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Haiku OS Resurrects BeOS as Open Source

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the going-back-in-time dept.

269

Technical Writing Geek writes "The Haiku project, which began shortly after the death of BeOS in 2001, aims to bring together the technical advantages of BeOS and the freedom of open source. 'The project has drawn dozens of contributors who have written over seven million lines of code. Although Haiku is nearly feature-complete, there are still numerous bugs that must be fixed before it is ready for day-to-day use. The design principles behind Haiku are very closely aligned with those of BeOS. The central goal of the Haiku project is to create an operating system that is ideally suited for use on the desktop--this differs significantly from Linux and other open-source operating systems which are intended for use in a diverse range of settings including server and embedded environments.'"

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269 comments

Haiku (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392624)

An OS should not
Be shaped by greed and money
Open source the world

Greed and money (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392914)

Greed and money,
Like a thicket of beard,
Obscure good and sunny:
Let all things be sheared.
Burma Shave

Re:Greed and money (5, Funny)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393372)

Haiku is easy But sometimes they don't make sense Refrigerator

Haiku is COOL! Normal desktop footprint is 60 Meg (5, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393210)

Haiku is an example of code reuse par-excellence! You can get a normal desktop footprint into something like 60 megabytes. (Not one of these cut-down small footprint distros.) It's how an object-oriented multimedia operating system should be done.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=236331448076587879 [google.com]

Haiku is damn cool
The One OS that follows
Don't Repeat Yourself

First poem (-1, Redundant)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392632)

BeOS, how grand.
Too bad no-one uses it.
Oh well, nevermind.

Re:First poem (2, Interesting)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392734)

from TFA:

BeOS featured a unique modular microkernel
i wasn't aware BeOS used a microkernal. i wonder if this gives any merit to tanenbaum's [cs.vu.nl] views. with everyone and his grandma extoling the virtues of the BeOS this diffinetly makes me want to look closer at minix again.

Re:First poem (0, Flamebait)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392820)

Also from TFA:

lthough Haiku is nearly feature-complete, there are still numerous bugs that must be fixed before it is ready for day-to-day use.
Kinda reminds me of ... um ... the BeOS. Wasn't that the major problem with the OS in the first place. Talk about a clone...sounds like it's a clone to me. I'd die laughing if the "numerous bugs" were mostly in the network stack. Tee_hee...makes me giggle just thinking about it.

Actually though, I really loved the BeOS. I had r4-r5_bone and I was really rooting for them. But alas, the "internet appliance" market's call was too strong for good ole Jean-Louis Gassée...you silly frenchman.

tee_hee

Re:First poem (4, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393006)

Did you ever even use BeOS? Did't you see the "app_server", "net_server", "recyclebin_server", etc? What exactly do you think a microkernel is? BeOS made EVERYTHING a service.

Re:First poem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393106)

and it was awesome.

network crash? restart the service.
sweet.

in the early days, it was VERY handy.

Re:First poem (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393328)

Indeed it was -- because you'd be restarting that particular service (network) over and over and over.
  When all your connections die, does it matter that much if it's a service? The thing booted in 5 seconds anyway.

using BeOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393196)

It shows up as a crappy 640 x 480 screen when I run it in Virtual PC. The real thing is nice, but how useful is it really?

Re:First poem (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393754)

BeOS is definitely *NOT* a Microkernel. Drivers run in kernel-space. Filesystems run in kernel-space. Etc...

Re:First poem (0, Offtopic)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393050)

I'd be using Minix on my laptop right now, if it supported the wireless card. *shrugs* dual boot, Minix for work, and XP for gaming.

What I really want is an OS that boots, from cold, almost instantly, and from which I can run my games. As the only game I really play all that often on the computer already has a Linux-native port, I'd be running Linux if it supported my sound card.... Will be trying the next release of Ubuntu to see if it does. And if it does, it'll be reformat/reinstall time. For now, I'm running XP MCE 2005, and sleeping it when I'm not using it.

It works well enough. But all things considered... I designed the laptop when I ordered it with Linux in mind. Hoping/planning on using it. Picked my hardware knowing that it would work in Linux... NVidia GeForce 8600GT 256MB video card, Intel 8945J wireless card, etc... never occurred to me that the sound card would end up being unsupported, especially since it's an Intel-based sound card....

