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After 8 Years of Work, Be-Alike Haiku Releases Official Alpha

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the time-for-some-wikipedia-edit-action dept.

Be 411

NiteMair writes "The Haiku project has finally released an official R1 alpha, after 8 years of development. This marks a significant milestone for the project, and it also debuts the first official/publicly available LiveCD ISO image that can be easily booted and used to install Haiku on x86 hardware. Haiku is a desktop operating system inspired by BeOS after Be, Inc. closed its doors in 2001. The project has remained true to the BeOS philosophy while integrating modern hardware support and features along the way." Eugenia adds this link to an article describing the history of the OS, along with a review of the alpha version."

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Oh my (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412003)

I wonder how strict
Their code formatting rules are.
Sounds like a tough job.

Re:Oh my (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | about 5 years ago | (#29412449)

You got the first post
And started a Haiku fad
I hope you're happy

Re:Oh my (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412699)

Good god, no!

More idiots who think they are being smart by creating three lines of text in a 5-7-5.

Come on geeks, if you are going to be geeks at least get it right. There is more to making a haiku than 5-7-5 and trying to sound smart. Go and google/wikipedia it.

Hint. There are no haikus on this thread so far.

FP (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412005)

FROSTY PISS

Who? (-1, Troll)

rinoid (451982) | about 5 years ago | (#29412015)

Loser say what?!

Mr Gassee rises to DEFEAT the ugly empire Apple has become. ...or not. ...more likely to suffer in silence.

But seriously, I had BeOS running on a machine back when ... great, great, very unfinished stuff. Maybe it is complete now and you can actually do something?

Obligatory (4, Funny)

Jeian (409916) | about 5 years ago | (#29412019)

After eight long years
The alpha release is done
It took long enough

Re:Obligatory (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29412103)

Obligatory BeOS quote (4, Interesting)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 5 years ago | (#29412655)

Here's what Be's CEO Jean-Louis Gassée had to say in 2001 about what happened:

There is no technical reason why CompUSA customers shouldn't be able to walk out of the shop with a machine that asks "Which OS do you want to use today?" upon boot. And yet, even today [2001], after several years of relentless news about how Linux is ready for the general desktop and business customer, one does not find dual-boot
...
A few years ago, Be's CEO Jean-Louis Gassée used the phrase "peaceful co-existence with Windows" to describe his company's intended relationship with Microsoft on the consumer's hard drive. Later, when it became clear that Microsoft had no intention of co-existing with a rival OS vendor peacefully, Gassée recanted, saying, "I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense -- I deserve it. [birdhouse.org] "

We could have had close to 10 years of use out of this really good Be OS in schools, products, and businesses, if not for Microserfs and Microsofters. Apple needs to learn from Be Inc. and clean out the nails Microsofters set in its track while there's still an Apple Computer . The time is over for putting up with promoters of M$, especially those inside other businesses.

Eight years the wiser.
So happy together then?
Don't bend down again.

Be OS was a very good OS so we should see good things from Haiku, too. The niche it filled will be different today for Haiku [haiku-os.org] , but still highly relevant. Netbooks are all the rage now. I expect it will be tried there first.

Re:Obligatory (0)

CdBee (742846) | about 5 years ago | (#29412201)

yeah

If they'd got it out 3 or 4 years ago, even unfinished, it might have been better. Now they have to compete with Android, the forthcoming Chrome OS and a much-more-entrenched Apple.

Re:Obligatory (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412491)

They're had reasonably usable code out there for ages though. WINE is another project that took forever to get to 1.0, but produced tons of non-vaporware work along the way. Personally, I find this long-haul-to-stable much more professional than the other approach, of say, KDE, releasing .0 stuff which is low quality. In fact, that alone would make me want to check out this release, if I wasn't already interested in Haiku for many other reasons.

Usable OS (3, Informative)

zoward (188110) | about 5 years ago | (#29412613)

I've been running a VM image built from source from a couple of recent developer's releases, and I've got to say, the OS is definitely usable. Probably the largest missing piece has been a wireless stack (haven't checked the R1 alpha, so for all I know his is already there). This will make an awesome OS for a netbook - lightweight, fast, boots fast, already has a port of Firefox. Can't wait to try out the alpha.

Re:Obligatory (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 5 years ago | (#29412801)

Wheel, reinvented
It is their time to spend, but
I don't see the point

What about Syllable? (5, Interesting)

Walterk (124748) | about 5 years ago | (#29412023)

When I tried out BeOS R4, I was really impressed but couldn't really use it day to day. Ever since then I've been looking for the next best thing but never found it. I've tried Syllable and that seems great, but no WiFi support means I can't connect to the Internet, so it's useless. Haiku should have some support for this, so I might give it a try soon!

