AROSAmiga Research OS

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AROS - The Amiga Research OS

    Old News
    Old News (2001)
    Old News (2000)
    Coding Style
    HIDD Intro
    HIDD Model
    Random Ideas

Old News

28.12.2000Georg Steger worked a bit more in the backport of reqtools to AmigaOS. Johan Alfredsson implemented DisplayError() and Stefan Berger improved his layers.library. DisplayBeep() works now and Henning Kiel committed a small utility (C:Beep) to use it from the shell. Adam Chodorowski continued his work on the workbench.library.
26.12.2000Johan Alfredsson rewrote C:List (everything except the ALL option works now). WiMP can now show some info about windows and screens, thanks to Henning Kiel. Flavio Stanchina continues in his quest to squish bugs in header and the build process and Stefan Berger applied some refactoring to his layers.library. Georg Steger did the same with the serial, parallel and UnixIO HIDDs. Stefan Berger supported this by adding a couple of skeletons for the hardware interfaces of the HIDDs.
24.12.2000Flavio Stanchina fixed bugs in the build process and some header files. Johan Alfredsson finished the C:Info command. Georg Steger improved the shape window demo (you can now switch the shape on and off) and fixed a bug in AmigaTerm.
22.12.2000Bugfixes in the new layers.library by Stefan Berger. Georg Steger ported XaoS, a fast portable real-time interactive fractal zoomer.
11.12.2000Stefan Berger has commited a completely rewritten layers.library which is much faster and much more simple than the one we had. It's now based on OO techniques, much easier to extend (we're currently thinking about child layers and layer groups which will keep their stacking order). Also, the new layers.library allows to move windows outside the screen (the first windows have already been lost out there ;-)

Georg Steger committed additional files for ReqTools which should make it compile on Amiga.

Adam Chodorowski began the work on workbench.library and the workbench process.

9.12.2000Johan Alfredsson improved the ReqTools file requester. The Volume requester works now.
6.12.2000Michael Schulz committed a PS/2 Mouse.HIDD and removed the respective code in the keyboard handler.

Adam Chodorowski implemented the Intuition-Functions OpenWorkbench() and CloseWorkbench(). LockPubScreen() will now open the workbench if it isn't already open.

3.12.2000Johan Alfredsson added a couple of function to dos.library. Georg Steger fixed a couple of bugs in the ASL ScreenMode requester and made the close button in the X11 Window kill AROS. He also committed a 3D Space Invaders clone.
30.11.2000Michael Schulz is back and has begun to work on an abstract Mouse.HIDD for AROS x86/Native. Georg Steger finished porting of reqtools.library and ports now all the reqtools utilities (prefs program) and updated all AROS programs which use reqtools (for example, MultiView and the text.datatype). He also fixed a few bugs in diskfont.library and FixFonts, in Intuition and Gadtools. Adam Chodorowski is working on LoadWB. Johan Alfredsson and Stefan Berger have finished more and more CLI commands. Henning Kiel is working together with the author of plex86 to make AROS work with plex86. AROS boots but it crashes soon after.
19.11.2000Joerg Dietrich committed a ppm.datatype (for PPM pictures). Tobias Seiler fixed a long standing bug in the keyboard initialization of AROS Native/i386, so PS/2 keyboards should work now. Georg Steger ported more and more programs which use Reqtools and fixed a lot of bugs in the code. The port of Reqtools should be finished, soon.

Johan Alfredsson worked on more DOS commands (Info, Status, Execute) and fixed a lot of bugs in the dos.library.

14.11.2000Georg Steger finished gadtools.library. Cool Work ! He also fixed some bugs in the graphics.library-to-HIDD driver. On the following day, he fixed bugs and committed new code for the C library while Johan Alfredsson cleaned the dos.library. Again one day later, Georg committed the first version of a port of reqtools.library and fixed some bugs in the workbench.library.

Johan Alfredsson finished his nonvolatile.library and C:Which. Two days later, he fixed some more Amiga Shell commands and internals.

