Haiku Questions


#1

So I’ve somehow stumbled upon this OS and am quite intrigued, but I have a few nagging questions about it.

To be completely blunt, what exactly is the point? There are already three established OS’s. Windows and Mac have an infinite wealth of programs and compatibility with your hardware, while Linux may take a bit of hunting and know-how to get it to work correctly on your system.

I can only imagine that I would install Haiku, realize that I have no way of installing drivers for my video card, wireless card, etc., not be able to connect to the internet, and not be able to use any programs apart from what is on Haikuware.com

With Windows, everything is plug-and-play, or you can just pop in a driver disk for it. How do I know that Haiku will recognize any of my computer hardware at all, and how do I know I can even do something as simple as plug in a USB drive?

Is there an actual reason for using Haiku, or is it just for the cool factor of having a unique OS? I remember installing Linux way back when it was relatively new, then realizing I couldn’t do anything on it apart from stare at the desktop or type something (and then have no way of saving it on anything other than the HD).

Also, how exactly does Haiku operate? For example, to keep my PC running well, I have a system wiper to clear all of my temp files, a registry cleaner, and a defrag program for the HD. Does Haiku also operate in the same fashion, or does it use its partition in a completely different fashion?


#2

Haiku doesn’t cary the baggage that other operating systems have due to the maintaining backwards compatibility, etc… Haiku (and BeOS before it), were designed to be forward thinking and to be very efficient and optimized with hardware resources. If you were to install Haiku (or BeOS for that matter) on older hardware and then install Windows on the same hardware, you’d see what all the fuss is about.

YES, is there the possibility that something might not work?, well since Microsoft has pretty much monopolized the computing landscape for so long that the plug-n-play and driver support is good because those hardware vendors are unwilling to make their stuff work with anything else and/or are unwilling to work with the open source community to ensure their components work on anything outside of Windows with only a few exceptions concerning Linux-based operating systems. It’s sad that the computer market is stuck in such a sad state of affairs.

Read this article to get perspective on the subject (He Who Controls the Bootloader): http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/byte/30-bootloader/

Just burn the Haiku ISO on a disc and boot to the LiveCD and check it out!


#3

Thanks for the link!. I knew what was going on at the time, but never saw the Byte.com articles. This puts the Be history all in place.

We BeOS lovers may not have Be and BeOS, but at least we do have HAIKU.


#4

Nope, I wonder where you got this idea? It’s true that there’s no defragmentation tool supplied with Haiku, but that’s not because BFS particularly doesn’t need one, indeed defects in the BFS design mean it’s arguably more important than on other popular filesystems today, but it simply hasn’t ever reached the top of someone’s TODO list.

There is a rather cute Haiku system call _kern_supports_defragmenting_partition(…) but like much of the Haiku API it’s just a stub, it always returns false.


#5

[quote]
YES, is there the possibility that something might not work?, well since Microsoft has pretty much monopolized the computing landscape for so long that the plug-n-play and driver support is good because those hardware vendors are unwilling to make their stuff work with anything else and/or are unwilling to work with the open source community to ensure their components work on anything outside of Windows with only a few exceptions concerning Linux-based operating systems.[/quote]

Thing is, Microsoft actively pushes vendors to implement open standards in their hardware. IHV drivers are notoriously lousy for any operating system (electronic engineers usually don’t write good software, and people who aren’t electronic engineers get no love at a hardware vendor), so Microsoft wants to avoid them where possible. Open standards let Microsoft write their own drivers, but they give the same opportunity to every other OS.

Haiku doesn’t work well on most of the hardware because Haiku’s drivers are lousy, not out of any limitation imposed by Microsoft or by the vendors. It’s not hard to skim the bug reports and see people reporting problems with AHCI SATA (an open standard) or USB HID (another open standard) and of course people’s UVC webcams (open standard) don’t work, their USB headphones and Bluetooth headsets (both open standards) don’t work, which is a shame because they also often run into problems with onboard Intel HDA (also an open standard). They are told to lower their expectations, and given the Microsoft excuse that dcatt has relied on.