Unlike Syllable Haiku also supports Firefox, so I hope Amarok can be used too, that would be absolutely awesome.

Re:What about Syllable? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412053)

Haiku is 17 times better than Syllable.

Re:What about Syllable? (0)

Norsefire (1494323) | about 5 years ago | (#29412121)

Unlike Syllable Haiku also supports Firefox, so I hope Amarok can be used too, that would be absolutely awesome.

Fire-fox.

There's your problem.

And yes, you should be able to use Ama-rok as well and still have a room for a syllable on the top line.

Re:What about Syllable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412255)

I sincerely hope Amarok gets ported to Haiku. I want to use Haiku not Linux.

Re:What about Syllable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412297)

Fi-re-fox, A-ma-rok.

Re:What about Syllable? (2, Insightful)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | about 5 years ago | (#29412369)

Haiku != Linux. Amarok is very deeply connected to KDE/Qt APIs which are, of course, not implemented in Haiku. Although ports can be considered (Firefox is a must), maybe a player designed for Haiku's APIs would be best for Haiku at this stage, even as a showcase.

Re:What about Syllable? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | about 5 years ago | (#29412501)

But KDE != Linux too! However, I do agree that there is likely a lot of work to be done to make that a reality. While Amarok (v1.4) is my favourite music player, I think it might be worthwhile to make a new ground-up replacement for Haiku. I say that because I am VERY excited about this. I have been watching it since reasonably early on, and it doesn't have a lot of the problems that Linux has (slow window system, fragmented systems like sound and the general feeling of things being slapped together, due to the enormous amount of choice available), but it also has the freedom and openness that I love about Linux. Hope it works out well and develops a strong following...

Re:What about Syllable? (1)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | about 5 years ago | (#29412623)

KDE != Linux -> granted! How long do you think it will take to port it to Haiku? :D I hope Haiku succeeds as well, but there's a number of things here that may contribute to its implosion: 1 - it's not multi-user (yet) and I don't think it's the kind of thing that can be an after-thought - maybe in this case it can be, since it's contemplated for in the design, just not realized 2 - no WiFi - seriously? should be a top priority IMHO 3 - GCC2 - it's there for compatibility with BeOS, but who needs it still? 4 - kernel code in the hands of "relative newbies" - they're not kernel pros, so catastrophic crashes are a possibility, which makes me cringe (like blowing up on USB pendrive insertion and such) 5 - it's not attracting devs - why? it's such a cool platform! but I guess BSD/Linux already take up all the free talent in the world :| 6 - only C++ - we need Mono, Lua, Ruby,etc, etc, - with Haiku API bindings 7 - limited hardware support - I know, it can only get better, but with few devs it will take long I'm not bashing Haiku - I just think the alpha should have been out the door long, long ago. Even Linus had to push 2.6.0 before it was ready so people would pay attention to it...

Why can't you connect to the internet? (0)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 years ago | (#29412527)

"but no WiFi support means I can't connect to the Internet"

Err, have you never heard of an ethernet cable?

Re:Why can't you connect to the internet? (5, Funny)

kinnell (607819) | about 5 years ago | (#29412675)

"but no WiFi support means I can't connect to the Internet"

Err, have you never heard of an ethernet cable?

It's so much harder to plug an ethernet cable into your neighbour's router without them noticing.

Re:Why can't you connect to the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412823)

I tried plugging my ethernet cable into my office wi-fi, but the plug kept falling out of the air. Maybe you have some further helpful advice on connectivity?

8 years is a long time (-1, Troll)

cdgeorge (775179) | about 5 years ago | (#29412043)

Question is: Does anyone care anymore?

Re:8 years is a long time (2, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 years ago | (#29412095)

Not after 10.6 ;) Macs finally feel like BeOs.

Re:8 years is a long time (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | about 5 years ago | (#29412289)

Not after 10.6 ;) Macs finally feel like BeOs.

Really? I can hardly tell the difference between 10.5.x and 10.6.

Re:8 years is a long time (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412519)

Maybe, if OS X is on a quad-core and BeOS is on an old-style dual-Pentium.

Re:8 years is a long time (1)

rinoid (451982) | about 5 years ago | (#29412549)

Wow the "troll" mods are out in force ... some strange loyal contingent amongst the /. crowd I only thought was reserved for discussions surrounding Linux.

Yeah, it's kind of funny to joke that Macs "finally feel like BeOS" but in reality it is so far from the truth that it's more troll like than anything I wrote above.

I used BeOS, well, I booted it and played with the spinning cube with videos on each face. There wasn't much else alive in there in terms of hardware support. It did tickle me though and I hope somehow the product can create some space amidst Windows, Linux, OS X, Chrome OS, etc... but I don't think so.

