Haiku in media


C++ code (when well written) and the MIT license are hardly Cons… if anything a hardline C only kernel would make things worse.

And your isues 1,2 and 3 are sort of intertwined… Implementing a full featured browser these days practically requires hardware acceleration.

Internet connection problems, I assume you mean wifi… its been through alot of changes lately instability is to be expected.


The 2 youtube tech reviews - Lunduke @ Linux Unplugged - were very positive about the system’s technical merits - particularly the speed, pervasive multithreading, and ease of booting and installing apps. They noted how unique the OS was in the computing world.

But comments from everyday users on the news websites were mostly brief. This suggests that they just tried it for a while and then went back to their usual OS. This is more worrying because an OS has to quickly capture the users interest or they will get bored and not return. This is where things have to work - drivers, internet, browsers particularly - and the desktop has to be easy to navigate and pleasing on the eye.

So according to the tech guys it’s still a modern system, but to everyday users it might have a dated look and feel.


One cannot please everybody.


From an entirely end-user point of view, it’s hard to argue with some of the Cons. The hardware acceleration issue doesn’t crop up in my immediate use on a personal level since I’m a multi-OS person with a specific end goal for my time spent on Haiku- productivity. For everyday users and potential gamers and developers attracted to the OS, though, this is a hurdle that I’m sure Haiku will be able to deal with.

We see the same issue with Linux historically; in the beginning (and seventeen years of development or not, the Beta really does mark the beginning of Haiku as far as the general public is concerned) it had incredibly limited hardware support, to the point there were tools to determine whether your system could run Linux at all or not. A growing user base, though, translates into a greater support system and a more well-rounded batch of drivers and kernel support for hardware. It may take a full release or two for this to pick up speed, but it will come, and hopefully those releases will become more regular and timely to show the community at large there’s a good reason to build on the support side than just complaining about the lack of support or opining on how to hack it together.

The browser issue is a problem for end-users. PulkoMandy does good work on WebPositive, but a full featured browser is a lot for one person to manage. In the 6+ months I’ve been using Haiku I’ve seen good growth there, and while it might not be Firefox or Chrome, I do find myself using WebPositive more than Qupzilla now, as it does work a lot better than it used to.

I’m not sure Con #4 is much of a Con as it is a question that hasn’t been clearly laid out for the layman yet. Haiku offers quite a bit that Windows and Linux do not. Stack and Tile alone are great end-user features that don’t get quite enough hype in these articles. The GUI might not seem the most up-to-date when compared to the look and feel of Gnome and Windows 10, or the cultish love even regulars here seem to have for the big animated mess of a dock MacOS uses, but the handling and controls around it around it are great and responsive.

Unfortunately, though, when it comes to attracting Windows users it’ll always be an uphill battle with hardware support and gamers, and when it comes to attracting Linux users they’ll be looking for customization and software alternatives that perform in a manner they’re used to getting from Linux’s community. While the latter will certainly come in time for Haiku as well, the former is going to be on everyone’s minds for a while and will continue to show up in press reviews of the OS as benchmarks of usability.

Haiku’s team are not stupid, though, they’re skilled coders working with what time they have to make something they’re passionate about, and I don’t doubt they’ll keep plugging away at these issues. The key, though, is going to be explaining why these issues exist in the first place and keeping the press informed about how development happens and how inclined persons can get involved. As it grows from Beta on, it’s going to take more than the current handful of devs to maintain the project and see that these things are addressed quickly enough to keep the appearance of moving forward to attract users and new devs.


@waddlesplash Haiku Beta is featured in November edition of Linux Magazine: http://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2018/216/Review-Haiku


That’s pretty cool … but it’s also the most inaccuracy-plagued article about Haiku I’ve ever read. Did they just read Wikipedia? Maybe not, because it knows about the in-the-works 32-bit compatibility layer, but it also says that was already merged. It also says that we have an “i915 Direct Rendering Manager” driver which “supports hardware acceleration”, “most Broadcom chips are supported”, etc.

Pretty baffling, especially as I thought LinuxMag was supposed to be reputable…


I posted a reply comment to that article, but I’ll leave it here also for posterity’s sake (and in case it disappears over there?):

Hi, Haiku developer here. Thanks for covering us, but … this article is wildly inaccurate:

