What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Forum thread started by kurtis on Sun, 2012-06-10 07:38

Hey Guys,

I've been into 'alternative operating systems' for about as long as I can remember. I was using BeOS (x86) back when the company still existed and had to spend hours downloading it over a slow Modem. I've been reading over the current state of Haiku on and off for a while, mainly through posts on the forums and mailing lists that pop up on Google.

Here's sort of the feeling I'm getting about the current community, which is sort of driving me away from wanting to get involved. Just to be fair -- I'm going to mention all of the reasons I like Haiku and originally wanted to get involved.

Pros:
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  1. Haiku is still a small enough project that a little bit of work goes a long way
  2. The Kernel is written in C++ and all of the code I've read through so-far is nicely commented
  3. Open Source! (This should have been #1 :))
  4. The company/organization behind Haiku appears to be very well organized -- at least very good at looking organized. You guys have a great way of presenting information. And your site looks great!
  5. I loved BeOS (back in the day) and I'm very excited to see the work resumed.
  6. Many members of the 'community' are very excited about Haiku which is always a great thing.

Cons:
--------------

  1. Some people are very anti-Linux. I don't understand the reasoning behind this. I doubt many (if any?) Linux users would ever have a negative feeling about Haiku. Each operating system serves their own purpose. Before you think I'm crazy for saying this, search through the Forums and read a bunch of posts that mention Linux.
  2. MIT is a great license. However, so is GPL. They each serve their own purpose. I'm never going to force someone else to choose a license. I have my personal ethics and so do other people. Unfortunately, I think if I wrote anything for Haiku and distributed it under a GPL license, people in this community wouldn't be very happy (or appreciative). This, again, is just the feeling I picked up by reading various forum posts.
  3. Here's my biggest gripe. However, I'll admit -- we've all been guilty of this before. It's just extra prevalent in the community posts I've been reading here. Granted, it was exactly the same way in the Linux community just a few years back: A lot of people have a lot of ideas. Some are great. Some are far-fetched. Some demonstrate a total lack of knowledge. Many people take their ideas and start designing fancy pictures or go into details on how they would see something working. Unfortunately, the development "team" (is it a team, or is it community members? I'm still vague on this one) has a ton of work before them and an obvious lack of manpower/resources. If everybody who wanted something done in Haiku just did it themselves, there would be a lot more done and a lot less people complaining/asking about getting something done. Some of the posts are just insane -- like people demanding drivers for Nvidia cards and then not understanding that (without reverse engineering) it's practically impossible and refuse to simply vote with your money to show companies what is important for you. I can't tell if people here are serious about using Haiku or if they (like I am now) simply drop in, play around for a bit, make crazy demands without offering anything in return, and then get bored and leave.

So this leaves me to ask the question: What are the demographics of the Haiku community? I'm not asking about region, age, etc... I want to know, with all of these users (which there is a fair amount), what do you use Haiku for, how/why did you come to Haiku, and what do you want to give back? Feel free to answer this question or take it rhetorically.

By the way, I want to give props to the developers and community leaders. *You* are doing an awesome job on this project. I really want to throw a little bit of development time in when I'm not busy with work -- but other than for my own benefit and those who will be appreciative, I'm still debating with myself if it's worth it.

Comments

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

I can't speak for others here, but for me Linux is just a matter of vast disillusionment. I've been trying to get into Linux over and over again since 2001, when open-source was (to public perception) a new and exciting thing, because it seemed totally in line with my principles and back then I was an idealistic young firebrand (read: opinionated teenage snot) ready to ditch the Microsoft Tyranny forever. I spent ten years dabbling with it off and on, but I was never able to make it stick. It didn't finally crystallize for me until my last attempt, this past November, that I could never get myself to stick with it because so very much Linux software is just plain unpleasant to use. GIMP, for example, is an absolute travesty of UI design, and while it's fortunately one of the outliers, a lot of other stuff still comes across as a subpar knockoff of components from other OSes that they could've done better by just cloning outright.

And I know that, strictly speaking, GIMP is the fault of the GIMP team, and not Linux as a whole - same for GNOME and their ridiculous version 3, and so on and so forth. But the Linux community has fostered a user/developer culture that praises backend excellence many orders of magnitude more than it does usability, which it really doesn't care about or encourage in the least, and sometimes actively scorns it (confusing elegant design for dumbed-down design, because they apparently can't tell the difference.) It's broken at the cultural level, and it's not going to get better until either they get new blood in, or someone grabs every one of them by the lapels and yells "this is why you didn't win the desktop war when you were up against WINDOWS ME of all things!"

I wanted it to work out, I really did. And maybe it's sour grapes, but I really am a little bitter over all the time I wasted trying to get into something that, if I had only known, was never going to work out to begin with because Linux people would rather geek out over the nth new version of a command-line tool that's been working satisfactorily for ten years than spend any time working towards making the Linux GUI experience not a massive, incoherent mess.

So yeah. I'm investigating Haiku for the same reason I was investigating Linux: because I know that eventually I'm not going to be able to run XP on new (or even semi-new) hardware, and Windows is going in directions I have no intention of following. I need an alternative, and I'd like one that's light, flexible, and well-designed on all levels. Haiku seems like it has a ways to go yet, but it looks like it's got the right goals; I'm hopeful that by the time I can't get a reasonably new-ish machine I can run XP on (or perhaps even by the time my current machine wears out,) it'll be far enough along that I can make it my daily OS.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

>Some people are very anti-Linux.
Could you explain why people should love Linux? A lot of people dislike it, because they had bad experience with it. And it was not their problem, it was Linux developers problem.