Re:8 years is a long time (5, Interesting)

GuerillaRadio (818889) | about 5 years ago | (#29412109)

I care, as does anyone who remembers operating systems that were responsive to user interaction first and foremost

I feel in full control of BeOS and Haiku (also AmigaOS) and there's a lot of things that it gets right that Windows, Mac and Linux still fail to do between them. There's something kind of indefinable 'fun' about the OS as well..

Re:8 years is a long time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412111)

YES!

Re:8 years is a long time (1)

chetbox (1335617) | about 5 years ago | (#29412133)

This is a good point. To the end user Haiku doesn't appear to be all that different to BeOS back in the day, and it was difficult enough to actually do anything then anyway. In those 8 years modern operating systems, and more importantly the applications that run on those operating systems, have matured massively. IMHO It's unlikely Haiku can gain the momentum that BeOS craved so long ago, especially when there's not a lot that makes it stand out as a better alternative to Linux, for example.

Re:8 years is a long time (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | about 5 years ago | (#29412353)

It is only an Alpha
It'll be long before the Beta
A 1.0 release might never come

Finally... (2, Interesting)

michaelleung (1335645) | about 5 years ago | (#29412071)

What have they been doing all these years? Seriously guys, you've released it at a time when most people don't even remember what BeOS even is.

Re:Finally... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 5 years ago | (#29412155)

I think you mean:

A mighty Project
Completed far too slowly
What is BeOS?

Re:Finally... (1)

migla (1099771) | about 5 years ago | (#29412185)

Depending on how you pronounce BeOS, though.

Re:Finally... (5, Insightful)

Walterk (124748) | about 5 years ago | (#29412163)

Operating Systems are not trivial and hardware support is a real pain. It takes years even for large communities to do this and even a community as big as Linux's doesn't always get it right, neither do some companies for that matter. They look as if they're a small team trying to do a great deal.

I remember using BeOS on an old Pentium 166MHz with little RAM and being able to play many songs, browse and play videos and the same time when Linux and Windows struggled to do any one of these on the machine.

Sure, most people won't be interested, but variety is the spice of life and if some of the good aspects of BeOS get adopting, it will be a good thing for everybody.

Re:Finally... (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | about 5 years ago | (#29412251)

I remember using BeOS on an old Pentium 166MHz with little RAM and being able to play many songs, browse and play videos and the same time when Linux and Windows struggled to do any one of these on the machine.

Don't forget fastest boot time this side of the Pecos !

Re:Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412417)

Sure, most people won't be interested, but variety is the spice of life and if some of the good aspects of BeOS get adopting, it will be a good thing for everybody.

True, but these days I think that it is more important to push for variety in hardware. 15 years ago you had workstations with MIPS, Alpha, Power, Sparc and perhaps
otehr architectures. Today on the desktop it is x86, x86 or x86, now that Apple is just another resale channel for Wintel clone hardware.

At the rate things go it will be worse in 5 years, for servers Power7 will exist and probably Power8, beyond that I'm not sure and Sparc will be killed (I don't consider
Itanium an alternative since it's from Intel). Once Intel kills Power, they will go at AMD throat's in that order: if AMD disappears earlier than Power, the concern of giving
Intel a monopoly for all processors from (high end) mobile phones to the largest supercomputers will be too strong.

Right now the only architecture which may survive the x86 juggernaut is ARM (very large volume, low power and silicon area). But it does not
compete in the same class.

Now it would be time to start the design of a new architecture from scratch, x86 is roughly 30 years old (IBM mainframes are 45), Itanium 12 or so,
Power and Sparc almost 20. In the 80s and early 90s, new architectures appeared fairly regularly, although many died quickly: who remembers
Fairchild/Intergrpah's Clipper or Motorola's 88k (in my eyes superior to Power, but Motorola's bosses decided to drop it and go with IBM's Power
instead, I still think that this was a mistake)?

Really, there are so many things that have changed: these days a division takes much less cycles than a cache miss, for a start!

Re:Finally... (2)

rinoid (451982) | about 5 years ago | (#29412569)

You can't lay all the blame for the demise of Power* at Intel's feet. In the desktop space they did it to themselves.

Re:Finally... (1)

pohl (872) | about 5 years ago | (#29412615)

I remember the Clipper [wikipedia.org] . I remember, back in '98 going to a state auction where lots of old furniture & equipment was being unloaded. They had maybe a dozen machines, and nobody bought them. I remember thinking that somebody, somewhere might like to port the linux kernel to them if they had the time & the right architecture documentation. It was hard to resist; like walking by puppies in the window.

Re:Finally... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 5 years ago | (#29412437)

I too am nostalgic for the return of this OS. It was amazing! I had a Pentium II 400mhz (fast at the time) and was astounded at how much quicker BeOS did everything than windows, linux, OS9 or anything else at the time. If apple hadn't killed the clones or Microsoft hadn't threatened the hardware vendors the computing landscape today would be very different.

