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Thomas Frieden (E-Mail)
| Hyperion: Presse Release Amiga OS 4.0 development update|
Amiga OS 4.0 development update
Leuven, Belgium, January 21, 2002.
Let me start off by wishing everybody in the Amiga community all the best in 2002!
As you know, on November 1, 2001 Hyperion Entertainment entered into a license agreement with Amiga Inc. to produce Amiga OS 4.0 for PPC based systems.
Since my presentation in Cologne at the Amiga 2001 show on November 17-18, very substantial progress was made which I am now ready to share with you.
Some of you have expressed some misgivings about the lack of progress reports on OS 4.0 development but I hope I can count on your understanding as all of us have been extremely busy, even through the holiday season, to bring you what is unquestionably the most ambitious OS upgrade since Amiga OS 3.0.
Now I know that many of you are sceptical because of the scope of the project and because similar promises were made in the past.
To those people I would like to point out that Hyperion Entertainment does not enter into contracts lightly and that we have a track-record carrying out commercial development and contract-work for Windows, Mac, Linux, Amiga and Amiga DE/Elate.
We have brought together a truly impressive development team of some 25 people building on the OS 3.5 and 3.9 development team whilst adding several well-known and respected Amiga developers to the mix.
I'm very pleased to say that Dave Haynie has agreed to serve as a technical consultant.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a more experienced team for the job!
The feature-set of OS 4.0 has now been finalised to a large extent.
We can't guarantee that every single feature listed here will make it in the initial release of OS 4.0 but this is the feature-set that we have contractually committed to delivering.
You will also note that for the first time in many, many years very substantial work is being done on Intuition, one of the core elements of the Amiga OS. Having a PPC native version of Intuition available will make a very noticeable difference speed-wise.
We intend for OS 4.0 to be disk-based or at least partly disk-based and partly flashrom based even for current Amiga's. More about that in a later update.
We also intend for OS 4.0 to be installed effortlessly from CD and from scratch without the need for an existing OS install.
As we have taken on more work (Intuition etc.) and folded some of the functionality originally planned for OS 4.2 into OS 4.0, this inevitably means the original February release-date might slip somewhat but all in all we believe that the end-result will be technologically more satisfying.
Come end of January, I hope to have the biggest chunk of the legal work for OS 4.0 behind me which will allow me to provide you with more regular updates.
I know full well that your patience has been sorely tested over the last years so I understand your impatience and even your scepticism but I can assure you that the Amiga OS is in good hands and that we will deliver.
In closing, I would like to invite everybody out there who (out of an understandable frustration with the neglect of the Amiga OS by its respective past owners) decided to take matters in his own hands, to work with us, rather than against us.
Ben Hermans, LL.M
Managing partner Hyperion Entertainment VOF
Amiga OS 4.0 provisional feature list
Exec Second Generation (Exec SG)
Exec is the kernel of the AmigaOS and is currently written in 68K assembly.
Exec is being re-written in C and new functionality will be introduced to allow the deployment of OS 4.x on any suitable PPC hardware.
The following features are planned:
68K "Just in Time" emulation
PPC native TCP/IP stack
PPC native filesystem (FFS2)
FFS2 is a fully backwards compatible re-implementation in C of the Fast File System. It supports media > 4 GByte, and a new variant of the file/directory name storage format which allows for long file names (up to 108 characters).
Recovery and Salvage tools
Comprehensive suite of salvage and recovery tools including Salvage, Undelete, Unformat, Repair, RDBSalv, ReOrg/Defrag, Check Integrity etc.
PPC native RTG system
The PPC native RTG system (based on Picasso 96 V3) allows for the use of modern graphics cards on the Amiga.
Drivers for all current Zorro II/III cards as well as drivers for the Permedia 2/3, Voodoo 3, Matrox G450/G550 and ATI Radeon are planned.
An arithmetically optimised PPC native version of layers.library is also planned.
New version of Warp3D, the powerful yet low-level 3D API which is both available on the classic Amiga and intent/Amiga DE and which allows developers to rapidly migrate 3D content between both platforms.
Drivers for Permedia 2/3, Voodoo 3, Matrox G450/G550 and ATI Radeon are planned.
OpenGL 1.3 support (Mesa 4.0)
OpenGL is a cross-platform (Mac, Linux, Windows, AmigaDE etc.) high-level 3D API originally developed by Silicon Graphics.
Support for OpenGL 1.3 will be provided by porting the open source project Mesa (which now passes all SGI compliance tests) which will sit on top of Warp3D so that graphics-card functionality not currently offered by the OpenGL API may be supported nonetheless.
PPC native RTA system (AHI)
A Retargetable Audio System allows the use of plug-in sound cards (PCI or Zorro II).
AHI by Martin Blom is currently the de facto standard on the Amiga and a PPC native version will be offered with support for a wide variety of sound cards including but not limited to all current Amiga sound cards and the Soundblaster 128 and Live (EMU10K1) cards.
PPC native Intuition and Reaction
Reaction is the BOOPSI based GUI system for the Amiga, introduced in OS 3.5 and extended in OS 3.9.
Moreover a new preferences system will allow the user to change more aspects of the GUI.
Intuition will sport the following new features (more planned):
SCSI drivers for SCRIPTS based SCSI controllers
WarpInput API (working title)
WarpInput is an API for multimedia controller devices (akin to DirectInput on Windows) which allows a programmer to provide support through one API for a wide variety of input-devices such as keyboard, mouse, joysticks (analog and digital), track-ball, Playstation controller etc.
Minimal USB stack
PPC native datatypes
New HDToolbox replacement
Support for TrueType/OpenType fonts
[News message: 21. Jan. 2002, 16:12] [Comments: 3 - 24. Jan. 2002, 07:53]
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