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Timberwolf Alpha Released

Timberwolf Alpha release

This is a first alpha release of Timberwolf. As the name “alpha” implies, there is a lot of things that simply do not work yet. However, we would like to make the development of Timberwolf a bit more transparent, so we decided to do this release.

 

Current Limitations of this Alpha

The following tries to list the shortcomings of this version:

  1. Menus do not work. You can select them but coordinates within the menus are messed up. For now you should use keyboard (Alt+F for file menu etc) shortcuts and cursor keys.
  2. Session management doesn't work. That means that you will more than once get the “Cannot restore tabs” warning. I haven't tried whether bookmarks work.
  3. It's slow. This is a debug build, and hence there is a lot of sanity checking and debug output going on. On top of that the AmigaOS widget implementation needs an overhaul (probably going to rewrite this). There is no hardware acceleration at all.
  4. Some sub-widgets do not render. You will notice this e.g. in the “Cannot restore Session” page where part of the page is black. This might also cause some parts of the page to be rendered twice, or plain wrong. Similarly, a window will only update if it is active (because it uses IntuiTicks right now for delayed rendering). The final version will of course not suffer from this. If a window remains empty, or doesn't update, make sure it is the active window.
  5. It's still based on Shiretoko, which was release 3.5 beta 4. We'll upgrade to the latest 3.7 alpha build soon.
  6. The current build is pretty unstable (see below)
  7. There are no AmigaOS specific features in this port yet.

Nonetheless, the current build is actually usable. Not for daily use, and certainly not for important stuff.

Why are we doing this?

  1. To collect bug reports. We'll make a bugtracker for the project shortly to keep track of them. Some of the random crashes encountered need much more testing that we can spare.
  2. As a proof of concept. For some reasons, there are some people that still believe we're making this up.
  3. Because we wanted to release this much earlier. Unfortunately, some personal issues as well as workload has prompted Timberwolf to return to the woods for a good while, and we've only now been able to come back to it again.
  4. Because we felt we should do this for all of you that have already donated to the project. While this version generally isn't fun to use because of its shortcomings, some of you might want to play around with it. We would like the development of this project to become more transparent to you.
  5. We plan to update to the latest source code, and re-write the rendering code. This will cause a longer delay, which we want to bridge with the alpha release.

Requirements

You need the latest version of AmigaOS 4.1, i.e. Update 2 as released this year. Some spare memory is also useful. I'm running this on a 512 MB machine, but 256 should be sufficient too. On average, the program uses 100 to 150 megabytes. You also need about 450 MB of disk space. This will go down in future releases, but for easier debugging this version comes with debug symbols left in the binaries.

Installation

The packages comes with an installer. Just double-click and follow the on-screen instructions.

Feedback

We welcome feedback if it is constructive. You don't need to report any of the issues we've pointed out above, and since we're still in an early Alpha state, there is most likely to be minor niggles that might or might not disappear in later versions. For now, we'd like to concentrate on major issues, especially reproducible crashes, mis-renders, and the like.

amigans.net is hosting a support forum for us. Thanks a lot, Orgin!