Re:First poem (2, Informative)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393202)

What I want is a computer where the "OS" is just a virtual PC launcher. I would have multiple OS installs on scaled down "OS" virtual drives and then a common (shared) "user" drive that consumes the rest of the available space. An OS wouldn't be shutdown or started, it would just be resumed (and in the case of Microsoft, reset occassionally). And the virtual environment would have a set of drivers for my hardware so that my virtual PC's could use full 3D rendering and sound and whatever else I stick in that box.

Layne

Re:First poem (1)

ScrappyLaptop (733753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393760)

...And I want a billion dollars! (waits expectingly...).

What you are describing is a true hypervisor. One based in firmware. Not too hard to do, really. Just get a CompactFlash to IDE adapter for your first HDD and a big old spinning disk for your second HDD. Then just load up LinuxBIOS on the motherboard and your universal hypervisor on the CF...oh, wait.

Re:First poem (2, Funny)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393692)

I'd be using Minix on my laptop right now, if it supported the wireless card.

I see a lot of shortcomings in Minix. It's a toy os, and that doesn't satisfy me. I think I'll make my own. Yeah, that's the ticket.

(With apologies to Linus Torvalds)

Re:First poem (4, Insightful)

keithius (804090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393736)

What I really want is an OS that boots, from cold, almost instantly, and from which I can run my games.
You can already get what you really want. It's called a game console. Go back to using cartridges and you've got everything you want - almost instant cold boot and it plays your games.

Enjoy.

Re:First poem (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393828)

There's a Wii connected, using the 480p cables, to my HDTV. :)

But there's a downfall to consoles... you can't play certain types of online games, where the goal is chatting, rather than competition. Try playing WoW, GuildWars, or SecondLife on a console. I dare ya.

Interesting.... (5, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392664)

But I don't look forward to the long climb up the curve of identifying and cleaning up what, going by past experience, is likely to be quite a nest of security issues.

Having said that, if it is actually like BeOS in that it handles multimedia similarly (that is, *really* well and without even a nod towards DRM), I'd be very likely to put some effort into using it. Linux's swap paradigm is completely unsuited to applications that need to respond *right now*, OS X is just about the same (it's only been a matter of hours since I shook my fist at Leopard for swapping out things I was using), and Windows... ugh. Going completely the wrong way.

I suppose it'll be a while yet, though. [prepares to wait]

Re:Interesting.... (4, Informative)

FreeGamer (1001924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392716)

Haiku is a ground-up rewrite of BeOS. The only thing shared between the two is the general design and the support for BeOS R5 applications. Haiku addresses many of the shortcomings in BeOS R5 (e.g. better POSIX compliance). I'm sure they are considering security as well.

Re:Interesting.... (2, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392930)

When you say a ground up rewrite, I worry. This is because the real-time nature of the OS is something that none of the other "big 3" have gotten right; there isn't a one of them that won't glitch your audio or video just at the wrong time (not that there is a right time.) BeOS was unique in that it was designed to be real time from day one and -- and this is the kicker -- they got it right. For the first time in modern OS history. So the issue here is, given that this is a rewrite to (presumably) R5 interface spec, will the underpinnings be of a similar nature, or will we simply have a fourth OS that can't handle real-time demands reliably?

Re:Interesting.... (4, Informative)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393078)

When you say a ground up rewrite, I worry. This is because the real-time nature of the OS is something that none of the other "big 3" have gotten right
The kernel of Haiku is a fork of the open source NewOS kernel. It was written by Travis Geiselbrecht, who was a kernel hacker for Be, Inc. My understanding is that conceptually the kernels are similar.

Re:Interesting.... (5, Informative)

deKernel (65640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393140)

I could be mistaken here, but BeOS was never label by the company as a 'real-time' OS. They described it as a true multimedia OS which translates into a highly responsive OS to the users input. Big difference.

Re:Interesting.... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393836)

BeOS wasn't a real time OS. It was designed to be responsive and multi-task smoothly. Not the same thing.

