I’ve heard of the Haiku project for years on slashdot, but only finally downloaded and tested it out within the past year. My first impression is this OS might be the answer to all my prayers. Wow! Finally, a fast, light weight, nimble, usable OS which is designed intelligently. Unfortunately the damn thing is full of bugs. It’s not usable as anything resembling a production system in its current state. Disappointing.
I downloaded the latest version of Haiku the other day along with the source code, installed both in a VM, and tried to compile the source. I was assured that the default Haiku system already has everything needed to compile the source, but this is a lie. Upon running the compile script the first thing it does is start trying to downloaded dependencies. Well, my dev machine is not connected to the internet nor will it ever be; MAJOR FAIL. Few things infuriate me more than the common stupid ASSumption by developers that the internet will always be available. The required dependencies should be kept in the source code archive, or at the very least, in a separate archive which can be downloaded from the same place as the source archive. The compile script doesn’t even realize it has already downloaded certain files and it tries to download them again. Stupid, stupid, stupid. To top it off, after having installed these dependencies (after a few days of waiting for internet access), the source code won’t fully build. There were 3-4 modules with broken build, one of them being the debugger.
Between this sort of frustration and the fact that the damn OS has not seen a real release in almost 20 YEARS, how the hell can anyone ever be expected to take this project seriously?
I’ve been reading the threads with people arguing back and forth over the future of Haiku. It’s clear that this project has no leadership whatsoever, no realistic plan or roadmap. Adrien aka PulkoMandy, like so many other open source developers, seems to be too busy thinking about himself and his own desires and not the needs of the community. If he was really thinking about the community then he would immediately pause all new feature additions, start fixing bugs, and keep doing that exclusively until ALL outstanding bugs are fixed, then release a beta to serve as a stable platform for developers and users. Unfortunately I don’t see this happening, because the developers don’t really seem to be listening to the community. I would like to use Haiku as the basis of a very special project, but unfortunately, the OS is useless to me at this moment. This could also be why for example certain major app developers (I’m thinking of one in particular) have left the community recently, which is likely the beginning of a trend. Feel free to email me when you people get your s–t together. I would love to give Haiku a real evaluation and begin work with the code base, IF there ever is some kind of release.