Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Aug 2010 21:40 UTC, submitted by koki
BeOS & Derivatives This summer, too, the Haikuproject is part of the Google Summer of Code event. One of the more interesting projects is the Services Kit (draft document!) by Christophe "Shusui" Huriaux, which is an API to facilitate the creation of native web-enabled programs using standard web protocols and data exchange mechanisms.
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Strain
by richsax on Sat 21st Aug 2010 07:54 UTC
richsax
Member since:
2010-08-16

Recently used Haiku a couple of hours a day for a week, and BOY, does it suck.

I have never used BeOS, so I don't have the nostagia thing that probably makes it interesting for some people.

Compared to modern OS's, it seems awefully dated. It actually caused severe pain in my "mouse arm" because of all the insane menu navigation.

It generally feels old, awkward and I got a lot of freezes when putting it under pressure (disabling SMP helped somewhat.)

So I have to ask... is there a point to this project beyond the fun of doing it / nostalgia?

Reply Score: -1

RE: Strain
by OSGuy on Sat 21st Aug 2010 08:27 in reply to "Strain"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I am pretty sure Haiku's UI will go through an evolution. The idea of its current UI is pretty much based on the look of the old BeOS 5.2 but they've done some overall refinements. However I do prefer if the tracker (taskbar) behaved a bit like the Windows one when stretched to the bottom and this means left clicking on a button activates the window and maximizing the window does not cover the tracker/taskbar.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Strain
by insanity_tn on Sat 21st Aug 2010 08:31 in reply to "Strain"
insanity_tn Member since:
2009-08-28

Actually it is an alpha stage software and it reached its Alpha2 milestone, meaning that the OS is still on *unstable development stage* and putting it under heavy pressure is unfair giving the fact that it is not production ready and everyone knows that it is in heavy need of bug reports. Besides all this, I think that even its in alpha stage it still far better than other FOSS or proprietary software.

The point of this project it to provide a cleanly implemented bloat-free responsive modern OS that permits everyone to concentrate on *working* not on tweaking or cleaning the OS 8h/day. In addition on goal of the project was to implement a complete coherent OS stack from kernel to font preference dialog with focus on threading to allow maximum responsiveness. All of this was thought from the beginning not after seeing all the success and hype of threaded tabs on Chrome browser.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Strain
by blitze on Sat 21st Aug 2010 09:17 in reply to "RE: Strain"
blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Being someone who has seen BeOS in it's hayday and used it in relation to offerings from BSD, Linux, OS-X and Windows, BeOS as a an OS that focuses on User responsiveness and media handling - nothing has touched it.

I would take BeOS on a AMD K6 with 256Mb ram for running multiple video and audio streams without dropping the ball over anything that exists today.

Haiku - now it's in Alpha 2 Stage and they have to iron out the code after rebuilding from the ground up and also adapt it to modern hardware. Couple that with tracker the OS will wipe the floor of the current desktop offerings. Kudos to the dedication of all involved in the Haiku project.

Yes the UI needs to evolve and it will but they are focusing on getting the thing out the door with 5.3 binary compatibility and then move it forward with subsequent releases.

What exists on the desktop today is fn depressing and holding back the state of desktop computing by a decade or two.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Strain
by jonas.kirilla on Sat 21st Aug 2010 13:32 in reply to "Strain"
jonas.kirilla Member since:
2005-07-11

It actually caused severe pain in my "mouse arm" because of all the insane menu navigation.


Some people put emphasis on that special feature - even the Haiku Users Guide:
http://www.haiku-os.org/docs/userguide/en/tracker.html#navigating

I myself don't use it much. Haiku has a rich set of keyboard shortcuts and also an optional filemanager mode which is more browser-like, which some people prefer. Haiku has all the UI features that BeOS borrowed from MacOS (classic) and Windows. Things like Alt-Tab, spring-loaded folders and cut/copy/paste in the file manager.


It generally feels old, awkward and I got a lot of freezes when putting it under pressure (disabling SMP helped somewhat.)


Haiku can't do so much more with the graphics feel until it gains support for accelerated 3D graphics (perhaps through Gallium) which would allow more complex composition, partial translucency, live window thumbnails, etc.

About the freezes.. I don't see any system hangs on my quad core, a few crashes a month maybe (with everyday use), but I'm using non-release builds. The system is at the mercy of its device drivers, and ultimately, one's hardware, so it's not necessarily "Haiku itself" that is to blame, but that is perhaps a bit of an excuse. ;)

I know the Haiku devs work hard on code quality. It's just difficult to build a bug-free system that supports most hardware out there. It's actually quite amazing what Haiku has acheived with so few people.


So I have to ask... is there a point to this project beyond the fun of doing it / nostalgia?