For anyone who is interested in why be failed: here is an article about the lawsuit that they filed against Microsoft [zdnet.co.uk] which was later won for 23 million, but it was too little too late. Microsoft essentially told HP, Dell and others that if they even offered BeOS as an option then they wouldn't sell them licensing and they would be forced to purchase retail licenses for windows. None of the big manufacturers was willing to take that big of a gamble, so they were forced into bankruptcy.

Just another flavour of Linux? (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412145)

Please forgive my ignorance, but what makes Haiku any different from some other version of Linux?

I read through the Haiku site and I can't seem to find anything that makes it any different from say Ubuntu... With the exception of the BFS, but I'm of the opinion that the standard file system used by Linux works fine. I don't see any reason they had to reinvent the wheel.

I think Linux would be much more competitive if the community came together and developed one definitive version rather then infinitely branching off and rewriting things that already work. It would also be a lot easier to develop software for.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412169)

Haiku is not a Linux distro nor is it based on Linux.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412199)

Well there's my problem. I'm of the "if it looks like a duck" school of thought.

So What makes it different from Linux? or Windows for that matter?

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412257)

It's an alternative to Windows and OSX, except unlike Linux it hasn't yet attracted a large group of faggots, assholes, fanboys, and zealots. Be patient.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412291)

So what you're saying is no one's using it?

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412493)

I think he's saying that nobody worth punching in the face is using it.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 years ago | (#29412781)

Also... no one that can explain why it's different than Linux is using it.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

rinoid (451982) | about 5 years ago | (#29412581)

Aside from the moderators of this forum who see fit to label anyone a troll if they speak ill of BeOS.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | about 5 years ago | (#29412321)

I've never used or for that matter seen BeOS, but from the article and other comments I gather it's distinguished because it was built from the ground up to be a highly responsive desktop machine capable of exploiting multiple cores. Presumably that means that when you right click for a context menu the system responds immediately, as oppose to Linux and Windows where it appears eventually when the scheduler decides it can be fit in between other applications crunching numbers in the background.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412405)

That seems like it would be a great feature!

In response though, wouldn't that mean that applications running in the background have to immediately give up resources so that the GUI could take control? How do you think that would affect the "results" or responsiveness of an application?

I would theorize an application would crash if memory/CPU was suddenly younked out from under it so that a context menu could be displayed, but I haven't done any research or testing to confirm so this is just an unfounded theory I have as a developer.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 5 years ago | (#29412611)

I doubt the underlying OS is THAT extreme, it probably just shifts all UI stuff to the top of the priority queue. An application wont see its resources suddenly yoinked from it, it will just have to wait a few extra processor cycles before it gets its own turn on the CPU.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412621)

But that is how multitasking operating systems work. The OS scheduler decides based on various criteria (things like process priority, etc.) how much of a "timeslice" each executing thread will get and at the end of that timeslice everything IS rudely pulled out from under it and the next thread scheduled for execution gets to run. There isn't anything new there - the claim is that this will just be an OS that considers user interaction more important (possibly marks it as higher priority in the scheduler so that UI threads from the OS get more timeslices). But definitely a preemptive multitasking system already does this - Haiku (and BeOS) just say they do it better.

It would be interesting on Windows to use task manager to set the base priority of explorer.exe to "above normal" to see if it then made the same "start menu click" (or desktop right-click context menu, etc.) similar to Haiku.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 5 years ago | (#29412659)

Don't worry, it's perfectly safe. With a modern OS the applications do not have a direct understanding of the CPU share they're receiving, or how much memory they really have. The OS basically provides them with a (rather abstract) virtual machine that has system calls instead of real hardware. CPU and memory can be taken away from a process at pretty much any time without it being any the wiser. This all requires hardware support but that support (unlike the support required for *full* virtual machines) has been in CPUs for decades now. We *did* get stuck with bad OSes that didn't make use of this for a while - but fortunately memory protection and pre-emptive multitasking are pretty much universal features now.