8.11.2000Georg Steger committed rewritten routines for the DOS functions MatchFirst(), MatchNext() and MatchEnd(). These should work in all cases, now. This fixes all those pety bugs like List C:.

Joerg Dietrich committed dtdesc, a tool to create and examine DataType descriptors. Georg Steger improved the building of the FTXT Datatype with it. Later that day, Joerg backported our binary.datatype to AmigaOS 3.5.

Johan Alfredsson commited a first version of a nonvolatile.library and nvdisk.library.

3.11.2000Henning Kiel fixed a couple of bugs in the build process and Georg Steger improved the ASL file requester code. You can now delete, create and rename drawers.
18.10.2000AROS runs on Bochs now, if a bit slow. Georg Steger, who fixed the last bugs, added a README.Bochs how to make it work. Right now, he's trying to make AROS work with plex86.
11.10.2000Cleanup of the AROS source tree by Bernardo Innocenti, primitive hardfile support of FFS-formatted floppy disks (ADF) by Georg Steger and better mouse support for AROS Native/x86 by Tobias Seiler (mouse buttons work now). Georg threw in some additional code to change the position of the mouse pointer on the screen and now you can move the window around. Since VGA.HIDD doesn't support the XOR drawing mode, yet, there is still some garbage when you move the window but that should be fixed, soon :-)
2.10.2000There is now a simple binary.datatype plus the skeleton for the picture.datatype. The shell supports now color escape sequences and more language catalogs were added for MultiView and More. Done by Georg Steger (who else ;-)
27.9.2000Georg Steger improved the console.device (TAB handling, stopping output with right mousebutton and keypress). Unlike on the original AmigaOS, clicking the right mousebutton in a console window will not block the whole display but just the output in this window.
22.9.2000There is now a new tool to generate shared libraries, devices, gadgets, datatypes and HIDDs. And we have macros to access the PC speaker (which should help to debug AROS Native/x86). Credits go to Lars Bischoff and Georg Steger.
20.9.2000The clipboard.device, written by Johan Alfredsson is now ready (kudos for fixing the last bugs and testing it go to Georg Steger). Also, we have now ConClip.

We also have a working datatypes.library (for a while now) but Georg Steger has ported some datatypes (text and ascii to be precise) from Aminet. The binary datatype will be next and maybe we'll have a picture.datatype soon, too.

15.9.2000Again, more than one month has passed since the last status update *sigh*. It's not that there are no news; it's me :-) Ok, again whole six weeks of news:

Michael Schulz had to stop working on AROS Native/i386 because he's moving. Nonetheless, the native version of AROS boots (you can move the mouse and you will see some windows) but since there still is no filesystem, you cannot run any programs. We try to get the sources for SFS to fix this. The author has been positive to open the sources but he wants to clean them first.

Work is also being done to make AROS boot with Bochs and VMware. It already works with VMware but VMware is quite expensive.

Also, we try to compile AROS on UAE with the new JIT by Bernie Meyer. The JIT seems to work, the compile doesn't (yet). This would be a great step to help to debug AROS.

Some bugs were introduced into BGUI by porting it to AROS but these were squased. BGUI now compiles on AROS and AmigaOS. We plan to develop our version of the Workbench with it. Also, work has begun to move the BGUI site to the AROS site (which means that it will be much more often be down ;-) Honestly, I'm working on fixing this :-)

Also, the AROS port to NetBSD/x86 has been updated (it compiles again) plus there is a new port to Solaris/sparc. The new port compiles but AROS doesn't start, yet.

On a sad note, the AROS project at my company, the Sowatec AG has not started. On the positive side, it has not been dropped, either. The problem is that we simply cannot find enough people to staff it. So if you're living in Europe, interested in the Amiga and willing to work with PCs and Unix, please get in contact with us (the restriction with Europe is just because of the problems we would have to get a work permission for you plus the higher risk we would impose in you moving here).

1.8.2000BGUI has been completely ported to AROS, now. This means that the library can be compiled and that all demos run. Cudos go to Stefan Berger.

