Linked by Andrew Hudson on Thu 14th Jul 2011 17:47 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives This article provides a brief overview of the Haiku operating system from a programmer's point of view, with sample code for an inter-application communication application. The Haiku API is simple and powerful and by the end of this article you will be able to use a variety of objects to write your own Haiku applications. Some C or C++ coding experience is useful.
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RE: Very nice
by cb88 on Fri 15th Jul 2011 05:09 UTC in reply to "Very nice"
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

Yeah its great to see Haiku articles... and you're right and I think the Legalese articles are a necessary evil .. they just make me want to hurl sometimes.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Very nice
by Lennie on Fri 15th Jul 2011 12:45 in reply to "RE: Very nice"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Well, I could ask who has the current ownership of all the BeOS IP and if there are any patents which could threaten project like Haiku.

But I won't.

I don't think I'll be doing any BeOS/Haiku coding, but I think it is great to have such articles on OSnews again.

It is interresting reading some of the ways Haiku works, how it has some of the elements similair to Mac OS X/systemd and current Linux desktop distributions.

Edited 2011-07-15 12:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Very nice
by AndrewZ on Fri 15th Jul 2011 16:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Very nice"
AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

Well, I could ask who has the current ownership of all the BeOS IP

It's all owned by a Japanese company, ACCESS, and for all intents and purposes it is mothballed and forgotten.

When YellowTab released Zeta, all they did was write letters.

Edited 2011-07-15 16:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Very nice
by tanishaj on Fri 15th Jul 2011 16:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Very nice"
tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Well, I could ask who has the current ownership of all the BeOS IP and if there are any patents which could threaten project like Haiku.

But I won't.


First, you obviously did ask the question. At least, you put the question in people's minds.

Second, I tire of people raising "patent threat" questions about open platforms that mimic closed solutions. For example, I am a fan of Mono and it shows up endlessly in discussions about that platform.

A software API is not patentable (and generally not even copyrightable). These kinds of "non-asked" questions really confuse this issue. Implementing a specific API generally does not expose you to any more patent risk than writing a wholly original work with similar scope for a similar purpose.

To answer your question, Palm (now HP) owns the historical IP BeOS I believe. Does that mean that we need to worry about HP bringing legal action against Haiku. Maybe. Is this threat a specific one that raises the risk in developing Haiku. I do not think so.

The chance that Apple will sue instead is just as high or higher. I am not picking on Apple, they just seem to be the obvious party with the greatest potential competitive interest to a successful Haiku project. Patent trolls and dying vendors are even more likely. There is nothing special about the company holding the rights to BeOS.

Let's use Mono as an example. I have been listening for years now to naysayers warning against using Mono because of the risk of Microsoft suing over patents. As a Mono proponent, I am at best too stupid or naive to understand the threat according to these people. Perhaps I am simply insane. Often, Java has been specifically mentioned as the safe and sane alternative. Is it really?

Well, Android is designed around the Java ecosystem and Oracle is now suing Google for patent violations. So, not so safe after all. But Oracle is at least the creator of Java (or has the creators rights) so perhaps some may see this as proof of why you need to worry about implementing other people's specifications. Sadly, it is not so simple.

Microsoft has in fact attacked a half-dozen Android users (companies) and successfully negotiated licensing deals with them. Now they are going after Samsung, the largest Android handset vendor. Microsoft makes more money off Android than it does of Windows Phone 7. It is possible that Microsoft makes more money off of Android than any other software company. (I do not know at all but I wonder who is making more).

What engineering did Microsoft contribute to Android? None. What Microsoft specification, operating system, or development framework did the Android guys implement to attract all this attention? None.

Yet, you can use Mono to develop not only desktop and server apps for Linux and Mac. You can use Mono to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android. No lawsuits. In fact, Microsoft (a senior employee) has stated explicitly that Mono on Android is ok and that the Microsoft Community Promise was created to encourage exactly this kind of activity.

So which option turned out to be safer? It is hard to argue that Android would have attracted a greater number of lawsuits if they had based the platform on Mono instead.

This is not an anti-Java, anti-Android, or even (explicitly at least) pro-Mono comment. My point is actually that everybody is at risk from software patent claims. Patents are not like copyrights. It makes no difference at all who authored the software specification you are implementing. Your biggest threat is probably not the obvious vendor involved in the ecosystem but some other vendor that has no commitment to (or actively competes with) that ecosystem. Your biggest risk is being more successful with a patent holder that sees you as a competitor.

TL; DR

Who cares who owns the patents for BeOS. Haiku is neither safer nor more at risk because those patents exists. Haiku (and all software) is at risk because software patents exist in general.

Please stop raising the specter of patents for every project that strives for compatibility with something else.

Reply Parent Score: 1