Home > Haiku > The Future of BeFree The Future of BeFree Guest post by Karl vom Dorff 2004-11-10 Haiku 71 Comments Pierluigi Fiorini discusses the future of his BeFree project and decides to use Qt for his goals. 71 Comments 2004-11-10 4:11 am Anonymous How many BeOS projects are out there. I tried one of them, but it didn’t work with XP, found out after I installed it. I’m wondering if a flavor of Linux would be better, seems like there are more programs on Linux then Be. 2004-11-10 4:34 am Anonymous So, is “Mockup” another GNU/Linux distro, but one that exclusively uses Qt? 2004-11-10 4:42 am Anonymous Hmm, a Linux distro would be something that uses the Linux userspace semantics. Eg: the standard Linux config files, the standard UNIX filesystem hierarchy, etc, etc. Just because something uses the Linux kernel doesn’t mean that the userspace needs to look anything like a Linux distro. I mean, the WinNT kernel is a lot like VMS, but it’s not like WinXP feels anything like VMS. The only bit of *NIX-ness hardcoded into Linux is the POSIX API (which is encapsulated by Qt’s C++ libraries anyway). Depending on how much stuff you want to rewrite, everything else is fair game. 2004-11-10 5:02 am Anonymous At least he doesn’t seem *too* fixated on the framebuffer. The framebuffer is a dead-end unless Nvidia or ATI decide to open up and publish register-level specs. 2004-11-10 6:54 am Anonymous Can someone that understands Linux explain what this is exactly? I thought Qt was an API that could be used to make software for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. I’ve played around with it, and I’ve made a few simple Qt programs for Windows, but that is where my understanding of it ends. Would this be a GUI for Linux, different from KDE or Gnome? Would one be able to run existing Linux software on it, like Gimp or FireFox? 2004-11-10 7:21 am Anonymous Linux is really just a kernel. You can throw any kind of operating system you want on top of it in user-land. Look at OSX. It’s a Mach/FreeBSD(Darwin) thing with Apple stuff thrown on top. Now even after reading the article I still don’t understand how he makes the leap from QT to a full-blown operating system, because I’m assuming Bash, the LSB directory structure and all the other little utilities that make up a Linux distro won’t be used. 2004-11-10 7:37 am Anonymous Geee, I bet this will attract a certain amount of Linux users especially who later on when Haiku moves on will switch to that platform. Especially since Haiku is prolly a year more to go.. 2004-11-10 7:51 am Anonymous The only usable OSBOS is Zeta, but it’s not stable, the input_server crashes and it supports less hardware than BeOS R5 (at least in my personal experience). Mmmm, many people complain about Zeta’s stability; let me just say that I’ve never had any problems with it. In my opinion BeOS is dead, it was sold by Be, Inc. to Palm and without an Open Source kernel nobody can update it easily. Now with that I don’t agree. BeOS is not dead as long as 1 person still uses it; and since I won’t be dumping my x86 any time soon, it won’t be dead for a long time. The BeOS community should move to another operating system and the Linux community should take into account that there aren’t good desktop environments. Agree with the latter, disagree with the former. 2004-11-10 8:14 am Anonymous Haiku might not be dead, but I don’t how Zeta can be anything but a deadend when they don’t have the kernel source. 2004-11-10 8:17 am Anonymous I`m using Zeta RC3, no real problems. I`ve always preferred BeOS over Linux. For me it`s a better desktop OS. 2004-11-10 9:23 am Anonymous Why should anyone care about this? Wasn’t the unique thing about BeFree that it would replace X11 with something slicker… and now it will force you to have X11 anyway? Blah. 2004-11-10 9:36 am Anonymous SCREENSHOT of how it will look http://www.mockup.org/projects/befree/mockup01.png 2004-11-10 9:52 am Anonymous Did the BeFree creator(s?) talk the the BlueEyedOS people? I can certainly see parallels, and before anyone reinvents the wheel they should sit together and see where they can cooperate. 2004-11-10 10:03 am Anonymous It looks like BeFree is going to be just a desktop manager, Rolling is the package management system, and Mockup is going to be a Linux distro that brings it all together. If the desktop manager is very good, it will be included in other major Linux distros, but I don’t think too much more is going to come of this. The window manger/desktop manager arena is very crowded. It may have been more efficient to start with BeFree being merely a theme for an existing manager, and for Mr. Fiorini to focus on creating the framework that would allow BeOS programs to run (after a recompile) on his Linux distro. Mr. Fiorini should work on whatever little projects interest him. If any of his work is exceptional, those parts will be incorporated into other spheres. He may be the only one using the whole Mockup distro, though. 