Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

News posted on Tue, 2013-04-09 15:22


We did not make it into Google Summer of Code this year. We were fortunate to be selected so often in the past, but apparently it's now time to let other projects benefit from this summer event; 177 out of 417 projects were chosen this year. GSoC 2012 went especially well for us though, which certainly makes this announcement that much more difficult to swallow. Congratulations and best wishes to the organizations that were accepted, and hopefully we'll have better luck next year.


Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Well, shi~. What you gonna do...

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Ugh, this is horrible news! With work on HaikuPorter beginning, the students from GSoC could have really helped speed up the development of Haiku. I guess maybe they didn't see enough progress from last years GSoC?

I can understand the x amount of linux distributions that were accepted, and even the 3-4 BSD distributions...but Plan 9 got selected over Haiku? I'm not saying it didn't deserve it, but I thought Haiku was at the very least equally deserving. Ah well, tough luck I suppose. I hope that the progress made on Haiku this year will be enough for next year's GSoC.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Maybe a few more contracts could be in order? Use this summer to get some of the more glaring issues (if there are any, hehe) fixed. Maybe even a donations campaign?

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Deserving doesn't really have much to do with it, it's simply a matter of them wanting to bring more new projects in rather than the same ones year after year. If anything, we're lucky to have been part of it as many years in a row as we have, and there's always next year anyways.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

@ The123king

Your donations campaign idea reminded me of a suggestion I sent to Haiku, Inc. a few weeks ago, although I never got a response. I'm guessing it never went through, it was about utilizing GoodSearch to open up alternative donation methods for Haiku. I just posted this thread in hopes of it getting to someone at Haiku, Inc. -

@ anevilyak

That's a shame, so I guess it's just bad luck that Haiku wasn't selected this year? Quite a few of those projects on the GSoC website seem to be ones that have "always" been there. Hopefully after this year, Haiku also becomes one of those mainstay projects.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

More or less, yes. Bear in mind fewer than half the projects who applied were accepted due to the limit of the program's resources, so even if every project had a fantastic application there'd be quite a few people on the short end of the stick.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

I feel like there really needs to be a push with the devs to at least get a beta out the door.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Plan 9? Really? I didn't even think that was still active.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Ouch! Well, not that one can really complain given how many times Haiku has been picked in the past but I had pretty much gotten used to the fun of reading up on Haiku GSOC project progress during the lazy summer months.

Ahwell, we'll get them again next year! Maybe the $5000 donation from Google was meant as a pre-emptive pain-reliever? ;)

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

I am sorry to hear this. Let me contribute some of my hard-earned money to Haiku, as a tiny consolation.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

That's unfortunate. I don't think that Haiku expected to be accepted into GSOC, but maybe got a little too used to the idea. With the lack of 'legacy' developers contributing code anymore, this announcement will unfortunately hurt Haiku even more. Haiku is becoming more and more outdated/obsolete/nobody cares anymore, because the industry is shifting away from X86 and desktops/laptops in general. It just frankly took too long to get a release out the door - i'm clearly not as passionate about it as I was anymore, and I see this echoed by a lot of users and application developers. Developers who are frustrated when software they develop isn't even compatible between alpha releases. Yes they realize it's an alpha system, but it wouldn't be so bad if they had to make the new software compatible 6-12 months down the road as opposed to 10-15 years. When I look back six years ago when I started Haikuware, I really thought that Haiku could be the next big thing. With a stable release (and hence a user base and developers), it could compete with Windows, Apple, and Linux. Sadly now, it's more like a Hobby OS (to me). Not because it's inferior in design or performance, but because it's unfinished with no direction and no predetermined goals.

Yes, it's an OS based on the work of volunteers. BUT, Haiku Inc. does have resources to expedite this problem and help put a release out that will attract more developers. That said, I don't think Haiku Inc. is aggressive enough in promoting development. Clearly not much is taken seriously there, because the last time a meeting was held to strategize Haiku's future was 011-09-09, and there isn't even a budget for this year: The purpose of the Board of Directors is to make decisions, come up with a strategy, and to make use of the financial resources responsibly and appropriately. The website for Haiku Inc. is there to show the public how operations are being carried out. So, how can it be taken seriously when it's outdated and incomplete and the resources aren't being used efficiently? Oh yes, the BOD are volunteers too! But, when you sign on as a director for an American not-for-profit, you should act responsibly and in good faith. If this were a commercial enterprise, the directors would have been fired a long time ago. It just goes to show that the structure of Haiku Inc. should change from Board only, to membership. Anyone that contributes to Haiku financially should automatically be granted membership, then maybe there would be regular meetings to plan Haiku's future, and the directors can be held accountable for their action/inaction.

There was a lot of money raised last year, but how much Haiku actually has in its account is a mystery to me. More alarming, there was a budget of $35,000 for development contracts last year alone. How much was actually spent?? Nowhere close. This is what I mean by not being aggressive, not having a plan. Not updating the corporation's website. It's no wonder Haiku didn't get accepted into GSOC.