Re:Interesting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392860)

BeOS is what the Mac of the day wanted to be. BeOS was supposed to occupy the space Linux is in, only sooner, better and to greater effect. Now, the Mac is what Linux and Windows wants to be. BeOS has a long climb ahead and I hope it gets there. Best Wishes.

Re:Interesting.... (3, Informative)

paulbd (118132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393580)

"linux swap paradigm".

i suggest you read the output of man memlock. you clearly don't know enough about linux (or POSIX) to be making generic hand waving comments that appear to be intended to authoritative.

when you're done with memlock, check into SCHED_FIFO scheduling too. oh, and /etc/security/limits.conf while you're there. the problems with multimedia "performance" on linux are mostly distro-related: distro's do not generally ship in a way that lets ordinary users run apps that request the use of these facilities. media-centric distros (Ubuntu Studio) or overlays (Planet CCRMA) fix this.

Bounties.. (1)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392688)

I was thinking of picking up some bounties and trying to help get this OS to a stable version, but I noticed there hadn't been an update of the weekly snapshot for some time. The previous snapshot crashed too much for even command line based development, and BeOS wouldn't boot on my hardware.

Anyone able to recommend a free stable devel/test environment that will install/boot under vmware on modern hardware?

Re:Bounties.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392890)

There is a fairly recent vmware environment maintained by haikuware.com

The Feb. 9th release is http://www.haikuware.com/view-details/development/app-installation/74-weekly-super-pack-feb9th-r23934 [haikuware.com]

It contains a fairly diverse set of old beos apps which are function in haiku as well.

In terms of compiling the project and installation to a partition, doing this from linux is by far the easiest route due to the lack of an installer and tested self-hosting.

http://www.haiku-os.org/documents/dev/installing_haiku_to_a_partition_from_linux [haiku-os.org]

Hope this helps.

Evolution (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392692)

It would be nice to see it not only bringing back the technical advancements that once were available but to also see it bringing some new features. BeOS (Haiku in this case) is a system which still enjoys greater market flexibility in setting directions, it has still little legacy to prohibit certain advancements. It would be nice some mistakes of the past, done by others, revert as lessons for the future of Haiku

Re:Evolution (4, Informative)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392862)

Actually there is a fairly substantial legacy issue associated with BeOS/Haiku, but not in the way you are thinking. The ABI [wikipedia.org] used by BeOS is not supported in GCC anymore. Haiku Release 1 is striving for binary-compatibility with BeOS. What this means is that if you want to run original BeOS applications, it can only be compiled against GCC version 2.x. Haiku can be compiled against later versions of GCC, but you will lose the ability to run older software unless it's recompiled for Haiku, which may be impossible if it's closed source.

there were other legacy issues with modern hardware that existed with BeOS as a result of having died so young, but these don't exist with Haiku.

Re:Evolution (2, Informative)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393220)

God, that was really unclear. OK, first of all if the OS is compiled with GCC v.2.x so that you get binary compatibility with BeOS, that means that ALL software for your system has to be compiled against GCC v2.x. With regards to "legacy modern hardware," what I meant was that BeOS just plain doesn't run on many hardware that came after Be died, because of incompatibilities in the kernel. BeOS Max Edition is an unofficial "distribution" of the free "personal" version of BeOS which includes some binary kernel patches to allow BeOS to run on more modern hardware. Of course Haiku is open source, so it does not suffer from this limitation because it can just be patched and recompiled.

Lack of drivers will be an issue with both platforms, but the intent is that there will be driver compatibility between BeOS and Haiku, of course. AFAIK this mostly works. Additionally, both OSS sound and FreeBSD drivers can be recompiled and used in Haiku, so you get all that hardware support in Haiku that never existed in BeOS.

Re:Evolution (2, Interesting)

discogravy (455376) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393470)

If I understand you, it sounds like haiku/the beos user movement needs someone to intentionally break gcc-2.x-binary-compatibility (like redhat did with their gcc2.95 in RH8) to kickstart the move out of the old software. Possibly there's no one Free-BeOS users' group/os-project that has the numbers to catalyze all the others into switching. Too many forks, not enough people to choose just one and stick to it. Which is a shame, from the time I ran BeOS Max PE, it was a work of genius.