  • We are not a “microkernel OS”; we have a monolithic kernel with slightly hybrid tendencies. We use dynamic kernel modules almost exclusively in a way Linux and the BSDs don’t, and support FUSE, etc.; but by-and-large all hardware drivers and other such modules run in kernel space. I’m not sure where you got this from; even our Wikipedia page lists us as having a “hybrid kernel”.
  • We are most definitely a UNIX system. The fork()-based process/memory model, /dev, command pipes, etc. are deeply ingrained into the OS itself; and there are plenty of POSIX concepts which have no “Haiku API equivalent” (and if they do, usually the “Haiku API equivalent” wraps the POSIX API, not the other way around.) So we are POSIX-compliant and thus a UNIX, not just by a “compatibility layer”.
  • OpenBFS is the name of the driver, BFS is the name of the filesystem itself.
  • The name of the project is “Haiku”, not “Haiku OS”; this is handled correctly in some parts of the article and not others (but this is a common mistake at least.)
  • The project founder quitting in 2007 did not “leave the project’s future uncertain”, most of our major activity has occurred since then, as you can see; and the mailing list response at the time shows this was a major but not “earth-shattering” event.
  • We have had more than 100 people submit patches over the years, it’s true, but more properly there are only about ~35 people with direct commit access.
  • Haiku 64-bit does not have a 32-bit compatibility layer yet. One is in the works and has been published to a feature branch but it certainly has not been merged and is not in the beta or the nightlies, as the article states.
  • The WiFi/ethernet drivers are from FreeBSD, not just compatible with it.
  • Then there is this section: “work on Intel’s hardware acceleration in Haiku has been a focus, which currently has born fruit. The i915 Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) driver in Haiku now supports acceleration for all of Intel’s HD/Iris chips” – which is completely and totally wrong. We don’t have hardware acceleration of any kind on this hardware or any other hardware, though there are plans to work on it, they are currently just plans. The GSoC 2017 project didn’t go anywhere. (Where did you even get this information?)
  • “Even if Haiku boots fine but remains offline, there is little you can do to set up the system” – set up as in install? I’m not sure what this means. You can install the system offline without any issues; in fact the installer does not even need an internet connection.
  • “However, most Atheros and Broadcom and some of the Intel Pro wireless chips” – um, it’s pretty much the other way around: most Intel Pro, almost all Atheros, and some (i.e. virtually none at all, only a few from 2010 or so) Broadcom wireless chips.
  • “Downloading and installing a nightly image is preferable for new users, because this offers the latest hardware support and the most recent software additions.” – At this point the beta is preferable, for a variety of reasons, mostly related to system stability and performance tweaks, and nightlies have gone back to being “bleeding edge.”
  • “The aging Alpha R4.1 version doesn’t have HaikuDepot, which is why it might not be the best choice for new users” – R1a4.1 is no more (Maybe this article was written before beta1 came out, and just was not properly updated before publishing?)

So, all in all, that is most of the major facts about Haiku this article has which are just wrong. This is kind of ridiculous, really.


This comment is more informative than any article I read about Haiku. :smile: :+1:


“What features does Haiku offer over other OSs?”

Most OSs have their OS philosophy or features listed on a splash screen, or in a slide show during install. So this criticism could be addressed via a features splash screen appearing after the boot screen. It could have a similar theme of a black background, HAIKU name, and leaves - but with a difference. The name HAIKU could be written vertically, representing a tree, with 6 leaves (3 either side). Beside each leaf could be written a feature:

  • Multithreaded
  • Dababase-like filesystem
  • Context search
  • Disk-like app packages
  • Stack & tile windows
  • Up to 32 workspaces



Our install process is just too fast to show any slides… :smile:

I don’t think a user that went to the trouble of downloading a gigabyte ISO and installing that is still interested in that kind of PR info. (And even before that, when they look around the website etc., few care about buzzwords like multithreaded and db-filesystem. They need short user stories as examples what and how some things are done in Haiku.)

Once installed, a user is probably more interested in learning about the most important features and starts exploring the system.
Here’s where a quick tour would come in handy… oh look, there’s a “QuickTour” in the HaikuDepot! Get it now! :wink:


My blog gets syndicated on DZone. Looks like they’ve chosen to syndicate my post with my quick review video. Should lead to a few thousand views of Haiku hopefully!


Nice. Just out of curiosity, are you related the Martin Fowler?


…or Inspector Raymond Fowler? :rofl:


Gaaaaah!!! No!

Sorry. I get asked this all the time, especially as I’ve written a couple of books on NoSQL and ECM.


Tessa Fowler then?


Not that I know of. Nor Robbie Fowler. :wink:


Hehe, so I wasnt the first to ask then :slight_smile:


Not by a long shot! I get asked it all the time. Curse of being a tech author with this surname


wow nice read! Very informative…


Oh wait! You mean take some time to do a quick tour first to learn the system, just like the techy ppl at Linux Magazine did? :smile:

It’s wasn’t PR, a features splash screen was just an attempt to nullify some users’ criticisms. But I cede to your greater knowledge of computing, and desire to keep the BeOS look & feel intact. :wink: