HAIKU needs you!

News posted on Fri, 2013-08-30 00:42

We have heard you. Other areas of Haiku need some loving. Though, we need your contribution to make this awesome.

First and foremost, the package management contracts are going well and are starting to wind down. Ingo is expected to finish his last month within the next week. Oliver will have another 160 hours (spread over two months). As for actual progress, as seen in Ingo's recent blog post, it has been amazing. Hybrids are working (even ground work is done for future possible x86_64 + x86-gcc4 + x86-gcc2 combinations!). Building and updating Haiku for new platforms (e.g., various ARM platforms) is easier for developers. The tool for building ported software, haikuporter, is much more versatile, functional and reduces complexities for porters. They have requested wide spread testing of the HaikuPM images, in anticipation of merging the changes back into master branch.

On to current news -- two developers, Adrien "PulkoMandy" Destugues and Pawel "pdziepak" Dziepak wish to have the opportunity to dedicate full-time hours improving different aspects of Haiku. Adrien plans to work on our port of WebKit and our native browser, Webpositive. His first task will be to bring the Services Kit to maturation, which was a former Google Summer of Code project. Pawel desires to enhance CPU scheduler, with respect to utilizing caches better, performance on HyperThread enabled processors and power-savvy (as in wattage consumption) features. As of now, there are only enough funds to provide each developer with a single month of contractual development!

An interesting sidenote of these new development contracts is the role that Google has already helped in making this possible.

You see, both developers are former Google Summer of Code students who became project contributors. Adrien was a student in 2009 and worked on the Locale Kit with mentoring by Oliver Tappe. Pawel worked on the Network File System (NFSv4) client in 2012 with François Revol as his mentor. In 2010 and 2011, Adrien even stepped up to the role of mentoring other students. It is likely that neither of them would be contributors if it were not for their involvement through Google Summer of Code. Additionally, the donation made by Google, Inc. in January of 2013 of $5,000 is being used to fund the first month of each contract!

Adrien and Pawel's rates are €2000 EUR and $2500 USD per month respectively. Pawel hopes to have a second month of contracting. Adrien on the other hand, is hoping that everyone will lend their support and provide him with the ability to renew his contract for multiple months. The focus of Adrien's efforts can be revisited as needed, but we expect there to be sufficent work on WebKit/WebPositive for the immediate future.

We are asking you to come together with everyone and reaffirm, "Yes, I support for-pay development on HAIKU!".

Afterall, Haiku is something that we are attached to. Our contributors aim to provide you and all users with a refreshing experience for personal computing. Haiku is an operating system that is crafted with such dedication, care, and attention to detail. This allows us to achieve a level of consistency that is truly enjoyable to use. Simply put, using Haiku makes us feel good.

Your donations today will persist long into the future as improvements in Haiku that everyone can enjoy.

Whether it is a single donation or a recurring monthly subscription, it will help.

Give the amount that feels right for you. (Donate online)


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You probably don't hear it enough but THANK YOU!

I'm sure I speak on a lot of people's behalf, but many of us realize the effort, time and resource the Haiku team is pouring into its development.

I don't do much with computers these days but I write, film, interview and some multimedia work. If there anything I can contribute, I would be happy.

Thanks guys! NIcolas

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A few hours before I read this post, I donated an extra bit to help with the current contracts (Package Management). Normally, I donate twice a month, once in the beginning and then in the end. Since the new contracts, I have been donating a bit more :)

I am excited and elated to hear this news! Haiku is finaly getting the polish and attention it needs before the beta! (Please tell me that beta is next!) WebPositive has always been ok for me, but it needs better performance as well as full HTML5 support.

As far as "for-pay development" is concerned, I must say hell yea! We can't possibly expect great and talented developers to do this for nothing can we? Hell most Linux kernel developers are paid! I would venture to guess that many if not most core Haiku developers would continue to do so without pay. But come on, if we really believe that Haiku is an awesome, amazing and technicaly advanced Operating System, then why not fund what we love?

I am sure there are people who love and develop for Haiku who were there as programmers and users of BeOS. They saw the demise of their beloved OS and did not want it to die! BeOS died! BeOS died a slow agonizing death. Fortunately, she was re-incarnated because of the love and dedication of those who grieved for their "first love" BeOS was reborn and given a new name, Haiku!

You would not even be here reading this if you did not feel the same as I. You who have been here, perhaps off and on, for several years would not be here now, reading this bit of text if you did not see some value in the OS! If Haiku does not have a place in your heart and you do not see the value of the technology, then why are you here (if you are new, then please ignore the last sentance). However, if Haiku does hold a place in your heart, then show some love and feed the developers! lol

Seems like I got carried away there! Did not mean to get preachy. Great news all-around!


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Yay!! Great news!

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A banner with a target (three months/15k total? with 5 and 10k intervals denoting one month, two months) and a deadline, continually updated with the progress on the front page might help.