#6

[quote=NoHaikuForMe][quote]
Haiku doesn’t work well on most of the hardware because Haiku’s drivers are lousy, not out of any limitation imposed by Microsoft or by the vendors.[/quote]

What a load of bull.


#7

Asking what the point of Haiku is and giving OS X, Windows and Linux as examples is exactly like asking someone why drink anything else when there’s already Pepsi and Coca Cola around. Why drive a different car when there’s Mercedes, BMW and Porche. Don’t eat stake because you have McDonalds and french fries and mashed potatoes and that is all someone would ever want.
I’m a long time Linux user. It has been my main and only OS since 2001. I remember how Linux used to look and feel like back in the day, with the early KDE builds and the window managers. Some people would try Slackware 3 and frown because “we has no drivers and gamez” and move on. Some wouldn’t. Now a Linux build is on half of the world’s smartphones and most of its servers while desktop adoption is ever-growing.
Asking what the point of one or another operating system is without actually knowing anything else than Windows for your entire life is pointless. Now THAT is pointless.
Go back to Pepsi and Mercedes and McDonalds. They’re the only things you dare to know.


#8

[quote=dcatt]Haiku doesn’t cary the baggage that other operating systems have due to the maintaining backwards compatibility, etc… Haiku (and BeOS before it), were designed to be forward thinking and to be very efficient and optimized with hardware resources. If you were to install Haiku (or BeOS for that matter) on older hardware and then install Windows on the same hardware, you’d see what all the fuss is about.

YES, is there the possibility that something might not work?, well since Microsoft has pretty much monopolized the computing landscape for so long that the plug-n-play and driver support is good because those hardware vendors are unwilling to make their stuff work with anything else and/or are unwilling to work with the open source community to ensure their components work on anything outside of Windows with only a few exceptions concerning Linux-based operating systems. It’s sad that the computer market is stuck in such a sad state of affairs.

Read this article to get perspective on the subject (He Who Controls the Bootloader): http://www.birdhouse.org/beos/byte/30-bootloader/

Just burn the Haiku ISO on a disc and boot to the LiveCD and check it out![/quote]

Thanks for the info! Now, I remember Linux back in the day made its own partition and I was greeted with a boot screen to choose the OS; does Haiku do that as well? I’d like to try it out, but without messing anything up.


#9

Haiku doesn’t yet have the ability to resize partitions. Create a new partition with a Linux live cd or similar. After installing, you will either have to add the Haiku partition to your existing bootloader, or install Haiku’s bootloader.

Or if you don’t want to mess anything up, you could always try virtualbox.


#10

[quote=DioGen][quote=NoHaikuForMe][quote]
Haiku doesn’t work well on most of the hardware because Haiku’s drivers are lousy, not out of any limitation imposed by Microsoft or by the vendors.[/quote]

What a load of bull.[/quote]

I second that!


#11

Here’s my personal opinion to your questions.

1: Whats the point of haiku when you have Mac, Windows and Linux? Ok. What’s the point of Linux when you have Mac and Windows. What’s the point of Mac when you have Windows? The point is to have an alternative. Haiku could almost be classed as an attempt to save an endangered species, the BeOS from certain extinction. If someone doesn’t develop these alternative non-unix OSes, the world will be filled full of Windows, Linux and BSD. What a boring world that would be.

2: Well in your use-case you should just either stick to Windows or develop more apps for Haiku. Moaning about its lack of apps on a forum isn’t going to change anything

3: Because Haiku is designed to “just work”. Whereas Linux can be set ip to work on one machine, it’s not designed to be portable. Whereas i can copy Haiku to a USB stick and expect it to work on almost any machine. I have yet to own a machine (including a Thunderbolt Macbook pro) that will not boot Haiku

4: If you’re dependent on BeOS-only software, such as TuneTracker, you have a very good reason to use Haiku. Otherwise, it’s personal choice. You wouldn’t complain if i said i prefer Pepsi to Coke, so why should it be different if i prefer Haiku over Windows?