The tradeoff is that yoinking resources from applications over frequently will reduce the system's total throughput as you spend more time shuffling stuff about and less getting stuff done. The trick is to balance getting stuff done vs switching things about fast enough that everything gets to run and the user stays happy.

not crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412705)

no it wouldnt crash, it would simply run less efficiently. say instead of completing that video transcode in 100.01% of the theoretically possibly time it would take 110%. and lots of people might say woah.. it runs 10% slower, we cant have that.. but really we see those kinds of variations all the time between compilers, dynamic linking methods, versions of libraries and os's, but when its for the very worthwhile reason that its improving perceived speed (responsiveness) then i say its well worth it.

every os yanks the cpu and other resources away from a task when it task switches (im really only familiar with intel arch's). and actually it has little todo with the software. the intel processors have dedicated registers for task switching, including the task register which holds the descriptor for the currently running tasks memory segment which contains that tasks state (the task state segment), when the cpu is issued an instruction to interrupt or change rings due to an exception it switches tasks.

user level tasks are just another type of task and it is the hardware since the 286 (but the 386 introduced virtualisation of memory via page tables which facilitates using hdd space as virtual memory) which made so called "preemptive" multitasking possible and really microsoft had to do very little except stop relying on the cludges which required the older model of mostly living in the 1meg real address space and mapping in pages via an extended memory manager to access a tiny bit of memory at a time. barely kinda practical for 16meg of memory but it became old quickly. so when microsoft blew their horn saying how great they were for creating an os that had preemptive multitasking it had nothing to do with them barely. they finally got with the times and implemented features which intel had made available since the 286. /end rant

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (5, Informative)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 5 years ago | (#29412587)

A few thoughts off the top of my head:

* It's a BeOS clone, some people miss BeOS as it was revolutionary at the time.
* It has a somewhat different user interface to what you'll get in Ubuntu. Don't know if it's better (for you) but it is different.
* The whole stack is developed and released together, so it's potentially integrated in a way that's harder to do with Linux (though obviously Linux has more people doing the interoperation and integration work).
* It aims for binary compatibility with BeOS - run your old apps.
* It's fast. I'd be surprised if it gave you the throughput of a Linux system but for desktop use BeOS was always very responsive. I don't know if Haiku is as good as BeOS in this respect but it boots *super* quick and even under full emulation it runs at a surprising speed.
* AFAIK it's also quite lightweight compared to modern Linux running a contemporary DE. BeOS originally ran on really weedy hardware. Don't know if Haiku is *that* light but I do know that it has a fairly small resource footprint.
* New, non-Linux kernel and OS - is this an advantage? Not necessarily but it sure is cool. It's a microkernel, too.
* BeOS used the filesystem in very cool ways; it's powerful metadata support let you basically treat it like a database, reducing the amount of stuff you needed to do in specialised apps.
* It still has some POSIX support so your favourite shell utilities probably ought to work.

Taken all together, once the wireless support is done and the OS stabilised a bit more, Haiku should be an extremely good fit for a netbook, amongst other things.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1, Troll)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 5 years ago | (#29412689)

Haiku is not a Linux distro nor is it based on Linux.

To microsofters, everything except M$ products is called "linux". That includes OS X, Oracle and, now, Haiku [haiku-os.org] .

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | about 5 years ago | (#29412177)

It'd be better if they all came to a consensus on where libraries go and follow the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard [wikipedia.org] and a package system.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412233)

I agree that would make my job quite a bit easier, <sarcasm> but doing something like that would obviously make them too much alike. </sarcasm>

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

rcrodgers (1233228) | about 5 years ago | (#29412301)

It'd be better if they all came to a consensus on where libraries go and follow the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard [wikipedia.org] and a package system.

Haiku, like BeOS, is in no way compatible with Linux except on a limited source code basis. It's not using the Linux kernel and cannot run Linux software, therefore there's little point in conforming to anyone's standards but perhaps Be's or their own.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 5 years ago | (#29412349)

Won't that make it hard to write software for?

As a developer I write applications for operating systems that people are using already. It would work in BeOS favor if existing software didn't already worked on their system.

Here's the catch 22: I most likely won't be commissioned to re-write an application so that it will work on new OS that few people are using, and why would people use a system with little or no existing software.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412687)

It depends on how you write your software. If you're trying to port some old, crufty, legacy system that was hard-coded to use a particular GUI or DOS filesystem, then yes. If, on the other hand, you're coding new software, you can use libraries like WxWidgets to make it portable, or better, simply separate your GUI code from your main app logic, and get proper, native GUIs for each system. Even porting old software to Haiku would be arguably very worthwhile though --- even the Linux kernel itself has improved markedly from the refactoring etc. that occurs when software is ported to work on more than one system.

Also, if you're not too interested in commercial coding, and just want to code for pleasure on a project that interests you, or to a smaller community where you might get more recognition for your efforts, then working on Haiku will probably appeal quite a lot -- there's a lot to be said for having a modern API to code against.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29412789)

IIRC The OS Is POSIX Compatible, porting *most* applications from Linux to BeOS isn't very difficult.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412421)

Not to mention that the FHS is the worst thing about Linux.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412525)

A reason to conform to someone elses standard is to make it easier for users of the other system to adopt your new system, and to reduce problems in porting massive code bases.

Unless there is an overriding reason, don't reinvent the wheel!

