Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Feb 2009 18:31 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Back when it was becoming clear that the time of the BeOS had come and gone, enthusiasts immediately set up the OpenBeOS project, an attempt to recreate the Be operating system from scratch, using a MIT-like license. The project faced difficult odds, and numerous times progress seemed quite slow. Still, persistence pays off, and the first alpha release is drawing ever closer. We decided to take a look at where Haiku currently stands.
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RE[2]: But why?
by silix on Wed 11th Feb 2009 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE: But why?"
silix
Member since:
2006-03-01

As very well highlighted by the article, BeOS was well ahead of its time back in its days.
[...]
But I agree that it's somewhat difficult to imagine what is so extraordinary here if you never tried BeOS/Haiku before. :-)
i agree with you on this, but...(cont.)

However like you and others, I'm not sure that Haiku will succeed because of the smaller software base. But this may not be an issue... People just "need" to port all of the free open source software that made Linux famous and the software base should be there.
... i'm afraid you're overlooking the fact that existing userland software written to run on linux or to be multiplatform, is implemented in a way that results from the relative scarcity of assured high level facilities in the main platform - resulting in the rise and use of complex, large, all- encompassing toolkit libraries, that in turn need further code layers (themes, wrappers or "engines") to adapt to the specific platform they are deployed to, or appear adapted while not really being so
porting existing applications like KDE ones or openoffice would require porting their base framework for the most part
the problem is, merely doing so would result in applications that would exploit little to no native feature (distinguishing ones like the translators you mentioned, in particular), would feel evidently "alien", and worse, would defy the goal (minimalism and efficiency) of the system they're ported to (due to the unnecessary layers - own framework plus "native look" skin engine - they'd retain between the app's main code and haikuOS native gui library)

in order to avoid the bloat resulting from this, differentiating (branching) the application main code, instantiating native classes instead of, say, OOo ones in platform specific code paths, would be a sensible approach from a SW design point of view
but it would effectively be the same as redesigning the application from the inside, i suspect it's unlikely it will ever be done for large applications (paradoxically often the most useful ones)

So why not? :-P It's a bit like an ARM port of Ubuntu. If the software base for ARM Ubuntu is fine...
in Ubuntu's case is fine because you already have an all - linux software base, and problems would only come from architecture dependent software ... with porting (better, converting) linux SW to other OS platforms (even on the same architecture, say X86) that may have their own special features or idiosincrasies, it's the other way around

, then it should be for any OS thanks to the open source model. :-)
the open source model concerns distributed development and code sharing
it doesnt say anything about the elegance and cohesiveness that goes in the *design* of code and in the management of a project, or the skills of people designing code, or that people tasked with porting a package will choose the best overall approach *for the target platform* (and not just for the application, or for themselves)

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