Linked by bcavally on Mon 21st Dec 2009 17:18 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Today there are many operating systems available. Every vendor or community round it tries to make it as good as possible. Having different goals, different legacy and different cultures, they succeed in it more or less. We (end users) end up with big selection of operating systems, but for us the operating systems are usually compromise of the features that we would like to have. So is there an operating system that would fit all the needs of the end user? Is is the BeOS clone Haiku?
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Not enough info here to be useful...
by umccullough on Mon 21st Dec 2009 21:30 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

I think the article takes an abstract stab at defining each of the categories listed, in some cases with what I believe are incorrect premise.

"User experience" is vaguely referenced as GUI (which is also a vague term), and "ease of use", but then it doesn't really explain why this is lacking in Haiku. We all know Haiku doesn't have the shiny/flashy/transparent/animated UI that some other OSes have, but if this is what you need in order to get your work done, perhaps you're focusing on the wrong trait. I always believe usability should come first in these discussions, followed by "pleasant looking".

You can have a fancy wallpaper along with round, shiny widgets, complete with transparency and animations, but if it doesn't make you more productive, then why bother? I'm a firm believer that form follows function, and while the Haiku team has improved the look of the UI somewhat since the beginning of the project, it has also been trying to focus on functionality and usability even more.

The discussion about Security was a bit disappointing here. The suggestion that OpenBSD is the perfect model of security for a desktop OS seems slightly off. OpenBSD security is great, but does it make sense for a desktop system where there is likely going to be a single user utilizing it at any give time?

I think Haiku does need to work on security, yes, but I think the premise that "proper coding" and "legacy-free" makes a system secure is a bit of a stretch. In most cases I've seen where an OS has been labeled insecure, it has usually been a situation where the software run by the user was given way too many privileges on the system in the first place. This is not necessarily a problem with the OS, as it's a problem with the software they're running, and the user not understanding what it is doing. Windows for example has been designed since Windows NT to provide process separation and rich ACL support. Often it is software writers (including Microsoft themselves in many cases) that tend to expect full admin access to the system when the software is used, which is absurd.

There are still security holes in the OS which allow exploits without elevated permissions, and those are indeed probably caused by sloppy work, or unanticipated usage, but by far, the majority of security-related issues that users of Windows face are due to the 3rd party software they are running, or incorrect setting of default user permissions on the system. Running all software with administrative permissions by default was not a smart move by Microsoft, and I suspect they're kicking themselves now for that decision so many years ago.

Those are the two areas I felt the author really wasn't putting enough thought into.

As for software availability - I think we're already seeing a relatively large switch to web-based software in the market, which Haiku could certainly take advantage of with a strong modern browser offering in the future.

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