2004-11-10 10:15 am Anonymous The BeFree guy is certainly aware of BlueEyedOS – he mentions it in the article, but you know they won’t be getting together. I doubt the BlueEyedOS people would want to base their desktop on Qt. 2004-11-10 10:28 am Anonymous I discussed the cooperation between these projects if Guillaume and Bill agree I can even search for these messages in my mailbox and publish in the Mockup site. Bill and Guillaume don’t want to work together, in fact their projects are not developed. Creating a BeOS GUI on top of a Linux kernel is a huge work and only one man cannot create a good kernel kit. 2004-11-10 10:30 am Anonymous Last time I looked their website hadn’t been updated for a long time, and they didn’t manage to create a SourceForge project to release the source.. 2004-11-10 10:32 am Anonymous BeFree is THE Mockup’s desktop manager, just like Tracker+Deskbar is THE BeOS’ desktop manager. Rolling is THE (Linux-based) Mockup foundation, just like bash+boot scripts+bootman+newos-based kernel+drivers is the foundation of Haiku. Mockup is just like Haiku, BeOS, Windows, MacOS X: a desktop operating system/platform. I know my English is poor, perhaps I cannot explain better than this. 2004-11-10 10:38 am Anonymous Qt supports both framebuffer and X11. If your graphics card isn’t supported under framebuffer, you can use Mockup with Xorg. Anyway my Radeon R200 runs better under DirectFB than Xorg 6.8.1, Xcomposite and the new extentions are slower due to the XAA architecture if I’m not wrong. DirectFB only lacks of ATI and NVidia interest and a better window management, for example you cannot set a window to be a dock while in X11 just set _NET_WM_TYPE_DOCK atom. 2004-11-10 10:46 am Anonymous The only usable OSBOS is Zeta, but it’s not stable, the input_server crashes and it supports less hardware than BeOS R5 (at least in my personal experience). Mmmm, many people complain about Zeta’s stability; let me just say that I’ve never had any problems with it. It depends on your hardware. My optical wireless Microsoft mouse ran good on BeOS R5 but it wasn’t supported by Zeta RC2. In my opinion BeOS is dead, it was sold by Be, Inc. to Palm and without an Open Source kernel nobody can update it easily. Now with that I don’t agree. BeOS is not dead as long as 1 person still uses it; and since I won’t be dumping my x86 any time soon, it won’t be dead for a long time. You are talking about the BeOS community which is hard to die just like the Amiga one. BeOS is dead since nobody is developing a new version. The BeOS community should move to another operating system and the Linux community should take into account that there aren’t good desktop environments. Agree with the latter, disagree with the former. The BeOS community should move to another OS because BeOS is dead. To be clear here: BeOS is technically a good operating system but I tried MacOS X and I the first thing I thought after the installation was “Oh my God, BeOS R5 is really too old than what I thought”. There’s no comparison. With Mockup I’m trying to do the best I can, OSX is a good example of usability while BeOS is a good example of how to write a good multimedia OS (from the technical point of view). 2004-11-10 11:02 am Anonymous It depends on your hardware. My optical wireless Microsoft mouse ran good on BeOS R5 but it wasn’t supported by Zeta RC2. I of course agree. I wasn’t trying to say that because it works on my system, it should work on any system. I justed wanted to say that it does work on my system. No surprise, I built my x86 specifically to be compatible with as many operating systems as possible. You are talking about the BeOS community which is hard to die just like the Amiga one. BeOS is dead since nobody is developing a new version. I get your point, but I still do not agree. Yellowtab and Haiku are doing all they can– imagine what would happen if the source was indeed available. A world class soccer player with an injury isn’t suddenly a bad player. To be clear here: BeOS is technically a good operating system but I tried MacOS X and I the first thing I thought after the installation was “Oh my God, BeOS R5 is really too old than what I thought”. There’s no comparison. Same here, I must admit. Since I got my iMac a few months ago, I rarely spend time on my BeOS anymore– while before i got my iMac it was my main operating system. With Mockup I’m trying to do the best I can, OSX is a good example of usability while BeOS is a good example of how to write a good multimedia OS (from the technical point of view). I do wish you all the luck, of course. If that screenshot posted by anonymous in a previous post is what you’re after, than certainly, more power to you. Your site has been bookmarked– in the BeOS subfolder . 2004-11-10 11:30 am Anonymous I like the direction MOCUP is heading. The selling point of open source software is leveraging existing free tools to your advantage. Use what already exists. Customize, refine, polish and extend it to your taste. One is only limited by imagination and creativity. In my opinion BeOS is dead. It is another classic statistic of how great proprietary products vanish. Lets forget about it. What is still alive, however, is the influence, inspiration, and profound energy it had on its users. In other words, BeOS might be dead, but its spirit is alive. I have always cringed at the wannabe reincarnation attempts of the BeOS community. Giving today’s technology and diverse environment, it is not wise to recreate BeOS. What is wise however is to create an environment heavily influenced by it using existing free tools. This seems to be the direction MOCUP is heading, and for once in a long time, I am breathing a sigh of relief. 