Promotion is a crucial part of ensuring Haiku continues to grow. Without spreading the word, we cannot gain new users and volunteers.
The Haiku Promotion team
The Haiku Promotion Team, in its second iteration (there used to be a Promotion Team but the team slowly languished due to its members becoming inactive in the Haiku community), aims to restart promotion efforts and revitalise Haiku in the process. The promotion team currently consists of:
How can I help out?
Any help with promotion efforts will be extremely appreciated! And no, marketing or public relations experience is not required - the only requirement is that you are enthusiastic and willing to help with promotion. To join the promotion team, simply send a private message to jt15s on the Haiku forums.
Our Mission Statement
To help spread the word and let more people know about Haiku, and helping to improve Haiku by working together with developers and end-users alike in the process.
As the promotion team, we want to make sure people know about Haiku. One problem facing the project is that we may be more obscure than other FOSS projects. This would mean it’s harder to get new contributors, whether this is developers, documentation writers or just volunteers in general. Hence we aim to attract more attention towards Haiku, and in turn, new users and volunteers. Our plan is divided into several groups of action:
We mustn’t forget about what is probably our main user group: general users. General users of Haiku are those who come to explore and try out the OS. Due to Haiku’s remaining rough edges and still lurking bugs (we are in Beta after all), our general users are typically more understanding of the limitations and issues with the project. Attracting more general users and making sure our general userbase is content is very important.
Strategies such as making sure user queries are answered as well as spreading the word about new apps and releases is a good first start, but other methods such as noting down user suggestions for QOL (quality-of-life) improvements should also be considered. Additionally, a request for a Haiku Limesurvey instance is being considered - Limesurvey is a FOSS survey tool and having a Haiku instance to use means the Team can conduct more surveys easily to gauge user feedback and thoughts.
You might know about Medo, the native, multilingual and fully-featured 4K video editor clocking in at only 1.27MB! This number alone highlights one of Haiku’s many development advantages: our apps are small and light - even if you have a project with lots of features crammed into it, on Haiku the file size will likely be very reasonable. Add that to the fact that we have HaikuPorts, an organised porting system, that we use C++, one of the most popular progamming languages in the world, and that we have an amazing native API with some great features and you get the development environment that is Haiku.
For the technically-minded, here are the features of the Haiku API:
- Ease of use with all the standard widgets
- Embraces multi-threading to enable low-latency user feedback with heavier processing running in the background
- Separation of UI and internal code
- Inter-application communication with a standard message system, allowing rich clipboard, drag and drop, replicants (where you can have parts of an application running inside another)
- Extension of existing applications with add-ons (in Medo this enables to add new filters and media formats)
- Full featured system APIs covering not only the user interface, file access and networking, but also things like MIDI devices, realtime audio and video processing, etc.
We want to attract more app developers, whether that’s developers who want to port their existing app over to Haiku, or new developers who wish to make an app in Haiku that they feel is needed. For any developers wishing to port their apps over to Haiku, we are already compatible with Qt, a popular GUI framework. Furthermore HaikuPorts already heavily simplifies and automates the porting process.
Additionally, we want to make any existing ports of FOSS projects to Haiku official platforms - this means having Haiku listed as an officially supported platform on the project’s website. By getting Haiku listed on projects such as KDE, more people will be aware of Haiku and the fact that Haiku has a multitude of apps available to download.
Researchers and Students
Haiku is also an excellent system for research purposes. Researchers don’t need the stability and reliability that businesses do, which means Haiku is a possible research system for them. Furthermore, it is possible to make invasive and disruptive changes to Haiku without having to dodge security restrictions imposed by the system, or having to “hack” their way into the system. In the past, Haiku has had successful collaborations with the Auckland University, where a group working on UI/UX research experimented with Haiku. They produced Stack&Tile as well as the Auckland Layout Engine (ALE) for laying out user interfaces using a constraint solver. Apart from ALE, the group also had other projects which were not implemented into any official Haiku releases, such as a tool to auto-generate user documentation from user interface code as well as a way to dynamically modify the layout of a running window to optimise it for a specific workflow.
Apart from Auckland University, mmu_man, a member of the Haiku Community, also published a research paper about the interoperability of filesystem attributes, as well as a research paper on using QEMU for OS development. mmu_man also made a poster advertising the benefits of using Haiku for research. Colin Günter did his master thesis on Haiku’s WLAN stack, whilst Rudolf Cornelissen wrote a thesis on writing video card drivers.
We aim to attract more research groups by promoting the uses of Haiku for research, and we also want to reach out to Auckland University and see if their UI research group is interested in coming back to Haiku to conduct any future research.
Additionally, we have participated in Google Summer of Code and Google Code-In (when it was still operating), providing opportunities for students to contribute to our project and develop their coding skills. We also participated in the Semester of Code but unfortunately we didn’t receive any student applications.
Businesses can benefit from Haiku as an operating system, and Haiku has the potential to be a lightweight alternative to the proprietary desktop operating systems businesses currently use. An information sheet for businesses has been drafted, which gives businesses a rundown of Haiku and its advantages and disadvantages as a business-oriented operating system. However, to attract more businesses we must improve Haiku further, and hence we will delay marketing efforts for businesses until Haiku reaches a stable and mature stage.
Partnerships with other Haiku-related sources
If you haven’t heard of them already, BeSly and Haikunauts are the two major third party Haiku sources. BeSly is a wiki with tips and tricks on using Haiku, whilst Haikunauts is a blog aimed at promoting Haiku as an OS. As mentioned above, we will work in partnership with these two sources and see what we can do together to help spread the word about Haiku.
Additionally, we are also eager to work with any smaller blogs, websites or channels. If you run a blog, website, channel, or any other source, please contact jt15s via the forums to start a partnership with the Team!
We are considering running an advertisement in Read the Docs, a documentation website that serves a wide array of open-source projects. Read the Docs allocates a portion of their advertising inventory to FOSS projects such as ourselves, hence this is a good opportunity to promote Haiku. What will go on the advertisement has not been decided as of now.
scott_puopolo18 is working on a set of interview questions for our developers to give the public a glimpse into the world of Haiku development, as well as shining a light on the challenges and opportunities in an open-source project. The predetermined set of questions means that we don’t have to write new questions for each developer. To save time, we can simply send them off and the developer can write their response.
We are also planning to distribute more content via Haiku’s official social media platforms. Approval has been given for a Haiku “brand-account” to be set up on YouTube. Combined with the Haiku account on Odysee (another platform similar to YouTube), these two accounts will be an outlet for video-based content from the promotion team. Other more text-based social media accounts on platforms such as Twitter will remain as they are, retweeting news from the Project as well as other relevant content.
Furthermore, we are working with Haiku Inc. to reboot Haiku’s official Cafepress store and are also looking into more options for merchandise.