I know there's the thing on the front page, but because it's a) non-specific, b) such a broad period of time and c) such a large target, I'm not sure how well it works in practice.

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This is a situation in which a Kicstarter campaign could help.

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I agree 100 percent!

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I definitely think that it wouldn't hurt to try. I believe if we aim for a Kickstarter with a goal of $5,000, it would be very possible to achieve it. We could try to push for $10,000...but that may be a bit too much at this point unless marketing the KS is top notch.

I originally was thinking along the lines of it being better to wait to have a Kickstarter until we were at or near the first official release. And that we would also have a much bigger target (around $35-50k) with much bigger rewards (HaikuBox). But there is nothing stopping Haiku, Inc. from running a smaller Kickstarter now, and then down the road running a full fledged one.

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I like the idea of a "Haiku Box" kickstarter campaign! Lets just learn the lesson of the failed Ubuntu Edge kickstarter campaign. The bar was set way to high and the product would not ship until next year! If a "Haiku Box" kickstarter campaign is to be done, then perhaps it would be nice to already have the hardware ready to ship.

Perhaps with the work on Webpositive, goodsearch can be the default search engine allowing for better funding? Creating a Firefox and Chrome extension that allows a portion of online purchases to be used to fund further improvements! Perhaps Amazon.com and others will be willing to partner with Haiku and allow these extensions to fund Haiku.


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I'm not sure Kickstarter works that way.
As far as I understand, the idea is to develop (or improve) a product, and give matching "gifts" to the backers. There is a problem with this and the status Haiku currently has: everything is already available for download.
Sure, we can offer some T-Shirts and other bonus stuff, but that only works for small donations. Setting up a 100% working Haiku Box may be a lot of work in itself, and so it also needs someone to spend time on it. This also applies to setting up the Kickstarter campaign, which needs some good quality screenshots and videos, a good description of what's going on, etc.

Look for a few examples of campaigns for open source software:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mbs348/diaspora-the-personally-contr... actually offers support or hosting for the software to backers, so you get something valuable in return for your money.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1061646928/vlc-for-the-new-windows-8... offers a mention in the project about box. We do about the same with the website in our already existing donation system.

Here are some Kickstarter rules:

"A project is something with a clear end, like making an album, a film, or a new game. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced as a result."

I don't think we fit into that with funded development, which is a lot more open-ended. Something like "Finish WebPositive" isn't accurate enough. We should have a clear list of features, compute the required development time, and then setup the campaign.

"Projects cannot resell items or offer rewards not produced by the project or its creator."

When the project is only about making free software, it's hard to follow this rule.

Remember that Kickstarter is not a magical way to raise more money for any random project. It takes a lot of work to set up a campaign there, and I think it's not worth the effort in this case. I could see a "Haiku Box" campaign happening afer R1 is done, but that's unrelated to the current situation. And even then, would you donate $100 and get just a shirt, or would you wait and buy the finished product directly when it becomes available ?

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KolibriOS tried it and got 5000 pounds out of it. This is a far more immature OS then Haiku and far more unknown. Their rewards were purely formal and yet people still contributed. I believe Haiku has far more to offer and would spike the interest of many. Just think of the people who will notice the OS even if they don't donate , it would be quite the marketing campaign. The campaign's goal could be just hiring new dev's and the backers can vote on what they will work or we can have a fixed list of project. Package management and Webpositive at first let's say.

Also regarding the Haiku Box idea. It could be very doable if it will be produced in China. Right now there are many OEM boxes out there built around some Atoms , Celerons , AMD's or VIA CPU's. These are small , cheap and highly personalizable if ordered in big enough quantities. Now these small PC's would suck if shipped with windows and even Linux as they don't have much of a grunt , but , for Haiku things are completely different.

Here is an example of such a box : http://dx.com/p/minix-intel-d2550-cpu-mini-hd-pc-w-hdmi-vga-black-us-plu...
And another : http://dx.com/p/mini-desktop-computer-host-119901
Thanks to places like Aliexpress you can come in contact directly with the OEM and work out a deal.

The factory in china would be willing to brand it in any way you desire , create a custom packaging and ship it with the OS you provide. Probably could sell for under 250.

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As far as making Haiku hardware. I'd loath a bottom rung intel design and Raspberry PI was always a dead end marketing stunt as the device just isn't open.

Personally I do not think people need yet another computer... unless it shakes things up somehow.

Check out Allwinner A10 single core, A20 dual core, and RK3188 quad core devices. The former 2 are approaching being fully reverse engineered for Linux... with 2D, 3D and video decoding acceleration and the RK3188 is in a similar position that the A10 was a year ago so since they compete directly with allwinner. While the Raspberry PI is still a slow single core with a proprietary GPU. These more open devices still sell in the $50-100 range which is much less than an x86 solution and probably faster than many low end x86's.

