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How Haiku Is Building a Better BeOS

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the 5-7-5-in-the-headline dept.

Be 137

angry tapir writes "BeOS may be dead, but over a decade after its lamentable demise the open source Haiku project keeps its legacy alive. Haiku is an attempt to build a drop-in, binary compatible replacement for BeOS, as well as extending the defunct OS's functionality and support for modern hardware. At least, that's the short-term goal — eventually, Haiku is intended significantly enhance BeOS while maintaining the same philosophy of simplicity and transparency, and without being weighed down with the legacy code of many other contemporary operating systems. I recently caught up with Stephan Aßmus, who has been a key contributor to the project for seven years to talk about BeOS, the current state of Haiku and the project's future plans."

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Haiku (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#40904605)

BeOS may be dead
But the only question is
Will I get first post?

Re:Haiku (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904673)

BeOS may be dead
But the only question is
Will I get first post?

You got the first post:
Many congratulations.
It makes you feel good?

Re:Haiku (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#40904701)

From which I can deduce that you pronounce "BeOS" as "bee-oss" and not "bee-oh-ess" (the latter is how the BeOS FAQ says it should be pronounced (http://testou.free.fr/www.beatjapan.org/mirror/www.be.com/support/qandas/faqs/faq-0407.html)).

Re:Haiku (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904761)

They may well say that.
But I do not take commands
How to pronounce it.

Re:Haiku (5, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | about 2 years ago | (#40905937)

Pronunciation
changes to accommodate
those who write po-ems

Re:Haiku (2)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#40907791)

Not when you write haiku in the japanese, as a matter of fact. Syllables are very well defined in Japanese and you can't fudge it.

Haiku Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40908397)

Fuck
You
Spring.

Re:Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40909151)

Not only that; haiku is much more than 5/7/5 syllables. To be true haiku, there must be a natural image included which reflects the emotional content, bridging between the microcosm (man) and the macrocosm (nature)

Too many people
Like rain in a muddy stream
Making bad haiku
 

Re:Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40909907)

Actually, it's a misconception that Japanese haiku are based on syllables, they're actually based on phonological concepts known as mora, or in Japanese, on. They're based on syllable weight; basically, certain sounds are considered to have "weight", and if a word has these sounds, then it has a certain number of on.

Re:Haiku (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904721)

BeOS may be dead.
But the real question is:
Does Netcraft confirm?

Re:Haiku (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#40904919)

Like old Stephen King Haiku is a doorstop Like "It: better Be"

Re:Haiku (3, Funny)

sgage (109086) | about 2 years ago | (#40906405)

There once was a man from Lahore
Whose limericks stopped at line four.
When asked why this was,
He said, "just because".

Re:Haiku (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40910785)

There once was a man from Lahore
Whose limericks stopped at line four.
When asked why this was,
He said, "just because".

Leaving us with the feeling there's more.

Re:Haiku (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about 2 years ago | (#40907881)

Dude, you must be old here!

Re:Haiku (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904763)

you are a faggot
you suck a lot of small cocks
timothy's among them

Re:Haiku (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40904779)

I wish I could mod this. Slashdot needs a +5 Flamebait post today.

Re:Haiku (2)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about 2 years ago | (#40904851)

Stupidity aside, I want this to work but having played with haiku, I don't see the point, There must be a point around using low end hardware to do fancy tricks, I just don't see it yet

Re:Haiku (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904957)

Well, call me when the ARM port is functional enough for the nightly builds, and I'll try it on a Raspberry Pi.

Re:Haiku (2)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#40905513)

All low-end hardware was high-end once. Extending its useful life is a Good Thing.

Re:Haiku (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40906859)

It might be... or it might not be. Older hardware is generally less power-efficient. So it depends on where your power comes from and it depends on the environmental impact of the new product manufacturing and how the old product is disposed of.

Re:Haiku (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 2 years ago | (#40910273)

Old hardware may be less power-efficient, but the process of making new hardware consumes enough power that even inefficient hardware would have to be kept running for quite a long time indeed before getting new hardware would actually save power overall.

It's like buildings in that regard. New buildings can be greener than older ones, even with upgrades. But the environmental cost of demolition and rebuilding is so high that upgrading an existing building usually turns out to be greener than building a new one.

Re:Haiku (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#40911583)

Agreed - it's hard to quantify. Moving an old Pentium 4 to an Atom is probably a no brainer, if only for your power bill. But that old Core 2 Duo is probably holding it's own (I have one in my basement...)

At least they called it Haiku (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905201)

What if they'd called it Sonnet or EpicPoem?

How Goatse is building a better anus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904651)

You know what the picture is, unless you're a newfag then you can go back to 9gag.

Trolls and vandals unite for the ultimate web experience. Wikipedia, Windows 8, Slashdot and Linux defeated and bringing in the new 2013 web masters.

