The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

News posted on Wed, 2011-06-29 23:35

Haiku, Inc. is ecstatic to announce Michael Lotz (AKA "mmlr") on a 6 month contract developing Haiku!! There is the intention to renew this contract for another 6 months, making Michael to be the first person to be paid to work on Haiku for an entire year and you can make that a reality!

The goal of his contract would be to work on anything and everything to bring Haiku closer to its first production quality release, better known as "R1". The scope, variety and quality of code that Michael has produced over the past six years and even more recently, gives Haiku, Inc. the fullest confidence in his ability to succeed in every task that he works on. Simply put, Michael gets the job done and done right.

Here's some of his planned top priorities

  • offer assistance with WPA/WPA2 if not done
  • additional polishing of usb_hid
  • porting usb_scsi target (think USB CD writers)
  • QEMU re-port including KVM, which allows hardware virtualization
  • general bug hunting
  • depending on access to hardware -- boot issues and driver issues

As mentioned above, this is something more than just a one or two month contract that has been supported so far. In fact, this would be a ground breaking event -- both in terms of utilizing financial contributions to advance Haiku and the time commitment from a developer. And you can help make it possible!

Ideally, this contract would be Michael's primary income for the entire year. His monthly wage will be 2,300 CHF per month, which works out to about $16,500 USD for the first six months. Each month, Michael will be committed to 130 hours of development time. Between the monies from Haiku's participation in Google Summer of Code 2011, the recent R1 Alpha 3 Commemorative CD and the average monthly donations, the funding for the first six months will be possible. The available funds would definitely be tight, but it can be done.

Michael actually quit his job in order to work full time on Haiku. He is currently in the process of leaving his current employer, where he needs to still stay a bit due to existing obligations. After that his contract to work on Haiku will start, which will most likely be around the end of August.

Here are some more details about Michael Lotz. He has been with the project for over six years. During that time, his contributions ranged across the board.

  • most of the USB stack, including working out the host controller drivers, the stack itself and the interface up to the userland via the USBKit.
  • the initial native GCC 4 port for Haiku
  • various drivers, including for USB devices and WLAN
  • a framework to generically handle human interface devices and the driver for USB HID devices that uses it
  • the recent support for IO-APICs and IRQ routing to get many previously non-usable devices working (read more at Haikuware)
  • other various firsts for Haiku can be read at Michael's old blog

As you can see, he has worked on pretty much all levels and components of Haiku through hunting down bugs and implementing features.

We have been wanting and waiting for this.

We are all ready to help take Haiku to the next level.

And you can take part and donate today.

Comments

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Michael is a very good programmer so this is terrific news for Haiku!!!

Most important is WPA/WPA2. Seems what many complain about. Also, bug hunting, fixing booting and driver issues and updating or porting more network drivers are very important tasks to focus on.

The rest, like QEMU w/KVM, is not that important but nice to have anyways.

Hopefully there will be enough funding to give him an extra 6 months for total of one year. Would be great to have 1 or 2 full time developers on Haiku but hard to pay for them without corporate sponsors or getting the rich/millionaires to donate to Haiku.

I think Michael may also have done the ATA stack? =)

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

tonestone57 wrote:

Most important is WPA/WPA2. Seems what many complain about.

++

tonestone57 wrote:

Also, bug hunting, fixing booting and driver issues and updating or porting more network drivers are very important tasks to focus on.

++

tonestone57 wrote:

The rest, like QEMU w/KVM, is not that important but nice to have anyways.

I agree. It should be way down on the priority list.

tonestone57 wrote:

Hopefully there will be enough funding to give him an extra 6 months for total of one year. Would be great to have 1 or 2 full time developers on Haiku but hard to pay for them without corporate sponsors or getting the rich/millionaires to donate to Haiku.

Haiku needs to work harder and smarter to get more donations. One simple thing to do is to dedicate space on haiku-os.org for making donations.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

To clarify the need for QEMU: While it may not be very attractive for a broader end user audience, it is very relevant for me as a developer. It allows me to test changes on all levels of the system without the overhead of a reboot (think kernel changes, app_server and other system components that can't just be replaced on a running system). It is also convenient because it allows for changing some fundamental parameters I can't with real hardware (for example testing against a different processor, with/without some features like USB, ACPI...) and because it allows for debugging in a window while having the source side by side. I've implemented and initially tested pretty much everything I did on the kernel (and some other components) since pretty much when I originally ported QEMU to Haiku.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

mmlr wrote:

To clarify the need for QEMU: While it may not be very attractive for a broader end user audience, it is very relevant for me as a developer.

How many hours of work do you estimate is needed for this?

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Quote:

Haiku needs to work harder and smarter to get more donations. One simple thing to do is to dedicate space on haiku-os.org for making donations.

At some point during the website rewrites, the "Donation" link turned into a small piggy bank icon in the upper right corner.

I suppose that was done to make it less obtrusive, but perhaps you're right - and it should be more prominent.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

umccullough wrote:

I suppose that was done to make it less obtrusive, but perhaps you're right - and it should be more prominent.

I like the way Wikipedia shows the donation progress. It should be more or less updated in real-time.

I've made a 2 minute sketch: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5976153/fundraising_status.png

It should be placed where Event Highlights is placed today. It won't be missed by any user!

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Wow! Absolutely fantastic news! A big thank you on behalf of the community to both Michael and Haiku Inc., who are clearly doing a great job. I hope we'll see a fundraising drive a few months into the contract to ensure it can be renewed.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Start that drive now.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

This is awesome news! Yes, Michael also rewrote the ATA stack (mainly during a Coding Spring event, IIRC). If you followed the link to his blog and looked closely, you already know this, but for everyone else: Michael was the one who got the app_server as far as booting on real hardware and showing something on the screen for the first time. I am really happy about this contract and there are few Haiku developers who would fit as well for it as Michael. He has worked on pretty much any level of the code base that is critical to bringing Haiku to release quality. Aside from the items already listed, Michael may have to get his feet wet with package management, I don't believe this milestone will be finished once Ingo's current contract runs out.

