Haiku in media


Without a doubt. From the list of applications they do point out, it seems the reviewer never unchecked the Featured Applications box.

This problem has been mentioned at length on this forum before. HaikuDepot just isn’t good at promoting the applications that people need or want to see. It promotes those built for Haiku, sure, but to find familiar software that’s been ported to Haiku one has to go digging through the Depot or know to search for it by name.

Coming from a Linux website, I’m not surprised. They’re used to full-featured software apps that show everything from the start, in neat categories easily viewable in the design language of today (big buttons, colorful icons, with descriptive pages behind those) that resemble the app stores everyone is carrying around in their pockets. The Depot looks more like a database app, not an app store. It might sort entries well, but it doesn’t present them in a way that speaks to modern users.

Unfortunately, that sort of review is going to happen again because there’s such thing as doing something TOO differently, and Haiku has yet to find a good balance between the BeOS nostalgia and modern design philosophies to suit most new user types. But then, that’s not the goal for R1. Perhaps R2 will take these sorts of reviews into mind and use them as constructive criticism.


2 possible options:

  1. Offer a big fat Haiku’s Dvd/USB installation with all the apps like Libreoffice, Calligra, Blender, Scribus, wonderbrush, clockwerk, Qupzilla, Otter, Paladin, Kdevelop, Qtcreator, etc …
  2. In the default Beta release include a small video on the desktop, showing how to add Libreoffice using haikuDepot, because a link to the this video on Youtube or Vimeo maybe will not work with Webpositive (this is not a Haiku developers fault, Youtube and Vimeo always change their technology, that breaks the webpage).
    For example, Matt Nawrocki made a good video tutorial, but this video needs an update with HaikuDepot:


Nice to see the excellent Paladin IDE get a mention :wink:


Actually, I’m all for a more app-store like HaikuDepot, even in R1.

And yes, this shows the importance of UX design, testing, etc, before doing releases. But that’s what we have alpha and beta releases for. How can we make such things not happen? How can we improve our UX so newcomers don’t get lost or mistaken?


Make the UX flat. And with simple icons as font-awesome / webfonts like.
(preparing an umbrella for anti-flat references, UX is a matter of opinion)


The “featured apps” checkbox is indeed problematic. I have been able myself to digg through HaikuDepot and squeeze it for everything I needed, but I noticed how it was very easy to pass unnoticed, giving to the user a false idea that everything is missing.

The fact that the categories are hidden under a clickable widget also contributes to that effect. If there was for instance a tabbed navigation that would display all the category names at once, it would encourage navigation through them.

In other platforms we have been assisting to the featured section having more editorial content, like a brief commentary on why each application deserves an highlight. It can be a way to better promote the best apps, but also could contribute to distinguish the featured applications section from the full repository.


Perhaps there could be a pop-up dialog telling users about the featured apps checkbox? It could also have a Don't show again checkbox itself so that user don’t get too annoyed with it. It feels like a good compromise between keeping the featured apps checkbox and removing it outright.


Make the featured ones a section, not a check, not marked by default.

Like @victordomingos said, editors place to feature some app(s).


Let’s rework the UI instead of adding more uglyness around it.

Also, Windows is so bad at this that all users are trained at clicking “ok” on such messages without even reading them.


I sent a friendly message to the author mentioning that he might have missed some things in the depot due to the easy to overlook “featured packages” check box, and he just sent a nice reply saying that he will check it out again and update the article.


Ok, that’s a fair point! :grin:

Perhaps the UI rework could be done by a seperate UX design team? This would reduce the burden on the already small number of Haiku developers, letting them focus more on the programming. Is there one already?


No, there is no UX team currently, unless you count John Scipione as a team. You can have a look at his work here: https://insightfactory.tumblr.com

There are however old mockups for an “application store” for Haiku designed during GCI, but they ended up not being used for HaikuDepot. I think there were some good ideas in there, maybe they should be revisited.


It seems like I have a minority opinion, but I just cannot imagine missing the meaning of the popup-menu labeled “Category:” and the single checkbox “Show only featured packages”.

I understand how one can miss the other filters in the “Show” menu if one has less than average curiosity, but not when it comes to how a category might be chosen or that the featured filter might limit the number of shown packages.


Almost all of the reviewers without prior exposure to Haiku have done exactly this however, so…

A more typical design is a category list or tree that shows you the categories without clicking on it… it’s kind of the reverse of asking to ask a question, in this case clicking to see what is in the categories when they could have just been displayed to begin with like 95% of Linux GUI package manager already do…

I feel auto checking feature packages is almost certainly a bad idea also. As it hides the packages with no indication whatsoever how to show them. What it should be instead is maybe a Star beside each package in it’s own field or in addition to the rating and leave it at that… just let the users sort by that if they want. Sorting by Featured by default might be a good idea.