Re:Evolution (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393986)

There are people that are making sure that Haiku compiles and runs using GCC4. You just won't be able to run any legacy BeOS software if you do that. As long as that's not a problem, you can do it. Haiku Release 1 goals are binary and source compatiblity with BeOS 5 for x86. Release 2 is intended to move beyond that, but that's a long way off. There are already people compiling Haiku with limited functionality under GCC4 and on other architectures like Motorola 68K.

Re:Evolution (2, Interesting)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22394016)

I know it will kill the performance to some degree, but why not create a compatibility layer ala WINE for BEOS apps ? BINE perhaps?

Re:Evolution (4, Interesting)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392998)

It would be nice to see it not only bringing back the technical advancements that once were available but to also see it bringing some new features.
Applications would be nice too.

It's nice to have all those systems, but when people are looking at creatingsoftware for an open system for the desktop, they target Linux, possibly with a side of BSD. If the result compiles on Be, that's an unintended bonus, but nobody in his right mind is going to go out of his way to make it so.

The people of Bibble Labs who make commercial (and closed source) photography software which I buy from them sell their stuff for Windows, Mac OS and Linux (which is why I use it).

The last time I looked at Be, it wasn't too hard to *port* Unix/Linux software to it. However it really needs to be able to "just" run it, at least for the Linux binaries (like the *BSD do with the Linux libs). Otherwise it's going to be a repeat of 1999 (or whenever that was) when everybody played with the Be live CD or created a little partition to poke at for a while, and then went back to Linux or Windows or whatever the system where his software and data lived was.

Be was/is a nice system, among other things I liked the ideas in the filesystem. But unless there's actually a reason to use it (and there's none), nobody will. Unless you're into that kind of thing and you still have a little space next to your OS/2 partition. But then you're probably too far gone anyway.

Re:Evolution (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393792)

Be was/is a nice system, among other things I liked the ideas in the filesystem. But unless there's actually a reason to use it (and there's none), nobody will. Unless you're into that kind of thing and you still have a little space next to your OS/2 partition. But then you're probably too far gone anyway.
Hmm. Maybe I should try it on my office computer, which the boss has mandated to run OS/2. Maybe he'll like it. Sounds like it has at least as much support as OS/2 at this point, and is probably more stable.

Links (5, Informative)

ForexCoder (1208982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392744)

A direct link in the summery would have been nice:
http://www.haiku-os.org/ [haiku-os.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku_(operating_system) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Links (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392848)

A direct link in the summery would have been nice
Maybe it's still wintery in the submitter's hemisphere ?

Re:Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393720)

Ah, yes, seasonal defective disorder.

Links... (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393424)

No, they're not going to get Slash-flooded now are they....

Re:Links... (1)

kloot (1136731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393780)

like one site has the power to bring down another site... oh wait...

warning: mysql_pconnect() [function.mysql-pconnect]: User haiku2_gallery already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home2/haiku2/webapps/website/gallery2/lib/adodb/drivers/adodb-mysql.inc.php on line 384

Feature-complete (0)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392748)

"... Haiku is nearly feature-complete"

Yes, I heard it's 92.64% feature complete.

Re:Feature-complete (1)

gambolt (1146363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393084)

So it's closer to being ready for release than KDE4?

Re:Feature-complete (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393136)

So it's closer to being ready for release than KDE4?
In KDE release terms, it's version 5.4, and ready for production use.

Network Functionality Embedded in Kernel? (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392754)

Haiku's network performance is better, for instance, because the networking functionality is integrated directly into the kernel rather than running in userspace as it did in BeOS.

Am I the only one that thinks that this is a horrible idea from a security perspective? Also, wouldn't the integration of network functionality mean that Haiku is about as much of a microkernel as Windows NT?

Re:Network Functionality Embedded in Kernel? (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393282)

Linux's networking stack is in the kernel. Firewall too.

So, your concern may not be kernel-levelness, but maybe the privilege with which networking runs? Or, perhaps if the networking kernel component can bring the whole OS to a screeching halt?

OS's are complicated, so it's easy to nit-pick from ./. That's a bad habit though because the more different OS's are out there being worked on the better off we all are.

