Haiku has No Future | Haiku Project

It was a few months ago that on a lazy Sunday afternoon I found myself to be in Brussels at the FOSDEM conference, where François organized a very successful Alt-OS development room, filled with all sorts of presentations on the world of the alternative operating systems. As probably the only non-computer science person, I got a slot as well and I decided to give a presentation with this same title. Now just imagine, I was scheduled on the last day, nearing the end of the conference (around four or five in the afternoon) and knowing the visitor group, I did not expect much. As such, I decided to prepare a discussion session for the ten or so people to show up. Now about five minutes before I was scheduled to go, people started trickling in. And to my pleasant dismay – if ever such a thing is possible – I ended up having a full house. Now why would a large number of computer geeks or – more nicely put – Open Source fanatics be interested in what a silly humanities guy has to say? I started to think about that, and I realize that this is in fact a very central question to everybody that donates time or money to these projects: what will be its future? Or put in another way, how can we, as actors in the always changing, always new information technology sector determine a path? That is the problem I would like to give a stab at in the coming twenty minutes.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.haiku-os.org/blog/nielx/2010-04-11_haiku_has_no_future/

Hey @nielx could you please attach a link to your talk text and slides, that are not available with the article on the main page *(guess they are lost in migration)…

Best Z

I cannot find it directly in my personal archives, but I sometimes just throw things away :slight_smile:

Have you tried the internet archive?

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Good idea!
Last capture while site was on Drupal and had all comments and attachments was this from 2016 and has both files and few comments :slight_smile:
Saved by good fortune and good folx of Archive.org ;-p
Now adding it to Wikipedia! (not too loose track again)

Re-adding them to the website sounds like a good idea too. Could you submit a pull request to github.com/haiku/website?

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Would need to learn that - but not likely in next few days…

No worries, I did it myself. The files were already online, but the links to them were lost in the website migration (as well as the comments, which were planned to be migrated to the forum here but it was never done…)


I noticed. This was when Drupal was dropped? Any documentation of that process left? (would need to drop some small Drupal webs myself also)

I don’t want my cynicism to kick in but this triggered it. Being a sysAdmin for the past 15 years nothing has no future and duly to lack of innovation.

If you were to quote South Park “Simpsons did it” or in reality; It really has been done and capitalism is the downfall. Those with money can proceed and those without have to find another route or accept what’s given to them on the silver platter.

And that’s not bad, it’s good because it encourages different avenues requiring you do things differently then the other. However those then with power change the rules of the game which then the plan you’ve fixed upon is no longer viable due to some variable that’s been changed.

The internet is wasteland, it’s a corporate ran business advertising platform. There is nothing new. Go to check the news? HackerNews, Reddit, SlashDot. Want to watch a video? YouTube, DailyMotion. Et cetera Et cetera. And it holds true, if you use the product that claims to be free, you are the product. Your the one they are making money off and that splits the crowd 50/50. Those who care, and those who don’t care.

The terminology of an operating systems are lost, because the PC is no longer a PC. It’s not a personal computer as it once was, and your operating system isn’t really a system. It’s a tool for the daily life commodity that we really cannot live without. Who can step out their house without panic for not having their phone on them?

While the future is not used up and you make the future, seeing of “You make the day, the day doesn’t make you”; technology will only grow but until those in power get shifted down a peg. ie: google and the current anti-trust case it’s stale, it’s old, stale and just plain boring…

I guess this was just a random rant-ish forum post thing from a 31 year old guy who wishes he go back in time and burnt out from the whole world of technologies only because you really are limited. I will forever be a digital janitor, maintenance guy.

However, I have hopes for Haiku, I want to use in the future and I will use it in the future. I’ve not contributed much and I’m guilty for that but I have ideas; I want to make something that will shock the world. And so Haiku does have a future. It will be my future of peace, harmony, and fun, and maybe we can finally erase the evil and negativity that has taken present and replace it with good and positivity.


Haiku totally has a future IMO, or a good chance at a future, and I’ll tell you why.