I'll try to break it down (5, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412637)

No one has really answered you so far, surprisingly. I don't really know BeOS internals, but having toyed around with it as an ex-Amiga user looking for a modern equivalent (like many others), I can give you the general idea.

Basically, it's this: unix sucks.

Lol, it's flippant, but for all the greatness of Unix and Linux, especially compared to Windows, there's a definite truth to this. The problem is that unix is a few simple (and strong) principles from the early 70s, upon which nearly decades of evolution have occured. The fact that this was even possible is a huge testament to the flexibility of those core principles. Nonetheless, most of the evolution since is essentially a big hackish attempt to keep Unix up to date. For instance, go to phoronix and search for graphics stack. You'll find a lot of discussion about Xorg, the Linux kernel, graphics drivers, GPUs, libraries, the linux console, and how none of them are really consistent or integrated, and the problems that result. Moreover, Unix was originally designed for many users sharing a huge, expensive computer. It's not really designed for personal computers at all. Arguably, this distinction isn't so relevant these days.

BeOS, on the other hand though, is an attempt to make a modern, coherent, friendly, desktop operating system for personal computers. It's designed to be quick, to have a logical stack of libraries that cooperate (such as for audio and graphics, again, unlike Linux's audio/graphics stack).

Essentially, the point is just to build a modern system, and dump all the old, legacy cruft that just gets in the way. It's an attempt to draw a line under the past, and say, "OK, that's the old way. From now on, programs should use this stuff instead, so everything looks good and runs well, and integrates nicely."

Re:I'll try to break it down (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 5 years ago | (#29412807)

Of course it could be argued that 19 years is a long time in the computer world and BeOS would be old enough to have accumulated its own cruft by now.

Re:Just another flavour of Linux? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#29412663)

Please forgive my ignorance, but what makes Haiku any different from some other version of Linux?

I read through the Haiku site and I can't seem to find anything that makes it any different from say Ubuntu...

Try the FAQ:

Is Haiku based on Linux?

Haiku is not a Linux distribution, nor does it use the Linux kernel.

Haiku aims to be tightly integrated. That's a design trade-off with certain pros and cons. They get more performance. They also have to do all the work themselves.

With the exception of the BFS

Linux has a BeFS driver.

but I'm of the opinion that the standard file system used by Linux works fine. I don't see any reason they had to reinvent the wheel.

ext4 with large user_xattrs is in the works. That is probably sufficient to replace BFS, a meta-data rich filesystem, but not done yet. btrfs has more advantages still, will eventually have large user_xattrs, but is even less done. That said, BFS is 15 years old - no doubt it could stand some improvements too.

I think Linux would be much more competitive if the community came together and developed one definitive version rather then infinitely branching off

There is pretty much one version of linux. Some distros maintain their own forks for LTS. The -mm tree tests some new technology.

There's pretty much only one X server too. That forked and everybody went with the fork.

There are several competing desktop environments. They each have different design goals. There's inefficiency, but we don't have a better mechanism for improvement than competition in a free world.

and rewriting things that already work

Can you cite an example of something that was re-written for a reason other than to expand capabilities (the lack there-of being important to enough people to make it happen) which needed a better architecture? You can't keep saddling a poor architecture with patches and workarounds forever - that gets you Windows ME.

It would also be a lot easier to develop software for.

For distros that stand still, many vendors specifically target long-term support distros, like RHEL or Ubuntu LTS. They, and their customers, also lose certain opportunities by taking this approach. Progress isn't trivial to cope with, each problem needs to find the right balance.

Also... (0)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412775)

Also... yes, you seem to think that Haiku is a variation of Linux/Unix. In fact, it's a variation of BeOS. Back in the early Mac OS days, Apple bought a company/OS technology called NeXT to build OS X from. A group of people in Apple thought they could do better, and left to form Be, Inc. and to build their own, entirely new OS, BeOS, to replace Mac OS with. For the time, NeXT was very advanced, and BeOS was probably lightyears ahead of the rest. Be sold a few dual-core PowerPC machines with BeOS back when everyone else was still fumbling around with crappy versions of windows and Mac OS and (maybe) Pentium Is. Unfortunately they didn't make much of a dent on the PC market for whatever reason (probably the microsoft monopoly and lack of apps) and so eventually started looking at smaller markets --- set top boxes, mobile phones, etc. Soon enough, Be, Inc. died, but had established itself well enough to convince others that BeOS was something good enough that it shouldn't be lost due to marketing issues. After years of work, volunteers have now built Haiku, and it's independent of those companies that failed to develop and market it further.