As an example to all, I'll fire up qemu this afternoon and install haiku on my trusty old thinkpad. If 100 ./'ers did it and provided feedback to the project, it's a benefit to all.

Re:Network Functionality Embedded in Kernel? (3, Informative)

The_Blind_Priest (626576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393478)

Just for trivia.

The BeOS network "stack" was at one point modular and outside the kernel. In doing so the performance was not acceptable so it was folded in to the kernel. Someone else will have to chime in with what release this happened.

Re:Network Functionality Embedded in Kernel? (1)

Hythlodaeus (411441) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393766)

A networking stack in the kernel is horrible from a security perspective, but just about every OS does it because otherwise net performance is atrocious (as it was in BeOS R5). The major feature of the last unreleased/leaked version of Be from Be Inc. was a new net stack in the kernel.

Haiku OS Website (2, Informative)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392776)

It would have been nice for the summary to include a link to the Haiku OS [haiku-os.org] site.

Re:Haiku OS Website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392920)

Way to go, jerk:

warning: mysql_pconnect() [function.mysql-pconnect]: User haiku2_gallery already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home2/haiku2/webapps/website/gallery2/lib/adodb/drivers/adodb-mysql.inc.php on line 384.

Re:Haiku OS Website (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392978)

It might have been because they wanted the site to survive the announcement. The page is mostly there, except for this at the top:

warning: mysql_pconnect() [function.mysql-pconnect]: User haiku2_gallery already has more than 'max_user_connections' active connections in /home2/haiku2/webapps/website/gallery2/lib/adodb/drivers/adodb-mysql.inc.php on line 384. ;)

Could someone explain to me... (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22392780)

...why there is a FreeBSD network driver compatability layer? Why not Linux? Isn't there more development put into network drivers for Linux (by third parties and first parties) than for FreeBSD? Is it a license issue?

Yes, License Issue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392874)

Yes, it is a license issue.

Haiku is under the MIT license

Re:Yes, License Issue (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393028)

But that's a non-issue. If you GPL the stubbing code, it all runs in a process with the GPL driver code, and could live happily within a completely commercial + proprietory closed-source system, let alone any open-source one.

This is a major win for microkernels which Tannenbaum missed - they allow you to use any driver on any system with no GPL-esque legal issues arising because there's no linking.

Re:Yes, License Issue (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393496)

It could just be idealogical. Not everyone agrees with all the stipulations of the GPL, and so given they choice they may simply prefer to work with BSD licensed code when they can.

Re:Yes, License Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393728)

Oh, I couldn't agree more.

Me, I'd write a stub so you can use Windows drivers. And release it under the BSDL or MITL.

Re:Could someone explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393560)

They want corporations to consider it for desktop use as well.

It's a very handy thing that we can modify or extend the OS without having to reveal trade secrets as soon as we wish to distribute them, which was one of the primary reasons when we finally switched from Windows we went to NetBSD.

When it's more mature, we just might take a serious look at Haiku for our Desktop-only users as well, we're not too fond of X there.

Or a far more extreme example being what Apple did to produce OSX. I seriously doubt there would be a serious commercial Unix contender to Microsoft if OSX was nothing more than yet another Linux distro (Darwin + X was a close 2nd runner to NetBSD).

GPL is viral, it doesn't get to play with BSD/MIT/Etc licenses, and would kill any hope of any of the above.

And "more development" is quite simply naive. There's a huge difference between quantity and quality. Other reasons we went with NetBSD were things like 64 bit and gigabit ethernet and IPv6 support earlier than we could reliably get anywhere else, NetBSD was there first with 64bit AMD support and IPv6. And, naturally, it's extremely well organized and clean codebase to work from. We didn't have to buy any books, the code was all the documentation we needed. Having looked, I seriously doubt the same could be said for GNU/Linux sources.

In short, it would gain them absolutely nothing to be Linux compatible instead.

Awesome! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392804)

I used to run BeOS and am a huge fan. When this reaches the point where it runs reasonably well on an EeePC, the dubious Linux install on that thing is *so* gone.