2004-11-10 11:30 am Anonymous Last time I looked their website hadn’t been updated for a long time, and they didn’t manage to create a SourceForge project to release the source.. I went to the B.E.OS website about a month or two ago and it appeared they were in the process of moving over to a new website. Whether the project is dead or not is hard to tell, but like many of these projects find out(and I actually think that B.E.OS is a better concept than Haiku) it is a huge undertaking these days to even get things to a beta status. 2004-11-10 11:34 am Anonymous From the screenshot in the above post, one can see that there seems to be a new implementation of the Classic Mac OS’ pop-up windows in Mockup: very good indeed – many people really miss this feature in OS X (even if it can be simulated to a certain degree)… What happened with BeOSMax, BTW? Their site doesn’t seem to be up, yet… 2004-11-10 11:36 am Anonymous In my opinion BeOS is dead. It is another classic statistic of how great proprietary products vanish. “Classic”? Can you name others? I have always cringed at the wannabe reincarnation attempts of the BeOS community. And I cringe at the wannabe attempts of Windows to be secure, and at the wannabe attempts of Linux trying to be(come) a desktop OS. Use what already exists. Customize, refine, polish and extend it to your taste. One is only limited by imagination and creativity. No. One is limited by the possibilities of those free tools. One is only limited by imagination and creativity when one writes everything from the ground up. 2004-11-10 11:45 am Anonymous Besides the herculean task of getting the infrastucture of an upstart OS up and running there is also the need of good, native apps. If I was going to start a fresh OS (based on an existing kernel or not), one of the first things I would do is to provide a nice component system (ala DCOP/Kparts) and also to provide a nice RAD IDE. Make it easy to string components together to easily produce apps. One of the reasons that Microsoft became so dominant is because of the Visual Basic IDE and an easy way for Visual Basic developers to use COM objects. 2004-11-10 12:08 pm Anonymous ” In my opinion BeOS is dead, it was sold by Be, Inc. to Palm and without an Open Source kernel nobody can update it easily. The BeOS community should move to another operating system and the Linux community should take into account that there aren’t good desktop environments. ” very well said sadly, for the best OS got buried years ago, the BeOS users worked hard to keep it alive. but have to move along to other projekts with their wanted efforts. linux is good , very good , but need better multimedia handling out of the box. BeOS was made for the multimedia , but couldnt play DVD´s when users screamed for it, Hollywood stopped them. Linux & other OSS user´s, let´s not make it happen again. 2004-11-10 12:08 pm Anonymous From the screenshot in the above post, one can see that there seems to be a new implementation of the Classic Mac OS’ pop-up windows in Mockup: very good indeed – many people really miss this feature in OS X (even if it can be simulated to a certain degree)… I grew up using the classic Mac OSes (System 7 mostly). What exactly is this pop-up window you mention? Do you mean the ability to dock a Finder window to the edge of the screen like you could do in MacOS 8 and 9? 2004-11-10 12:30 pm Anonymous Yes, exactly: you could dock a windows to the bottom of the screen. Of course, the OS X Dock is better – but that feature was very interesting, anyway… 2004-11-10 12:32 pm Anonymous Holy s**t! I really like the way that looks in the screenshot, very easy on the eyes. ^_^ 2004-11-10 12:44 pm Anonymous “Classic”? Can you name others? Uhmm…to numerous to mention, Amiga, Word Perfect, OS/2, our good old BeOS come to mind. And I cringe at the wannabe attempts of Windows to be secure, and at the wannabe attempts of Linux trying to be(come) a desktop OS. Save your energy. Windows can be secure, and Linux is already a desktop OS. One thing remains however, BeOS has not been revived and will possibly never be. No. One is limited by the possibilities of those free tools. One is only limited by imagination and creativity when one writes everything from the ground up. Free tools don’t have limits. You can extend them as you please. Instead of writing everything from the ground up (a.k.a lets make the wheel rounder), you are free to extend, modify and polish these free tools to meet your needs. The reason I cringe at wannabe BeOS reincarnations is because they share your mentality. 