>Linux users would ever have a negative feeling about Haiku
Linux people is especial sort of people. Most of them are moved to Linux, only because they wanted to be not like others. Personally I am totally agree with this quote http://linux-faq.org/Quotations/Details/61

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Rohan wrote:

>Some people are very anti-Linux.
Could you explain why people should love Linux? A lot of people dislike it, because they had bad experience with it. And it was not their problem, it was Linux developers problem.

>Linux users would ever have a negative feeling about Haiku
Linux people is especial sort of people. Most of them are moved to Linux, only because they wanted to be not like others. Personally I am totally agree with this quote http://linux-faq.org/Quotations/Details/61

Stall the ball there, i moved to Linux because i found it to be far superior to Windows. Not because i wanted to be different (Im also a fairly devout Haiku supporter) . Companies dont move to linux because they want to be different, they do so because of the control and power that it provides in both the big data and server space along side embedded solutions etc. This is exactly the sort of ignorance the OP was talking about. Haiku is mentioned on LXer.com from time to time. The LXer community are pig nosed, petty and spiteful and yet whenever i see Haiku related posts they say nothing but good things. Are you a Linux users you self by any chance?

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

It is a strange thing for me, why people, who want to argue for Linux are searching fora of other OS, e.g. Haiku. Aren't there enough genuine Linux fora? Do they have no home? Or have they been expelled?

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hackers, tinkerers and tech enthusiasts are interested in seeing the BeOS legacy live on. Sue us.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hi kurtis,

I'm Ryan Leavengood, one of the Haiku developers and also part of Haiku, Inc. Thanks for your compliments for the job we are doing, though I'm sure we all agree we could certainly try to develop Haiku just a tad bit faster.

To address your concerns about the community here in the site forums, let me start off by saying the forums here are just one part of the community, and in fact, I'd say they are the most casual. Meaning while they are interested in Haiku, they might not be as active as people who post bugs on our bug tracker, or people who participate in the various mailing lists (there are quite a few.) Therefore forum users are the most likely to post an idea or complain about something, and wait for a Haiku developer to implement or fix it. Or to complain about Linux, or whatever. But I've also seen some very good ideas here, and some really nice graphical mock-ups or what have you. But like any other forum, it can be hit or miss. Just don't confuse the community in this forum with the whole Haiku community.

As for Linux, I've used it as a primary OS for many years, and there are many things I like about it. But there are also many things I dislike, which is what keeps me interested in Haiku. I don't completely agree with commodorejohn's post, but I definitely see his point. I would think the people who are totally happy with Linux wouldn't be here, so some complaining about it is to be expected.

If you are interested in contributing to Haiku in some way, please, please, please do so. We really need the help, and like you said, even small contributions are valuable in such a small community. Don't let a few bad forum posts turn you away.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

I sadly have to agree with you on the Linux animosity, I've never understood it and I find it totally counter-productive in getting users interested in Haiku as it's far more likely to find people interested in playing with alternate OS'es amongst those who has already shown a willingness to do so (Linux, BSD, etc-users) and also likely be far more forgiving with Haiku's shortcomings than those running Windows or OSX.

I understand that some people may not like using Linux even though I do, I don't like using Windows and lots of people do, but that doesn't mean I HATE it as seems to be the case with some people here. I can only chalk that up to some people thinking that Linux is eating Haiku's lunch or something but that's just pathetic.

As for GPL, I'm sure there are some licence crusaders here in the forums and obviously any core Haiku code can't use GPL as that in effect would mean relicencing the entire project.

However in general I've seen no hostility towards GPL from the Haiku devs (certainly not the core devs), in fact Haiku ships with GCC and Bash as it's respective default compiler and shell which are both GPL licenced, I also know of atleast two official apps shipped with Haiku which are GPL licenced (Media Player and Cortex), furthermore the native browser WebPositive uses Webkit which is largely LGPL licenced so I don't think you choosing GPL for a Haiku project is of any consequence.

Also IIRC the initial reasoning for choosing a MIT licence when Haiku (or rather OpenBeos as it was called then) was created came about due to practicality rather than some licence philosophy as the OpenBeos devs were hoping that some company might be interested in picking up the source code as they thought that was it's best shot at becoming relevant again and didn't want to prevent that from happening by not allowing the prospective company to develop it as a proprietary project. That never happened though.

I hope you will consider developing for Haiku and ignore the small but vocal 'anti-linux' crowd, and as for licences my opinion has always been this: whatever licence the code's author chooses is the right one (unless it involves harm to kittens!).

Good to have you here, hope you stay!

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hi
I have tried Linux several times and in the beginning I tried to ask question in various Linux forums but all I got was TRFM or solve it yourself answer. This was when BeOS was R4 (I believe) Things have changes probably but the BeOS forum where more helpful.

1 and 2. One factor is probably that from Linux you usually get “its waste of time use Linux” same crowd dislike the MIT/BSD and have the approach that anything than GPL is not good.

If you make OS part that should be in the OS I think MIT are the way more appreciated. The GPL code in Haiku where merge in, Mediaplayer have 2-3 classes that are GPL the rest are MIT.

If you make option packages then you can choose GPL :)

To me Linux are as bad as Windows but Windows I know how to work with :)

I still believe that Haiku have the most potential so that’s way I’m here :)

Any way welcome :)

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Rohan,

> Could you explain why people should love Linux? A lot of people
> dislike it, because they had bad experience with it. And it was not
> their problem, it was Linux developers problem.