One important thing is that we other Haiku developers let us inspire and motivate by the progress that will follow, and don't get too much into a mode of sitting back and enjoying to watch it happen. :-)

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

this is a great news. More than I could hope. But out of curiousity I have a question.
Will he be an official employee of Haiku Inc, like any other employee? Or will he just get monthly money but inofficially? But in that case what happens if he becomes ill? Will he have an issurance?

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

As of yet Haiku, Inc. has only contracted non-U.S. citizens living outside of the U.S. Basically, this boils down to the developer handling any taxes and other legal requirements on the income. So, the developers are contractors in the literal sense and do not receive benefits from Haiku, Inc.

While this contract was being organized, Michael assured us that he does have insurance and it is not a concern.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Isn't he somewhere like europe ? If so most of those countrys have socialized healthcare systems so its a non issue.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Thanks Michael!
We greatly appreciate your decision to leave current employer in order to work for Haiku full-time! We wish you luck in bug-hunting and feature implementation. May the force be with you!

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Great news, this is what Haiku needs! Best of luck Michael :)

So people, start donating!

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

I made my donation. It's easy to do and I encourage anyone who reads this (yes, you!)
to click on a payment link right now. Let's put Michael to work.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

I think a year is too long a period of time to be a fundraising target. It might be more effective broken down into shorter periods of time. Quarterly is probably the sweet spot. $20,000 over the course of a year is bad for a couple of reasons: firstly, it doesn't encourage people to donate regularly; secondly, $20,000 is a large enough sum that people might feel what they can afford to give is insignificant and perhaps not worth donating.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

It is my understanding that Michael was only willing to leave his current job if Haiku, Inc. could assure him at least 6 months to a year of payment. I can understand the situation he is in - and that's a tricky decision to make.

If after 6 months we have been unable to raise the additional funds for another 6 months, then that is that. Maybe offer him an additional 3 months, or whatever time can be afforded at that point. Ultimately, the decision is up to the community - if they feel his time and effort is worth it, I have faith that they will make it happen one way or another.

That's my personal take on it anyway.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

We can do it MAN ! we can do it. biggest thing is getting the word out.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Oh, my post was just in reference to Haiku Inc's fundraising goal, nothing to do with this contract.

Donations from Europe

regarding donations from us guys from europe i think it would be a lot easier offering a bank account somewhere in europe.

in many countries credit cards are not that common, and those who have one try avoiding its use due to enourmous fees charged on transactiions...

oh and of course its great news!
and my personal admiration is going to mmlr as CHF2300 is a salary below the poverty line...
its about the monthly rent of a 3 bedroom flat(called 4 room flat here) in a bigger swiss city... on top of that mandatory health insurance is around 300 to 400.

this is just to show the reality to those guys who might cry for an hourly progress report or whatever. The haiku contractors are for sure not ppl trying to make themselves an easy life on the expense of the donors

keep it up haiku devs and contractors!

a huge thank you to all of you!

diego

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Congrats Michael!!

btw, Is the Qemu port really that important at this time for Haiku?

Haiku running as Guest Operating system on virtualizers like VirtualBox/Qemu/VmWare are more important, IMHO, as it opens up a wider range of audience who can try out Haiku very easily.

Haiku guest additions for VirtualBox *nudge*nudge* :P

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Well, Haiku guest additions for Virtualbox is currently being done as a GSOC project. I agree with you in that I personally don't find qemu+kvm on my own list of priorities. However, my insight into what is needed and why is severely limited compared to that of the devs and I'm certain they have put good consideration into that priority list. Nothing wrong with voicing concern though.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

You may have not realized it but Michael (mmlr) answered the question why he thought Qemu was important on Haiku above.

http://www.haiku-os.org/news/2011-06-29_time_now_michael_lotz_long_term_...

Hopefully he can port Qemu in 1 to 2 months and not spend too many months on it. =)

Michael has done the previous Qemu ports for Haiku but those were without KVM (hardware virtualization).

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Thanks, totally missed that, and reading his post it makes perfect sense to me.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Why would people think the WPA is more important than the overall stability of the system? The OS is still in Alpha, and these people are worried about their internet connection??

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

The Haiku developers use the term Alpha in a non-standard way, therefore it does not mean that Haiku not is stable. What is keeping Haiku away from Beta is rather features that the developers feel Haiku needs such as WPA and a package manager.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Actually, that *is* the standard definition of "Alpha".

Once all the features are there, software enters the "Beta" phase. This is the phase where stability becomes important, and bugs are resolved.

Adding missing features is usually more important than stability, because adding those features after the code is stabilized can destabilize it again.

The trick in FOSS is the limit your feature scope and make sure you stick to it - that way you can eventually get to the Beta stage and start working on stability.

Haiku is indeed an oddity because it's already quite stable and usable - but as demonstrated often, adding missing functionality has broken the entire system several times - and that will continue to happen until we're in Beta.

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

Did michael start his contract yet?
Now we have end of september. :-)

Re: The time is now: Michael Lotz on a long term contract.

I'm also interested... I'm considering donating to haiku but I can't see any news about development of WPA/WPA2 encryption, which is a key feature to me now :-( Any news?

edit:
News are that new wpa_supplicant is working: http://cia.vc/stats/project/OpenBeOS/.message/204800d
Kudos for mmlr! Donation made ;-)