

Bernd Korz has posted on his blog that he's contacting his lawyer on the subject of this alegations and will issue a statement. This whole matter closely follows the end of ZETA and have turned the BeOS & ZETA world and community in a turmoil. We look forward to have everything made clear and as soon as we have news on this whole matter, we'll keep you posted.

Update: BeosMAX's Vasper posted here at ICO about this, and according to him, MAX has received an (unofficial so far but a step in the right direction) OK from Mr. Schlesinger and Access, of which you can read at his blog

A bit of good news after this past week. ACCESS Co., current owner of the BeOS IP, has made available under a Creative Commons license, both the BeBook and the Be Newsletters archive, thus responding favourably to Haiku's requests on this matter. This will help Haiku by making available valuable technical documents to the developers. Haiku will make both available from their site and will integrate them, which means they'll be searchable from its site.

David "Lefty" Schlesinger from ACCESS Co. had this to say: "ACCESS is very pleased to be able to support the Haiku project by making these documents more widely available to interested developers". A very nice move (both useful and good PR) from ACCESS, and should be an example to other companies who refuse to open-source some of their IP, especially driver specs.

Bernd Korz updated his blog today, with a long post (in German) that most likely spells the end to ZETA and its adventure. In it he writes that after 7 years he'll be stopping ZETA's development and is not sure when the 1.51 update will be released. Bernd also has some homework in the next days ahead, he'll be looking into open-sourcing their code, if at all possible, thus making it available to Haiku (and any other who would like to use it). He takes the last part of his post to thank those who worked with him over the years, like Alan & Lisa Westbrook, Ithamar Adema, Bruno Albuquerque, Maurice (sorry M, I can't spell your last name), Rene Gollent and many others (many whom I've been fortunate to meet as well).

I asked Bernd how he felt, seeing his long time project come to an end, to which he replied: "Very sad. It was my life project and all-in-all a great time. But, it also feels good in a way, since from now on all the pressure and attacks felt over the years will be over. It feels good to see that part end."

You can read his entire post following the link above (or have Google translate it of course). 

Wow... this week hasn't been a gentle one to the Haiku/ZETA universe. Bernd Korz announced that he and the development team are breaking collaboration with Magnussoft, due to, it seems, financial disparities. What this means for ZETA's future is still too early to tell, but according to the blog post, the update will still be published. We'll try to get a comment on this as soon as possible and if possible of course.

On Haiku's side, a departure was announced yesterday, and the person leaving is none other than Jorge Mare (aka Koki), who for the past few months was responsible for the project's Marketing. In his mailing list post, entitled "Shutting Down", Jorge basically states it was time to move on, and also how much he enjoyed being part of the project. It was a short run but a fruitfull one I must say, with SCaLE and the Google Tech Talks. As I mentioned above, we'll try to get a comment, if possible.

Best wishes to all involved, for the future.

Update: Magnussoft posted an update on their site regarding this matter, on which they write their side of the story. It seems the sales weren't as good as they were hoping for, making their support no longer viable. Read it all and draw your own conclusions.

Bill Davenport, of VBL fame (on which he'll resume work quite soon, after having submitted it to OSDrawer), wrote me letting me know that he got BeOS R5 running on VMWare, under OS X, on his Macbook Pro. It's quite slow still (though the Teapot runs at over 100fps, the redraw is a killer), but he hopes to smooth things out quite a bit after getting the video driver up and running.

He made the VM 4GB in size and using 128MB of RAM, and had to run R5 in Safe Mode, f not, it would freeze. Click below to see a few screenshots Bill sent, after the break. Good job.

A few days ago, a new portal was launched, ZETA-Games, which, as the name indicates is dedicated to games brought to Magnussoft's ZETA. The portal's goal is to help bring fun, easy to install games to the OS, and thus have some rules:

  • Always a .zpkg package that will install very easaly with a few mouse clicks
  • A SVG Icon in the Application
  • Gameplay right after install

Among others. Also, they want to make available the games, not only has a download but also as physical media:

  • A nice printed CD with the Game
  • The Sourcecodes for the game (if GPL) directly on the CD
  • ALL possible Add-Ons on the CD (not in the download version)

Much more information is available at the site, so head over and read it all. By the way, a new game is coming, No Gravity, you can see some more info about it also on the site. 

Dutch man Thom Holwerda from OSNews posted yesterday his review of Magnussoft's latest ZETA 1.5, the update which introduced for example multi-user. In his two page review, he covers several topics, from installation to new applications bundled with the release, from hardware recognition to the mentioned above new multi-user environment. He's pleased with the effort though recognizes that it still needs some work.

Overall he seems pleased with this latest ZETA release: "Slowly but surely, it feels as if Zeta is coming together. With each release, it is getting better, with better drivers and improved stability. Magnussoft and Bernd Korz are obviously listening to user feedback (the Communicator and multiuser being the prime examples of this), and on top of that, they are finetuning the amount of applications installed by default." 

Head over and read it all. 

This just in (insert telegraph noise): Haiku has been accepted has a mentor organization for the upcoming Google Summer of Code 2007! Now any student wanting to work in one of the Haiku projects has until the 24th to apply, using the GSoC Web App for Student Applicants. If you're interested in applying, you can check the Project List page and a very useful how-to, to get you started.

Congratulations to Haiku and everyone involved in achieving this important goal for the project.