I apologize if I came off negatively. I don't expect everyone to love Linux. I was just concerned with some of the anti-Linux sentiment I picked up reading through the forums. To me, GNU/Linux has both a functional and ideological purpose. The freedom it represents is very important to me and I would only hope that those same freedoms, regardless of licensing, would be prevalent -- or at least secure -- in this community.

> Linux people is especial sort of people. Most of them are moved to
> Linux, only because they wanted to be not like others. Personally I > am totally agree with this quote
> http://linux-faq.org/Quotations/Details/61

I have to agree with foretheloveofhaiku, here. I didn't begin using Linux because it made me different. When I first used Linux, it was a pain in the butt -- hardware was very unsupported and as others have mentioned, it was very unpolished and incomplete.

I will agree with that quote you linked to an extent -- I have a lot of family who uses Windows and constantly get viruses. They don't pay me to fix their computers so I try to push Linux on them so I don't have to keep going back :) A handful of years ago though, that wouldn't have been possible. Only now with distributions like Ubuntu making it easy and seamless for new users to feel comfortable and still do everything they need to do while sustaining a certain level of security and stability would I ever push Linux on my own family.

On this same note, whenever Haiku and its application-base is mature enough, I would happily do the same with Haiku. In fact, if Haiku continues following the legacy BeOS left behind then I would actually try to push my family to use Haiku before Linux as I feel it's much more centralized and better oriented for the average Desktop user.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

fortheloveofhaiku,

> This is exactly the sort of ignorance the OP was talking about.

Haha, thanks for understanding what I'm talking about.

> Hackers, tinkerers and tech enthusiasts are interested in seeing the > BeOS legacy live on. Sue us.

Exactly!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rox,

> I sadly have to agree with you on the Linux animosity, I've never
> understood it and I find it totally counter-productive in getting
> users interested in Haiku

I completely agree here. After this post and the great replies I received, I feel a lot more comfortable jumping in. Hopefully others don't feel shunned away. The community surrounding any piece of software tends to be an important consideration for users no matter which domain the software lies in. Case in point -- look at all of the people still keeping Amiga alive.

> As for GPL, I'm sure there are some licence crusaders here in the
> forums and obviously any core Haiku code can't use GPL as that in
> effect would mean relicencing the entire project.

Thanks for pointing that out. I did see that most of the Core source was licensed in MIT. I don't think I'd try to jump on Core code right off the bat but if I ever do, at least I know which license to follow :)

> I don't think you choosing GPL for a Haiku project is of any
> consequence.

That is great to hear! I was definitely concerned but you're absolutely right. Nobody has a problem with all of the existing software using GPL-related licenses so all should be well there.

> devs were hoping that some company might be interested in picking up
> the source code as they thought that was it's best shot at becoming
> relevant again and didn't want to prevent that from happening by not
> allowing the prospective company to develop it as a proprietary
> project.

Thanks for sharing that good bit of history and information. I had no idea.

> Good to have you here, hope you stay!

Thanks! I'm definitely leaning towards it :)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

ModeenF,

> Any way welcome :)

Thanks for the warm welcome :) I'm glad to hear you got a great helpful hand from the BeOS community. I can definitely understand why your experience with the Linux community drove you away. Also, I appreciate the good licensing information!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ryan,

> I'm Ryan Leavengood, one of the Haiku developers and also part of
> Haiku, Inc. Thanks for your compliments for the job we are doing,
> though I'm sure we all agree we could certainly try to develop Haiku
> just a tad bit faster.

No problem! Thank you guys for sharing all of your great work you've done!

> But like any other forum, it can be hit or miss. Just don't confuse
> the community in this forum with the whole Haiku community.

Very good point. From what I've seen in just the relies to this post alone, you're definitely right.

> If you are interested in contributing to Haiku in some way, please,
> please, please do so. We really need the help, and like you said,
> even small contributions are valuable in such a small community.
> Don't let a few bad forum posts turn you away.

Haha, you're doing an excellent job at reeling me in. I'll be sure to take a look at the 'small tasks' list again to see if there's anything quick and easy to get started with. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post. When I get some time to jump in, I'm guessing the Developer's Mailing List would be the right place to seek help if needed, right?

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

kurtis wrote:

When I get some time to jump in, I'm guessing the Developer's Mailing List would be the right place to seek help if needed, right?

Yes indeed.

If you are already using Linux it is pretty easy to get a Haiku development setup going, and I personally use VirtualBox to test Haiku when in Linux. It is fairly easy to set up a vmware build profile (since VirtualBox can use vmdk files) and then use jam @yourprofilename update <some haiku component> to update it. Check out build/jam/UserBuildConfig.readme for info about build profiles.

One caveat on a Linux setup: if you are on a 64 bit machine please be sure to take note of the special steps required in that case when setting up your Haiku build environment. Those steps are detailed on the build guide on the website. I recently set up a new machine and did not notice those special steps and it caused me some trouble.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Rox wrote:

As for GPL, I'm sure there are some licence crusaders here in the forums and obviously any core Haiku code can't use GPL as that in effect would mean relicencing the entire project.

I don't think that's true. Here's an example of a scenario: All of the Haiku operating system has an MIT license except for one GPL source code file. If someone or some company made a copy of the Haiku source code AND made changes to the one GPL file AND released their new version of Haiku, then the GPL would require them to release the changes they made to that one file.