Whats his name again!? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904697)

Wait is that guys name really Stephan ASSMUS! now i know it has to be a joke... no one cares about beos except some ASSMUS! ;(

The Golden Girls wish you a great day! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904699)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say thank you for being a friend.

Re:The Golden Girls wish you a great day! (1)

Pikoro (844299) | about 2 years ago | (#40906183)

That's not a haiku
please try harder next time k?
i end this debate

dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904727)

Microsoft/Intel lock out. game over. God will avenge... too late.

God says...
thought popular oughtest deserts unemployed sublimity abstinence
blow Verity Observe frailness expected root strings studies
forbare Yea wizard Newsletter creatures shorter impotent
reputation paths organs stiffness none SUCH faculty nineteenth
capacity blasphemies

Riding off into the sunset (4, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#40904735)

I admire their work. They've obviously done some impressive things to preserve that community. I just don't understand them. BeOS hasn't really progressed at all in the past...what? 8 years? At this point they may as well be hacking on Amiga or Plan9. by the time they're done, we're all going to be running on browser-based platforms that use the OS as a layer to support the fancy proprietary graphics drivers. I'm simplifying of course, but that would sure sap my enthusiasm for an OS project.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40904973)

Computing has a lot of interesting history, and keeping ideas going can come in handy.
We had the first computer that was rather hard wired. No network just crunched numbers.
Then we had the Mainframe, this offered more remote computing with time share and remote dumb terminals.
Then we had the PC, it took over a lot of the mainframe space because every one had their own computing power on their desk and didn't need all that wiring.
Then we got more Web Applications because networking has gotten cheaper and faster, and servers can do a bulk of the work faster and share across many systems.
Then we got mobile devices with apps. As wireless internet is expensive.

Now if wireless companies start offering cheaper and faster internet we will being to see Mobile apps going away and being replaced with more HTML5/other language web apps, and we will be less considered about app lock in.
Then we will get new technology that processes data much better then what we can do over the network and we will go back to apps again...

Ideas came up generations ago, that were considered outdated, or just not useful often get a new life due to new features.
For example compare Windows 8 UI with Plan 9 UI. They are moving away from Windows and to Frames. Also there is a case with newer smaller technology that comes across will need a small light OS (for the time) keeping the Old Concept OS's updated and working, keeps ideas fresh and sometimes they will use them and give them a new life.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#40905211)

If he was saying they were going to take down Linux or something, then I'd say they were bat shit crazy but really all they're saying is that they want to try doing their own thing. I think every developer has that "If I could just rewrite this from scratch without having to deal with all the old cruft, it would be soooooooo much better" itch. Maybe the goal isn't competing, it could be sheer accomplishment as in I wrote this and it works great. It could be recognition, that others see the quality of your craft. It could be inspiration, that by showing it as a proof of concept in a small and nimble OS it might be picked up by others. Of course you could end up reinventing the wheel or worse, but then that's a learning experience - but it's still easier to try and fail in a simpler environment. You get to think more on concepts, less on dealing with old code.

I think that's really one of the strengths of open source, you don't have to get anyone's permission, you don't have to convince any naysayers, you don't have to build a business case. You just have to say "yes I could" and code yourself a better mouse trap. Of course you could do that with Linux too but the whole mainlining process is working against you because it goes into millions of production servers that have to be rock stable. It's probably better for you to be part of a project that's open to such radical changes, to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond. Perhaps you don't even have any interest in being in the big pond at all.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (1)

mkkohls (2386704) | about 2 years ago | (#40907221)

I agree completly. The point is that they are doing it and that is cool. Will have to try it one day.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (1)

kallisti5 (1321143) | about 2 years ago | (#40906893)

I admire their work. They've obviously done some impressive things to preserve that community. I just don't understand them. BeOS hasn't really progressed at all in the past...what? 8 years?

Keep in mind that Haiku is compatible to BeOS on the binary level. Be had an army of paid programmers and made the first preview release in a few years. Haiku *reverse engineered* BeOS with a handful of (mostly) non-paid developers. 8 years no longer seems so long :D

At this point they may as well be hacking on Amiga or Plan9. by the time they're done, we're all going to be running on browser-based platforms that use the OS as a layer to support the fancy proprietary graphics drivers. I'm simplifying of course, but that would sure sap my enthusiasm for an OS project.

Haiku supports a wide range of video cards, and has a modern WebKit based browser. Haiku actually fits your description better than Windows or Linux.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (3, Informative)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#40907873)

> BeOS hasn't really progressed at all in the past...what? 8 years?

Twelve years, give or take a couple of months

Unless you count updated hardware drivers so that it can actually run on a recently manufactured computer as "progress", that is. Personally, I'd call that "treading water".

BeOS is very interesting, and there are definitely some things we can learn from it. I think anyone involved in OS or especially GUI design should make a point of being familiar with it. (The same is also true of VMS, although that has a somewhat higher learning curve.)

