Linked by Kevin Miller on Thu 15th Oct 2009 22:16 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Today marks an entire week of using Haiku as my primary operating system. This is my first PC to get the most out of any BeOS related operating system to date. My old 200MHz Toshiba ran R5 PE just fine but without any networking. My eMachine ran Zeta just fine, but once again, there were networking issues (and Zeta was pronounced dead around this time). In the age of the Internet, this pretty much forced me away from BeOS and its decendants until now.
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Haiku as your main OS you said?
by Eugenia on Thu 15th Oct 2009 22:56 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

If you are not interested in a browser that actually works adequately and without major slow-downs and crashes, then sure, it's a good deal. But if you are into the Internet age, then Haiku doesn't cut it. Let's face it and not hide behind our finger for the sake of supporting an OS project. I loved BeOS, I like Haiku as an idea, and I wish the best for the project. But I would never use it as my main OS. It doesn't do anything that I want to do properly.

Reply Score: -5

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

It depends on how much you rely on web apps and modern internet technologies. I find most of my web browsing habits can be accomplished with any browser, even elinks. I gave up on almost anything and went back to simple text based tools for most stuff. It works well, so it is possible.

Us techies/geeks have very different ways of interacting with our computers than other people, so we surely don't need Mac OSX to make good use of our stuff. In fact, xmonad, opera, mplayer, rtorrent and alpine is all I need and I don't regret going the simple way. It's wonderfully simple once you get the hold of it, not matter what others think.

So I think, even when Haiku is not yet ready, it is possible to do something with it.

Reply Parent Score: 10

Zenja Member since:
2005-07-06

Give it time, Eugenia. I'm confident that within 4 years, Haiku will reach the maturity/usability of popular Linux distros, and after that, it will definately be the 3rd most popular desktop OS. All it takes is a little bit of time.

Yes, it will take another decade until it has the polish of Windows/MacOSX. Most of us here on OSNews can live with the rough/sharp edges of these young OS's. We're enjoying it right now, and we look forward to watching it mature and grow.

Reply Parent Score: 8

_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

i fear you're being over confident (by a large margin)
but hell, that would be nice ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

And Linux will be another 4 years ahead.

Reply Parent Score: 3

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

But if you are into the Internet age, then Haiku doesn't cut it. Let's face it and not hide behind our finger for the sake of supporting an OS project.


Pretty vague statements I think...

Most of my internet uses are indeed supported by Haiku's BezillaBrowser.

The major missing feature is Flash support... which I'm guess you probably rely on pretty heavily?

FF2 does also lack speed and better Javascript/HTML5 support that we expect from newer browsers. Google Wave for example, doesn't quite work in Haiku ;)

I also run Haiku ~75% of the time I fire up my AOA150. I've been using the experimental wifi driver, with my router currently unsecured (I essentially live in the middle of nowhere, so this isn't a huge deal for me). I can chat on IRC, surf the web, read emails, and work on some porting projects. This is pretty much the bulk of my evening computer usage anyway, so I'd say it's pretty close to being my primary OS as well ;)

Reply Parent Score: 8

frood Member since:
2005-07-06

I spend much of my time in a terminal, so the browser issue isn't such a big deal for me either. As long as I can get to OSnews!

Regarding the unsecured wifi.. if I locked down my router to only allow my Haiku machines MAC address, would that work? Would give a small amount of security at least. How about hiding the SSID also?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I've been using the experimental wifi driver, with my router currently unsecured (I essentially live in the middle of nowhere, so this isn't a huge deal for me).


If it doesn't support WPA1/2 or even WEP this is pretty much a showstopper for any normal person.

Reply Parent Score: 4

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

What people used to say about mozilla:
"If you are not interested in a browser that actually works adequately and without major slow-downs and crashes, then sure, it's a good deal. But if you are into the Internet age, then Mozilla doesn't cut it. Let's face it and not hide behind our finger for the sake of supporting a browser project. I loved Netscape , I like Mozilla as an idea, and I wish the best for the project. But I would never use it as my main browser. It doesn't do anything that I want to do properly."

Fortunately the mozilla people didn't really care and despite IE dominance and AOL despair (http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/nomo.html), they pulled off firefox and now it is very popular.

Reply Parent Score: 10

REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

playing devil's advocate, Mozilla was in a slightly different position as it could be installed along side IE without having to reboot or do anything else with the computer.

Which is not to say that it's not a great OS, as i too was blown away by BE R5 at the speed and layout of the UI.Im currently downloading the alpha to, which from screen shots and reviews hints at something which is classed as a beta with other OS's/Software

Reply Parent Score: 2

emerson999 Member since:
2007-12-08

Have to agree with you on this one. I gave it a shot on my netbook, but it's just not ready for me yet. I could do without the flash, but no flash, in progress wifi, and firefox 2.x combined just didn't cut it. I'm not even fond of using firefox 3.x with JIT for webapps compared to chromium, and 2.x was painful.