In other words, as of now, I think almost nothing would change if someone submitted source code licensed under the GPL. I wanted to point this out, not to be antagonistic, but in hopes to help people better understand different free and open source licenses. I think many people think the GPL is scary or dangerous when it's really kind of not. :/

Even so, despite being the freetard that I am, I have no problem with the MIT license. :D All the code I write for Haiku (which isn't much) has an MIT license.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

So this leaves me to ask the question: What are the demographics of the Haiku community? I'm not asking about region, age, etc... I want to know, with all of these users (which there is a fair amount), what do you use Haiku for, how/why did you come to Haiku, and what do you want to give back? Feel free to answer this question or take it rhetorically.

Hi kurtis.

I use HAIKU for my main OS. I use Windows or Ubuntu Linux when I must, but that is becomming more and more rarely these days. I have a web server set up and use haiku to serve several web addresses:

http://coquilletkd.com

http://nwmacalendar.com

http://fatelk.com

http://coquilledowntownstudio.com

As well as using HAIKU for my personal home computer and my work laptop. The only time I need an alternate to HAIKU is when I need information that I can only get from a flash enabled web site. Other than that, Haiku has filled my needs for some time.

I came to HAIKU from BeOS. I found BeOS to be much more easy to use and understand than Windows 95/98, having moved to Windows only after I found that MSDOS no longer filled my needs. I have used BeOS, then ZETA, and now HAIKU with Windows/Linux as a fallback if I needed it since BeOS R4.

The alpha HAIKU of today is far superior to the BeOS of R4 days.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

drcouzelis wrote:

I don't think that's true. Here's an example of a scenario: All of the Haiku operating system has an MIT license except for one GPL source code file. If someone or some company made a copy of the Haiku source code AND made changes to the one GPL file AND released their new version of Haiku, then the GPL would require them to release the changes they made to that one file.

Well that would depend, certainly I don't think 'one' GPL file in a project the size of Haiku would realistically make Haiku a 'derivative' work in any legal sense. That said, the base concept of GPL is that a program which uses GPL licenced code becomes a derivative and thus fall under the same licence obligations, this is of course due to GPL's goal of ensuring that the GPL licenced code including any modifications to it stays open.

So I doubt there's any intention from the Haiku devs to ever ship it in binary form with the core system containing GPL licenced code (unless there would be a sudden consensus to switch licence which is extremely unlikely). That doesn't preclude having it available in source form though, IIRC the NTFS file system add-on requires the end user to compile and link it since it can't be enabled and shipped in binary form due to it having GPL licenced code linking directly against the kernel, which would in theory atleast make the kernel a derivative work of the GPL code and thus fall under the very same licence.

drcouzelis wrote:

I think many people think the GPL is scary or dangerous when it's really kind of not. :/

I certainly don't.

drcouzelis wrote:

Even so, despite being the freetard that I am, I have no problem with the MIT license. :D All the code I write for Haiku (which isn't much) has an MIT license.

Generally I think it's good practice that if you contribute code directly into a project then you should try to do so under the original licence as otherwise you will likely limit the value of your contribution, also as the code author you always have the right to dual-licence your code any way you wish. For standalone projects however I see no reason for any developer to choose anything other than his/her preferred licence.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

bbjimmy wrote:

So this leaves me to ask the question: What are the demographics of the Haiku community? I'm not asking about region, age, etc... I want to know, with all of these users (which there is a fair amount), what do you use Haiku for, how/why did you come to Haiku, and what do you want to give back? Feel free to answer this question or take it rhetorically.

Hi kurtis.

I use HAIKU for my main OS. I use Windows or Ubuntu Linux when I must, but that is becomming more and more rarely these days. I have a web server set up and use haiku to serve several web addresses:

http://coquilletkd.com

http://nwmacalendar.com

http://fatelk.com

http://coquilledowntownstudio.com

As well as using HAIKU for my personal home computer and my work laptop. The only time I need an alternate to HAIKU is when I need information that I can only get from a flash enabled web site. Other than that, Haiku has filled my needs for some time.

I came to HAIKU from BeOS. I found BeOS to be much more easy to use and understand than Windows 95/98, having moved to Windows only after I found that MSDOS no longer filled my needs. I have used BeOS, then ZETA, and now HAIKU with Windows/Linux as a fallback if I needed it since BeOS R4.

The alpha HAIKU of today is far superior to the BeOS of R4 days.

Hey bbjimmy,

Thanks for replying! I'm amazed that you managed to successfully stick through the evolution of BeOS over all of these years. That is really great! People in your situation and with your commitment is what I assumed was completely lost with the demise of Be, Inc. Hopefully there's more out there like you and all the more reason and motivation for me to jump in and help out!

By the way, I think that's cool that you host sites from a Haiku computer. Be careful, though, if you're worried about important data. I have a feeling that the security isn't exactly up to par yet.

Also, I quickly checked out your sites (I'm a web programmer, it's a habit, haha) -- I'm glad to see you supporting the kids!

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

bbjimmy wrote:

I use HAIKU for my main OS. I use Windows or Ubuntu Linux when I must, but that is becomming more and more rarely these days. I have a web server set up and use haiku to serve several web addresses...

Woah. What application (Apache, PoorMan...) do you use to serve the websites? Do you serve them all from the same computer?

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Yes, they are all served from the same computer. I use Xitami, and araneum web servers.

Xitami : http://www.bebits.com/app/2383

araneum: http://haikuware.com/directory/view-details/internet-network/servers/ara...

and TrackerBase for limited database operations: http://haikuware.com/directory/view-details/internet-network/database/tr...

Using the TrackerBase idea, I use people files for website authentication and session management with some added attributes. ( hash of the user password, last time a page was loaded etc.)

with BFS, one does not need mysql.

I am also using this same server for the attendance roll and payment documentation for multiple martial arts dojo locations. A student can attend class at any location and we keep the roll etc centralized.