I would have liked for Haiku to be a bit more revolutionary, but the project had to focus and a straight clone of BeOS (+select improvements) was what the community could find consensus around. Haiku will continue to evolve as long as people keep working on it.

Whether or not it's worth our time.. Whether or not it's worth -your- time.. it all depends on what you want and expect.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Strain
by WereCatf on Sat 21st Aug 2010 13:36 in reply to "Strain"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I have never used BeOS, so I don't have the nostagia thing that probably makes it interesting for some people.

Compared to modern OS's, it seems awefully dated. It actually caused severe pain in my "mouse arm" because of all the insane menu navigation.


I have to agree here: I only tried some trial version of BeOS years and years back and never used it for more than a few minutes so I lack the feelings of nostalgia. With the rose-colored shades of nostalgia missing I can only say that Haiku looks plain hideous to my eyes.

Yes, technology-wise it's got enormous amounts of potential and I can bet my ass that it's going to be a strong contender for certain things in the future, but if they wish to make it attractive for people without the rose-colored shades they really need to work on the looks. And I fear that's not going happen; given how many of the core developers are die-hard BeOS-fans they will not want to 'tarnish' it with some fancy effects or more modern looks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Strain
by matako on Sat 21st Aug 2010 14:54 in reply to "RE: Strain"
matako Member since:
2009-02-13

Well... Haiku's app_server is themeable to a certain degree (Decorators).

But as there is no 3D acceleration, most of so called modern effects are simply not practical and it is actually better to keep things simple.

Considering that GUI is not accelerated I'd say it looks quite ok and professional.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Strain
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 21st Aug 2010 23:09 in reply to "RE: Strain"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to agree here: I only tried some trial version of BeOS years and years back and never used it for more than a few minutes so I lack the feelings of nostalgia. With the rose-colored shades of nostalgia missing I can only say that Haiku looks plain hideous to my eyes.

Yes, technology-wise it's got enormous amounts of potential and I can bet my ass that it's going to be a strong contender for certain things in the future, but if they wish to make it attractive for people without the rose-colored shades they really need to work on the looks.


I don't think that nostalgia is the sole (or even primary) driving force behind retaining the BeOS visual appearance in Haiku. Minimalism was always one of the main design (and philosophical) goals behind the OS - a minimalist, understated interface is consistent with that.

Of course, aesthetic preferences are just about the most subjective & widely-varying opinions that people can have. Even leaving aside nostalgia, I find that the mix of subtle/understated UI & clean but slightly-cartoony graphics is easier on my eyes than just about any other UI I've used.

To me, that says that the visual designers paid close attention to detail - but they also had the restraint to avoid going completely overboard with gratuitous visual effects (as opposed to effects that serve a useful purposes, E.g. to enhance usability by giving better visual feedback).

And I fear that's not going happen; given how many of the core developers are die-hard BeOS-fans they will not want to 'tarnish' it with some fancy effects or more modern looks.


Actually, there's been significant discussion among Haiku developers about visual changes to the OS - just not for R1. E.g. there's a "Glass Elevator" sub-project that's been around almost since Haiku's inception, with the goal of more long term, "forward looking" changes after the immediate goals of R1 are met:

http://www.haiku-os.org/glass_elevator

And there already have been a number of visual changes to Haiku that, while subtle, are immediately-obvious to any long-time BeOS users. And unlike much of what I saw of ZETA, the changes have all been for the better (at least to my eyes).

There is a general perception that, because they're recreating an "old" OS, they must be die-hards who are clinging to the past, etc. But I don't think that the age of the OS is very useful indicator on its own - for one, in many ways BeOS was quite advanced for its time and had features that have only recently become common in mainstream OSes (IIRC, "future-proofing" the OS was one of Be's goals). And every indication I've seen is that that the Haiku devs are entirely realistic about changes that the OS will need if it's going to have any viable future.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Strain
by drcouzelis on Sat 21st Aug 2010 23:43 in reply to "Strain"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

"Is there a point to this project beyond the fun of doing it / nostalgia?"

Yes. I also have never used BeOS before using Haiku. Compared to other operating systems and user interfaces, I prefer to use Haiku. I like the consistency between applications. I like the responsiveness of the user interface. I like the clean look and nice default settings. I like the simplicity of installing and uninstalling applications. I find that the user interface better fits my work flow.

So the point of making Haiku is that, similarly to how not everyone wants to use iOS or Windows or Mac OS X or Linux, there are people who want to use an operating system like Haiku. Well, especially when it considered stable enough for an official release.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Strain
by The123king on Sun 22nd Aug 2010 20:40 in reply to "RE: Strain"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

As another user of Haiku (Yes, i use it as my day-to-day OS where possible, i'm posting this from Haiku ;) ) I have to admit that the main reason i use it is because of it's UI and the general feel of using it.

The media-friendlyness and sub-10-second boot times help too.

Reply Parent Score: 1