5: Haiku uses the BFS partition type, unique to Haiku and BeOS. This unique design does away with defragging, as the filesystem driver does that automatically. Also, Whilst i cannot tell you exactly how it works, Haiku does not have a registry and (iirc) stores settings much like UNIX in files.


#12

“What a load of bull.”

No, it’s not, because he’s right.

Many of our drivers are indeed lousy, and for different reasons, all valid, we’re not catching up regarding hardware support, quite the contrary, while more popular open source operating systems have good and often even better hardware out of the box supports than Microsoft itself.

I’m not blaming anyone here. As one of some Haiku developers, I’m to blame too, anyway.
We’ve still to attract the critical mass of drivers developers, and the current trend is opposite.


#13

“but like much of the Haiku API it’s just a stub, it always returns false.”

A bit exaggerated. If that much Haiku API were stub, no Haiku operating system will ever have exists.


#14

Sorry, you’re quite right, it’s not really fair to look at it this way.


#15

It’s a combination of any number of things why one particular person would use Haiku or any other OS. I like it just as much because of what is NOT, as because of what it IS. It is NOT Windows. Some folks don’t have a problem with Windows. I personally hate Windows with a passion, after years of using every version from Windows 3.0 through Windows 8. If I just want to check my email, I don’t want to wait for a long boot process, or click “yes”, “no”, or “cancel” on several update reminders, “assistant” or “wizard” pop-ups, etc. Like some of the small Linux distros, Haiku just boots very rapidly and is then at rest waiting for my input. It doesn’t talk to me unless I talk to it.

There is one specific niche where BeOS and Haiku really shine, and that is for radio stations using TuneTracker software. We’ve used BeOS for many years to run our station and it’s extremely reliable, and now we’re using Haiku. The dreaded “dead air” of a station is never a problem with BeOS or Haiku. They just work, with no interruptions from automatic updates, restarts, viruses, etc., etc.

Windows and Mac will probably always have the advantage because they are profit-oriented. For a programmer to make a steady living, he or she will most likely write code where there is a steady supply of money. OS’s like Linux and Haiku rely on enthusiasts who donate free time or rely on donations. Any donations are dwarfed by the huge amount of money Windows and Mac has to continue paying programmers, vendors, etc.


#16

it really is bull. every single piece of hardware i’ve tried has worked under Haiku, with the exception of a Roland UA-100 audio interface (which BTW worked better under BeOS than Windows). no doubt there’s plenty of things that don’t work but considering the resources and money MS has compared to the Haiku developers…it’s hard to imagine the point of making such comments.

burn a disc or put it on a USB stick and try it. that’s all-no need to worry about all these issues.

and as far as ‘why Haiku?’ for me – the same reason I’ve used BeOS for 13 years straight-it’s ability to play audio better than anything else, even on very modest hardware. soundplay, to me, is by far the best player i’ve ever used. i use it heavily for professional audio work. an example of the difference-play with the graphic equalisers in soundplay. move a slider and the change is instantaneous…like real hardware. i’ve yet to find a windows or linux EQ that worked like that, or sounded as good. compare it to the EQ in VLC for instance, which is just about useless.

that, and the speed, the simplicity, the look, the feel…and NOT needing registry cleaners, defragging, malware and virus programs…etc etc etc.

is it all i use? no. i use Haiku, Beos, Mint 14 XFCE, and Windows 2000 Pro for certain audio and graphics tasks. all reside happily on the same machines and Haiku is just part of the picture.


#17

Dcat has a few points. I mean I want to try out Haiku becuase it looks neat and it apears more stable then ReactOS all but for the installer witch needs work, and becuase it is open source and free of charge. I personaly did not use Be OS as I was just a little tot then and hence I don’t fuss or care about backwords compability, or what it can do as long as I can boot it up, which Haiku only does some what.