Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Sep 2009 06:04 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives After eight years of hard work, the day has finally arrived. Today, September 14, the Haiku project has released its very first alpha release. With the goal of recreating one of the most beloved operating systems in history, the BeOS, they took on no small task, but it seems as if everything is finally starting to come together. Let's talk about the history of the BeOS, where Haiku comes from, and what the Alpha is like.
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the sole reason
by KLU9 on Mon 14th Sep 2009 14:37 UTC
Member since:

BeOS is the sole reason I got interested in operating systems and have been reading OSNews for 7+ years.

Just an ordinary user, back in 2001 Windows 98 was BSODding me out of my mind. I found BeOS R5 Personal Edition. So easy, so fast. So damned fast. Why the hell couldn't Windows 98 be that fast? It was the same hardware.

BeOS really was an operating system for modern personal computers, not a kludge on top of something designed for mini-computers in the 60's & 70's.

It made realise that my problems weren't the computer, it was the operating system. It made me appreciate getting it right from the beginning instead of slapping things onto a non-personal-computer operating system (yes, I'm looking at you, Linux & BSDs: why do I have to pretend to be typing on a teletype terminal half the time?)

And now Haiku has reached alpha. An operating system truly designed from the ground up for *personal* computers. Not a bloated kludge.

Thank you for your years of hard work, thank you for offering a way forward. Thanks for giving us the freedom to have a real *personal*computer operating system.

Reply Score: 6

RE: the sole reason
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 14th Sep 2009 21:44 in reply to "the sole reason"
UltraZelda64 Member since:

Huh? Linux was designed as a general-purpose kernel, which started with features that were excellent for servers. Fair enough. Even so, performance can be quite good for desktops. Ironically, in my experience it seems that the fastest of all distros usually *don't* use coincidence? I doubt it. That said, I recently saw an article on Slashdot about the Linux kernel getting features to improve its performance on the desktop.

What I would really like to see is fixing its problems (ie. speed/latency and requirement of running as root) on the desktop. I honestly think the biggest performance gains are to be found by fixing the display server... not the kernel. Though I'm sure kernel mode-setting will help some too (at least with switching resolutions and starting the server, I would guess).

Note: I'm not very familiar with the BSDs, but I'm sure it's the same there. I doubt that their kernels are that big of a drag on performance, and it's probably X over there too.

By the way, Syllable seems to be an interesting operating system to keep an eye on, for similar reasons as Haiku: Small and fast. I really wish they'd do away with the "thousands of files packed into one massize .zip file" installation method though, and use separate files for each package...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: the sole reason
by ari-free on Tue 15th Sep 2009 00:41 in reply to "RE: the sole reason"
ari-free Member since:

well, that's the problem. There is no OS that you can point to called linux. Linux is just one part (and hidden) of a system that can look and act like almost anything. It can be fast, it can be slow, it can be simple or complex...there's no single platform that developers can rely on and say "this is what linux is, this is what it will be like." That's a problem that won't go away after time and zillions of developers.

8 years ago people said "what's the point of Haiku? linux will be everything you want and take over the world!" Well, they couldn't because you can't make a user friendly OS by cobbling many different parts together from different groups. So we are here today and Haiku is still relevant because it is the one OS that is open source *and* unified.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: the sole reason
by Vanders on Tue 15th Sep 2009 11:31 in reply to "RE: the sole reason"
Vanders Member since:

By the way, Syllable seems to be an interesting operating system to keep an eye on, for similar reasons as Haiku: Small and fast.

Thank you. It should be noted that Haiku have far more developers and contributors than Syllable does, sadly.

I really wish they'd do away with the "thousands of files packed into one massize .zip file" installation method though, and use separate files for each package...

Why? The installation process is transparent to you as a user and if we split the base package up into separate packages, you'd have to install all of them anyway so the same files would end up on disc just as they do now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: the sole reason
by KLU9 on Wed 16th Sep 2009 00:28 in reply to "RE: the sole reason"
KLU9 Member since:

Understand that I'm coming at this as someone who's never coded, just an end-user who relies on personal computers in his daily life for work and pleasure, and has felt the impact different operating systems can have on that aspect of my life.

People use personal computers for.. personal computing: writing documents & e-mails, web browsing, work stuff, pics, music, videos, games. All of which they would find pretty difficult if they couldn't actually see anything their computer did.

The fact that graphics/windowing isn't even part of *nix but of "third-party" packages like just demonstrates *nix was not designed for modern personal computing, the primary purpose of modern personal computers.

A system designed from the get-go for modern personal computing would not have to rely on graphics/windowing system from others as an afterthought. It would have it on the drawing board from day one. BeOS had that. And so has Syllable. (Shame on me for forgetting about them. Must check out their latest version.)

And not having been designed for it, the end-user eventually suffers (just watch me when I'm dumped to a blinking cursor!) We can play the blame game (and I too am not a great fan of but that doesn't change the fact end-users still suffer, and it happens largely because a very basic requirement of modern personal computing was not a requirement of Unix and so not part of its clones/heirs.

Which is why I'm pretty tired of them. Roll on, Haiku. Roll on, Syllable.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: the sole reason
by sphexx on Tue 15th Sep 2009 06:41 in reply to "the sole reason"
sphexx Member since:

Same here. Ordinary user, came here from BeNews. Still here in spite of Thom's obsession with Apple's EULA! Hopefully his focus will change now. This was a good article.

Edited 2009-09-15 06:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2