Congratulations (5, Insightful)

Virtex (2914) | about 5 years ago | (#29412191)

Congratulations to the Haiku team. Back when Be closed its doors, I remember there were several projects to recreate the OS, but most people didn't expect any of them to succeed. This announcement proves that wrong. BeOS was a fantastic OS and with Haiku making strides toward a stable release, the legacy can live on. Although it's taken a while to get this far, writing a full operating system from scratch takes a long time. Even large companies with dedicated teams generally take 5+ years to build a new OS, so 8 years for a group of volunteers to release a working system is quite reasonable. Once again, congratulations and thanks for all the hard work you've put in over the years. Although only an alpha, this release is quite stable and usable. Your efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed.

redundant haiku is redundant (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412197)

i post this anon
because so many exist
but what is one more?

This would be really great news... (5, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29412219)

...if Apple hadn't bought NeXT.

But they did, and have been catering to people who want a modern non-MS OS since then.

And now, they have stuff that provides a sensible approach to concurrency [arstechnica.com] , BeOS or a clone of BeOS is a lot less meaningful.

(Actually, pages 9-15 of that review are all about Be's boat having sailed.)

Re:This would be really great news... (1)

GuerillaRadio (818889) | about 5 years ago | (#29412263)

Haiku is free, as in speech. That adds to its meaningfulness quite a bit I think.

Not free (0, Flamebait)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 5 years ago | (#29412339)

Haiku is not Free Software. On the off chance it becomes wildly successful they can close it up and go commercial. IIRC the license is something more like BSD or MIT, but certainly not GPL.

Re:Not free (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29412427)

You are more radical than the FSF, they consider (modified) BSD and the like to be free software (but they created the GPL because they felt that it was important that derivatives of free software also be free):

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/index_html#GPLCompatibleLicenses [fsf.org]

Re:Not free (2, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | about 5 years ago | (#29412791)

That's still Free Software by the FSF's and most other people's definitions. What it is *not* is copy left. So yes, you can make non-free derivatives. But the rest of the world will still have the previous, open source releases available. You even have the freedom to create a GNU-focused Haiku release if you really wanted to - it might be worth it, just for the looks of horror at the idea of a GNU/BeOS (I'd use it!).

Re:This would be really great news... (1)

Shag (3737) | about 5 years ago | (#29412751)

Haiku is free, as in speech. That adds to its meaningfulness quite a bit I think.

Is it free as in beer, too?

Re:This would be really great news... (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29412343)

But they did, and have been catering to people who want a modern non-MS OS since then.

If all you want in an operating system is that it's not from Microsoft, that's a laudable goal. A sad reality though is that Windows 7 (or in most situations, Windows Vista with SP2) is to many people a superior operating system to OSX. Oh sure, it falls down in some places, but OSX totally flails in others where Windows is the current champ. I've run Linux and Windows on many of the same systems and have more experience than I want with OSX, and I've even used NeXTStep on NeXT hardware a bit, and I can tell you that OSX has no damned excuse for how chunky and unresponsive to user input it is. With that said, nor does Linux. The average user will spend less time waiting for a computer running Windows than anything else, even with antivirus taken into account. There are numerous advantages to running something else, but the average user will do no better with it.

With that said; BeOS looked like it had some actual advantages to the end user. I had a BeBox briefly and it's frankly amazing what two 66 MHz 603e chips could do with an operating system designed from the ground up for multiprocessing. The OS was what OSX clearly wasn't: fast. Apple would have gotten a better operating system for their purposes out of BeOS, but they got Steve Jobs with NeXT. Or was it the other way around? From their official stories, they got Steve first and NeXT was an afterthought, a natural step after that point, but anyone who believes that is probably ripe for the plucking.

Re:This would be really great news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412415)

The average user will spend less time waiting for a computer running Windows than anything else, even with antivirus taken into account.

Any proof of this or did you just pull it out your ass?

I have a dual boot Vista/Ubuntu setup on a low-end but recent Dell and both feel equally responsive for common tasks - generally the biggest delays are external to the OS, like web server speeds.

Re:This would be really great news... (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 5 years ago | (#29412677)

I think the key is that Windows 7 at least gives the illusion of greater responsiveness than Vista ever did. Thus, if what you say is true, that Ubuntu and Vista run about the same, then 7 should (in theory) feel faster than both.

Re:This would be really great news... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#29412425)

I've even used NeXTStep on NeXT hardware a bit, and I can tell you that OSX has no damned excuse for how chunky and unresponsive to user input it is

Hey, that's not fair, NeXTStep had a 25MHz '030 to work with to get that kind of user experience. You're comparing Apples and Magnesium chassis.

Re:This would be really great news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412509)

MacOS 10.6 still doesn't do NUMA and therefore wastes up to 30% performance on the shiny new core i7 CPUs.

Re:This would be really great news... (2, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 5 years ago | (#29412567)

Believe it or not, there are some people who might like an OS for reasons other than a knee-jerk "It's not MS" (especially hilarious given how many Mac users then run MS software on their Macs).