I cannot, however, imagine wanting to actually use it as my primary operating system on a day to day basis at this point. I do not see it as a practically useful system today. Haiku perhaps could have been, if it had gotten started much sooner, like, immediately after it became clear in 1996 that Apple was going to buy NeXT and not BeOS, at which point it was already well understood that Be had either failed to convince OEMs to ship BeOS, either as a dual-boot option or solo or that any OEMs they did convince had become unconvinced due to other pressures. Thus, any intelligent person by the end of 1996 could easily figure out that the company was going to go under. If the Haiku project had been started right then, and if the project had progressed much more rapidly once it got underway, if, for example, Haiku R1 had come out in 1998 and a multi-user-enabled R2 in 2000, Haiku might have carved out a significant niche for itself.

But in 1996, and still in 1998, and even still in 2000 for that matter, most BeOS users were in denial about the company's fate and the possibility that store shelves might soon feature computers with BeOS pre-installed, so Haiku didn't even get started at all until 2001 (around the time the company formally announced that it was selling off all its assets and giving up on any possibility of further development in order to salvage what stock-holder value it could). Even as late as 2005 many BeOS users (the ones who had not yet switched to Linux or Mac OS X) were still in denial about the fate of the BeOS R5 source code base and whether whatever company eventually ended up with those assets might either resurrect the OS or else release it under an open-source license. So it's fair to say that Haiku development was a little slow getting started -- a slowness it could ill afford, given how far behind BeOS development had been already. BeOS had some cool advantages compared to the operating systems of the day, such as Windows 95 or, heaven help us, Mac System 7; but there were also some rather notable things it was missing, even then, things that should have been fixed in a subsequent release -- and presumably would have been, if the company had found enough of a market to continue to pay its operating expenses. Haiku, when it was finally started half a decade later, was even further behind, due to the need to start from scratch and reimplement what had already been done -- and once they eventually finish with that, they will still need to design and implement the things that Be had not yet done when it went under.

As a result of those delays, Haiku is still in no position to be adopted as an operating system for regular day-to-day use any time in the forseeable future. Among other things, it has no provision at all for file ownership, user accounts, or (meaningful) permissions. That was one thing in 1996, but now, in an era when we take for granted that everything has to interact with a hostile internet, and so other systems are no longer limiting themselves to simple owner/group permissions but rather are by necessity moving toward adding more complex and discriminating security systems (ACLs, application-level permissions, non-executable memory, ASLR, etc.), the Haiku developers speak of plain old multi-user capability as a pie-in-the-sky "something everyone would like to have" eventually in the distant-future R2. Aside from the obvious implications in multi-user (e.g., business) environments, that also makes using it on a network, especially a public network (like, say, the internet), inadvisable for most users, including home users. This is not a big problem for users who are knowledgeable and consistently cautious (and don't need to use the system to provide any network services), which is maybe 0.25% of the population at this point (including, presumably, most or all of the hobbyists currently using Haiku). That's fine, for those few. Nonetheless, for the other 95.75%, connecting to the internet without being in a limited-permission user account is just a really bad idea. And yes, I realize that a lot of OEMs used to set up Windows XP that way by default. That doesn't make it a good idea. Even Microsoft realized this was bad and made it effectively impossible in subsequent versions of Windows, introducing UAC (which, while the details of its implementation and the manner in which it was introduced and the fact that many popular applications were not ready for it all led to a lot of flack initially, was nonetheless clearly a very necessary step in the right direction). Personally, I have no use for an operating system that I can't use to host network services without abandoning any pretense of security. In 1998, it would have been arguable that perhaps that was too much to ask of a desktop OS. Today it's not.

The security issue is just one of many. The short version is, it's not 1996 any more. I think it's important for OS and GUI designers to be familiar with BeOS and learn from it. Beyond that, however, I do not think BeOS or Haiku is a useful system today, and its development would need to accelerate significantly for that to ever change.

Re:Riding off into the sunset (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40908563)

Great comment, you deserve a mod up.

Could BEOS be used as an alternate GUI for a Unix based system. With Ubuntu moving to Wayland there may be an opening for non-X solutions.

BeOS were still in denial? (2)

dgharmon (2564621) | about 2 years ago | (#40909413)

"But in 1996, and still in 1998, and even still in 2000 for that matter, most BeOS users were in denial about the company's fate and the possibility that store shelves might soon feature computers with BeOS pre-installed, jonadab

It's fully documented that Microsoft threatened Hitachi over plans to introduce the operating systems into itâ(TM)s product line. Compaq and Gateway were also prevented from marketing BeOS due to the terms of the Microsoft OEM contract. Microsoft also acted to depress the price of the initial BeOS IPO. See here where MS also acted to supress Tron [slashdot.org] .