What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22392988)

Ok, so its "designed for the desktop", and apparently really good at multimedia or something? I've never understood exactly what this stuff means. Multimedia works just great on my Windows XP machine. Could someone explain to me in a not too technical way, just why BeOs was significant?

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (1)

madman101 (571954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393298)

Because it's not Microsoft. And here at Slashdot, that makes it significant. But I would prefer to see effort put into improving linux's multimedia rather than resurrecting dead OS'es.

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (2, Insightful)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393306)

Multimedia works just great on my Windows XP machine. Could someone explain to me in a not too technical way, just why BeOs was significant?
Because it was just as good at "Multimedia" as XP is, when it first came out. Back when everybody was migrating from Win95 to Win98.
It's also inherently multithreading capable - again, not so much of a feature these days, but eight or nine years ago, it was a Big Thing. It was a completely new idea for an OS - none of this silly "if it ain't broke, don't change it" mentality of *nix - or for that matter, the "it's broken, so let's break it some more" attitude of MS/Windows. BeOS was a completely new OS in just about every way you could think of. It's just a shame Palm doesn't feel like giving away the source...

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393910)

IOW, it's rediculously out of date.

Everyone else has moved on.

The operating systems have moved on.

The hardware has moved on and made much of the OS level niftiness moot.

It's old niche no longer exists.

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393940)

It's also inherently multithreading capable - again, not so much of a feature these days, but eight or nine years ago, it was a Big Thing. It was a completely new idea for an OS

It certainly wasn't new then - GEOS was focused on multithreading in 1990.

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393388)

>>Multimedia works just great on my Windows XP machine.

Please don't take this as an insult, but the reason you feel that multimedia works "just great" on your XP box is probably because you've not seen anything better. In the same way propeller-driven aircraft were just fine until jet engines came along. BeOS *was* better than anything else at the time (Can't speak to Haiku, as I've not run it). I ran BeOS as my primary OS for several years and in those days Windows would struggle to play two (or sometimes just one) video smoothly, with well-tracked audio. BeOS had no problem on the same hardware with a half-dozen simultaneous videos. It could simultaneously import video, mix audio tracks and play video streams, render 3D graphics, etc. and when it did slow down, it did so gracefully and never failed to respond the way that Windows would (e.g. click a menu, wait 20 seconds for Win to load the code and draw the menu).

The main thing is, BeOS was amazingly fast and responsive in the days of I486 CPUs and 128Meg RAM. Menus and UI elements responded instantly. Cold boot to completely loaded desktop, on the net, HDD light off and ready to work? Something like 15 seconds. Windows took something like 2 1/2 minutes by comparison and the HDD never quit rattling. Why? Clean design internally and small size -- about 50MB for the whole OS including sample applications, code, and demos. (Or to put it another way, about the size of one of the hundred-or-so security patches for Windows XP.)

From a programmer's perspective, BeOS was the best-designed OS I've ever coded for. Everything was logically named, well structured and designed with threading in mind. (In fact, every window ran in its own thread). Written entirely in C++, it was just brilliantly designed and easy to code for!

Personally, I'm pretty excited about Haiku. IMO, BeOS was the best OS from the 90s. (BeOS was created by a spin-off group from Apple France, the same group that defied Steve Jobs' direct orders and developed the Color Macintosh (early 1990s?) and saved Apple. I was profoundly disappointed that Apple chose NeXTStep over BeOS for what was to become MacOSX.

So, that's my long-winded way of saying "give it a try! You have no idea what you're missing."

C++ and threading (1)

Peaker (72084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393638)

C++ and threading each introduce high complexity and difficulty, and their combination might even be worse.

While they can be used to achieve great performance, your claim was that they made programming easy.

How was it easy? Did you not have to deal with synchronization of your objects between the threads? Did you not have to debug non-deterministic race conditions? Deadlocks?

Re:What was the point of BeOS/Haiku? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393526)

Now, I hate to say it, but it is not. It was back in the day, but hardware advantages has eaten away are part of the reason to use it.

The design principles behind Haiku are... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393060)


Could anyone summarize what they are? I mean, BeOS in a pill?
I know it's one of UNIXoids, but how does it differ from others?

