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[3]: Comment by dvzt
by setec_astronomy on Thu 6th Aug 2009 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by dvzt"
setec_astronomy
Member since:
2007-11-17

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.

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