"Microsoft sent two U.S. managers to Japan who expressed their 'anger' with Hitachi over its arrangement with Be, and 'reminded' Hitachi of the terms of its Windows license" theregister.co.uk [theregister.co.uk]

"BeOS had some cool advantages compared to the operating systems of the day, such as Windows 95 or, heaven help us, Mac System 7", jonadab

WINDOWS_7 vs BeOS from 1999 [youtube.com]

Re:BeOS were still in denial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40909473)

And yet no one butt a few butthurt nerds care.

Raspberry Pi? (5, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | about 2 years ago | (#40904739)

Seems like this OS would be a good fit for Raspberry Pi, if someone would take the time to build it for ARM. The fixed hardware and low power of the Pi is just begging for a lightweight, low footprint OS, and people using the Pi aren't really shackled to backwards compatibility. I know absolutely nothing about how to port a kernel, or I'd be right in there trying to figure out how to do this.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (4, Insightful)

LifeIs0x2A (2615925) | about 2 years ago | (#40904831)

Good idea, but BeOS is lacking the massive software repository that Debian Linux (the current platform for the Pi) is offering, minus the huge development community. The same problem that prevents it from spreading on other platforms as well. Anyway it would be a great alternative. Especially for educational purposes as it is a very clean and efficiently structured OS.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905039)

Since BeOS was marginally (or completely?) POSIX, I could foresee porting either a chrooted debian or something like Gentoo's Portage or FreeBSD ports. Could X11 be stubbed and replaced with the tracker? Or perhaps something like Mac OS X's X11, where the X server can add windows to the native desktop.

BeOS was very fast, and would rock on embedded. It was/is very popular in some media devices and radio broadcasting equipment.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40905559)

I remember reading some of the Haiku mailling list once. Posix compatibilty was brought up, and the prevailing opinion was that they didn't want to become yet another posix app launcher. Too much posix compatibility would cannibalize whatever interest there may be in native Haiku apps.

I see their point. There's little reason to switch from Linux when you're just looking at using the same apps you always would. And if you're interested in writing a new app, you'll be more likely to make an impact with an app on a platform with little software than one that has the whole open source ecosystem available to it. I just hope they have enough interest in their platform to draw app developers and not just OS devs.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#40906661)

Posix compatibilty was brought up, and the prevailing opinion was that they didn't want to become yet another posix app launcher

I'd think they'd be better off taking the opposite approach - merge the advances that BeOS made into the existing FLOSS ecosystem.

I remember some awesome BeBox demos from c. '95, and it was clearly better than anything else at the time. But, I have to wonder how much better was it than Linux 20 years later. If BeOS can do some things more efficiently than Linux (or FreeBSD, et. al.), I suspect the kernel devs would like to know about it. There are features of BeFS that would be nice to have in ext4 or ZFS (I've actually chatted with an ext4 dev about some of these and the disk format wouldn't need to change). There are system-level services that FreeDesktop ought to implement. There are GUI elements that might find a nice home as XFCE features. Etc.

I realize I'm asking to keep the ideas in BeOS alive rather than keeping BeOS alive, and that's a different goal. There are folks who work on and use PDP/11 emulators, and more power to them, but it really has beneficial impact to very few people. Be's legacy ought to be the wide dispersion of its ideas, rather than its code, to as many people as possible.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906857)

Wasn't FOSS a charmless enough term? Now it's FLOSS? God.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 2 years ago | (#40907315)

The term FLOSS was coined more than ten years ago. Not that it's a great term, I give you that.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40907017)

If BeOS can do some things more efficiently than Linux (or FreeBSD, et. al.), I suspect the kernel devs would like to know about it.

They almost certainly already do know about it, but disagree that those things are good ideas or important enough. When you get to things like scheduling, there's a lot of subjective decision-making.

e.g. some people want low-latency, absolute prioritization, and for clicking on a button on their Corei7 to update the display as quickly as a 7.14 MHz Amiga does. And some people want more throughput, be race-bug-compatible with software which busy-loops while polling a lock, and so on.

There are some things the Linux kernel will never be perfect at, not because the kernel guys are stupid or lack insight or anything like that, but because they're not trying to solve the same problems. As long as Linux is as quick on the desktop as Windows and Mac OS, they're going to be satisfied ("You don't have to outrun the bear...") and will keep working toward making it a better server, rather than trying to match BeOS or Neutrino or $YOUR_PET_OS.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

david.given (6740) | about 2 years ago | (#40909771)

Haiku is Posix! If you fire it up and start a terminal window, you get bash. All the standard fileutils and coreutils are there (although I don't know whether they're the GNU versions or not), and command-line programs usually just compile with the supplied versions of gcc. autoconf works. And, yes, there's vim and emacs. GUI-wise, there's a Qt port, and KDE runs [tiltos.com] .

It's well worth booting the live CD just to remind yourself what a good single-user can be really like. It's very pleasant to use and it flies.