Michael Schulz is working on making mice work on AROS Native/i386. This includes work on a PCI.HIDD, an IRQ.HIDD, the VGA.HIDD and the Serial.HIDD plus an IDE driver. Trackdisk is there, too, so the next thing is to find a filesystem to use. We try to get SFS because it seems one of the best filesystems for the Amiga at this time. The SFS developers seem to be very positive to this, we'll see what comes from it.

As for the Sowatec AG hiring developers for AROS, all I can say at this time is that we had several job interviews and things look quite good. The only thing that might break it at this time (as I see it) is that we get not enough people. We figured that we need four developers and last I looked, we had three and one interview still open. Don't hold your breath but press your thumbs :-)

Nils Henrik Lorentzen has begun to write a framebuffer.HIDD which uses Linux' framebuffer for rendering. Right now, it's mostly for debugging (it's a synchronous interface instead of X11s' asynchronous one) but maybe, there will be a AROS Native/linux-i386, ie. a version of AROS that will boot with the help of a Linux kernel but without the need to install a complete Linux system. We'll see what can be done here.

And I'm diving into the depths of Ami, the SDK for the next Amiga by Amiga Inc.. As it looks, the SDK is a bit disappointing because it's very rough and has lots of holes but on the positive side, Amiga's crew is very helpful and the developer support is just great. *sigh* Had we just had such a support in the old C= days. Many thanks for their effort go to Ray A. Akey and Gary Peake and all the members of the Tao and Amiga support staff that I'm bombing with EMails ;-) If they can keep this attitude, then I have no doubt that in five or ten years, people will name Ami in the same breath as Windows, EPOC and Linux. Something really to look forward to.

As for stats, I'm proud that we made 40k hits on our web page and this year has also been very productive from the EMail side: Last year, there were about 300KB mails/month in the developer list. This year, we have 1MB mails/month ! Thanks go to all those members of the development team that have not been mentioned here but who do important stuff, nonetheless (in no order): Henning Kiel and Lars Bischoff for reporting bugs, Georg Steger for cleaning up after the other developers have raged through the code and calling me back to earth when necessary, Jaime Dias for asking "stupid" questions that make us think what we're doing, Manuel Lemos for trusting us with BGUI, Requin Frederic for helping Michael Schulz, Tobias Seiler for continuing the NetBSD port, Bernardo Innocenti for bugging people to allow us to port their software to AROS and last but not least all those people who I forgot :-) Thanks to you all; it's your work that makes this possible.

And at the end, a short note to all those people who started own ports of the AmigaOS: Good luck to you all. I think you will find out soon enough why AROS took soo long. The AROS team is still willing to share their knowledge and code with everyone out there. And we can do this because of the MPL, the only true Open Source license :-)

19.6.2000Some new software is ported to AROS: The freetype library (, BGUI and SnoopDOS. Also DOpus becomes more and more usable. Many bugs in the Gfx.HIDD were fixed and there is now a quite usable cybergrafx.library. Also the first version of an IDE driver for x86/Native was committed. Also a trackdisk.device is there, so we can start porting a filesystem to AROS.

As for BGUI, we would like someone who will keep it alive on Amiga (that is, make sure that our changes don't make BGUI unusable on the Amiga). If you want to help, please contact

Also please note that my PGP-key has changed (2048bit instead of only 1024bit for better security :-). You find my new version here (Shift-Click on the link to download).

Lastly, my Amiga SDK has arrived. You can expect an AROS Amie/Native but probably not soon.

25.5.2000Note: This is an old announcement which I fogot to copy on the WWW site. Sorry for that :-(

There was no status update for more than 6 weeks (which is too much). I'll do better in the future :-) In the last few days, our WWW counter silently skipped 33.333 hits.

