Linked by rohan_p on Wed 8th Aug 2012 15:21 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives BeOS may be dead, but over a decade after its lamentable demise the open source Haiku project keeps its legacy alive. Haiku is an attempt to build a drop-in, binary compatible replacement for BeOS, as well as extending the defunct OS's functionality and support for modern hardware. At least, that's the short-term goal - eventually, Haiku is intended significantly enhance BeOS while maintaining the same philosophy of simplicity and transparency, and without being weighed down with the legacy code of many other contemporary operating systems. Computerworld Australia recently caught up with Stephan Assmus, who has been a key contributor to the project for seven years for a lengthy chat about BeOS, the current state of Haiku and the project's future plans.
Thread beginning with comment 530325
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Haiku and Linux
by Phucked on Wed 8th Aug 2012 18:28 UTC in reply to "Haiku and Linux"
Phucked
Member since:
2008-09-24

It's quite appalling to think about it, but Haiku, as incomplete and visually aged as it is today, still manages to be a better desktop OS than any Linux distro with a modern DE.

It's a shame that it never got serious attention of any large company.


Maybe back in 1999 that was the case, but now I would take a Fluxbox desktop over a BeOS/ Haiku one any day of the week.

The BeOS/Haiku widget set and interface are more cartoonish than Windows XP, and feel more like a mock up than a real UI for a so called media OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Haiku and Linux
by CapEnt on Wed 8th Aug 2012 18:56 in reply to "RE: Haiku and Linux"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

The issue here is not only the look (imho, Haiku indeed looks dated), but their overall architecture: Haiku is more integrated, more standardized and is a overall cleaner design for a desktop OS (not server) than Linux.

Despite dozens of efforts by Linux community to integrate the DE with the core OS, it still fells like a gigantic wrapper on top of a mess, who gives a overall fragility to it.

For a power user who likes total control and has patience to keep track of every single application (and their versions) installed, this is not a issue, they don't need a wrapper. Just a window manager who can put a terminal anywhere in the screen is enough.

But, for a naive but curious and tech-savvy user, who likes to mess with his computer hardware but don't care that much about the OS, he is forced so many times to use a terminal, so he can edit entirely non intuitive configurations, that it gives the feeling that a single mistake can bring the whole world down. (while on Windows, it would mean, more often than less, a box about "where is the driver?".)

Edited 2012-08-08 18:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Haiku and Linux
by moondevil on Wed 8th Aug 2012 20:51 in reply to "RE[2]: Haiku and Linux"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The issue here is not only the look (imho, Haiku indeed looks dated), but their overall architecture: Haiku is more integrated, more standardized and is a overall cleaner design for a desktop OS (not server) than Linux.


Quite true.

Back in BeOS days, it was for me the right successor to Amiga, sadly never took off.

If Apple had taken BeOS instead of NeXStep, while managing to arrive at the same state the company has now, no one would be getting Mac OS X (former BeOS) because of its UNIX roots, funnily enough.

On the other hand we would have a great multimedia OS.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Haiku and Linux
by Soulbender on Thu 9th Aug 2012 04:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Haiku and Linux"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

while on Windows, it would mean, more often than less, a box about "where is the driver?"


No, it would entail messing around with the even more fragile registry.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Haiku and Linux
by Valhalla on Thu 9th Aug 2012 11:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Haiku and Linux"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Haiku is more integrated, more standardized and is a overall cleaner design for a desktop OS (not server) than Linux.

Yes this is the strength of Haiku, as it's totally focused on providing a full desktop experience out-of-the-box, which means it comes with all necessary components tightly integrated.

Linux by contrast is just a kernel to which you add whatever components you need/prefer, as such Linux strenght is flexibility/customization.

For a desktop environment I prefer the Haiku approach (although I also like the maximal flexibility I get from Linux and the tailoring of environments it offers), and as such it is what I really want to run as my day-to-day desktop OS.

Currently the greatest hinderance for Haiku adoption is hardware/software support, and the short-term solution for software in my opinion is to get more ports for Haiku, native applications are of course much preferred but they will only come once people actually use the system, and before they do that there must be software available to make it useable.