I do disagree with some of their design decisions --- keeping binary compatibility with BeOS means that Haiku can't lose the heritage of gcc 2's C++ ABI, which is painful. But gcc 4 subsystem is there as well and all it needs is for someone to finally throw the switch and stop building the gcc 2 cruft into the system. And I do think they need to push Qt more; the native Haiku GUI is absolutely fine, but Qt is so much better.

In my view, the three things Haiku really, really needs are: (a) better wireless; (b) a proper package manager with a centralised repository; (c) an improved web browser. And apparently all these are being worked on and are almost ready.

An ARM port would be awesome. It's so perfectly suited to that kind of device.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905385)

Linux didn't always have a massive package system either. Somehow it grew. I don't think it's volume that makes an OS, but quality of applications.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906689)

Linux didn't always have a massive package system either. Somehow it grew. I don't think it's volume that makes an OS, but quality of applications.

Something is necessarily wrong with your statement.

The only quality OSS I can think of are low-level or server-related stuff that require little to no UI/UX. Specifically, the linux and BSD kernels, compilers (gcc, llvm), and a handful of pieces of software related to the web stack (PostgreSQL in particular).

Over the years, I've reported a number of bugs in various interpreted languages, almost all of which were either closed on a won't fix basis, or have been rotting in bug trackers for years. So I clearly wouldn't count them amongst good quality projects.

Likewise for the seemingly infinite scores of libraries to do all sorts of things beyond stdlib. Whether open source or closed source, most libraries are steaming piles of crap that are either or both of unmaintained and unmaintainable. Exceptions are few and rare in between.

When it comes to UI/UX, I'd argue quality is just one notch over puke. The code might be fantastically (over-) engineered underneath, but don't even get me started on the various code editors, Window Managers, OpenOffice or GIMP when it comes to user experience.

And then sometimes, there's OSS is successful precisely because of its UI/UX. And then you look underneath the hood and all you find is a huge mess of spaghetti code (I'm looking at you, WordPress). Hardly quality either.

So please explain... Where are those quality applications that you mention? Please name a few, because I cannot explain to myself why Linux is having such a tremendous success in the consumer space.

Oh wait!

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#40907073)

Over the years, I've reported a number of bugs in various interpreted languages, almost all of which were either closed on a won't fix basis, or have been rotting in bug trackers for years. So I clearly wouldn't count them amongst good quality projects.

Without knowing what those bugs are, we can't care about your claim that they aren't good quality projects.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40907093)

Where mod points when you need them?

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904985)

The fixed hardware and low power of the Pi is just begging for a lightweight, low footprint OS

You mean like Linux or BSD?

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

Zobeid (314469) | about 2 years ago | (#40905293)

Certainly not the likes of Ubuntu. It's a behemoth.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905497)

The fixed hardware and low power of the Pi is just begging for a lightweight, low footprint OS

You mean like Linux or BSD?

Linux or BSD only seem lightweight to people who only are familiar with monolithic kernels. Linux and BSD might seem slick compared to Windows but compared to things like BeOS and AmigaOS they are huge and resource draining.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#40906783)

AROS an Amiga clone is already being ported to the Pi as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COUrcZat6oc [youtube.com] Although to be fair, it is currently Linux hosted.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40907149)

I am thinking of porting the current Xinu release. Any thoughts?

I have no grandiose ideas that it might actually be useful to anyone, but Xinu is lightweight, and would be a good platform for the Pi when you wanted it to be used as some kind of appliance to just get something done fast. I don't know about the licensing, but about 18 years ago a company I worked for built an ESDI controller that ran Xinu on that hardware. It was pretty fast then as an embedded OS.

I certainly don't expect any port I do to take advantage of the proprietary graphics for 1080p ....

Re:Raspberry Pi? (2)

CrazyBusError (530694) | about 2 years ago | (#40905511)

The fixed hardware and low power of the Pi is just begging for a lightweight, low footprint OS

There is one already. It's called RISCOS [riscosopen.org] . Sure, it needs some work (like pre-emptive multitasking and SMP, okay a *lot* of work), but it's small (the OS uses 6Mb of RAM) and it's very fast. And there's already a reasonable amount of software available for it, plus a working GCC implementation, so more can be ported.

It just needs volunteers. Preferably ones who will happily write hand optimised ARM assembler...

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about 2 years ago | (#40906741)

By the time you beat the dragon, you become the dragon.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

david.given (6740) | about 2 years ago | (#40910027)

There is one already. It's called RISCOS [riscosopen.org] . Sure, it needs some work (like pre-emptive multitasking and SMP, okay a *lot* of work), but it's small (the OS uses 6Mb of RAM) and it's very fast. And there's already a reasonable amount of software available for it, plus a working GCC implementation, so more can be ported.

RISC OS needs throwing away. I'm sorry, but it does. It was good at the time but these days we know so much more about writing operating systems that you simply cannot get to a real OS from there.

