Haiku needs standards!

The way BeOS hardware compatibility is represented (at BeDrivers; the only source/resource for hardware compatibility?) and the way some software is made available (BeBits; the only source/resource for BeOS software?) is, I tend to feel, woefully inadequate for those of us who are trying to get into (or back into) the BeOS scene, so we can be ready for Haiku when it’s ready.

I have all BeOS compatible hardware, but at several junctures in getting it set up, I was almost fooled into believing some (or all) of it WASN’T compatible! I’ve been away from the BeOS scene for so long, I’d even forgotten how to get disks to appear on the desktop!

If I simply list the bits and pieces of my hardware as compatible (which it is) and someone comes along and puts the same list of hardware all together and it DOESN’T work, that makes me look like a liar or, at the very least, makes for a very confused and upset wannabe (but maybe NOT gonnabe) BeOS user. Get my point?

If (hypothetically) I upload a new compiled version of FireFox (Net_Server version) onto BeBits and a BeOS user comes along, downloads it, and tries to run it, and all it does it blip, stick itself into the dock, and doesn’t run (and makes itself unremovable from the dock (even by trying to force-kill it)), that makes for a rather upset BeOS user, doesn’t it? Oddly enough, that’s one mentioned bug in the version I downloaded! Get my point?

It’s not enough to say A, B, and C hardware is compatible with BeOS. Because D, E and F hardware (which is also “compatible”) may possibly somehow conflict with A, B, and/or C, causing one or more problems no one has mentioned, because those people were using T, M, and Z (or any other number of lettered hardware of the alphabet that is also known to be “compatible” with BeOS), which works perfectly in their situation!

“BeOS/Haiku Hardware Compatibility” should be detailed and explained down to such a degree, that problems setting up BeOS on the same hardware simply DON’T exist any longer. If you follow the instructions stated by a given user, who set up their conglomeration of “compatible” hardware into a working BeOS system, you’ll end up with a working BeOS system. No If’s, And’s, or But’s about it. You’ll have to make sure it’s all the EXACT same hardware, but would you rather have a bunch of hardware and setup instructions that absolutely work, or would you rather bang your head for hours on end, trying to get a list of “compatible” hardware to REALLY be compatible, because of one or more aspects in those bits of hardware are casing problems that no one has mentioned… anywhere?

Software that’s made available (BeBits or elsewhere) should “just work”. All the time… EVERY time. No programs that you click on and they do nothing but make you have to force-reboot to get rid of them. A program that works poorly is better than a program that doesn’t work at all. It’s bad enough I can’t locate a Web Browser that works well enough to make it even really worth USING BeOS to go online. I surely don’t need to download one that doesn’t even run (but it happily sticks itself in the dock and laughs at my every effort to remove the little worthless, do-nothing, binary monster)!

I’m not suggesting something that’s impossible to achieve. Just something that takes time and effort by each individual, to insure others following our footsteps of enthusiasm don’t walk away from BeOS/Haiku, wagging their heads (and going back to Windows) because the pile of “compatible” hardware doesn’t seem at all compatible and/or the bunch of software they downloaded either “kinda works, but mostly doesn’t” or doesn’t work at all… for whatever reason.

Something to consider, I’d say…


Hi lupo,

On firefox, your best bet for a net_server build is here: http://www.livejournal.com/community/bezilla/89714.html

Firefox had some issues a few months ago where it would start for some people and not for others. Hopefully they’re gone now. Firefox is a beast. There are over 50,000 files that make up it’s source code, and a very small active team for BeOS working on it. I don’t think that because it doesn’t work for whatever reason for some people that it shouldn’t be released, as that deprives those for who it would work of a decent browser.

The fact with BeOS is there are not many active developers around. That means if you want any software at all, you sometimes have to accept that it won’t be of the highest quality. It’s very unfortunate, but purely a function of developer time available and working on the OS. As Haiku gains in popularity, a puch for software quality should be one of the first things on the list.

As for hardware compatibility, motherboards/chipsets are really the key - then you can plug in any compatible graphics card, and compatible sound card, etc and it will just work.

And it’s obvious you’ve been away for a while… it’s a Deskbar, not a Dock :wink:


Also most of these Firefox builds are documented as experimental versions. We need some way to confirm that our builds work on many different computers and we don’t have a test-farm, so we release them as ‘experimental’ on a ‘bleeding edge’-page with text on the BeBits-page what the user might expect.

We can’t do much more with the current set of people (in fact sometimes I feel all alone :roll: ).

I downloaded it and it works… excellently!

In fact, over at www.24fun.com, I get 60 seconds total for BenchJS, vs. 67 seconds using a copy of Mozilla I also downloaded. Same everything, but Firefox is 7 seconds faster! Nice!

Now I just need to figure out why BeOS was giving me 50K/sec. download speed, when I downloaded Firefox, when I was getting over 200K/sec. downloading that same program, using MacOS X 10.3.9 on my G4 Digital Audio.

In fact, I cannot get anything better than about 50K/sec. downloading anything via BeOS, no matter where I go online.

Why is this? What are the known causes for a networking bottleneck in BeOS systems? I’m sensing something in the BIOS needs tweaking, but… possibly one or more settings related to networking need a bit of tweaking, too?

Oh, and one other thing… where do I locate the Haiku files/programs I can start replacing parts of BeOS with? I haven’t a clue how to “build” them myself, so if they exist as pre-built files, I’d appreciate it.


A really uneducated guess would be that your BeOS is net_server, meaning userland network stack, which might slow things down some.

I never had a BeOS install online, so I can’t test this theory. There’d be better people then me qualified to answer this with any degree of certainty.

Luposian wrote:
Oh, and one other thing... where do I locate the Haiku files/programs I can start replacing parts of BeOS with? I haven't a clue how to "build" them myself, so if they exist as pre-built files, I'd appreciate it.

From the www.haiku-os.org main page, hit go to the “develop” menu and click “Build Factory”. The build factory is currently having some issues (at least it was when I wrote this), but once it’s back up and going, that will be the place to find pre-built binaries of apps and system components. Also, you may want to look at the “teams” page and see if each individual team has released any files on their team page (although the teams page tends to be old information, ignore the progress stats :wink: ).

For the more adventurous, you can read an article you should be able to find in the newsletter archive entitled “How to ‘Get OBOS’”. It covers checking out the source from cvs and compiling it yourself. It’s definitely a bit more advanced than downloading pre-built binaries, but the instructions in the article are written very well and make the whole process rather easy (the tools you need to build the source code are available on the haiku site under develop->resources, grab the whole “BeOS Toolchain”).

Something slightly related: I’m a system administrator who’s interested in using BeOS. I once begged for a xbox-like machine with a phone-like OS that’s perfectly stable and easy to understand for most inexperienced computer users. Someone mentioned such a machine should run a BeOS spinoff.
What I’m trying to say is that machines running BeOS should be custom build (like consoles) and should run a n00b-friendly version of the OS. Is there a market for this concept, and are there people interested in developping a haiku-version that is as easy to understand as a cellphone? In other words: is it a marketing idea to sell prefixed machines with the lowest user requirements to date? I’m not into making money over other people’s work, just boosting an idea. Once Haiku passes béta I’d be more than interested tho in coördinating this idea (that is, if and when Haiku becomes a commercial product).