I know the argument, there's not enough developers; there's only a handful with enough inside knowledge. That's rubbish; there's just not enough effort put through to advertise the contracts. How about setting aside a 'development contract advertising budget' to make sure the word gets out, and using avenues like getafreelancer or the like for example?? And how about making the contract more attractive - not minimum wage salaries. Haiku got a gift of $5000 from Google. Use it, and make the development contract financially attractive - money talks.

Lastly, it's been argued here many times before. Haiku is chasing an impossible target. If its primary focus is X86, then fine. Develop a Haiku laptop or Haiku Box. There are so many chipsets that are closed, no documentation, and everyday a new user files a bug... 'My audio doesn't work, my internet doesn't work, bla bla'... Well guess what; it won't, and probably never will. It takes too much time and effort to develop drivers; and by the time you do; it's obsolete. So, why doesn't Haiku focus on one laptop, one box (like Be did originally, or Apple does). Set a couple of reasonable targets where everything is supported on the device (graphics, sound/mic, internet, hdmi, webcam, burner, bluetooth etc.). Hint:

There are so many people that would buy such a system (myself included), and Haiku could use some of the markup to fund further development and hire contractors instead of wasting time and energy trying to support an every growing hardware matrix they will never catch up to.

Perhaps Haiku Inc. could emphasize this point to developers - 'hey Joe, work on something useful instead; like drivers for the Haiku laptop/box'. Haiku Inc. also dedicates funds to controversial contracts like package management. It's totally illogical, misplaced, and not prioritized. First you need a system where users have supported hardware before you can even use the package manager (like connect to the internet which is what more users voted for in the first place for R1 - After all, package management isn't necessary, wasn't in BeOS, and never was part of the initial plans for R1. That poll is 2.5 years old and Wifi/WPA is in a sad state. There should be a password manager and GUI to connect to Wifi networks like every other modern operating system. It's what users expect. Haiku Inc. has the money; why does it take 2.5 years for Haiku Inc. to even advertise a contract that was the #1 voted 'MUST HAVE' feature for Haiku??

Personally, if I were Haiku Inc. I would set aside the $5000 (or even all available resources) for a contract to develop a system that's 100% hardware supported, endorsed, and sold by Haiku - It's make or break time for Haiku.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

"If this were a commercial enterprise, the directors would have been fired a long time ago."
Not true at all, at least for publicly traded companies. Executives can do nearly anything and still keep their position. The BOD is even less likely to be sacked.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

I do agree about the package manager; BeOS didn't have one, and yet nobody missed it a great deal.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

It may sound a little harsh to some, but I believe there is a lot of truth in what you've stated Karl. While it does seem like Haiku's window of opportunity is closing, I feel a little bit more optimistic in that there is still time to get back on track and push out a new release (hopefully R1). I'm still fairly new to Haiku so I can't really comment on how the development money was used in previous years, but this year with Haiku being denied entry into GSoC I feel that it is especially important that every cent of the development budget is utilized to hasten development. At the very least there needs to be enough progress made to ensure that Haiku is accepted into GSoC next year.

"Anyone that contributes to Haiku financially should automatically be granted membership, then maybe there would be regular meetings to plan Haiku's future, and the directors can be held accountable for their action/inaction."

I completely agree with this idea, especially the bolded portion! Maybe have a required amount one needs to donate for annual membership to weed out the trolls? I think that only good things can come from having a greater nucleus of people, that are passionate about Haiku, working together to find ways to continue funding development of Haiku as well as ways to spread awareness about the project.

While I agree with most of the points you've brought up, I am a bit uncertain about Haiku focusing on supporting only one set of hardware (aka a HaikuBox). Yes, it would probably speed up development tremendously and probably solve a whole slew of problems people currently have with Alpha 4.1, but it could severely limit the already small userbase Haiku has. It's pretty much a catch-22. I'd hate to see Haiku being available to only a select few , but if the alternative is that it takes another 10 years to release a usable everyday that really worth it? Would there even be enough support for Haiku in 5 years (with no major progress), let alone 10?

I would warm up to the idea if Haiku Inc. is able to release a feature-complete version of Haiku on an affordable HaikuBox in the near future. But it is easier said than done. There would have to be a significant feature or reason for consumers to purchase a HaikuBox if there are any hopes of it being successful. Also, if we are being realistic, Haiku Inc. would need to find someone willing to invest quite a bit of capital to fund full-time development of Haiku, as well as production of the HaikuBox (in the past I have brought up Google Ventures as a possibility). If not that, then creating a Kickstarter campaign is also another possibility, but to have any chance at reaching the funding goal (which would probably need to be over $100k) there needs to be a good reason for people to back the project. What is the purpose of the HaikuBox? Why would anyone prefer it over another, more popular, platform? In a situation like that, having someone who is really good at marketing would be key.

