Making Haiku Free Software
Kia ora koutou
I've just been reading about why the Free Software Foundation doesn't endorse Haiku. Their reasons are:
"Haiku includes some software that you're not allowed to modify. It also includes nonfree firmware blobs."
So firstly I'm wondering if this is still true. What software does Haiku include that can't be modified? Are there nonfree firmware blobs in Haiku? If so, what would it take to resolve these issues so that R1 could be endorsed by the FSF?
I think it would be valuable for Haiku to have the FSF as an ally. Here's why: Linus Torvalds will not live forever (unless he gets bitten by a vampire or becomes a zombie ;)
* One day, when Linus can no longer be benevolent dictator of Linux kernel development (if not before), Linux will probably split into multiple forks
* One day, rather than multiple flavours of one free code OS ("Linux") competing against the two proprietary giants, there will be multiple free code OS competing against each other
* One day Haiku will have a production release.
* One day the HURD will have a production release, and GNU/HURD operating systems will become viable.
GNU/ HURD will be aimed at servers. Haiku is aimed at personal computers, and could be useful on desktops, laptops, tablets, and handhelds ("smartphones"). If it in the FSF's interests to support this proliferation of viable free code OS, and for GNU to cross-promote with other OS which are GPL-compatible.
I have seen it written that Haiku is under the "MIT license". Is this the:
* Original 4-clause BSD license
* New BSD License/Modified BSD License
* Simplified BSD License/FreeBSD License
The latter two are considered GPL-compatible, and would not interfere with FSF endorsement. The "Original" BSD license has a stupid clause (#3) which has been dropped by most projects using this license family, so I doubt it is a problem, but it would be good to know for sure.
I don't think it's necessary for Haiku to relicense to GPL or LGPL, although it would be good to have all the core OS code under one version of one license (as mentioned above, simplified or modified BSD is fine), so people know exactly what they're getting without wading through traumatic flamewars on these forums to try and find out.
In anticipation of the anti-Linux and anti-GPL FUD, yes, I am a GNU/Linux user, have been for years. About 10 years ago, I was trained at a professional college to install, configure and operate Windows (95,98,2000) for high-level business use. I have also run XP on my own laptop, and tried to repair systems running ME, Vista, and 7. I have discovered that it is a retarded operating system, with many irreparable design flaws. It may be pretty, and it may work perfectly on the day you open the box (if you're lucky), but to keep it that way takes heaps of work by experienced technicians, and reinstalling every year or so (if the license code on the box works). Also, it is sold at ludicrous prices by a vicious anti-freedom corporate monopoly.
I transitioned to GNU/Linux as quickly as possible, and I've been mostly Windows-free for years. I'm interested in Haiku because it is an open source project, with many different things to offer, for different use cases. As mentioned above, I anticipate a proliferation of well-supported free code OS for different use cases. I see testing Haiku as a step towards that diversification.
He mihi nui ki nga kaitiaki o Haiku