Examples? Memory is protected except when it's not, giving you the worst of both worlds. No threads. No preemption. User code runs in supervisor mode (and supervisor mode code on ARM isn't guaranteed to be portable). The GUI is great --- if you have a mouse; it can't be driven from the keyboard, at all. There is a single byte of public workspace at 0x00000108 which means that the bottom page of memory has to be mapped. Yes, this means that null pointer dereferences don't trap! There are about fifteen different APIs for doing anything, with slightly different semantics, some of which pass flags in the top eight bits of addresses. There are roughly five different system heaps, none of which overlap, all of which suffer from fragmentation.

The real jewel of the crown, though, the point at which I went from being a fan to wanting to kill it with fire, was when I discovered the code in the system memory allocator which looks up through the caller's stack trying to figure out whether it's being called reentrantly. If it is, it allocates the memory from a special small heap. Why? So that it could do memory allocations from inside interrupt handlers.

(Just to show my credentials: I discovered all this while working on a RISC OS kernel reimplementation [cowlark.com] .)

That said, if you want a 1980s grade utterly non-Posix OS, RISC OS is a good one, and if you have a Raspberry Pi do check out the bootable RISC OS image [riscosopen.org] . It's interesting and works well.

But Haiku is a real, modern operating system, and RISC OS isn't.

Re:Raspberry Pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905737)

Why not use OpenBSD or NetBSD? (or FreeBSD even?)

Re:Raspberry Pi? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#40912269)

wtf why on a Pi? get debian, dont install shit for it, and couple it with some obsolete 1990's UI and bam you have Haiku in a nutshell, and its safe cause it really hasnt changed much since day one. (be wasnt really all that special either, it was mainly the beefcake hardware that was the appeal, not an os with nothing to run)

now toddle on little Pi head, and remind your breathern, just cause you just heard of an OS today, doesnt mean you instantly post about how great it would be on a Pi with its tiny amount of computer power (more power than the last generation of video game consoles)

Haiku Not Stolen (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904759)

CodeSuite forensic software shows no evidence that Haiku was copied from or was a derivative of BeOS.

How is this 'news'? (1, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#40904889)

Haiku has been around for 10 years or something. They've always aimed for a binary-compatible successor of BeOS. And they're still at it.

So what?

Re:How is this 'news'? (4, Funny)

royallthefourth (1564389) | about 2 years ago | (#40905091)

But isn't it exciting to think that you could run all your old favorite programs from BeOS such as

Re:How is this 'news'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905455)

Super Breakout?

Re:How is this 'news'? (1)

CompMD (522020) | about 2 years ago | (#40910009)

NetPositive!

Re:How is this 'news'? (1)

Pope (17780) | about 2 years ago | (#40905493)

BeOS was a cute tech demo back in the day of 120MHz PPC604 processors. That's about all I got out of it.

Re:How is this 'news'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905787)

Me too, unfortunately, even with the Intel version -- wow, I can run a compiler! And a shell. The TV application, albeit recognizing my chipset, was useless, b/c it assumed all people in the world use NTSC. That's how smart BeOS was.

Re:How is this 'news'? (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#40906653)

There is hardly anything "binary-compatible" with Haiku anymore

How is that 'Insightful'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40908171)

The news is: here's a current interview with a key dev. Which is what the summary says, no further reading required.

Seriously, mods. You've marked a standard troll-remark as Insightful. Stretch, refill your coffee, try again.

It's shit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904893)

Haiku is based on the excellent micro/monolith hybrid NewOS, and it had a very interesting prospect of becoming a great OS.

Unfortunately, the project is slowly heading towards disaster as more and more incompetent people have started to contribute (think GSoC gone wrong, permanently.)

The code base is 1) not security audited, 2) slow as hell, 3) assbackwards and 4) not having a snowballs chance in hell to work on my 4-way CPU (the memory manager dies under SMP load and must be rewritten.)

I loved BeOS, but this is not going to replace it.

Re:It's shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905813)

I once looked at the source code of Haiku's floppy driver. Nuff said. End of story.

Re:It's shit (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 2 years ago | (#40907853)

I once looked at the source code of Haiku's floppy driver. Nuff said. End of story.

Floppy drives are past.
Therefore the floppy driver
No longer matters.

Re:It's shit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906531)

Can you expand on your numbered points? They're a little vague and incendiary...

Re:It's shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906969)

Translation: "I didn't get along with the other developers, who failed to recognize my genius."

Re:It's shit (3, Informative)

kallisti5 (1321143) | about 2 years ago | (#40907039)

Unfortunately, the project is slowly heading towards disaster as more and more incompetent people have started to contribute (think GSoC gone wrong, permanently.)

Care to elaborate?