With Haiku it is easy and just works.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Another somewhat old-timer here, starting from the days when you got BeOS with a BeBox. Honestly there has been some fallback, to MacOS X mostly and some NetBSD, with which I go back even longer; falling back usually to get a usable web browser. In the years immediately preceding Haiku's emergence, I nearly stopped using BeOS altogether. But Haiku is honestly better than BeOS was, not only in terms of getting stuff to work on it right now but also, I believe, in its prospects as an evolving system. Better engineered, maybe it's a natural consequence of starting from scratch with a known design goal. I also like its apparent development philosophy, and perhaps this is only a natural consequence of extreme lack of resources (I've been fooled by this before), but development seems practical and conservative.

As for platforms for development, what little I've done has been all on Haiku disk partitions. Very minor driver fix years ago, network code recently (perhaps in vain, seems to have languished for months), 3rd party software. No cross compilers, no VMs. I've probably been missing out on something this way, but it's a simple way to go.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hi kurtis!

Quote:

What are the demographics of the Haiku community? I'm not asking about region, age, etc...

I just remembered Miroslav Stimac's master thesis "The desktop operating system Haiku". Maybe that'll be of interest to you.

Regards,
Humdinger

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hey humdinger,

Great read! Thanks for sharing. I thought this part was especially interesting:

Quote:

Most fans of BeOS respectively Haiku do not hate Microsoft. There seems to be no hostility regarding Microsoft or Windows, in opposite to the situation in the Linux community where such a hostility exists.

  1. I thought it was kinda funny because I felt sentiment towards the Linux community, before posting this thread :)
  2. This type of 'market research' might indicate people are willing to pay for commercial software. Just an idea for others out there.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Hi kurtis!

Polls and statistics are of course always to be taken with a grain of salt. But Miro's work is at least as scientific as it gets. It shows that the impression one can get if you plunge into this web forum may not represent the "community" at large. Few people are able to sway your perception.

Often the web forums are more casual and prone to unnecessary rudeness or, say, bluntness.
The mailing lists are more serious and the main channel of communication of the devs. Therefore shannanigans ignored in these forums are quickly frowned upon on the list. I recommend joining, even if should you just want to lurk a bit.

Regards,
Humdinger

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

I personally do not think Haiku users are anti-Linux, they are however very anti-(Haiku==Linux).

Too many time linux fans posting in these forums have clearly acted like Haiku-OS is just another Linux Distro, they then make assumtions about how Haiku works, or what type of software should be added to it.

The problem with that is doing direct ports of Linux programs and their supporting libraries results in code that does not support Haiku-OS features like DataTypes, MimeTypes, MultiThreading from day-one. Much less the features that BFS and other services provide to a Haiku-OS user.

And when talking GPL, which one? Version 1 was easy to understand, and as a person who would like to port older BeOS code to Haiku-OS I would love to have source code included in as many programs as possible. But Version 2 starts to have questionable additions and of-course Version 3 seem to forget the purpose of open code as it gets more and more complex - ALL OF MY BeOS/Haiku CODE is in the public domain, I have never seen any harm to me not using GPL-3 as it tries to imply. The demand by many Linux users that I have meet personally that my code MUST BE GPL2/3 is why you find I will not touch Linux with a ten foot pole today.

There is one more thing as a programmer.

Linux code in general is a MESS. Years ago during my late Amiga/early BeOS stage I tried looking at Linux code to get an understanding on how to program for it. Coding standards were all over the map (assuming you could even figure out what standard they were following) with each program/function/library using a diffirent one.

And no, it is not better today! Last year I expressed interest in making a compressing RAMDRIVE, so I popped in to some Linux forums to see the discussions and code. No thanks.

Haiku uses a standard that I don't like, but once I understand a part of the standard it stays the same thru-out all the code.

My code does not follow Haiku's standard (a reason you probably will never see my code inside Haiku's base image) but I try to document it clearly (checkout Haikuware), I don't want the mess that I see in Linux coding coming to Haiku-OS.

So to repeat, we don't hate Linux, we just don't want Haiku to become another Linux.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:

The problem with that is doing direct ports of Linux programs and their supporting libraries results in code that does not support Haiku-OS features like DataTypes, MimeTypes, MultiThreading from day-one.

Yes, native applications are of course preferable but if Haiku is going to wait for native applications emerging which covers the needs solved by already existing and widely used FOSS applications then we might aswell give up right now. Have you looked at Haikuware? How many native applications have you seen posted there in the past 3 years?

As for multithreading, I assume you mean the GUI? There is no magical multithreading inherent to Haiku/Beos applications that I know of, so if you want to make efficient use of multiple cores in Haiku applications you will have to do the work. And FOSS programs which benefit from multithreading already make use of it with standard posix threads which Haiku supports.

Also there's nothing stopping someone porting FOSS applications to make the port appear/feel very native, like adding a native GUI and perhaps also making use of some of Haiku/Beos more exotic features where applicable.

Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:

But Version 2 starts to have questionable additions and of-course Version 3 seem to forget the purpose of open code as it gets more and more complex

Curious as to what these questionable additions are in you opinion.

Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:

Linux code in general is a MESS.

Compared to what? Also can you point at something specific as an example?

Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:

Coding standards were all over the map (assuming you could even figure out what standard they were following) with each program/function/library using a diffirent one.

With coding standard you mean what exactly? Naming convention? Formatting?

Earl Colby Pottinger wrote:

So to repeat, we don't hate Linux, we just don't want Haiku to become another Linux.