2004-11-10 1:01 pm Anonymous Uhmm…to numerous to mention, Amiga, Word Perfect, OS/2, our good old BeOS come to mind. AmigaOS is still in development. I think you just offended a whole bunch of Amiga fans . WordPerfect 12 was just released. eComStation just released version 1.2 and they have a roadmap to which they are trying to adhere. Now, I hope you got other real examples? ave your energy. Windows can be secure, and Linux is already a desktop OS. One thing remains however, BeOS has not been revived and will possibly never be. Mmmm, Windows can be secure? Yes, I believe it indeed can be, but only with a lot of work, AVs and other stuff running. I never did that by the way. I only ran anti-spyware. The desktoplinux thing is something I will not comment on, no need to explain my position yet again. The reason I cringe at wannabe BeOS reincarnations is because they share your mentality. Cringe all you want. 2004-11-10 1:33 pm Anonymous “Free tools don’t have limits” Of course not. You can change whatever you want to make them fit your needs. Depending on the case, this effectively means building everything from the ground up AND dealing with problems in the original code. Sometimes you have to realize that starting from scratch isn’t the worst thing you can do. 2004-11-10 1:47 pm Anonymous also you are in the GPL trap with QT. don’t waste you’re time. better help the Haiku people. 2004-11-10 1:58 pm Anonymous BeOS is not dead as long as 1 person still uses it; and since I won’t be dumping my x86 any time soon, it won’t be dead for a long time. Yeah, right. And Polka music is not dead as long as 1 person still plays it. 2004-11-10 1:59 pm Anonymous Whilst vaguely on the subject of BeOS clones, could someone explain what happened to the OS developed by Xentronix (the makers of Refraction)? When I heard of it (around 18 months ago) it sounded very promising, yet it now seems to have completely disappeared! Are there at least any plans to open source this, allowing this OS to develop further? 2004-11-10 2:32 pm Anonymous Sweet cow of Moscow! That looks like cr*p! Oh, I’m sorry! 2004-11-10 2:44 pm Anonymous Think there’s a little mis-conception here: Haiku are not working from the ground up. The kernel is based on NewOS, not written from scratch. The appserver is using stuff from anti-grain geometry. A lot of the glib functions come straight from OpenBSD. The net stack is a port of the BSD stack. The media kit’s decoders make heavy use of ffmpeg. GCC is used as a compiler, etc, etc. What they are doing “from the ground up” is putting the whole thing together, using the free tools to implement the already designed, object oriented, consistent, BeOS API. They are not starting with a random linux distro, stripping bits back, and adding other bits. 2004-11-10 2:52 pm Anonymous BeOS is dead. I mourn its loss because I loved it, but all these hobbyist attempts to reanimate BeOS’s corpse are kind of pointless. The code belongs to Palm now. They aren’t going to revive BeOS. Time to move on to OS X or Linux if you’re still a die hard BeOS user. 2004-11-10 3:01 pm Anonymous From a die hard BeOS user.. Any mix of GNU/Linux and BeOS is an abomination *there happy, I typed ‘GNU/Linux’* anyways, I always think its funny that people tell BeOS users to switch to *nix or OSX because BeOS is dead. As long as theres people using and supporting the OS it is *not* dead. It’s parent company might be dead. but the OS itself is not. And as long as BeOS does most all of what I need I will continue using it. As it is, the only reason I need another OS if for a few games and some school software. And I use a second machine with win2k for that… Now stop insulting us users of ‘dead’ OSes by telling us to use linux or mac. It’s annoying 2004-11-10 3:02 pm Anonymous that should have been.. *There. Happy? I typed ‘GNU/Linux’* 2004-11-10 3:03 pm Anonymous make that “I’m NOT going to pay for overpriced Apple hardware…” 2004-11-10 3:13 pm Anonymous > Time to move on to OS X or Linux if you’re still a die hard BeOS user. Well, I’m using OS X for the moment… but since I’m not an OS dev, I’m waiting for something better to mature a bit (i.e. Syllable, B.E.OS, maybe Mockup). Say, isn’t there some weird requirement with Qt — IIRC, it doesn’t use std c++ but rather, requires some sort of special preprocessor to handle its “message passing” scheme? Has that bug been repaired yet? 2004-11-10 3:17 pm Anonymous but all these hobbyist attempts to reanimate BeOS’s corpse are kind of pointless Do you include Haiku among these “hobbyists”? Have you actually used some Haiku apps? It’s still going to be a long ride until we have a new BeOS, but Haiku is on the right path. YellowTab, otoh, seems to be acting very amateurish and hobbyist, adding this and that, breaking things, never worry, just hack it. I’ve tried Zeta RC3, and there was no App which would run stable (including critical things such as Tracker and Deskbar), on a machine which ran BeOS 5 without any problems for years. It ws more unstable than Dano. But additionally, they fucked up and Windows-ified all the beautiful preference apps! Boneyard still doesn’t work, but now there is a “preferences” app, integrating all preference apps into one to take up more real screen estate! And, to make it worse, they put some bad, amatuerish graphics (I could make better ones in two hours) into the apps. Now, compare Haiku and Yellowtab. One had practically nothing (okay, NewOS) as a starting point, the other had Dano to start and improve. Haiku isn’t usable alone (you’ll need the BeOS kernel and some Be libraries), Zeta isn’t usable (I couldn’t even play an MP3 or Ogg with their stupd JukeBox). Which one of these two is “hobbyist” and pointless. You may say that BeOS is dead, but then YellowTab must be punished for raping the corpse. 