As you have said Karl, it is make or break time for Haiku, I am excited to see what the future holds. And thanks for posting, as you can see, I definitely like to discuss things I am passionate about. Hopefully the strides Haiku takes in development this year is enough for you to regain confidence in the project. =]

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Just to dispel any confusion that Kulluminatii or others may have:

Haiku, Inc. does not drive the project or otherwise lead it. From , its purpose is to support the Haiku Project and to further the development of HAIKU through the use of its assets (copyrights, trademarks, financial resources). The funds are largely used to speed the development and release of R1 (or an intermediate alpha/beta release) and generally are not used for non-R1 items.

The Haiku project is self-driven. It has been described as a meritocracy, where an individual's contributions adds weight to their suggestions. However, anyone is free to offer their views. Rational, logical arguments tend to work best at convincing people. Though, at the end of the day, the developers are volunteers and simply may not find the motivation to implement each and every good idea.

For those curious Haiku, Inc. has a mailing list on FreeLists:, which is the preferred discussion method.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

There isn't any confusion.

The problem with Haiku Inc. is that there is no 'speed'. All the budgeted money for development sits in the bank instead of being put to good use. ALL funds should be spent every fiscal year (what's budgeted for). That's how you speed development up - and now especially without GSOC. When people see that the money spent produces results, they donate more. So instead of spreading blame and claiming nobody is responsible, how about doing something in this regard?

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

Hi Karl,

I agree that Haiku's progress is slow and it hurts the moral. But I find your conclusions and reasoning wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to start.

First of all, I am grateful for any work done to help the project. So I am grateful for the work done by the Haiku Inc people. But just because someone sticks their head out and does at least something for a volunteer based project means anybody else can blame them for not doing enough or doing the wrong things? What's this BS about being responsible because it's called a BOD? What's next, we can publically blame developers for producing code that doesn't meet someone's expectations of output? We can make comparisons about how people would get fired in real companies if they had as little output? What's that nonsense?

You did something for the project by creating Haikuware. How do you feel if people criticize your work? How about I blame you for the many broken software on your site? "You are responsible for the quality offered on your site and need to screen software." It would be just as unfair, but I could provide a chain of arguments regardless that could sound convincing.

What would better Wifi support really be good for? Ok, so now you don't need to type your password everytime and then what? Oh, WebPositive sucks, so that's up next.

No, Haiku needs reasons for existing. And that's not by offering the very same things you can get from any other desktop OS. Haiku needs to have unique features that are compelling and interesting to developers so that they write unique software for the platform that fits into the Haiku vision.

Assume Haiku had a Wifi network manager. And a perfectly working browser with HTML 5 multi-media support. And Flash for good measure. Why would anybody use that? How would that help in building a user-base that developers would care to target with more applications? I have all these things on other platforms. Plus there are already applications for those other platforms. These platforms suck a lot less since the BeOS times, there is a lot less reason to hate them and put up with BeOS' lack of all sorts of features, just because the features it does have are so much nicer to use than the same features on other platforms.

Putting money into supporting one machine would be such a waste. That machine would be outdated in two years, or four at the most. And it would probably take as long to even support it fully with drivers. I am so glad that you are not the one making these decisions.

Package Management on the other hand will last. It will be a pillar of Haiku's infrastructure as a platform and for developers to build and rely upon with their applications. You of all people should see the value in it with all the broken software on Haikuware. The way package management is implemented is unique, elegant and efficient. Just what attracts developers to a platform and makes them put up with other deficiencies (or invest code in fixing them). It solves a really annoying problem, no matter how often you or anyone claim BeOS did just fine without it.

And a last point: You appear absolutely clueless about how easy or hard it would be to find any random developer/contractor if only the money were right. Sure you could find someone or even many developers if the money is appealing enough. Does that mean the project would get *anything* out of it? Not at all! The chances are phenominal that the money would be thrown out of the window, because the produced code is garbage. If you had any experience in hiring developers to get code written of any complexity, you would know how hard it is to actually get someone that produces good code for the money. And with Haiku, you cannot even get anyone that wouldn't have to learn the APIs first or "the Haiku way" of doing things.

Doing what Haiku Inc already does are pretty much the only options we have. And they are doing a great job with their resources. I don't measure them by some outdated stuff on their site.

The only thing problematic in a volunteer project is if someone is an obstacle to anyone else. But I don't see how that's the situation. Anyone can become involved in Haiku Inc and assume responsibility. Matt is a great example of that. People were glad when I appeared. Nobody stopped him from getting involved. He had the urge to contribute and ideas and so that's what he does now. It's no different from becoming a Haiku developer. And the work of Haiku Inc should receive the same respect.

Re: Google Summer of Code 2013 - Update

two years ago I used to say similar things. none cared. now I come here and visit this website rarely, it seems like things are lead in a confusing way. there were plans for R1, then new features proposal came up and R1 is far again. Close the most important bugs, complete what was proposed years ago as a must have and release this R1. then break compatibility with old beOS and make a new release, no one cares if we lose a useless 15yo notepad.. and what about qt support?