Well I can't say you sell that notion very well as I personally find your comments here dripping with anti-Linux sentiment. As for Haiku becoming Linux, how could it? Unlike Linux which is just a kernel around which you add components depending on your needs, Haiku is a complete operating system purposely aimed at one type of use: the desktop. It all boils down to some irrational fear in my opinion, like when the Haiku devs declared that they were making a package management system and we had some people throwing a fit in a pure knee-jerk reaction.

Of course I also will assume that by 'we' you are actually only referring to yourself.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

He refers to me also. We owe much to the GNU project, for some important software components, but for those who want Linux, you know where to find it. We don't need to have a debate on the merits of Linux - both exist, you may choose for yourself.

The slow pace of native Haiku software releases doesn't worry me, because it has never been released. I won't argue with those who will distribute their new software built to an alpha release, but it's also reasonable to wait and see before making that kind of investment. I can't prevent anyone from porting software from other platforms, and in fact it's important to get in on multi-platform software efforts like WebKit - but I think anyone who's ever worked with something like that will appreciate how complicated it gets when you try to build software around several distinctly different operating systems.

I have a long standing attachment to NetBSD (also going back to the Amiga, when in the early '90s it was the alternative to Commodore's Amiga/UX), and I think it addresses some of those criticisms, coding standards for example, but ... who cares? We agree on the value of coding standards, and if Linux demonstrates their value by contrast, that serves us at least as well.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

donn wrote:

He refers to me also.

Who? I wasn't referring to you, I was only aiming my post at Earl Pottinger.

donn wrote:

but for those who want Linux, you know where to find it.

I like Linux and I like Haiku, do I have to choose 'side'??

I wasn't arguing against 'not wanting Linux', obviously each and every one is the best judge of what he/she likes. He (Earl Pottinger) however went on to criticise Linux as being a 'MESS' in terms of code and GPL for having included 'questionable additions' and I want to know what he's referring to.

donn wrote:

I won't argue with those who will distribute their new software built to an alpha release, but it's also reasonable to wait and see before making that kind of investment. I can't prevent anyone from porting software from other platforms, and in fact it's important to get in on multi-platform software efforts like WebKit - but I think anyone who's ever worked with something like that will appreciate how complicated it gets when you try to build software around several distinctly different operating systems.

Let me assure you that for any non-trivial piece of software it's generally a hell of alot easier to port an existing project than it is to write an equivalent from scratch. Ports will be a necessity for Haiku, unlike you I don't think for a second that there's some massive amount of devs sitting and waiting for R1 who will then start pouring out native apps. I also doubt Haiku will change alot from a user app development perspective between now and R1.

I sure wouldn't mind being wrong though, the idea of lots of developers ready to jump onto Haiku with native apps in mind sure would be welcome, I've seen absolutely no indication of that though.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Rox wrote:

I sure wouldn't mind being wrong though, the idea of lots of developers ready to jump onto Haiku with native apps in mind sure would be welcome, I've seen absolutely no indication of that though.

I've been thinking about that a lot, and I think if we can get R1 out sooner rather than later, and build a compelling "brand" for Haiku (whatever that may be), we will get some developers. It may not be like iOS, but I think there will be some people.

But we need to have a real market for Haiku, which could be as simple as a good, fast OS on cheaper and more environmentally friendly hardware (versus the monsters needed to run most other OSes well.) If we could provide some good "HaikuBox" hardware which fits that mold and works very well with Haiku, all the better. Sort of the anti-Mac, but in a good way.

But yeah, until there is a good market for them, there is little incentive for most developers to develop for Haiku. Fortunately because we aren't Linux there will be less of a "all software must be free" stigma (which isn't necessarily a fault of Linux, that is just the sort of community that has built up around it.) Though maybe the Ubuntu software center has changed things some, I don't know the data.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

leavengood wrote:

But we need to have a real market for Haiku, which could be as simple as a good, fast OS on cheaper and more environmentally friendly hardware (versus the monsters needed to run most other OSes well.) If we could provide some good "HaikuBox" hardware which fits that mold and works very well with Haiku, all the better. Sort of the anti-Mac, but in a good way.

Agreed, unfortunately with the general cpu/gpu/ram availability on people's desktops today Haiku doesn't get as much praise for it's small memory footprint and generally being so lean on system resources as (imo) it should. It offers a full desktop environment using only ~90-100mb. Sadly alot of clueless people has bought into the 'memory should be used...' mantra, yes it should be used, but by your applications, not hogged by the OS (unless for pure caching purposes where it can be reclaimed in an instant).

Haiku would perform splendidly and thus shine on the new wave of low powered devices but it has to be able to run on them to begin with and here is that old manpower problem again. I'm getting a Rasberry Pi and it's one of these devices where it would be geek heaven to run an OS like Haiku.

leavengood wrote:

Fortunately because we aren't Linux there will be less of a "all software must be free" stigma (which isn't necessarily a fault of Linux, that is just the sort of community that has built up around it.) Though maybe the Ubuntu software center has changed things some, I don't know the data.

I don't know about that, I think the 'free' part is mostly a result of most Linux applications/software being started as a 'scratch your own itch' project rather than make money project and thus it is released as open source once the author has scratched his/her itch. Part of it is likely also out of gratefulness towards others who has done the same. However looking at for instance the Humble Bundle Indie games we see lots of Linux customers who always pay the most (per buyer) during the 'pay what you want' campaigns.

Of course if you want to sell an editor on a platform which has tons for free then yes, it's going to be a tough sell and your application must really shine. That's not just a Linux thing though, there's a huge amount of FOSS on Windows aswell which kills off the market for lots of applications as there are often open source equivalents working just aswell if not better, which in turn is likely what killed off the shareware/adware market on Windows, that and of course piracy, no point in developing a photo retouching program aimed at the consumer level market when everyone and their parents have a pirated copy of Photoshop installed.