Also note here at the bottom there is statistical info plainly displayed… there’s already a bug report for it too.


At least not from somebody reviewing an operating system for a tech website. Regular users are something else :slight_smile:


@cb88 actually highlights a point pretty well. Right now HaikuDepot is treated as a full-fledged package manager, like Synaptic, while end-users arent’ necessarily looking to wade through all the packages and categories of packages that are available.

While I certainly wouldn’t suggest a whole second app to serve as a Software Center like some Linux distros do, it might be worthwhile for HaikuDepot to have a Simple and Advanced mode- with Simple shown by default.

Simple mode would be a more traditional app store view filtered to include only actual applications, and doesn’t necessarily have to be anything flashy as long as it works and presents a clean categorically sorted at-a-glance view of software available in the default repos.

Advanced mode could be the current interface with all its lists of packages of all kinds.

For the Featured tick to work better, I think it needs to be a more actively curated list. Instead of a static set of applications it could be used to promote new and exciting software- natively developed and ported alike. Repo maintainers could flag what’s featured, cycle it by month, and expose users to new developments and ports made not only by the Haiku dev team but by the community as a whole.

Maybe Simple mode grabs the Featured list as the front ‘page’ before a category is selected.


I disagree with that to some extent… I think a full blown package manager is fine, but it needs good defaults.

And if you absolutely just must have a big button playschool style app installer aka “Software Center” which I think are terrible unusable… just make it a second view in the main app so at least the main code paths are the same and it isn’t really a second application to maintain.

So you’d end up with a grid of Icons / App names instead of the detailed list that is currently there. And the rest would stay the same. Maybe hiding the menu bar. We should definitely be able to turn that off though… that aspect is something I like about the current HaikuDepot. In any case enough about that … we’ve already split off this threads once before about this…


Just look at Android Play Store.

When you start it, you get some list of apps (“recommended”, “recent updates”, etc). You also get access to categories. And you get a search bar to search things by name.

Only when you search by name, you get to a view with a list of packages.

This makes sense in terms of use cases. There are two ways to access a software library:

  • Either you don’t know what you’re looking for exactly, and in that case, it makes sense to browse it. In this case you want recommandations, newest packages, etc. Things you do not know about and maybe should try out. As a result, you want more information about each package. This would be our “large icon” view.
  • Or, you already know what you need, and you search for it. In that case, you don’t need as much information on each package, so the compact view we have would be fine.

I don’t think there is a way to merge these two in a single view in the user interface. They are different use cases with different needs.

What we have now is an UI mainly designed for searching, but with the “featured packages” somewhat hot-glued on it to provide the illusion that it’s made for browsing. This just doesn’t work and confuse people. It’s not a matter of missing a checkbox, it’s a matter of putting people in the wrong mindset because we are mixing up use cases.


But not if you know the program you are searching for started with ‘a’ in haiku depot ;), because you get all.


What you are saying is too ambiguous. Also Android’s app store is touch optimized and frankly very terrible for desktop usage. It shows very little information about each package and search works poorly… it’s wasted a lot of my time over the past few years.

For the power user a grid will almost always be ideal.
The bold fields would probably make sense in a condensed interface, with the rest showing up on an andjacent or second line in an expanded 2 line interface.
PackageName | Category | Featured | Rating| Short Desc |Date Updated| Date Added | Installled

Perhaps organized like this with each lower field being related to the compact version:
PackageName | Rating | Short Desc | Date Updated | Installed
Category | Featured | Short Desc cont… | Date Added | Date installed

The current Available/Active status field is foreign and non obvious. Just make it installed or not or highlight the installed packages in some meaningful way in the condensed UI and display the install date in the expanded one. While package installation on Haiku is technically different due to packagefs, the distinction here is just confusing. Also the Available status is kind of useless… it should be obvious enough that if a package is displayed it is available to install.

In the condensed UI the tooltip could display the additional info.

Problems we have had with reviewers saying Haiku has no software, stem from showing too little information by default, which the first thing to get shot down is the featured packages checkbox, it would be less of an issue if there were more information displayed about # of available packages. I still think it would work better as a dedicated grid column instead of a checkbox though.

Where all of this is going wrong, is the same place GTK goes wrong… never assume your users are dumb. Reviewers aren’t overlooking that checkbox because they are dumb just human… show them what they need to see and you’ll get much smarter reviews. That means a delicate balance between enough and too much info while so far HaikuDepot has erred to the side of too little info.