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Initial Build of Rebol for the Haiku Operating System

Date: 28-Dec-2012/14:43

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For those not in the know: Haiku OS is a binary-compatible open source reimplementation of the "Be" operating system. As with the Amiga community, Haiku users are driven partially by nostalgia...but also by an aesthetic of "small is beautiful". As with the Amiga community's anger that history took a detour by endorsing the PC architecture, the Haiku community probably in large part feels that Apple missed the boat by going with a traditional architecture of OS/X rather than buying Be.
Anyway kids, I hear it was a holiday or something. Instead of LumpOfCoal.exe I bring you a Rebol binary that runs on Haiku. (Well, I didn't address terminal issues like cursor keys doing a proper command history or whatever...I just got it started as a basic POSIX build, looking at little details that despite their littleness can be a bit of a block.) You can download it from the community builds site at rebolsource:
More work is needed, and a proper binary would probably use a binding other than POSIX, which the source is designed to permit. But the question that people don't know to ask is "can it be used to bootstrap"? In short: Rebol's cross-compilation strategy is to use a Rebol executable to generate a bunch of per-platform ANSI C which is compiled in with the rest of the C sources. So really all you need is a Rebol executable (on any platform) and a passable C compiler.
I started with a Debian build and then put in a thumbtack here and there to get a HaikuOS build. And indeed, you can bootstrap. It's this easy...
Install HaikuOS in your VirtualBox or what-have-you. I used R1 alpha 4.1, which is the latest at the time of writing. Once you have it, follow the instructions in this video...except get your Haiku binary from rebolsource and not my server. (I made the video before the changes had been accepted to the trunk.)
The video was intended as a draft that I made to solicit feedback. But I haven't gotten around to redoing it yet, so I'm going ahead and pushing this blog entry out in the meantime.
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