I think it would be great if Haiku would turn out to be a platform where software could be commercialized as I have no problem paying for software (as long as there's no proprietary data format lock-in, I refuse to entrust _my_ data to a format which deliberately obfuscates it to prevent me accessing it outside their application), but we are a long way from there. For Haiku to even become remotely economically viable as a commercial software platform it needs lots of users.

For me personally, the only thing 'really' preventing me from using Haiku as a full day-to-day OS is the lack of a 'modern' browser (Chromium would fit the bill nicely as it supports HTML5 and also allows wathing youtube using Webm and has tons of extensions), Inkscape, Blender (requires 3d acceleration to be really useable but there is a gallium port being worked on), Mypaint, and importantly an update mechanism (package manager). Development-wise Haiku caters to my needs as I mainly develop in C and Python, I've been dabbling with Go aswell and IIRC Bruno Albuquerque is working on a port so that could turn out nicely.

Given that none of these things are really 'out of reach' for Haiku I have strong hope of being able to use Haiku as my primary desktop.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

leavengood wrote:

I've been thinking about that a lot, and I think if we can get R1 out sooner rather than later, and build a compelling "brand" for Haiku (whatever that may be), we will get some developers. It may not be like iOS, but I think there will be some people.

But we need to have a real market for Haiku, which could be as simple as a good, fast OS on cheaper and more environmentally friendly hardware (versus the monsters needed to run most other OSes well.) If we could provide some good "HaikuBox" hardware which fits that mold and works very well with Haiku, all the better. Sort of the anti-Mac, but in a good way.

Unfortunately (as much as I love weird little platforms like this idea,) I think tying your fortunes to a hardware project is going to backfire big-time in this day and age; people who aren't interested in buying a hobby system will see Haiku as just "the operating system for the HaikuBox," so most of the interested parties you'll get out of it will be hardware geeks, who are going to be more interested in the platform than the OS.

Though I've bagged on Linux earlier in this thread, I will say that one page Haiku should definitely take from it is the "port to absolutely anything" philosophy. I've read the rationale for focusing on x86 first, and it does make sense, but on the other hand, at this stage in the life of Linux it didn't matter what you had, you could run Linux on basically anything 32-bit, from a 386 to an Amiga to a SPARC workstation. People joked about running it on your toaster, but it was hardly that much of an exaggeration; there was basically no barrier to entry.

Haiku already has a leg up on the easy-experimentation factor by virtue of being easily able to be run from a flash drive and not even touch the main hard drive, but it could be taken so much further. If you think that having a specific Haiku platform would help (and I think you might be right,) make that platform whatever people have on hand. Get the PowerPC port up and running, let people pull their old iMac out of storage and give Haiku a try, or put it on their 360, or whatever. Do an ARM port and let people find uses for that (I'll save my anti-tablet rants for another thread, as long as it doesn't affect the main Haiku UI.) Those chintzy $50-75 Windows CE ARM netbooks would be a cheap-and-easy way for people to get acquainted with Haiku, and the Raspberry Pi would certainly be more comfortable running Haiku than Debian, by my experience.

The more stuff people already have that can run Haiku, the less reason there is for them not to try it out.

Rox wrote:

For me personally, the only thing 'really' preventing me from using Haiku as a full day-to-day OS is the lack of a 'modern' browser (Chromium would fit the bill nicely as it supports HTML5 and also allows wathing youtube using Webm and has tons of extensions), Inkscape, Blender (requires 3d acceleration to be really useable but there is a gallium port being worked on), Mypaint, and importantly an update mechanism (package manager).

Also this. I don't even think Chromium is necessary (and I don't trust Google as far as I could kick 'em,) if WebPositive were only filled out feature-wise - better keyboard shortcuts and some form of configurable ad-blocking are the key elements I can think of left to add. A package-manager would be nice, as long as it supports installing from downloaded package files just as easily as from a repository.

And one more thing: getting WINE for Haiku finished and polished should be considered absolutely critical. Native apps would always be better, but the simple fact is there's always going to be stuff people would like to be able to run from their Windows systems. The less trouble it is for them to get that working, the less they'll feel like "oh, this is interesting and all, but it'd just be too much trouble to switch."

Oh, and as long as we're making wish-lists: an easy way to maximize windows without going into a full-screen mode would be terrific.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Pros:

1. It's free and open source.
2. Fast, comfortable and elegant.
3. Designed for desktop.
4. Classic GUI.
5. Small requirements.
6. It's written in C++.

When I install Haiku for the first time, it's after 15 minutes I could operate the system! It's very easy to use.

Etc..

Cons:

1. Development is really slow.
2. Lacks of drivers and native software.
3. Small community.
4. Bugs.
5. Two versions - gcc2h and gcc4h.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Cons:
everythink have two sites ;-)

1. Development is really slow.
--> all developers, designer, hacker, geeks, nerd and user are warm welcome

2. Lacks of drivers and native software.
--> yes, but we have more developers then have no more the cons of this!

3. Small community.
--> but we open for all :-)

4. Bugs.
--> yes in the status of alpha are think it is ok, but you can work with a alpha haiku (othe company are say we are final and have bugs :-) )

5. Two versions - gcc2h and gcc4h.
--> it is a features ;-)

stargater

PS:
my cons is that no hardware are designed for haiku, the last hardware was the BeBox i love to see a designed hardware for haiku.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

I started using BeOS around 2000. I think originally I purchased my copy of version 5 from GoBe? Frankly I can't remember. I can say that every so often, I sell my BeOS stuff on Ebay, only to regret it and buy another pro cd and BeOS bible. Currently I have Zeta 1.21 from Magnusoft.

