Ok, I’ve read in some places that Haiku is designed to be a desktop OS. I can’t tell If you’re serious or not and I’m kind of new to this OS, but here’s my honest opinion: It will never happen.
Why? Because It isn’t focused on the needs of a real desktop OS for common people.
There are mainly 3 needs that I need on my desktop OS:
- Being able to use my apps/software
- Having the OS detect all hardware I throw at it. Any peripheral I plug in, needs to be recognized. I should have flawless performance and of course, my computer should be detected as well
- Having a bug-free experience or with very few If any bugs
Due to the architecture of Haiku, It is simply impossible. First of all, Haiku doesn’t run .exe files natively nor at the VERY LEAST can It run MacOS programs natively. It will have the same problem as Linux but even worse.
Software and game developers try to reach the widest audience. They will see Haiku, a 0,00001% market share or something tiny and won’t port their software because It’s not worth the effort. The market share will also stay tiny because why should people use an inferior OS that doesn’t fulfill their needs and can’t even run their apps.
Now, you may try to rely on WINE, like Linux did but you will encounter the same issue: WINE is buggy, slow and can’t even run some formats of Windows apps like UWP. There are also some things that will probably NEVER work in WINE properly even after 50 years of skilled development like DRMs.
They will literally never catch up, Windows keeps adding new stuff like UWP as I said, new APIs, new functions and all this stuff: It’s simply impossible.
And please don’t tell me “We will create our own open source alternatives and outcompete Adobe, Microsoft and Apple with our nice team of 10 volunteers”. Nice joke, others tried and they all failed. Your small team of amateurs simply can’t compete with big billions dollars multinationals.
Now, for the hardware point:
Hardware vendors won’t play nice with you, their plans will be closed source and they won’t create a Haiku port. Some may even try to actively break compatibility with non-Windows OS.
How will you deal with this? Will you try to create drivers one by one for each piece of hardware? Or try to create “generic drivers”? Anyway, managing to just get them barely working will be almost impossible for you. So many hardware is created every day and there will be more and more, meanwhile your team of programmers barely grow. It’s not sustainable.
But even If you only get it working, that’s only 10% of the work, you’ve done: congratulations! Now there is performance, will you get the same performance? Will you get all the features present in the hardware, for example: provide the same software that comes with the printer allowing me to manage the levels of ink etc, the control panels in gaming components allowing me to manage the cooling, check the perf etc? The answer of all of this is: PROBABLY NOT!
A desktop OS where I live in fear, each time I plug a new peripheral isn’t viable, period.
Now, for the last point concerning bugs.
Honestly, the architecture of the OS, doesn’t matter so much with good programming. With more popularity and the open source nature of the OS, It will come down naturally eventually.
There are of course, other problems like marketing, Windows being pre-installed in laptops and so on, but these are fixable too and aren’t as big of a deal as the issues above.
But, I seriously can’t see Haiku being viable without addressing the software and hardware issue. These are the fundamentals: hardware and software. Not addressing them, would be setting itself for failure like Linux.
Any thoughts on this?