The code base is 1) not security audited,

What says it can't be? Also, Haiku is only single user, so at the moment this doesn't even make sense. (pre-beta software is pre-beta)

2) slow as hell

Umm, most 3rd party reviews mention how fast it is

3) assbackwards

This isn't a statement.

4) not having a snowballs chance in hell to work on my 4-way CPU (the memory manager dies under SMP load and must be rewritten.)

Strange, my eight core AMD bulldozer cpu works just fine.

I loved BeOS, but this is not going to replace it.

Patches welcome

It was irrelevant 10 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904925)

At a certain point it just becomes a waste of time. Of course the developers are free to pointlessly toil as they choose, but I get to mock their wasted effort too.

Next week: Amiga OS 6 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40904927)

... and how it's going to beat MacOS X. Right ...

Not to be harsh but... (1, Insightful)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 years ago | (#40905007)

So what? I mean, it's pretty. I can admire its simplicity. But.... can I run open office on it? It's built on Qt... but can I run kde apps on it? Play some ksoduku? The article doesn't really mention application support, except to say that 3d acceleration isn't there yet. I remember back when Be was first released everyone was wowed by its multi-threading support-- but surely modern operating systems have duplicated this by now? It seems to me that if you took a linux distro, stripped out all the 3d support and other power-consuming enhancements, and ran xfce or some other extremely light weight window manager, that you'd have a system that's just as fast but one that you could actually run the programs you wanted on.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (2)

Bill Hayden (649193) | about 2 years ago | (#40905145)

It's built on Qt... but can I run kde apps on it?

It's not built on Qt in any way. I don't even think Qt has been ported to it.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (2)

cianduffy (742890) | about 2 years ago | (#40905245)

QT has been ported, but the OS is definitely not built on QT.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905911)

No duh? How exactly would you build an OS on top of QuickTime?

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40908525)

I either want to punch you because you're a dummy, or because you're not funny. I'm not sure which.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40909529)

Internet tough guy alert!

Re:Not to be harsh but... (1)

realmolo (574068) | about 2 years ago | (#40905181)

Don't forget that Haiku/BeOS are *single user* operating systems. There are no file permissions.

That all by itself makes it a joke, honestly.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40905289)

Don't forget that Haiku/BeOS are *single user* operating systems. There are no file permissions.

That all by itself makes it a joke, honestly.

It does have file permissions [haiku-os.org] , and there are utilities to set them. My understanding is that it is single user in the way the original Windows was, i.e. one user logged on at a time and all processes running as either user or system. However if a different user logs on you can protect files from them. [betips.net]

Disclaimer: my understanding may be wrong, it comes from a brief look at BeOs some years back.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#40908489)

I haven't looked at Haiku recently, but I've also seen no mention anywhere of their having *added* multi-user capabilities that BeOS didn't have -- and BeOS didn't have the functionality you describe. There was no such thing as a user account or logging in. It was multi-user in exactly the same sense that DOS was multi-user: if the user physically vacated the chair in front of the computer, a different person could sit down in the chair.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (2)

sootman (158191) | about 2 years ago | (#40905599)

> There are no file permissions.
> That all by itself makes it a joke, honestly.

No, it just had different aims. What you call a "joke" was in fact a (paraphrased from Wikipedia) "... a modern 64-bit capable journaling file system... it includes support for extended file attributes (metadata), with indexing and querying characteristics to provide functionality similar to that of a relational database. [In other words, you do a search and the results appear pretty much instantly because they came from a DB query, not from walking the whole FS.] It supported volumes up to 2 exabytes."

Also files could be larger than 2 GB (though I forget how big) and it used MIME types.

All of that over fifteen years ago.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#40911041)

That's great and all, but OSes had permissions since, oh at least 40+ years ago, and abandoning other essential features to substitute new and different features isn't unambiguously a step forward. Even more so in this day and age when permissions and protections are the defence against malware.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (2)

todfm (1973074) | about 2 years ago | (#40905715)

How is it a joke? Day in and day out I'm the only one using my computer. If I share files with someone, it's through a server, and not directly from my computer. The only time I deal with file permissions is when I'm fighting against them blocking my access.

That said, Haiku has plans to adopt multiuser stuff. But the lack of it doesn't impact me in any way.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40905685)

Spoken like somebody who never ran BeOS. BeOS was dead simple, and so fast it was almost painful. It came with a set of useful and relevant applications during a time that most OS's shipped with solitaire and a calculator. The closest I've been able to duplicate the speed experience is with Rox desktop. Mac OS X is probably closest in terms of simplicity, but it just is not the same.

The relevance today is harder to understand. The BeOS binaries are a decade old and only getting older. Most OS's come with everything you need except maybe an office suite. But I long for the speed. My 900 MHz Celeron BeOS machine was still blazing fast next to a P4 running Windows.

Re:Not to be harsh but... (1)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 years ago | (#40906159)

Not just "like"-- I admit that I've never run it. It's actually great to get a response from someone who has.

