Contributing and decision-making

I’d love to contribute but unfortunately, I don’t know a thing about C++ programming or development in general. :smile:

Maybe we could consider placing “help needed” notices on the Haiku website? From a newcomer’s perspective or for someone who is viewing the project website, there is no real call for help to whoever is building the website. If we place something more obvious, like a banner reading “Haiku needs your help!”, people will be more motivated to look into how they can help out with the project, and not just with WebKit. The banner could link to a page where we list all the main prioritised areas of improvement for the OS and what sort of help we need (i.e. do we need someone who knows a specific programming language?).

I could write the proposed page myself and presenting a first draft to everyone on here, but obviously I’d need to see if others think this is a good idea, and I’d need to know more about what work needs to be done to get Haiku closer to Beta 3 and perhaps R1.

There is this:
It’s maybe not so easy to find from the main page (you have to go community -> getting involved). Or there is also in the development section for more C++ oriented things. Which in turns links to the “most wanted” page on Trac: which does list some WebKit issues, but none related to video playback. Either it’s not such a big deal after all, or people don’t bother to vote for the issues they think are important?

Also… of course we need help! Every opensource project out there is understaffed and needs help :slight_smile:

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Yeah, the page is not immediately obvious to users so maybe it’s worth it making some sort of banner that links to the Getting Involved page. That page could probably be updated to reflect current information (for example, it still references the main site using Drupal) as well as adding in some priority areas (maybe referring to the Trac “Most Wanted” page) of work at the top of the page for individuals who want to know where help is needed most.

We can probably consider posting on existing Haiku social media channels as well as looking at other ways to promote and ask others to help out (i.e. volunteer websites) as another means of getting more people on board.

I came across Haiku after reading an article that said that Haiku released its first beta since 2012 or something like that - it wasn’t immediately obvious to me why it took so long to have another beta release, and only after digging through the forums did I discover why. As a reader, I assumed, “oh, they must be dragging their heels or something”, but it’s probably a good idea to tell people that, no, the slow pace of releases is because we are a small group of people donating our spare time and effort and it would be great if more people helped".

We can also list volunteer opportunities on websites like Craigslist and Idealist - sites like these usually have categories for volunteering, and due to the high amount of traffic these sites get, relatively large amounts of people will see listings. It would be good to mention as a part of this that we are an open-source project aiming to provide a freely available end-user operating system that is open and safe for all.

We could also suggest Haiku as part of Quora questions like these:

Some more volunteer-related websites where we could consider posting opportunities for volunteers at Haiku:

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Haiku, Inc. has more than enough money to pay bounties; for some unknown reason the last few thousand ended up being spent on adding support for a Wacom tablet and joystick into Haiku.

Really pressing issues compared to getting a web browser to work (!)

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Haiku has a little problem with decision-making, the cause of which is best illustrated, I think, by a picture:

Org chart3


Haiku does not have a CEO by design. This has nothing to do with the slow progress of development.

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Who is willing to work for these bounties, and how much are they, really?

Haiku is an extremely complicated system (or, outside of Haiku itself, WebKit is.) Finding people with the skills to work on these is no small feat, and even then, they tend to have pretty high going rates, unless they believe in the project and are willing to work for less. $100k sounds like a lot of money, until you realize that is maybe half a years’ salary plus benefits at Silicon Valley going rates at best, and less for someone with operating system development skills.

Bounties have to be made available and visible on the front page first in order to allow volunteering developers to apply to them. Also, not all the developers live in SV and require corresponding rates. From my memory, Haikuware managed to organize bounties that were in 3-5k range successfully. Besides Webkit and 3D acceleration, other (relatively smaller) parts of the system could benefit from the bounty program (VPN, Bluetooth, etc.). Therefore, I’d propose the community to prepare the list of possible areas/parts of Haiku that can be worked on via the bounty program and then publish it on the Haiku’s website’s front page.


Why bother with bounties exactly? Doesn’t seem to make any sense to me to suddenly point out issues and go “these require funding, others don’t”, that surely doesn’t make the work of other devs feel more valued.

Because they may be interesting to those potential developers who would otherwise not contribute to Haiku on a voluntary basis. Bounties work for other alternative systems (MorphOS, ReactOS, etc.), why can’t Haiku benefit from them?

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Is it really working? As soon as money is gone so are the people you attracted.
That leaves you with a big thing that you didn’t developed and so hard to maintain.
Yes, you got something done but unless it is perfect and you never have to touch it again; it’s a time bomb.


other people use them so we should too is hardly an argument. And i still think that bounties fundamentally disagree with the way haiku is developed.

Also, making people contribute who wouldn’t do so voluntarily…? forcing them?
Paying people to temporarily contribute is hardly healthy for the overall project, just gives you unmaintainable code with time, and contributers who can’t understand what was written without forking over even more money.

Haiku doesn’t have a proper structure, and that holds it back from fund-raising effectively, and without funds it can’t employ people.

The developers have done a great job getting Haiku where it is today. But I believe they could have achieved more with a better support system.


Ok, so all you propose is to continue sitting on a pile of cash and rely on that handful of developers who still haven’t abandoned the project? Nowadays, I stopped donating to Haiku Inc. I prefer to ‘thank’ Haiku developers directly.

And i prefer not to have users tell me what to work on in the form of “if you do this i will donate”, that’s just stupid. I much prefer the project to have money to use in a usefull fashion… like paying for conference attendance, or employing actuall haiku developers, like it has done in the past.

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Noone forces an (actual Haiku) developer to apply for a bounty. They can continue working on anything they’re interested in.

To employ an actual Haiku developer, you have to have them available first (meme pic). Nowadays, few of them remain with the project, and I don’t see any prerequisites that the situation will improve with the current state of things.

Noone forces an (actual Haiku) developer to apply for a bounty. They can continue working on anything they’re interested in.

You still did not point out any advantages of offering up bounties.

To employ an actual Haiku developer, you have to have them available first (meme pic). Nowadays, few of them remain with the project, and I don’t see any prerequisites that the situation will improve with the current state of things.

So… you know there are atleast two devs who said they might do it, if the funding would be secure to employ them a bit longer than just two years?

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Completely agree. It is worth remembering that, for example, 3D acceleration was written almost from scratch for MorphOS. They also organize bounties with funds from the purchase of their system. And we even have enough money from only donations for several bounty requests. Everything is possible, if there is a desire.


You posted a picture with “CEO” at the top, implying that we need some kind of chief executive in order to fix the structure? So if that is not what you meant, it was rather misleading…

As is being discussed on the mailing list presently: there is indeed more than enough money for our basic needs, but there is not really enough to hire a Haiku developer for an extended period of time (yet.) Finding people willing to work for “bounties” who can also produce high-quality code up to Haiku’s standards is not easy.