Free Software Foundation Does Not Endorse Haiku

As mentionned, the missing bits are:

  • Some wifi firmwares,
  • liblayout to run Wonderbrush.

That’s all. Everything else in Haiku is free software distributed under nonrestrictive licenses. So, if you happen to be a wifi firmware writer, maybe you can help with that part. But we are not going to remove these firmwares as long as there is no free replacement available. And currently, there isn’t. You can pick a wifi card that doesn’t need these firmwares, then they won’t be used.

No, a lot of people are deceived by Free Software because it is not about that. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook frequently contribute free software code to the Linux Kernel and in many other places. We probably use some of their work in Haiku already.

Free Software does not protect the user privacy or control. Especially if as an user, you don’t have the skills or time to review the code that you run, and compile it yourself. I’ve been almost 10 years working on Haiku, and I did not read all of the code there. Otherwise I wouldn’t have started contributing anything yet.

There is another aspect, let’s call it software ethics or engineering ethics or whatever you want, about respecting the users, privacy, etc. It is largely orthogonal to free software. For example, you can achieve it with proprietary software that encodes everything client side and makes sure your server only ever gets encrypted data. You can make this auditable by documenting the protocol between client and server side. There are case where free software is an enabler for ethics, and it happens that there is a lot of overlap in the people who care about them. But that’s it. Even by the FSF definition, free software is not about that. It’s about the right to use, study, modify and share software. Nothing more.

The fight for software ethics is great, but don’t try to bend Free Software into something it is not about.


Greater Privacy and Security come naturally with Free Software however, it doesn’t have to be explicitly stated or advertised by the FSF. With proprietary software you have to put your faith in the individual/company/organization that the software they create ‘is’ indeed as they say. You can’t make the claim that proprietary software protects your security as well, when you have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes and can’t add or change anything.

People are naturally protective of their privacy, which is why 99% of FOSS is telemetry-free and doesn’t track you. With the sole exception being Canonical’s Ubuntu I suppose. It’s good that Haiku is keeping proprietary code to a minimum, if that is indeed the case. But to safeguard the future of computing, I think it’s best if every Linux Distro and FOSS OS gradually become 100% Libre once free drivers have matured. FSF-endorsed Trisquel Linux is damn close to being a very useable experience with completely free software, the only two caveats being Wi-Fi Drivers and GPU Drivers.

The idea that I am good with Haiku because I can review and modify it, is more or less on the level of belief in fairies.

Only a tiny group of people understand and interact with code like that. Whether it’s a private or open project. The amount of competent review and maintenance is bound to be about the same, between private and open projects, insofar as they work reliably or don’t. If you believe one group does better with security than the other, you’re free to hold that belief.


That’s a very strange way to look at it lol, it’s like calling a burger and a chicken sandwich the same because “they both have buns on them”.

The amount of developers working on an open source project is vastly higher then any proprietary one, what’s the maximum amount of people working on Windows?. 100?, 200?, 300?. A good FOSS project can have thousands of volunteers, it all depends on the level of passion and interest.

The point is we ‘can’ audit the code and make contributions to it, if I was a talented programmer I can work on Haiku in the next five minutes if I wanted to and make meaningful additions that Haiku users actually want to see. I can’t do that on Windows or on OS X or on ChromeOS or on Android. We are entirely beholden to companies’ whose sole goal is to make as much money as possible selling our private data.

No because that would probably be factually incorrect… the reason there are open holes is because they aren’t found at all by developers, but they are probably there wide open for someone out there to find. Even so there probably aren’t many if any hackers looking at Haiku so… they probably arent’t finding the open holes either lol so few holes found!

Actually the estimate is that there were at least about 1000 people that directly worked on and tested Windows 7. Full time.

That is almost always not the case… most open source projects don’t have the money to even hire a single developer! Haiku for instance is about 90-95% volunteer effort I’d say… there is the occasionally paid developer work but it is sporadic.

If you were a talented developer you’d realize that a lot of what you are saying there doesn’t hold water… that said now is as good a time as any to educate yourself on C++ or whatever else type of programming the Haiku project needs and join in. Even a talented developer does not fix bugs in 5mins… you won’t even begin to understand the project in 5min, I’d give it a good evening to figure out how to Build Haiku from source a day or two to first bugfix for somone that’s good maybe less if they already know about the specifics of a the particulars they are working on. Development in general goes the fastest when you write new code, slower when updating old code to work in a new way and slowest when there is a bug you can’t find easily. It is also often said that the most productive developer is the one deleting broken/unused/ugly/unmaintainable code :stuck_out_tongue:

Also to state Pulkomandy’s point another way, even free software completely open, could leverage the pull of it’s low cost, to harvest your data and sell it… people could call them out on it but some people would still use it!