I'd totally be game for donating developers $50 cubieboard 2 development boards. Those have 1Gb ram and Mali-400MP2 graphics. Also if that isn't enough cubietruck will have 2Gb ram.. and more peripherals. No.. the manufacturers don't truly understand open source but the info about these devices is out there *NOW* and its maturing into something useable.

A10/A20 are almost to the point of being FSF endorsable.

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"Personally I do not think people need yet another computer... unless it shakes things up somehow."

That was the point of the BeBox. Be Inc didn't build it just to have a computer with BeOS on it. They noticed that nobody was making multiprocessing so they wanted to fill that gap.

I don't think ARM is the answer. First of all, when you don't have to deal with batteries and thermal issues, Intel will always win on performance. The other problem for ARM in an x86-free 'PC' is that you can't upgrade the CPU/GPU.

We'll probably use x86 for real work for a very long time.

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the same was true for the powerpc vs x86, the powerpc had more performance, still it died out.

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Its too bad the BeBox was PowerPC based, if it were x86 based maybe it would've been more popular & Be wouldn't have exited the hardware business because of low sales.

If a HaikuBox were to ever emerge i hope it would be x86, mostly open, full of interesting hardware design hacks & built around multimedia just like the BeBox was all those years ago... although this time using a standard/popular CPU architecture.

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Ok, interesting to know it worked for KolibriOS. However, notice that they almost failed and fortunately someone donated 30% of the money at the last minute. Can we find such a sponsor for Haiku ?

Also, the donations on Kickstarter are limited to UK and US if I read well. With most of the Haiku developers in Germany and continental Europe, this could be a problem. I have no precise idea how our (potential) user base is distributed, but in any case going with Kickstarter is cutting a big part of it from the start. Can the raised awareness to people not usually following Haiku make up for it ?

An open-ended list of tasks may not be the right solution, and, usually Haiku, inc. doesn't hire random external developers, but members of the project with commit access. These people are often busy with other things, so it's hard to plan and anticipate their availability. If we do a kickstarter, get the money, and don't get any work done because no dev. is available at the time, how does that works ? We risk a bit of bad publicity.

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Rewards should be things like Official CDs and other such minor things, with a big prizes like having their voice recorded for a sound effect for the 1.0 release. A HaikuBox is just too much of a logistics nightmare.

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I definitely think that it wouldn't hurt to try.

Well, it doesn't hurt to suggest it - but it takes time, effort, and motivation to actually do it.

At this point, I'm afraid I don't see how we could come out of a kickstarter campaign that simply asks for money, with no actual end product, and not look like idiots.

The KolibriOS example is a poor one. In my opinion, it reflects very poorly on that particular project, and a large percentage of the money they "earned" came from a single backer.

I'd rather see us make real news, and earn interested users who are willing to donate than use kickstarter to pull in money from a bunch of random strangers who are likely expecting something in return for their backing.

As for a "Haiku Box" - this would take an immense amount of work doing something that I don't think any of us are experts at: Hardware design, configuration, manufacturing, distribution, and support. I'm certainly not going to burn up hundreds of hours of my spare time to pursue such an endeavor as a volunteer.

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Signed up for a recurring donation of $20 per month. Will increase that at some point if I can! Keep it up guys!

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Same here. Just signed up for a recurring €25,- per month.
Too long I have been waiting and watching without contributing.

Keep up the good work and hopefully Haiku will mature before becoming irrelevant.

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It really had to do with who makes the chips. If Intel made ppc, maybe they would be more powerful. But Intel does x86 and they know how to make it work better than other companies on other architectures.
Intel actually wanted everyone to move away from x86 with the Itanium but AMD didn't let that happen. I'm not sure why Intel still insists on not making ARM for mobile, however. Nobody will put Atom in smartphones but an intel ARM will really shake up qualcomm.

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ARM and x86 are very different markets. For ARM CPUs, ARM licenses not just the instruction set, but also implementations of it ready to insert in your hardware. That's why it has so much success on embedded devices (smartphones and the like): Qualcomm bought the CPU design licence from ARM and added more components around the core to make an everything-on-a-chip mobile phone platform. Add a display and battery and you're good to go.

There are very few people rewriting ARM compatible cores. Two reasons to this: it would cost more design work for a not necessarily better result than what ARM does, and, to put the "ARM" name on it, they'd still have to pay ARM.

Now look at what Intel is good at: designing CPU architectures. That's the only thing you don't have to do when working with ARM. Why would they go there ? Of course they are trying to push their own products instead.

On the other hand, ARM is preparing a 64-bit line of processors, has made a lot of progress with multiple-core systems, and is now working on entering the server market. Let's see what Intel will answer to this... And with many apps moving to the "cloud" or otherwise web-based, and smartphones/tablets everywhere, you may not need that powerful 5-GHz desktop computer anymore. Too bad that's the only thing left to Intel if they don't manage to get in smartphone/tablets!

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