2004-11-10 3:23 pm Anonymous But I get curious, if BeOS is so dead (despite development efforts of Haiku) why would I switch to Linux since it A) can’t manage software at all APT-GET, RPM yadi yadi yadi, nothing is simple and work straight away. B) DON’T Feel responsive.. yes I know that some of you say it is responsive, but I don’t want to tweak it to death, I want it to work TM, you know, the very thing which is the philosophy behind BeOS, OSX and other mainstream OSes…. As it seems, either Haiku manages to get things to work with time, or I’m limited to OSX or Windows… Linux has been “Desktop ready” for 10 years, and it’s still not usable. Get a clue…. 2004-11-10 3:28 pm Anonymous “Free tools don’t have limits… The reason I cringe at wannabe BeOS reincarnations is because they share your mentality.” Free tools don’t have limits … except that they have to be Linux-based? What exactly is wrong with an open-source operating system that is to some extent based on BeOS or the philosophy behind BeOS? Bit of a narrow-minded viewpoint for an alternative OS site, IMO. Not everyone likes Linux and no-one can force them to. People are subjective and that’s that, which is why you have these projects. Open-standards don’t exist just so Linux can have a browser that works you know. 2004-11-10 3:55 pm Anonymous This is a bit off topic since Mockup is not a “regular” Linux distro. It uses the Linux kernel, GNU tools and the GUI is based on Qt. Anyway you’re not totally wrong, the so called “destkop Linux distros” are not suitable for the desktop. They have too many graphical environments (and no environment is good compared to some graphical operating systems) and no decent graphical package manager. I tried Synaptic but it seems a little overkilled for a newbie and who knows apt-get can use it on a terminal w/o problems. Yum seems good and I would create a graphical frontend for it. 2004-11-10 3:57 pm Anonymous Well, there’s at least one project in progress to provide the RAD environment BeOS needs. I can’t speak for anyone beyond myself for how serious the other projects are, however! And yes, I agree completely that the tools for developing applications should be native and easy and efficient to use for that platform. Visual Studio is easily enough used for C++ applications in most cases, but there are some GUI usage issues that don’t make it very efficient, and some of those design issues make it downright annoying to use, slowing down the user with no valid reason, other than perhaps making it easier to implement the IDE. Then again, I’ve never used a version of Visual Studio I haven’t been able to crash (though admittedly, it’s still more stable than any attempt at an IDE for BeOS, perhaps even more stable than BeIDE, which is very limited in comparison, and has some serious GUI flubs, like not allowing keyboard usage in places that violates BeOS guidelines!), so perhaps they should leave it as simple as possible 2004-11-10 3:57 pm Anonymous That’s a cool mockup! Resembles classic mac os, which a number of us used in college 2004-11-10 4:00 pm Anonymous Maybe a global search feature would be good. You can search for applications and not worry about how packages are searched or installed. Once you find a good application just double click on it and it’s installed (with its dependencies). For updates a “Check for updates…” item in the BeFree menu would be enough. It, using yum internally, would check for updates and list them. Clicking on the checkbox and pressing “Update” button it installs the updates. Does it sounds reasonable from the user point of view? 2004-11-10 4:26 pm Anonymous It depends on your hardware. My optical wireless Microsoft mouse ran good on BeOS R5 but it wasn’t supported by Zeta RC2. I of course agree. I wasn’t trying to say that because it works on my system, it should work on any system. I justed wanted to say that it does work on my system. No surprise, I built my x86 specifically to be compatible with as many operating systems as possible. What I was trying to say is that Zeta RC2 cannot support the same devices that R5 supported. You are talking about the BeOS community which is hard to die just like the Amiga one. BeOS is dead since nobody is developing a new version. I get your point, but I still do not agree. Yellowtab and Haiku are doing all they can– imagine what would happen if the source was indeed available. A world class soccer player with an injury isn’t suddenly a bad player. Yes, both Haiku and yT are doing what they can but it’s not sufficient. When Haiku will be available it will be obsolete and yT is doing a bad job. They have access to Dano source code but it looks too amateurish. To be clear here: BeOS is technically a good operating system but I tried MacOS X and I the first thing I thought after the installation was “Oh my God, BeOS R5 is really too old than what I thought”. There’s no comparison. Same here, I must admit. Since I got my iMac a few months ago, I rarely spend time on my BeOS anymore– while before i got my iMac it was my main operating