Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Aug 2009 19:35 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives The Haiku alpha release has always been a bit elusive. The project has been near the alpha release for a while now, but a number of difficult data-destructive bugs kept it at bay. After an informal coding sprint, the alpha is now just a decision away.
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RE: Comment by dvzt
by setec_astronomy on Thu 6th Aug 2009 10:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by dvzt"
Member since:

Even though I use Linux based systems pretty much exclusively, I disagree with your assessment. And, normally, I would let it rest with this disagreement, but I'm in the mood for a little rant, so please bear with me:

Let's say - just for the sake of the argument - that you run a small ( e.g. 0 to 10 employees, local customer base, etc. ) computer shop. If the shop is - in the long run - profitable and operating in a sustainable fashion (e.g. customer satisfaction is high, customer bonding is good due to your unique selling points/special expertise/reliability, etc. ), then it is usually considered to be run successfully.

I wonder how many folks show up at such shops and suggest that they do something wrong because not only are they too small to tackle Dell, they are even smaller than for example zareason or similar alternative vendors.

For non-profit organizations, the idea of equating success with a globally recognizably market share seems - at least to me - even more bizarre.

Back on topic: Haiku is a very ambitious project. They roll their own default file system, their own kernel and drivers, their own graphical environment, etc. . Their personal situation seems to be stable (e.g. long time commitment of the core devs, recruitment of fresh programmers seems to work, loyal testing and user base, etc. ) and they are open enough to avoid situations like those SkyOs recently run into.

Overall, Haiku seems to be successful and sustainable and now it should be "large" enough to handle the daily onslaught of problems that alternative operating systems face once they release their end-user versions
(e.g. bugs and feature requests, driver updates and so on).

Stopping working on something that the developers seem to enjoy and which is showing signs of success ranks among the more stupid things I can think of. And frankly, we (= the F/OSS community) *need* alternatives to Linux and the usual *nix centric stuff that runs on top of it, if for no other reason than to ensure that the interoperation between different (and in the case of Haiku: very different) user-lands and graphical environments works. We should encourage everything that leads to more portable and modular software. And frankly, we need input from players like Haiku, Syllable, even ReactOs or SkyOs in initiatives like (at least once they have fixed their current problems).

I don't fancy a future where Linux does to other alternatives what the 90% market share of MS (and the dominance of IBM and their clones prior to that) did to our computing environment and our perception of "success" and "failure" in the field of software development.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by dvzt
by renox on Thu 6th Aug 2009 11:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by dvzt"
renox Member since:

And frankly, we (= the F/OSS community) *need* alternatives to Linux and the usual *nix centric stuff that runs on top of it

As (for example) Android show, the Linux kernel isn't restricted to running the usual *nix stuff ( MacOS X show the same thing also: the same kernel can be use to make very different OS).

We need alternatives to classic *nix stuff, this I agree (BeOS had many advantage over classical *nix stuff), but alternatives to the Linux kernel?
Not so much, especially since it's possible to maintain the alternatives as a fork of the 'vanilla' kernel if the main developers don't want to integrate a change.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by dvzt
by setec_astronomy on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dvzt"
setec_astronomy Member since:

The ability to run pretty much any user-land you can think of on top of a typical *nix style kernel is a great feature. It has (among other features) guaranteed the relevance of this class of operating systems for the past decades and it will ensure that Linux, the *BSDs or Solaris won't fall into irrelevance any time soon. And, just to make this clear, I have absolutely nothing against the "typical" *nix stuff. In fact, if I can choose, I vastly prefer a classical *nix style setup with X11 and a graphical environment like KDE or XFCE over most alternatives.

So, given my preference for *nix Kernels and setups, why do I think that having strong alternatives to Linux is important?

- There are a lot of potential F/OSS operating system developers out there that prefer to work on tightly integrated, modern, non-Unix-alike kernels. I guess the whole F/OSS ecosystem could do with more developers regardless of their preference for operating systems.

- Having alternatives to the tested and tried UNIX kernel model for studying security and performance related topics doesn't hurt either.

- In related news, having a larger number of different (and for that matter: incompatible) operating system kernels with a significant installation base hopefully *should* result in a better and more coordinated approach to reverse engineer, document or lobby for hardware specifications. Yeah, I know, given the past experiences with common reverse engineering efforts of - for example - the OpenBSD and the Linux wireless team, this is not the most likely outcome, but even a geek should be allowed to dream. Given the current everybody-reinvents-square-wheels-on-its-own practice, I fail to see any potential harm in one more player participating in the process of writing drivers for alternative operating systems.

- Non-Kernel related, but nevertheless: Having an larger developer- and userbase who push F/OSS alternatives in order to provide the "desktop experience" regular users kind of expect nowadays should be beneficial for all F/OSS operating systems alike. More importantly, a larger number of target operating systems with a visible installation base means that the projects behind our toolkits, toolchains and common auxiliary libraries have to place a stronger emphasis on being cross-platform and open.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by dvzt
by stippi on Thu 6th Aug 2009 11:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by dvzt"
stippi Member since:

That's a very healthy way of looking at this. You hit the nail on the head! Thank you for a very insightful and balanced comment.

Reply Parent Score: 2