Say, I used a couple - Solaris, QNX, Free, Open and NetBSD, several flavours of Linux etc. They all differed -somewhat-. Startup done differently. Other default shell, different default gfx environment which felt this or that way. Sure the differences "under the hood" were deep, but the surface felt often very similar.

So what are the most striking differences between BeOS and the rest, user/admin experience wise?

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393166)

I know it's one of UNIXoids, but how does it differ from others?
Is there something called a Bnu? Not that it matters, because it wouldn't be a recursive acronym anyway - BeOS is not Unix. It's not even a "Unixoid". About all it really has in common with Unix is, well, POSIX compliance...

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (5, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393280)

in 1997 Beos could run multiple videos in real time and remain responsive to the user. This was back when playing one video on windows or quicktime introduced dramatic slow downs on the same hardware.

Beos originally had a database file system that MSFT has been trying to duplicate since. BeOS had a local file search in 1997 that would rival OS X 10.4 or Windows Vista.

they were a decade ahead of their time, and got killed by MSFT because of it. Unfortunately parts of the GUI and system now are behind the others. It is a bit dated, but there are many things that can still be learned by the other OS/GUI makers.

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393390)

As a former BeOS fan, I agree it was a great OS, but let's not whitewash the past. They had some significant design challenges ahead of them if they wanted to go mainstream. Everything from the "fragile base-class problem", which they never really solved, to support for lots of functionality most users consider basic these days had the potential to eat away at the performance.

BeOS had a local file search in 1997 that would rival OS X 10.4 ...which is why Apple hired the guy to help develop MacOS X 10.5.

they were a decade ahead of their time, and got killed by MSFT because of it.

"got killed"? Apple didn't buy them, and Microsoft encouraged VARs to not sell it pre-installed, but the simple fact is that it wasn't really valuable enough for most people to want to buy it. Windows 95, Windows 2000, linux and MacOS 9 were "good enough" for most folks across most market segments.

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393654)

"got killed"? Apple didn't buy them, and Microsoft encouraged VARs to not sell it pre-installed, but the simple fact is that it wasn't really valuable enough for most people to want to buy it. Windows 95, Windows 2000, linux and MacOS 9 were "good enough" for most folks across most market segments.
This I must agree with. BeOS was like an amazing concept OS or technical demo, but given that it was essentially a distant 4th (if that) in desktop market share, behind Windows, Mac, and Linux, it just didn't have the momentum it needed. Not the huge library of commercial apps that Windows had, or the trendiness that MacOS had, or the open source movement and apps that Linux had. It just ended up being a neat toy more than a useful tool.

Interesting tidbit though: from what I've read, BeOS was Apple's #1 choice as a base for what they wanted to build into Mac OS X. BeOS's CEO wanted $400 million for the company though, and Apple was only prepared to offer $100 million. So, Apple ended up buying out NeXT instead, and based OS X on that. Now OS X is a WONDERFUL platform, and that might have even bee the best choice, but I really, really wonder what MacOS X would look like today if it HAD been based on BeOS. My gut feeling is that we'd have an even nicer Macintosh operating system than we do now.

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393894)

That would have been Steve Job's NEXT being bought out by Steve Jobs ...?

BeOS would have had to be superb to be the first choice ...?

Re:The design principles behind Haiku are... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393958)

That would have been Steve Job's NEXT being bought out by Steve Jobs ...?
Steve Jobs wasn't with Apple anymore at that time. He had left a number of years earlier to found NeXT. He came BACK to Apple through their acquisition of NeXT.

BeOS would have had to be superb to be the first choice ...?
BeOS *WAS* superb from a technical standpoint. As we all know though without huge commercial backing, the best technical OS doesn't win. If Apple had taken it and ran with it, their name to draw that commercial support (as well as their own developers to put that Apple spin on it) would have been very interesting.

Now, I'll completely agree that Steve Jobs as a person is who certainly NEEDED to be in charge of Apple at the time, so maybe the NeXT acquisition was the only one that would have worked long term anyways (the best technical base in the world isn't going to help if you have incompetent people running the company), but that's a seperate issue :).

Where's the news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393080)

Haiku has been resurrecting BeOS as open-source since 2001, where's the news here?
There's no final release, there's nothing new going on with Haiku, what am I missing?