system. I really enjoy MacOS X. Apple multimedia application rock, I’m playing with GarageBand these days and iTunes help me organizing my music collection. These are features that I would love to have in Mockup, using open formats like OGG. Unfortunately MacOSX sometimes eats too much CPU and it lacks of a real package manager. With Mockup I’m trying to do the best I can, OSX is a good example of usability while BeOS is a good example of how to write a good multimedia OS (from the technical point of view). I do wish you all the luck, of course. If that screenshot posted by anonymous in a previous post is what you’re after, than certainly, more power to you. Your site has been bookmarked– in the BeOS subfolder . Thanks! The screenshot is a prototype to show our direction. Mariano, the guy behind the artwork, is doing a good job in his spare time. Unfortunately it’s only a matter of time. Time to write C++ code, time to write documents, time to work on wallpapers, icons, … 2004-11-10 4:28 pm Anonymous Qt has Qt Designer which is a good RAD. It needs to be integrated with a real IDE, but it’s not a job for a toolkit. 2004-11-10 4:56 pm Anonymous People say : BeOS is dead switch to Linux or OS X. I use Linux at work. As a desktop, it sucks terribly. It’s usable at work. (J2EE development) But as something that I would use to do my daily email / surfing / typing / etc it’s a crap-fest. It’s a nightmare to maintain, and say what you want, but file managment is a nightmare. You Linux-heads can say whatever you like, but when it comes to recruiting and training new developers for a platform, a choice of UI toolkits <em>is not good</em>. Where the heck does one start? QT? FLTK? GTK? WTF?! I don’t -want- to choose, I want to know <em>which one will work on everything that can call itself “Linux”</em>. I don’t want to require users to update to a newer version of some obscure lib. I want to be able to write a program for an OS, have it work for that version or newer versions, and never have to piss around with twenty bazillion packages. I want users to be able to download an application, unzip it, and run it — without having to use a “package manager” to install the program, requiring root access, etc. All of this is a hinderance to useability, utter bullshit, and <strong>does not match the way people naturally want to work</strong>. Until Linux distros can standardize on API’s, toolkits, dependencies, etc. Linux will remain what it is – a large, fat girl trying to seduce the star athelete at the high-school prom. “You can put a dress on a pig, but Linux is still a server.” I have a G4 at home – I use OS X 10.3 — for a/v editing. It’s generally nice, but not what I want. As a desktop it’s several orders of magnitude better than Linux, and I certainly could get all my daily work done on it — but the G4 I have is just too slow to keep up with me on OS X. iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, etc. push this thing to the limit. To use it for all my work everyday would be painfull. I don’t have ~2k to drop on a new Mac, and I wouldn’t want to try and do everything I do on an iMac, or eMac, or any of the lowend boxes. Buy cheap, and you can expect to replace twice as often. I’ve also got what three years ago was an awesome x86 box. I run BeOS on it. It’s blazingly fast. It’s file system & queries match the way I do work. Installing programs is easy In many cases it’s ideal. Download the archive, unzip, run. I can find anything. The BeOS Mail Daemon Replacement is incredible, the spam filter works flawlessly, picture and media managment is far superior to anything else on earth. The BFS really shines there. I’m not a long-time BeOS user. I’m a long-time fan, but I didn’t start using until early 2000, made the full-time switch in august of 2000. It’s a stable platform with a well-defined API that’s guaranteed to work on anything that can call itself BeOS. You’ll find the same stability of core libs on Windows and MacOS. There’s a reason choice is not always a good thing. It’s bloody confusing to new users / developers. And before someone points out that I’m a Java dev by trade — yes, I know BeOS dosen’t have working Java. Yet. 2004-11-10 5:34 pm Anonymous These projects are all cool with me. Haiku is the post-Be team effort that has shown the most stamina, IMO. Release 1 will get here eventually. Personally I wouldn’t mind a Linux or *BSD future, as long as these evolve and pick up the features of BeOS, like MacOS X appears to be doing. And drop a few of the aging aspects of Unix. I hope that Linux will continue to improve as it did a lot with the 2.6 release. FreeDesktop.org and many other projects show promise. I just hope it doesn’t end up an even bigger pile of daemons, libraries, bins and config files than what a GNU/Linux system is today. (There is an actual value in not adding everything and the kitchen sink to a distro.) These are some my perceived BeOS features: ease of use, simple filesystem hiearchy with metadata-awareness in the fs, in the desktop/filemanager, as well as in apps, easy installation/removal of apps, filetypes, add-ons, etc, sane defaults and KISS design from the start, great perceived speed and responsiveness. Great “window