Despite dozens of efforts by Linux community to integrate the DE with the core OS, it still fells like a gigantic wrapper on top of a mess, who gives a overall fragility to it.

Well, they pretty much are 'wrappers' by comparison as there can never be the type of integration between the kernel and outside components as that which Haiku enjoys due to Haiku being developed as a whole OS with a specific purpose, from kernel to gui.

On the other hand, the vast majority likely don't notice this in any really practical way and although I love Haiku with all my heart I'd have to say that the vast majority of people out there get's a much better 'experience' out of something like Ubuntu then out of Haiku at it's current and foreseeable future state.

Loved the article, it's always interesting hearing about a project from the viewpoint of one of it's developers. Also Stephan's comments seems very down to earth rather than trying to drum up some hype which lends credibility to his views IMO.

From what I gather the big stumbling point towards a R1 release is the package management, so here's hoping someone steps up to the plate and finishes this so that Haiku can finally take that last huge step.

I think R1 would do wonders for the sense of achievement and overall interest in Haiku, of course package management in itself would do wonders for day-to-day use of Haiku, particularly updates.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Haiku and Linux
by izomiac on Wed 8th Aug 2012 21:31 in reply to "RE: Haiku and Linux"
izomiac Member since:
2006-07-26

What the UI looks like is probably the least important factor IMHO. It's like the walls in your home, after a short while you forget what color they are. Of course, for marketing purposes it's vital, but Haiku isn't designed to attract customers, it's designed to be usable.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Haiku and Linux
by bassbeast on Sat 11th Aug 2012 03:48 in reply to "RE: Haiku and Linux"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Really? I think its icons are nicer looking than XP's myself, in fact I used to use icon sets like XPIze when i was on XP just to get rid of those fugly default icons whereas when i ran BeOS back in the day and looking at Haiku now i think it looks quite nice.

Of course the problem with both BeOS and Amiga clones is what made those systems cool was NOT the software, it was the hardware. Back then those OSes were written for the chips which also couldn't really be had on any other machine and that tight connection between hardware and software was what made them multimedia monsters. Back then those machines could do things that other machines simply couldn't touch, serious multitasking, media playback while doing other tasks, it was ahead of its time.

Today frankly any bottom of the line AMD or Intel multicore can do everything you could do then while having so many cycles to spare its just not funny so there really isn't a point in having the OS and hardware tied tightly together like that. the MHz wars left us with such superpowered hardware that even MSFT can't pile enough bloat and bling to slow down even a low end quad and the GPUs that Intel and AMD integrate now can just tear through multimedia.

So while I can see why some would want to play with them, I ran both BeOS and OS/2 Warp back in the day and both kicked the snot out of Win9X and System 7....sigh, maybe we're just spoiled. i know sitting here typing this while transcoding a video and listening to music if you'd have told me then i could do all this without swapping or slowdown I'd have laughed you out the building, now i just take it for granted.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Haiku and Linux
by zima on Sat 11th Aug 2012 21:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Haiku and Linux"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

BeOS wasn't really tied that much, architecturally, to any particular hardware. Sure, Be at first made the NeXt-style error of limiting BeOS at its launch (which happened a bit too late vs Windows entrenchment...) only to the buyers of the expensive & uberniche BeBox, and afterwards (definitely too late...) to the "intermediate" like that Powermacs. But, some time later, they didn't seem to have issues with porting it to the PC (waaay too late...), where it ran just as well.
Did I mention it was just too late?*

At my place, one of the most popular PC magazines (at the time, most likely well above 100k in a <40M country) included once the BeOS PE on its CD. That didn't result in much.
OS/2 was similarly essentially given away, back then, with a demo that could be easily (even accidentally) unlocked to be time-unlimited. That OS had an underlying goal of returning to IBM the control over the PC - this is why it failed (of course other OEMs wouldn't play along, preferred Windows), also why it's probably good that it failed.


*Plus, focusing on mostly useless demos (why should we be interested in several videos or GL teacups at the same time?), while Win was perfectly good enough (NVM its software library). And also largely stuck in the past, being single-user, with no security model to speak of, and poor internationalisation (while the favourite pet story of BeOS refugees is how a Japanese line of Win+BeOS PCs, from Hitachi, was meddled with by MS...).

Reply Parent Score: 2