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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RE: the sole reason
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 14th Sep 2009 21:44 UTC in reply to "the sole reason"
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[3]: the sole reason
by FealDorf on Tue 15th Sep 2009 13:00 in reply to "RE[2]: the sole reason"
FealDorf Member since:

I was thinking the same, it's sad that despite greater maturity and usability of Syllable, I'm waiting for Haiku simply because it promises(?) me BeOS experience. I feel that Syllable should try harder to get an Amiga feel (which it's also inspired by). I read in Haiku website that Haiku and Syllable have both almost same motives, unfortunately the can't merge it.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: the sole reason
by Mark Williamson on Tue 15th Sep 2009 14:04 in reply to "RE[2]: the sole reason"
Mark Williamson Member since:

Hi Vanders,

I'm always glad to see you posting on here - it's really nice to see a real lead developer's opinions.

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum in which to ask; I have no wish to troll or to hijack the discussion. But I do wonder what the pros and cons of Syllable are, when compared to Haiku? Particularly from a architectural perspective. Not that I doubt that they exist, just that they're not immediately obvious to me.

I *had* thought that BeOS (and therefore Haiku) was a microkernel but I'm told this is not the case (allegedly it's a hybrid kernel, which in my usage of the terminology is a variant on monolithic since everything still shares the same address space). Syllable is, AFAIK, monolithic too?

If the answers are "for variety" or "for fun" or "because Syllable has more flexibility in development direction", those would all be fair enough. I'm just curious as to what other considerations there are.

I apologise for asking this here; I think it's somewhat relevant to the discussion, though. It's not my intention to question the excellent work you've done on the project. If this is more suitable for the Syllable (or even Haiku) forums, I can take my questions there.


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