manager”, great set of system shortcuts. Great API. Etc etc, of course.. These are things that from a BeOS perspective are “not there yet” in Linux (and BSD). While Freedesktop, Gnome and Xorg are doing their best to make it happen, making it as clean and simple as it is in BeOS may be unreachable without some good executive decisions. Yes, Linux (or any Unix, or X desktop) sure does look great nowadays, but as Jean-Louis Gassée once said: At a risk of being called sexist, ageist and French, if you put multimedia, a leather skirt and lipstick on a grandmother and take her to a nightclub, she’s still not going to get lucky. Great themes, icon sets and Gnome/KDE apps are superneat, but they _alone_ are not reason to choose Linux over BeOS, IMO. OS platforms must be judged by their own merits. On the subject of Mockup: Successful or not, it will help make Linux better. 2004-11-10 5:40 pm Anonymous There are obvious cons to BeOS though. I hope to write up something for my homepage on this before too long. The current BeOS R5 single user mode, and its security implications, for example. 2004-11-10 5:50 pm Anonymous If you limit yourself to just Gnome (and generic gtk apps) you’ll get a decent working consistant desktop, similar results could likely be had from limiting yourself to qt (especially with the ui shown in the screenshot). Complaining the Linux has too many toolkits and praising MacOS X for consistancy just displays your ignorance, MacOS X has just as many toolkits available for use as Linux, (In fact, it has more.) you just make a decision to use apps only of one, or that have a consistant looking appearance. You can do the same in Linux pretty easily. If packages are a woe to you, treat the OS as a base and only worry about the packages that you personally install. Zero Install is already a reality on some distros and with at least one desktop (ROX), I for one would love to see per user dnd to install install of generic desktop applications under linux. I also know its possible and being worked on. Double Click to install is also already a reality, although yes, to install universally you need root permissions, you need the same on MacOS X. If you want a standard platform for linux, pick one and use it. Slackware + Dropline works quite well for me. 2004-11-10 5:56 pm Anonymous Lets hope it doesn’t all end like gnustep =]] 2004-11-10 6:01 pm Anonymous Then BeOS is you perfect choice! You’ve only got one toolkit to choose from! Certainly, you can’t use Windows (the recommended TK is Win.Forms 1.0, but many Windows machines don’t have .NET installed), or OS X (Carbon *and* Cocoa). Face it, the “I can’t decide on a toolkit” argument is bogus. 2004-11-10 6:02 pm Anonymous Bryan wrote: Until Linux distros can standardize on API’s, toolkits, dependencies, etc. Linux will remain what it is – a large, fat girl trying to seduce the star athelete at the high-school prom. “You can put a dress on a pig, but Linux is still a server.” Ahem. Not all girls like athletes. Not all guys like stick-thin girls. — I miss BeOS too. Best of luck to PLF — I’m bookmarking the site too. And might have a look at Qt while I’m at it. 2004-11-10 7:02 pm Anonymous but after a while I found gnome 2, it had some beish things to it, some of these are gone now (the mount submenu) but then, gnome is on a path leading to good things. Its at least a stopgap till something new and actively developed comes out of the various new beos projects. I’m betting on Haiku personally. 100% Gnome just felt right as a desktop I guess, it will take some effort to get me off of it. 2004-11-10 7:32 pm Anonymous I want to be able to write a program for an OS, have it work for that version or newer versions, and never have to piss around with twenty bazillion packages. I want users to be able to download an application, unzip it, and run it — without having to use a “package manager” to install the program, requiring root access, etc. All of this is a hinderance to useability, utter bullshit, and does not match the way people naturally want to work You are writing the program, you can decide if: * you want it to have dependancies (static or dynamic libs (might have the added ‘bonus’ of limiting your choice of libs)) * you use a point and click installer (e.g. loki installer) or a package management system * the program can only be installed system wide (i.e. requiring root access (your not suggesting a Windows-9X model are you?)) 2004-11-10 7:39 pm Anonymous I don’t miss BeOS, i’m still running it. But you’re right about the mount submenu… I was shocked when I installed Gnome 2.6 and the it was gone… And instead there was this horrible Windows-ish “Computer” icon. But this isn’t an issue with Gnome 2.8 any more, thanks to gvm, and if you know the GConf key to hide the computer icon… 2004-11-10 8:14 pm Anonymous BeFree running on Linux was supposed to replace X11 with something better? – What about the Fresco project at http://www.fresco.org/ This project is still going. And what about Y Windows at http://y-windows.org/ How do these differ from what he has in mind? 2004-11-10 8:29 pm Anonymous Most of them suck. Why is that? I’m not a GUI expert but I mean the speed of my Fedora desktop is extremely slow compared to my XP desktop (let alone my OS X). Is it b/c of the fundamental “desktop environment in userland vs. kerneland” thing? OS X has that and their desktop still flies. How can KDE and GNOME possibly match up to truly be a decent desktop? 