It reminds me a bit of kde 4.0. Great framework, but it needs applications to be built on it still. Better network drivers, and a webkit based browser will increase the usability by bounds.

Still not sure about the flash thing though. I mean, giving up hulu? Not a fun idea.

Reply Parent Score: 2

blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Considering Eugenia has been slagging of Haiku since its inception I wouldn't expect much else from her.

Face it BeOS is dead and out of all the contenders to carry the mantle, Haiku has been the one to deliver the goods. Support of stick with your beloved OS-X or what ever makes you feel good. When it comes to the desktop nothing can deliver variety of apps like Windows can but yet we still see many use alternatives and Haiku is nothing more than one of the alternatives at this stage.

Would you prefer they just roll over an play dead?

Reply Parent Score: 7

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Very stupid, uninformed comment/question on my part, but: I'd expect that the Alpha release, and most of the development leading up to it, would be about creating stable-and-working system-level software, with userspace apps to follow. Given that there's (apparently) a fair amount of community enthusiasm, and given that it supports a POSIX compatability system (doesn't it?), I'd be real surprised if user-space third-party apps didn't start appearing pretty quickly, once the core OS stabilizes. I mean, how hard is it to port, say, Vim, Gnash, ffmpeg, or the WebKit or Gecko engines to a new POSIX environment?

Reply Parent Score: 4

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I mean, how hard is it to port, say, Vim, Gnash, ffmpeg, or the WebKit or Gecko engines to a new POSIX environment?


Well, POSIX isn't the end-all-be-all of compatibility layers... (and yes, Haiku has a pretty rich POSIX layer, compared to BeOS)

Vim was actually included with Haiku R1/Alpha1.

A Gnash port does exist (and even has a BeZillaBrowser plugin), but has about a dozen dependencies in grand FOSS style (making it a nasty port), and it still needs to be updated for the R1/Alpha1 build of Haiku. I found it rather sluggish in Haiku, however...

Haiku already includes an ffmpeg backend as a media kit plugin for decoding of many audio/video formats.

Haiku's BeZillaBrowser is based on Firefox 2, so contains Gecko, sadly, FF3 and newer requires a port of Cairo which... still remains in a partially-ported state, and nobody seems interested in stepping forward to finish it.

Webkit is ported, and most of the patches are already pushed upstream - there is a project to build a native browser on top of Webkit already, but the progress hasn't been super fast yet.

Any others you'd like to inquire about?

This is a good place to see various ports that have been attempted: http://ports.haiku-files.org/wiki/PortLog#PortLog

Reply Parent Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I love the Haiku project and used BeOS R5 as my primary system years ago, but Eugenia is correct in the sense that Haiku is NOT ready to be used as a primary desktop. Not yet. Not for me anyway, nor for the vast majority of users. I am glad the OP is enjoying it.

But man oh man do I hope they keep up the good work! ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Eddyspeeder Member since:
2006-05-10

As someone who, until July, has used Zeta (BeOS derivate) as main (and only!) OS at home, I think I have a say in this, and I agree with Tuishimi.

Several basic operations cannot be done. Many Flash sites (there are many, even ones you'll need), many Java sites (internet banking, to name an example) - you can pretty much forget about those to be accessible.

Then let's talk about Office compatibility. DOCX... XLSX... no? Oh. DOC support is minimal. You're not able to even import graphics embedded within the documents. So the only thing you can turn to is Google Docs. It's a life saver!

I also started missing Skype support by the way.

Conclusion: I still love BeOS and would switch to Haiku in a heartbeat if I could run it as my primary OS. I'm currently very happy to not have these limitations anymore under Mac OS X. So I agree with Eugenia and Tuishimi... it is not really possible at this point. I've accepted & lived with the impairments for several years and now they have gotten to a point where they are too difficult to handle, I had to make a switch to a different OS. This is the reality right now.

P.S.: Note that I do *NOT* wish to complain about these impairments. I voluntarily chose to accept the lack of support of some technological advancements and I was okay with it. I still do not regret it and I commend this article's author to have given it a shot.

Reply Parent Score: 2

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

If you are not interested in a browser that actually works adequately and without major slow-downs and crashes, then sure, it's a good deal. But if you are into the Internet age, then Haiku doesn't cut it.


I beg to differ - I've personally used plain 'ol R5 on my main work computer since mid-2003. In fact this is for a company that mainly focuses on Internet-related services, so I'm a bit puzzled by the "if you are into the Internet age, then Haiku doesn't cut it" claim.

I like Haiku as an idea, and I wish the best for the project.


You've chosen some strange ways of expressing those sentiments.

http://www.osnews.com/story/8114

But I would never use it as my main OS. It doesn't do anything that I want to do properly.


So don't use it, no (reasonable) person will fault you for that. But why crap on someone whose needs it DOES meet?

Reply Parent Score: 4