Summary (0)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393082)

That summary has to be one of the most grammatically painful things I've read in some time. Why can't people talk like human beings anymore? It's like watching people on off-the-street TV news reports.

Mobile (1)

cwgmpls (853876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393088)

If they want to be relevant, they had better have a strategy for mobile computing. This is by far the fastest growing segment of consumer-facing ("desktop") operating systems, and one segment that is not already dominated by Microsoft.

Re:Mobile (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393672)

:lol:

That was joke right? The mobile world smells of Internet Appliance to me.

Do we really need another OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393152)

Do we really need another OS?
This is the main reason the adaption of Open Source Operating Systems is low, for a novice it is daunting to figure out which of the 100+ distros to get. With Microsoft or Apple it is easy (not counting the Vista fiasco for a moment) Get the latest, choose 64 bit or 32 bit and one of versions and you are set.

http://dionysus-atheist.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

theory vs. practice (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393204)

The central goal of the Haiku project is to create an operating system that is ideally suited for use on the desktop

To the user, the desktop ideal is an OS that supports the applications he wants and needs. I am not sure where a resurrected BeOS fits in a universe dominated by Windows, OSX and Linux.

Haiku OS Resurrects BeOS as Open Source (2, Funny)

thewiz (24994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393348)

Great... Just what I need, more zombied processes.

Apps? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393542)

Regardless of its attractive services and features, the entire point of an OS is to run apps on some HW. Are there any apps for Haiku?

Re:Apps? (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393950)

I was going to ask the same question.

Basically this is my question: what is the number of linux/BSD applications that, when recompiled, will simply work under Haiku? Inkscape? Open Office? The Gimp? Give me knowledge, please. I really need to know more about this, and without that information I simply cannot know if this is even worth installing for a take around the block.

(Do I get PHP? MySQL? Apache?)

What will I get for my effort? That is the $10,000,000 question.

Yuo Fail it! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22393544)

escape them by Towe7s on the floor

RIP (4, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393730)

"I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense - I deserve it."

-- Jean-Louis Gassée, CEO Be, Inc.

Sweet! (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393732)

My dad and younger brother played with BeOS for a while, but I never did give it a try. About the time I was ready to install it on one of my machines, they pulled the plug on the project :(

IIRC, one of the big selling points of BeOS was that it was designed to be used for multimedia applications. I remember seeing pro/serious-amateur hardware recording gear on Musician's Friend that was compatible with BeOS. If Haiku picks up where BeOS left off -- and people like M-Audio or MOTU make gear that is compatible with Haiku -- I'll *definitely* put Haiku on one of my machines...hmmmm...maybe my new Athlon x2 :D

Sorry (1, Interesting)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393774)

MIT license because the developers want to encourage corporate involvement and believe that permissive licensing creates a healthier relationship with commercial industry.
I stopped liking the idea after I read that.

Re:Sorry (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393914)

Disclaimer: I have nothing against permissive licenses (even though the MIT one is extremely permissive). I have licensed some of my stuff with zlib/libng. Anyways, I don't like the implicit anti GPL attack and I don't really like that pro-corporation stuff. For an OS I would prefer my rights to be protected so no big company suddenly decides to EEE my favorite OS into oblivion.

Than you BeOS (3, Interesting)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 6 years ago | (#22393942)

I used BeOS for about 20 minutes back when it was around. I would have spent longer playing with it but something amzing happened. When I went to to check if it could recognize my modem it did and it connected to my ISP. Which was something I was unable to do with any version of Linux I had tried so far. So I quickly started digging through the differances in the code of the Linux version I was using at the time and BeOS to find out where the magic happend. I didn't find it but I asked some others and turned out I was only one line of code away from fixing the problem. /bin/setserial -b /dev/modem IRQ 3
I never got back around to trying BeOS but I am ever so thankful for it providing me proof that my modem was supposed to be working. After that I deleted windows from the 1.3 gig hard drive and was Linux only. Been windows clean for about 9 years now and I owe it all to BeOS. Maybe when Haiku comes out I will dedicate at bit more time to it. Maybe it will be or provide an alternative to Windows for more people.
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