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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Cool thread / frustrating thread
by AndrewZ on Mon 23rd Aug 2010 17:21 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

This thread is both very exciting and very frustrating to read. It's exciting because it reflects the the fact that Haiku is nearing a tipping point. It's stable, the speed is good, Bugs are quickly fixed, lots of classic BeOS apps run fine, the development environment is mature, it's gaining visibility. That's all good.

But there is a lot of misinformation about Haiku. There is a lot of "arm chair quarterbacking" by folks who are interested but haven't taken the time to install Haiku and take it for a test drive. Like for instance: "and also adapt it to modern hardware."
Haiku runs fine a lot of modern hardware for basic purposes. Lots of drivers are supported. Here are instruction for installing Haiku as a dual boot. It also runs embarrassingly well on old hardware:
http://haikuware.com/wikis/doku.php?id=tutorials:install-haiku-besi...

The example of BeOS running many video streams without dropping frames is driving me crazy so let me address that. This was a great demo for 10 years ago. But just like the spinning teapot was cool, then wasn't cool, I think its time to find a better demo for Haiku.

What is the major strength of Haiku? It is the application APIs and the "mini" kernel. In operating systems theory class you learn about the trade-off between through-put and response time. An example of through-put is database transactions per second. Linux is very good at this, Solaris is/was best at this. Because the kernel was designed and tuned for throughput. BeOS was designed to be the best at quick response to user-centric applications. "It feels fast" means it responds quickly to GUI events. Why would one OS feel faster and not block on GUI operations? Because the application APIs and kernel were designed for minimal latency in the kernel.

These days I think you could probably play 6 or 8 video streams on Windows or Mac with no dropped frames. th4e hardware is so much faster and the video subsystems are much improved. It also not that exciting because how many videos do you need to play at once? Maybe 1 or 2. So playing multiple video streams on Haiku is no longer a great demo.

So what is a great demo on Haiku? I think we need some new ideas here. We need to write some applications that reflect what people do on PCs today AND use the application APIs to show it off in Haiku.

So I give this challenge: Write a simple app for Haiku and use the application API. It's fairly simple and very straight forward. There is an excellent tutorial for programming apps on Haiku. It starts with no assumptions in chapter 1, teaches you basic C++, and moves up to basic API/GUI programming by chapter 20. If you have never coded before but are interested, start here. If you are a seasoned coder but have never written a Haiku app, start here but skip ahead:
http://www.haiku-os.org/development/learning_to_program_with_haiku

I have more to say but maybe this is enough for one post.

Happy Haiku hacking

Reply Score: 4

AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

OK, more responses to more comments.

"Do they have a goal for the final R1 release or is it more a situation of plodding along and focusing on the quality rather than an arbitrary time table?"
I used to ask the same question, when is the final release, so I can use it. After using Haiku A1 I was surprised at how much I could do. And with A2 now in the rear view mirror, Haiku is "good enough". There are a growing number of Haiku users who are switching to it for their daily use. Sure, these guys are early adopters but they are able to get their stuff done. The number of regular Haiku users is growing. You don't need to wait for R1. You can use it now.

"Does anyone know of their plans for LLVM integration?"
Grzegorz has done a proof of concept. But this does not have high priority. It doesn't add any functionality:
http://haiku-os.pl/node/1244

"With the rose-colored shades of nostalgia missing I can only say that Haiku looks plain hideous to my eyes. "
I would agree that the Haiku look is a bit dated. It needs to catch up to OSX and Windows 7 in several aesthetic areas. Until now the project has been focused on functionality, and rightly so. Better to get it working first, make it pretty second. One of the major strong points of Haiku is that you have a single C++ API. This means that Haiku GUI can be easily extended by refactoring the look and feel code. If someone with serious window manager chops wants to step up and become a hero, this task is waiting for you. One person could make a huge difference here and could make a real name for them self. Just do it.

"While its cool, video and audio editing on BeOS is joke. There are no applications that are good enough for professional work." I know of 3 audio editing apps that work on Haiku. 2 of them might be good enough for semi-pro work.
http://haikuware.com/directory/multimedia/audio/audio-editing/

There was commercial video editing app on BeOS but it is no longer supported. Writing a good video editor is a real challenge. I have seen numerous projects started and abandoned on Linux. It would be nice to see a basic video editor on Haiku. I wouldn't expect to see professional apps of any kind for a while yet. First we have to show clear advantages to using Haiku, then add lots of users, then come commercial apps. This is our next challenge.

"I haven't used their new web browser, but its lacking plug-ins and pixel32 wasn't really usable last time I tried it on BeOS."
Yes, not too many plug-ins. But WebPositive is surprisingly good. It lacks many bells and whistles but it is quite good at the basics, and quick. I ran Google apps with no problems. As for image editing, try a native app like ArtPaint:
http://haikuware.com/directory/view-details/multimedia/graphics/ima...

Edited 2010-08-23 18:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

konrad Member since:
2006-01-06

One of the major strong points of Haiku is that you have a single C++ API.

Its still alot of C code there. I hope they change that in future versions.

I know of 3 audio editing apps that work on Haiku. 2 of them might be good enough for semi-pro work.
http://haikuware.com/directory/multimedia/audio/audio-editing/

Most of the apps are vapour ware. Cold cut was good though.

As for image editing, try a native app like ArtPaint:
http://haikuware.com/directory/view-details/multimedia/graphics/ima...

I runned them all. I used BeOS for maybe 6-7 years.

Reply Parent Score: 1

koki Member since:
2005-10-17

The BeOS style multiple video demo is still VERY useful. The problem is that the purpose of this demo is misunderstood. This sort of demo is not meant to show the usefulness of Haiku, but to demonstrate the responsiveness of the system under heavy load, something which is at the heart of the Haiku user experience and that we seem to agree is a major strength of Haiku.

Look at it this way: running multiple videos w/o skipping a frame, while spinning the Teappot in a system that only has software opengl and runs in VESA mode video is a very effective way of showing how efficient Haiku is at using hardware resources. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

OK, but the videos had better be interesting ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 2

smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

The BeOS style multiple video demo is still VERY useful. The problem is that the purpose of this demo is misunderstood. This sort of demo is not meant to show the usefulness of Haiku, but to demonstrate the responsiveness of the system under heavy load, something which is at the heart of the Haiku user experience and that we seem to agree is a major strength of Haiku.


The problem is that all the competition can do the same thing, so it's not really showing much that's unique. Unless maybe they can't on netbook hardware that's slow enough? I don't have a netbook to test, but certainly they all run with ease on a modern desktop.

I think a better strategy might be showing quick 30 second youtube clips, where you:

open a netbook and boot
start an email app
make a quick reply to someone
shutdown

all while a split screen shows another computer that is still trying to boot up.

I honestly don't see myself running Haiku on a desktop system anytime soon, but if it's really that quick then i think that could be a major selling point for people lugging around laptops, iPad clones, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

The thing is: there's no easy way to measure responsiveness, otherwise it would easy to benchmark OS and to improve them..
*So* there's no easy way to demo responsiveness.
Still one possibility would be a 'split screen video': show some activity such as starting an application in parallel on Haiku,Windows,Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 2

AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

It might not be easy on Windows or OSX but applications can be scripted. On Haiku you can easily do application scripting with hey. Hey uses BMessages, another nice feature of Haiku:
http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/bible/bos/ch_scripting6.html

Reply Parent Score: 2