For starters, just existing for as long as it has is a huge thing in of itself. But I’m getting an stronger and stronger impending sense of doom with what’s going on in the industry right now. The last ~20 years have been explosive in terms of sharing and innovation and the pace that it has all been hitting at. But seeing what’s going on with the commercial desktop operating systems has me a little nervous that we’re headed toward a impossible brick wall as both the OSes and consumer and pro apps get more sealed of and dumbed down. This is like the resurgence of an IBM world of computing, sealed off from and mysterious to the masses.

I used to be a huge Mac fan, but the last few years have been rough and it’s not hard to see the writing on the wall. iPhones and HomePods, sure all fine and great now and into the future. But seeing commenters over at mjtsai blog talking about the ARM Macs really says something about the state of things and where things are going. I mean, I get it. Apple lost the PC wars hard, so they double down on the mobile stuff, but at the expense of the health of the industry/field of study.

The problem then, is that commercial desktop computing is moribund, but it’s been pushed so far so quickly by Apple and Microsoft that alternative OSes like Linux and Haiku will take eons to catch up. Meanwhile the other part of this reality is that all new innovative desktop computing stuff will be coming from Linux and Haiku and friends (see macOS Big Sur redesign and then go have a gander at Deepin OS).

For those of us who like having a workspace and a multi-windowed desktop environment, sooner or later we’ll have no choice. And everyone else will be shepherded into iPads and $2k mobile phones (financed just the same as giving up a few cups of coffee a month!).

I have a lot more thoughts on all of this and have been thinking about this since late last year. I would love to help bring things up the well, so to speak, but I haven’t done building on OSes or even porting stuff before. So I’m kind of stalled out and making excuses about how “I’m figuring out how to pull my data out of the Apple ecosystem into independent services” (locally hosted Plex server anyone?).

But the future is coming, surely. I think most of you know this too. Haiku is not bloated down (like linux), looks and feels concise (like gnome and kde), and we should think of it as a canvas to do what Apple and MS won’t do/don’t care to do any more.


Because the money is in monetizing our data and selling it, Microsoft, Apple, Google and on and on focus on this. Haiku is completely in the other direction, here is a complete OS, it’s yours, here are the tools, here is the source.


Don’t forget that first posts are shortened when too long this includes that one.
This said, you guys realize this was originally posted in April 2010, right?
It’s obvious that few things have changed since then but the idea remains the same and argumentation interesting.

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I’m not sure what you think is bloated about Linux. Certainly I don’t mean to get into naming wars, but technically speaking Linux is just the kernel. In theory anyone could build their own distribution or even scrap the entire standard pile of user space applications and start over.

Perhaps you mean that Ubuntu is bloated somehow? Would you care to summarize briefly what you are considering “bloat”?

The Linux kernel sourcecode is bigger than the complete sourcecode of Haiku, including the kernel and everything else. And not just a little, it is more than 5 times larger (28 millions line of code vs 5.5 million for all of Haiku).

So, yes, the Linux kernel itself is very large. And it does not seem a good idea to run this much code in kernel space, without much memory protection and the like.


I think a very large portion of the linux kernel source is drivers though, 99% of which are not used on any given system. Still, a huge code base to audit

Large parts of the Linux codebase are even comprised of autogenerated code from GPU drivers, such as AMDGPU:

There’s also all the support for other architectures

Well Linux distributions are larger because they are also capable of so much more than Haiku.

If Haiku ever gets on par in the feature department - it too will be large and bloated.


Except this is not about whole GNU distributions but about the linux kernel itself.
It sure has more capabilities than Haiku kernel and you have also to include drivers to make a fair comparison but it still a very impressive amount of code. So you can wondering if the extra features really worth the size increase.
Also, even if it has improved, hardware support in linux is still not what it is on Windows, imagine the size increase if it was.

There is also the question of performance and reliability - again areas where Linux beats Haiku I believe. More sophisticated code may wind up being longer and more convoluted.

Adoption is of course a practical criterion for comparison. More so than codebase size. I use Linux every day for both work and personal computing. You probably do too.

My point is that calling Linux bloated and whatever else is not doing any favours to Haiku, there simply isn’t any advantage Haiku holds over these systems that are supposedly so bad.