I am making this post because the Haiku team doesn’t want to hear it. I’ve been waiting like a decade for Haiku to be usable, and it just continues to not be usable. Either Haiku Inc. is not paying for enough people to get the job done, or the contributors just don’t actually give a crap about the project’s usability state. This is not how you make software, let alone good software.
I say all of this because I was really hoping that Haiku would turn into something great. But when the devs want to remain blind to any and all criticisms of how they manage this project, the speed at which they are getting features in, and their hostility towards users when it appears, then this project was dead to begin with.
What are the problems? Well first off lets start with my specific problems and then go more general: on beta4 my keyboard and touchpad on one of my laptops don’t even work. On the nightlies SMP is completely broken for my laptop. Haiku is also broken on my other laptop from over a decade ago.
Which brings me to this: You haven’t focused enough on hardware support. You’re too busy fixing webbrowsers and porting GTK and have ignored the things that are needed before you do all of that crap - hardware. The further you wait on this, the further haiku gets behind on hardware support, because hardware is not going to stop evolving and wait for Haiku to catch up. That’s the reality.
You’re only volunteers, you say? Well, other projects have gotten hardware support done much quicker than y’all have with volunteers as well, so that’s no excuse for some of this stuff, especially when Haiku has been a project since well before 2004, much much earlier than some of the other new Operating System projects.
But the fact that there are only volunteers on this project is exactly the problem. You need full-time developers, not volunteers. You need people consistently working on this project trying to get it running for everyone.
With this comes the lack of respect for users. The Haiku team completely lacks respect for their users. In case it hasn’t set in yet, you only get donations from your users and people who believe in the project. You are $5,000 away from your goal with only 3 months left for a reason. We don’t live in fairy land - the reality is projects need money to allow for developers to spend time working to make that project good. That is the reality. This isn’t about becoming rich or famous. Good software requires time and work, which requires being able to live off of this time and work. You get the money by treating your users with enough respect that you actually try to give support to the people trying to use your software.
The lack of proper management also means the project has very little direction and goals to meet. This is very apparent with Haiku. Most successful Open Source software has some management or direction, even if it’s a programmer that makes all of the decisions.
Frankly, ignoring these problems is not respectful to yourselves or your users. Hiding behind the shield of “we’re only volunteers” and rejecting people’s real criticisms is not respectful to your users. Take accountability, and do better.
But this will all go right over y’alls head because I have a feeling almost none of the Haiku Team actually cares about their users, they only care about how they can use Haiku for their own needs, and that, to me, is not how you make good software.