The Sowatec AG has decided to give AROS a chance. Several people who applied for the job to work on AROS have been contacted to arrange for job interviews. That means for me that I will finally be able to meet some of the people I worked with for the last five years ;-) It doesn't mean that there will be an AROS development team in Switzerland, though. So don't hope for too much, yet :-)

Unfortunately, the date for the World of Alternatives is very unlucky for me; I'll return from my holidays on Saturday and therefore, I'll not be able to attend :-( Since the World of Amiga in Cologne seems to be a dead event this year (Who's left to attend ? Who is willing to attend ??) I'll try to make it the London Amiga show or whatever is held this or early next year. Sorry if you did expect me to show up :-)

On a more happy news, BGUI has been handed over to us and integrated into AROS (you can download the contrib sources for your copy). Manuel Lemus promised me that it compiles on Amiga but, unfortunately, it doesn't compile on AROS, yet (the old lack-of-manpower problem). There should be no major problems, though and porting has started. I just can't say when it will be finished. Anyone wanting to work on BGUI only (and not on AROS) should still apply for a CVS account to synchronise his work with ours.

Also, Steve Crietzman of the Open Amiga Foundation seems to be pretty far with finding out which legal obstacles could hurt AROS/Lite. His effort is currently blocked by the effort of the Sowatec AG to found an AROS development team (we'll have to sort our legal obstacles first). As usual, the legal dept. drains all the energies ;-)

On the AROS side, work is still progressing, maybe even at a faster pace than usual ;-) The AROS Native/i386 flavour is currently broken (the HIDD system has been greatly enhanced and Michael Schulz currently cannot take care of it) but AROS Linux/i386 works quite fine. Nils has committed a couple of patches which greatly enhance the speed of the graphics output (it's now *much* faster then on the WoA in Cologne last year in November). Right now, bugs in the build system and exec are hunted by various AROS developers and I hope to see lots of progress in that area when I return from my holidays.

As for the survey which I started months ago, I hope I can summarize them after the holidays :-)

16.4.2000First of all, there are no news regarding the commercial venture which I spoke about last time. Several ideas are currently weighted against each other and, as usual when money comes into play, things progress very slowly. In the mean time, AROS itself progresses at its usual slow pace :-)

As for job appliances, we need five people and only three persons which we can use, applied, yet. So there are still two, high payed jobs open.

Currently, we use DOpus 4, kindly made available to the Amiga community by GP Software, to find and fix bugs in AROS.

5.4.2000More than two weeks since the last update. No, we're not dead :-) Work is still progressing; for example there is now a port of DOpus 4 (see our screenshots page). Many things still don't work but it has been ported in just a couple of hours of work (mostly disabling things in DOpus that AROS doesn't support, yet). Promising, I'd say.

But the more important news is that we finally got the attention of Amiga (mostly because of the efforts of Steve Crietzman of OAF and Gary Peake of Amiga; thanks a lot guys). I'd like to say that's good news but that's not completely clear, yet. The point is that Amiga would like to help us but their lawyers object :-) Welcome to the wonderful world of business. Currently, we're trying to find a way thought his legal mess which a) doesn't hurt Amie, b) gives AROS room to breathe, c) makes Amigas lawyers happy and d) helps the community. c) seems to be the most problematic point here but we're working on it. Some very interesting ideas have been proposed and now we and Amiga are checking what can be done and what is futile. At this time, just a big thank at Amiga for their openmindedness and the time they spent on this during the last three weeks when they were also really busy with preparing everything for the Amiga 2K show. Just in case you wonder why nothing was announced after fleecys' comment in the IRC conference: The lawyers covered Bill with Red Tape when they wanted to do the announcement. So you have to take my word for it :-) Hopefully, you can read something in the Executive Summary, soon. No promises, though; this is really ugly and every lawyer asked until now strongly suggested to proceed with extreme care. Oh well...