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I see one humongous, blatant, glaring error in FSF/GPL philosophy. While it sounds good and touches you in the feelgood parts, it has epically failed at keeping corporate inroads at bay. At best it can hope to do is allow a fork in the event of a hostile takeover. Even the MIT license of Haiku allows you to do that. Microsoft has a chair on the LF board. That money in part goes to Linus’ pocket. Microsoft money is in Linus Torvald’s pocket. Let that sink in. The whole FSF/GPL argument is soooo 1980s. Its a whole new millenum. pssst… we don’t have a CoC.

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Heck, under FSF dogma, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD don’t even qualify as free software. WTF?

In regards to FSF not endorsing Haiku, Good. FSF didn’t protect it’s darling child linux from creeping corporatocracy. Why would we want it?

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FSF is about philosophy at this point. And Stallman even said he never installed linux (he load emacs in memory and that’s all).

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Linux is not FSF child. Linus originally developped it under a non-commercial license, until the GNU project contacted him and asked him to allow commercial uses and switch to their own license so they could use it until their own kernel, the hurd, would be ready.

By their own admission, Linux developers won’t fight for the GPL and will let violations happen without complaining, effectively using the license as if it were MIT.

And on Haiku? 20? 30?
Ad on OpenSSL, something very core to free software (and elsewhere) security? Like, 1? Oops. Then we get heartbleed.

No, it doesn’t. In principle, if people were looking for issues, maybe they could find them in the sourcecode, instead of having to reverse engineer stuff or compare data sent by the software with protocol documentations. Except they don’t.

Free Software brings you durability. It can overlive the company or team behind it. But that’s about it. The crowd-sourcing does not work as people would think, because everyone goes with “someone already reviewed this code anyways”.

And Firefox, integrating Pocket and various extensions to track users. And any serious project who wants feedback about their users. This is once again orthogonal to free software. You can publish the sourcecode of your telemetry system.

You will be surprised how many people are just not caring about this. But look at everyone using Facebook and other social networks, I think things are pretty clear. Not having telemetry is not a selling argument. And showing the sourcecode to users who don’t know avnything about it won’t change anything about that.

My comment was done in assertion of previous comment:

O course, I didn’t speak about factual correctness as of now.

I don’t mean that as Linux being FSF’s literal child or brain child. I mean it more figuratively as it is the darling child of FSF adherents that is used to exemplify the epitome of free software as defined by the FSF.

To this end I use it as an example of how the FSF philosophy is fundamentally flawed.

Truth. FSF has always been about philosophy. And a fundamentally flawed, elitist utopian philosophy at that.

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Why all the negativity surrounding Free Software?, I feel like I’m in a Windows forum lol. I agree wholeheartedly with many of FSF’s concepts IMO.

I’m glad Free Software exists, and I’m glad us as the users can have that control over the software and how it operates. Better that then trust a snake oil company to dictate what kinds of software are made and whether or not it’s secure.

The statements that Free Software ‘doesnt’ protect your security and privacy is downright quackery. If I can ‘see’ how the program works and are able to modify it, it’s just the way it works. I can change things, ‘you’ can change things. Given that most people here seem to be pro-proprietary, I might just never use Haiku out of principal. Not that anything monetary is involved.

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Me too. But I also realize that the FSF and GPL is not the end all, be all road to that end. Haiku and OpenBSD offer me that control, and neither are FSF compliant.


I get that, but I believe we should gradually move toward being entirely “Free Software” without any proprietary elements involved. It’s just more secure and more ‘utopian’ that way, if you would like to use such verbiage.

It allows the user to control their own operating system and their own computing experience. And maybe in a few years, we won’t even need proprietary drivers like we don’t need Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop anymore. Really don’t understand the hate towards FSF.

I’m not pro-proprietary. I’m just against the mind that anti-FSF means pro-proprietary. There are plenty of opensource, non-proprietary projects that don’t meet FSF qualifications. A few proprietary blobs doesn’t make an entire project proprietary.


The FSF refuses to accept certain GNU/Linux Distros because most of them use proprietary software and drivers. Even the Linux Kernel itself is full of proprietary code nowadays, so much so that the FSF now has their own “Linux-Libre” kernel that removes such elements.

I get that 99% of Linux distros and other software are Open Source, but there are parts that we can’t touch or dictate. Like those proprietary drivers. It’s more like “80% Open Source” it seems like.

They’re not insulting Haiku in this instance, they’re simply stating that “Well it’s great and all, but since this and this are proprietary we can’t say it’s 100% Free Software”.

I was a fan of FSF back when I was a child. I grew up before the fall of Be Inc. I stopped being a fan of FSF well before OpenBeOS announced the MIT license. I’m not against FSF because of some notion that it insults my choices. I’m just not a fan of FSF because I’ve long viewed it as dogmatic.

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I don’t see it as dogmatic at all, I see it as the organization attempting to protect and advertise certain distros that honor what Free Software/Open Source is ‘supposed’ to be. Now more then ever we should safeguard Free Software from greedy companies like Microsoft and Google that are increasingly corporatizing Linux and harvesting our data.