Part of my original post was trying to get my head around just what made it special, and another part was wondering whether it has any real value today. Is it still unique?

The UI was original. There are Be-like window managers available for linux-- somehow I doubt they capture the complete experience. How close are they to the original? Speed is another thing people always bring up. But they bring that up with light weight linux distros also. So again I must ask: is it truly superior to modern operating systems, given a similar feature set?

Re:Not to be harsh but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40907173)

It cant compare to a modern operating system, but the kernel is built with the gui in mind. The GUI was extremely responsive even on 200-400mhz. You could drag around windows with text and still read the text, no tearing. That i cant even do today on mac os x. The downside is that those things dont matter anyway, it lack applications and is waay outdated now, having a fast gui with no applications wont get you anywhere. Even if all applications was there there are other aspects of the OS that is so outdated it will take years to get close to a modern OS. Multi-users, smp on more then 2 cores and thats not even mentioning drivers..

But comparing it to linux is wrong, linux was not designed for having a lightning fast gui. Windows on the other hand was.. When beos r5 came out and you compared it to windows98 you would almost cry because beos was so superior. That didnt help much when Be Inc sold out though. The reason people mention speed when they mention beos is because it's not fast because it lack futures, it's fast because it's built correct, it's a big difference. Booting in 12-15 seconds on 400mhz, instant response in the gui etc. You should watch one of their old commercials, they show a computer playing 5 videos and still being responsive(1998 or so) and when i tried that on my freebsd system(also 1998) it froze, thats when i changed to beos. :D

BeOS: Has-Been or Will-Be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906023)

Haiku is interesting, but in the way a deformed baby in a jar is interesting: it's stillborn, looks unique compared to living specimins, and affords plenty to talk about but very little to actually do. While I celebrate the developers and their dedication, I can't help but shake my head at this misguidedness. For a better context of what I'm talking about, read BeOS: Has-Been or Will-Be? [trollaxor.com] .

Compare BeOS with Mac OS X today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906215)

I remember being really impressed by BeOS, as a consumer seeing it at MacWorld, of it's amazing multi-tasking, and I recall a bit about the underlying file system being some sort of database which could be customized in amazing ways.

How would you folks, with far more detailed information on BeOS, compare it to Mac OS X today?

Re:Compare BeOS with Mac OS X today? (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#40906753)

How would you folks, with far more detailed information on BeOS, compare it to Mac OS X today?

Obsolete.

Re:Compare BeOS with Mac OS X today? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40907301)

Fast, uniform and alive.

if compared to other oses i would mention the newbie-friendly and poweruser-friendly side of beos as well but i think osx have that also..

Ok so the alivepart you might call bullshit because it's dead, the way i mean is how beos gave errormsges etc. It wouldnt be the "System failure #424389202 in CoreRNDNAMEofUslsService" more like "Opsi dopsi, there is a problem with CoreForMusic" but written as a haiku(hence the name haiku for the opensource-clone). Small things like that just made the os more friendly. It was clear/able enough for a hardcore nerd or poweruser but easy enough for a n00b. Thats a combination only Mac Os X can compete with if you ask me. BeOS was in my eyes even more userfriendly then Mac OS X today, but that of course depend on what you do.

Re:Compare BeOS with Mac OS X today? (1)

longbot (789962) | about 2 years ago | (#40910629)

Responsiveness, namely. While OS X was growing up (it didn't become seriously usable until 10.3 or 10.4) I missed the lightning-fast UI of BeOS. Nothing slowed it down. You could go something, and let it chug away at it while you did something else. Everything felt light or responsive. Applications started instantly, it had Spotlight-quality instantaneous searches built into the filesystem (and none of this "indexing" crap spotlight likes to pull).

Also, it had the absolute best-written SMP support I have ever seen. In Windows and OS X, it's glued-on by comparison. Fast, elegant, usable, simple, and powerful. OS X is nice, but it takes a lot more hardware power for it to manage to be as snappy and responsive. And even then, it lags in odd places.

The Haiku team have made good if slow progress, and I hope they continue to do so.

Love the work (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#40906651)

As somebody who never got to play around with Be, I'm really impressed with how Haiku works and looks. It's simple, but fast and pleasant to use. Can't wait for the next Alpha release, since I'm too lazy to mess with the nightlies.

then again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40906721)

you never know where things could go. for all you know Valve could decide that Haiku plus additional development would be the perfect environment for a Steam box. Just because something seems silly now doesn't mean that there won't be a use for it. Of course it might just not go anywhere and continue to linger in obscurity.

Yes, but why? (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about 2 years ago | (#40908917)

I loaded up BeOS back in the day whenever it was. It was pretty slick but I went back to OS/2. That should tell you how badly it lacked applications. My hat's off to the guys working on Haiku in recognition of their skill and dedication, but it seems like at best an academic exercise.
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