But even if that's true, you could say the same about OS X - why use that, now there's BeOS? You see, if all you can say about OS X is that it doesn't have the flaws on Windows, then that applies to all non-MS OSs that are released. If you want to suggest otherwise, the burden is upon you to show how OS X is better than all other OSs (including BeOS, and I guess Linux too), not just Windows.

And anyhow, who cares - do you post to every Linux story saying "This would be great news if ..."? Or do you just think you can get away with it because it's BeOS? And imagine the annoyance of someone posting to every OS X story, saying "This would be great news, if only Windows didn't already exist"?

Believe it or not, some people have an interest in products other than Apple, around here. If you don't like it, skip the story. This is the first BeOS story in ages, whilst Apple stories appear several times a day - you're hardly losing out here!

Modern? (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | about 5 years ago | (#29412785)

So, a unix-like kernel with a pretty window manager is modern?

Damn. That's some strong kool-aid.

soo.... (1)

rimcrazy (146022) | about 5 years ago | (#29412245)

Here it is at last
Looks like Solaris OS
And we need this why?

Debian? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412311)

So when can we expect Debian GNU/Haiku?

Is it 64 Bit? (1)

stoicio (710327) | about 5 years ago | (#29412361)

64 bits????

Re:Is it 64 Bit? (1)

Skizmo (957780) | about 5 years ago | (#29412481)

from their site:

Will there be a 64-bit version of Haiku available? For R1 we are only targeting x86-32 (i586 and newer). Support for x86-64 will likely come in the future, but there are no firm plans yet

Re:Is it 64 Bit? (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 5 years ago | (#29412703)

That's a shame, with a (more or less) entirely new OS, they have a chance of designing it for entirely new hardware. But then again, BeOS is designed to run on very low-end hardware and that requires 32bit support. Catch-22 I suppose.

16.09.2009 starts a Haiku Launch Party in germany (1)

theuserbl (981678) | about 5 years ago | (#29412367)

Read it here (is in german, sorry): http://www.lelldorin.de/debug/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopi [lelldorin.de] ... On September 16th, 2009 in (english:)Colonge/(german:)Köln, there starts at 7 pm a'clock in "Extrablatt" at "Am Alten Markt" a Haiku Launch Party!

Is the real BeOS alive in any form? (2, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#29412429)

I remember when Palm bought the Be source code way back when in 2002(?). I heard that some of it found its way into PalmOS 5, but I wonder if any of its elements are used in Palm's new webOS.

VirtualBox (1)

Pec (127751) | about 5 years ago | (#29412461)

But, does it run on VirtualBox?

Re:VirtualBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29412537)

yes

Posting from inside Haiku (4, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 5 years ago | (#29412631)

Installed it in Virtualbox, and it's running just as smoothly as I remember BeOS doing. Even installed in about 3 minutes :)

The built in browser, Bon Echo, seems to be a Firefox derivative, possibly Firefox 2, so it's not all bad.

If the hardware is supported, I think Haiku would make for a very very good OS for a netbook. It's using 60 MB total at the moment and hardly pegging the CPU. In fact Virtualbox is only using 38 MB according to Windows and hovering around 20% on a single core of my 2 GHz Turion x64. Granted, I'm only running the browser, but that's still quite nice.

Google Docs works as well, though I only have a simple spreadsheet to test with. It's a little bit slow to respond, but that is probably down to the browser. Actually now the browser is already using more memory than everything else combined, and I've only had six pages open in total. That's not a good sign. And of course the Haiku website seems to be Slashdotted, so there's no help there either ;)

But I would love to see how this OS runs on a netbook with fully supported hardware.

Re:Posting from inside Haiku (4, Informative)

int69h (60728) | about 5 years ago | (#29412745)

Bon Echo is indeed a port of Firefox 2. Webkit was ported (again) over the summer, and work is underway to construct a new browser around it.

All I have to say is (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | about 5 years ago | (#29412633)

Haikus are easy. But sometimes they donâ(TM)t make sense. Refrigerator

But what of their non-code progress? (2, Interesting)

discogravy (455376) | about 5 years ago | (#29412771)

Is there a push from the Haiku folks to get this onto machines? Or is this the equivalent of another hobby linux distro with no publicity and no one that cares for it except those that worked on it to begin with? I mean, finally, they have a product; but what now?

cute names (0)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 5 years ago | (#29412819)

Geeks so love cute names
If we must go japanese
I say bukkake

I once saw a guy wearing one of those sports jersey shirts and the name across the back said Bukkake. Must have been from one of those places where you can get your own name on the team jersey of your choice. I figured he did it so he could tell from the snickers behind him how many people spent too much time on the net.

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