Something on the more positive front, whatever happenes, the AROS sources will stay available at least under MPL. Also, 4 people already applied for working on AROS. Unfortunately, only one of them can move to Switzerland and that especially unfortunate as my boss has come up with some plans to get this thing going. So please, if you can imagine working on this full time, send your curriculum, etc. to As a teaser: You will earn at least Sfr 72.000/year (that's about 45.000 Euros) because otherwise, the Swiss Foreignpolice will not allow you to move to Switzerland (basically, the idea is that if we don't need highly trained specialists for that job, we should be able to find someone native for that; good for you in this case). Additional bonus: If this project fails, we can easily find something else for you to do. So no matter what happens, you can rely on having a job :-)

22.3.2000There is now a summary of votes on this server which I will update once per day. Please continue voting. Since there seems to be a confusion how the polling works: My script looks for the questions and then for a digit and counts that.
20.3.2000Unnoticed, our WWW site has passed 20'000 hits this weekend :-)

AmiWorld On-Line has translated versions of their AROS article. There is now a german, an english, an italian and even a japanese version ! Follow this link to the index of all articles.

We are currently doing a poll on options. Please read this announcement.

9.3.2000Over 2000 games have been ported to AROS, yesterday: MAME now runs on AROS :-) Have a look yourself at our screenshots page.
7.3.2000There is now a mailing list for announcements only (basically the same you can read here :-) Follow this link to subscribe.

Also, the sources for Scalos V2 have been handed over to AROS. Jörg is lacking the time to give Scalos the attention it deserves and therefore allowed us to include his work into our contrib area. No official representative for this work has been elected, yet, so this is your chance to contribute.

1.3.2000There are still problems to build AROS Native/i386 with EGCS (GCC 2.95.2) which should be resolved, soon. Some more screenshots have been added. It's DOOM, this time. Unlike other Amiga ports of DOOM, DOOM can be run several times on AROS and you can even play multiplayer games on one machine (not very useful, though: The keyboard is just too small for four players :-).
24.2.2000Five new screenshots have been added to the screenshots section and (finally), AROS Native/i386 builds again :-) Get your still hot copy from our snapshot directory.
21.2.2000There is a new support page for AROS for PPC Amiga. It will be the main contact page for people interested in AROS on PPC cards on Amiga hardware and especially those people who are interested in supporting this by working on it.
15.2.2000A longstanding bug with the dates in the ToC has been fixed (it's not perfect but better than before).
12.2.2000The autodocs are now here.
11.2.2000We have begun to move contributed software (for example, examples from Fish disks and Aminet, the small and big games) outside of AROS. These things have now their own graph (that's why the size of AROS became smaller last week) and the code is in AROS-contrib.
8.2.2000There is progress on the AROS i386/native front. A very basic VGA.HIDD has been written plus some additional stuff (timer, trackdisk, etc).
7.2.2000Code for Menus has been comitted. Unlike on the Amiga, Menus are handled by a normal task which gets all input events as long as the user presses the right mousebutton. Therefore, menus don't block, they are very easily enhanced and the input handler is much more simple. And if blocking menus ever become an issue, this can added on a per-program basis by looking for RMB down/up.
1.2.2000AROS will become the development wing of OAF, the Open Amiga Foundation (what COSA will become). OAF will handle public relations and the contact to Amiga, they will collect and compile all information and keep us informed about all important events so that we can completely concentrate on the development. They will also handle all money and legal issues which is a very big releaf for us.
26.1.2000We are currently working on Intuition (fixing bugs, integrating things better, making menus work), the hardware drivers for AROS Native/x86 (vga.hidd and scsi.device/hidd), commodities, datatypes and AROS Native/PPC. Especially for the last one, we need more people who know about WarpUp and PowerUp. Also, people who know how to write hardware drivers for a PC (namely how to make Exec handle PCs' IRQs and a driver for the IDE chips) are needed.
24.1.2000Recent speed tests show that we have reached about 80% of the native hardware speed (Quake at 320x200 runs at 60FPS with Linux/X11 and at 50FPS with AROS on Linux/x86). So our speed problems with graphics seem finally resolved. Also the links and the status section have been updated.
23.1.2000There are two good articles about AROS on the net. The first one is here (it's an interview with Aaron Digulla) and the other one is here (background and some detail info on AROS). This article is a bit older but it's written very well (and it's also available in italian).

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