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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Legacy architecture == bad?
by cycoj on Mon 21st Dec 2009 23:27 UTC
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I've two somewhat related points I take issue with:

The Haiku operating system is designed to be binary compatible replacement for BeOS, which was designed from scratch, and was designed to be a desktop operating system. Haiku builds on the same foundations. This is its main advantage: it does not rely on any legacy architecture, as other operating systems do. E.g. desktop operating system based on Unix have at least three layers: core operating system, X-Windows and DE (e.g. KDE, GNOME, ...). A lot of the same functions in those layers duplicate, leaving system slower, harder to manage and less secure.

I hear that argument quite often, Unix/Linux is based on an architecture which was designed ~40 years ago, therefore system x which was designed from scratch is more modern (which somewhat == better). What people tend to forget is that the people who actually invented and designed the Unix architecture were probably some of the smartest computer engineers of all times. Now if some "random" guys sit down and make a new operating system "from scratch" why would it be necessarily be better?
Secondly Unix is one of the few OS which was actually designed after some laid out principles most other systems seem more like they are implemented after some random ideas. This is not to say that there aren't better designs around (Plan9 anyone?).
Third, you write that there is lots of duplication between the three layers in Unix (base,X,WM) which causes slowness, security issues etc. do you have any evidence to back up?

The second point is:

Haiku was build from scratch with no legacy. This is a good starting point for well written code with good security record.

Again I fail to see how the second follows from the first. If the legacy is very well designed from a security point of view, it will actually be better for a secure system. Also, security is actually very hard to do, people spend their research careers about this. So creating a secure design is actually not easy.

Just to point out, I'm not saying that Haiku lacks in any of these points. I simply take issue with the premises.

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