2004-11-10 9:12 pm Anonymous Well, I have XP and Gentoo on my machine, and Linux outperforms XP hands down. If it wasn’t for the 2-3 games I play, i wouldn’t even have XP installed. And im running xorg with gnome 2.8 and enlightenment as the WM. 2004-11-10 10:13 pm Anonymous It makes far more use of the graphics card than Gnome or KDE do currently. This is changing, stuff like Glitz is kicking around already, support for the render extension is improving, and the X.org list is abuzz with talk of XGL. The most impressive window manager I’ve seen recently doesn’t seem to be in development at the moment. (the author is busy on cairo/glitz and xgl at the moment) Waimea seems though to be a big step in the right direction. I really am hoping that it or at least parts of it make it into gnome. I was really dissapointed with the removal of the mount menu in gnome 2.6, but I’ve been really impressed with the automounting in 2.8. With the Trash applet, the only stuff that appears on my desktop now are my files, and disks that I’ve mounted. No Computer icon, No Home icon, and no trash icon, just my files, the way it should be. 2004-11-11 1:10 am Anonymous God I miss it. Was using a G4 OS-X box the other day and it was a hamstrung pig to use. Couldn’t keep up with my work pace and it made my time spent on it very frustrating. Windows, works ok when it works but has too much that can easily destroy it’s operating environment and requires too much maintenace. Linux, I run arch at home with Gnome 2.8 and Udev. Nice to use and the most responsive OS out of the main three but still not a patch on the BeOS user experience and will not be for a long time to come. Once set up though, Linux runs well though but getting an app to work that is not included in the distro’s repoistory is a major P.I.A. I like the unzip app and run approach BeOS had or the drop driver in driver folder and have the hardware just work. BeOS had simplicity down pat with awesome user responsiveness and it has NOT been surpassed by any of the current mainstream OS’s. If someone brings out a version which I can easily install from CD supporting my dual AMD MP2000+ setup with 1 gig ram then I will load it in a second. I know my other hardware works but I can’t be f-ed trying to do the installation by hand. Maybe I will have to wait for Haiku but I think it will be well worth the wait especially if they get app suport and 3D OpenGL hardware support. Just love my occasional game, that’s all and at the moment Red Orchestra is the bee’s knees. 2004-11-11 8:07 am Anonymous Fresco is abandonware. Last news is 2003-03-30 and it never reached M3. At the time of M2 I worked on the Python client library and the port to FreeBSD. Believe me Fesco doesn’t have a future it’s a big piece of software that uses CORBA. Fresco is very very slow and even if it’s optimized, using CORBA it’s heavyweight. Y-windows is too complicated, it’s better to wait for DirectFB to mature. It’s just 400KB of C library with what Xorg is supposed to provide. DirectFB 0.9.21 supports also remote displays like X11- I heard that someone wants to take the X drivers and make them general purpose, so other projects can take advantages of X11 hardware support. This would be cool for DirectFB. 2004-11-11 7:15 pm Anonymous uh, yeah, OK. You keep living in your little dream world. 2004-11-11 7:42 pm Anonymous i think beos is still a better os. Personally i cant wait for Haiku to release a completed version. 2004-11-11 8:39 pm Anonymous BeOS is dead. Haiku is not Be .. it will be a Be like OS .. but its not BeOS Zeta is not Be … it is Be code that has been cludged together with other bits thrown in .. its not BeOS its based on Be. All the rest are just that attempts to recreate something .. but in the end those creations are not BeOS they are BeOS like OS’s BeOS is dead because there will be no BeOS 6, 7 or 8 .. the damn company is dead and its IP sold off. Stop beating a dead horse .. call these OS’s what they are BeOS inspired … but please please please stop implying that they are in fact BeOS or that this corpse will rise from the dead. Just because there are those that love an OS so much (read Amiga or BeOS) that they dont want to let it go, does not mean its still a thriving piece of software. Sure there might be a decent community still surviving, but then the Amiga diehards are still going too .. and the new AmigaOS is not what the original was. I used BeOS .. I showed it to people and talked to people about it. I was a bloody zealot when it came to BeOS, but thats over .. Be Inc’s doors are closed forever, the developers have all gone to do other things. Yes I now use Linux because I cant stand to use XP, personally its been a long hard road because I will always look at every OS I use and compare it to BeOS. But I know that nothing is going to bring Be back. Personally Im using Ubuntu now and its the closest thing to a “solid” distro I have found, is it BeOS?, no , but it works and works well for my needs now.