I like Haiku, and I wish it would get some support - even if that's commercial. I wouldn't mind paying for it - say $100 a copy - as long as I say it going somewhere.

So here's my list:

Pros:

1. Everything works on my Compaq Presario CQ56. The only thing I changed from stock was the wireless card. I put in an Intel Pro model - it works.

2. Fast and simple to use. Software doesn't need everyone else's library to run. It bothers me to have to install the KDE environment to run one app, when I'm using Gnome. It makes me feel dirty :( I like having one desktop environment. Less choices seem better in this regard.

3. Low requirements. I never understand why Microsoft's requirements keep rising, except to encourage another computer purchase. It seems that Windows 98 doesn't do much more than Windows 7 (at least not enough to justify that big of a difference).

4. Brings back that nostalgic BeOS feeling ;)

Cons:

1. SOFTWARE! Unique things - I don't need another office suite. I'm locked into MS office at work/school and don't plan on learning every program's shortcut, formatting rule, etc.. Personally If I remember, WebPositive works with Google Docs but not with MS SkyDrive's online office suite. It'd be nice if Haiku was supported in the Humble Bundle software packages. I picked up Crayon Physics from them - to see this on Haiku would be awesome!!

2. Community - Maybe I'm missing the boat on this one, but the community seems few and scattered between different forums, IRCs. Do we have a IRC channel for non-developer Haiku users? Of course, I'm in in the US in Michigan, so maybe most of you are in Europe?

3. Software development languages. So far I've taken a classes for SQL, Python, and now C#. C# is probably where I'll stay. My time is limited to work, school and family so it would just confuse me to learn another.

question: How similar are C++ and C#??

Maybe YAB needs official support from Haiku. It seems to be a nice intermediate level language that might encourage more development.

4. The website - it's getting stale. It's a great format, but it needs a change. That might help revitalize Haiku.

5. A beta release - give us a new release.

But the biggest hurdle Haiku is facing (in my opinion) is purpose. We need a reason to use Haiku. Look, it's great. It works good. It's fast. But so what? What do I do with it? What can I do that I can't already do with the other operating systems? Make it Haiku fun and exciting - and bring back Zsnake as a menu option ;)

Let me say this first before I get flamed. I think the developers are doing everything that can and working as best they can with their limited numbers. I wish I could stop my hectic life to help out - but I can't at least not now. This is probably some of the problem with Haiku. It's fanbase was alot youger with BeOS - we're only getting older. I myself now have a family, college, etc. I'm sure this applies to alot of us former BeOS users.

Now with that being said: The only way I think Haiku will survive is with money and lots of it. Personally, I don't care if it's closed source as long as I get a decent IDE like Mono's IDE or YAB. Charge me $100 for a copy, I don't care - just make it work.

Re: What I like, and don't like, about Haiku (and its community)

Kia ora

Big ups to everyone who has written code for Haiku. It's very exciting to actually be testing the OS on real computers now.

Ryan wrote:
>> But we need to have a real market for Haiku, which could be as simple as a good, fast OS on cheaper and more environmentally friendly hardware (versus the monsters needed to run most other OSes well.) If we could provide some good "HaikuBox" hardware which fits that mold and works very well with Haiku, all the better. Sort of the anti-Mac, but in a good way. <<

I totally agree with the guy who said get it to run on everything but the kitchen sink. I am a green geek into hardware reconditioning, and I'd *love* to be able to run Haiku on old Apple systems (for example), or handhelds ("smartphones"). In fact that brings up a project all open source OS crews could work on together - open firmware for as many kinds of hardware as possible, which allow any open source/ free code OS to be installed.

Having said that, one of the main reasons FUD stats understate the number of GNU/ Linux users is that most of them are installing on a machine sold with Windows pre-installed. The stats count them as Windows users, even if they aren't. IsBut we need to have a real market for Haiku, which could be as simple as a good, fast OS on cheaper and more environmentally friendly hardware (versus the monsters needed to run most other OSes well.) If we could provide some good "HaikuBox" hardware which fits that mold and works very well with Haiku, all the better. Sort of the anti-Mac, but in a good way.

But yeah, until there is a good market for them, there is little incentive for most developers to develop for Haiku. Fortunately because we aren't Linux there will be less of a "all software must be free" stigma (which isn't necessarily a fault of Linux, that is just the sort of community that has built up around it.) Though maybe the Ubuntu software center has changed things some, I don't know the data. I suspect companies like ZaReason which ship hardware with well-supported versions of GNU/Linux preinstalled are going to make a big difference there, and I see no reason not to work with hardware vendors (again, as many different kinds as possible) to get hardware pre-installed with Haiku on the market as soon as R1 is released.

>> But yeah, until there is a good market for them, there is little incentive for most developers to develop for Haiku. Fortunately because we aren't Linux there will be less of a "all software must be free" stigma <<

All software should be free (libre) for the same reason that all speech should be free. That doesn't stop people from choosing to charging money for forms of their speech (novels or songs for example), or choosing to give them away for free (gratis). So much of the misinformation around GNU/Linux and its communities stems from people's inability or unwillingness to understand the difference between libre and gratis definitions of the word "free". It's really important that core devs on significant open source/ free code projects set an example, in fact, I would go so far as to say that whether or not they do is a measure of how significant their open source project is.