Is it just me or is Haikuware down?

Every-time in the last week that I try to login I get:


You don’t have permission to access / on this server.
Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Or is it something I am doing wrong?

Both bebits and haikuware are down for more than a week.

I think Karl got mad at Haiku due to all the negative commes on #haiku irc re haikuware and took his toys and went home.

Really, he’s poring over the logs? Anything in particular that led you to your speculation?


for old Beos stuff I found an archive

For my part I can’t say I blame IRC, but more generally it’s obvious that Karl has been disgruntled for many years now. Haiku is often handled as the private tree house club of a handful of people, and for whatever reason Karl isn’t invited. He was unwelcome back in the Michael Phipps days and the same is true now. It’s entirely possible that he finally got the message and took his ball home.

Karl apparently told Alexander that he wanted to either pay out the Gallium3D bounty in the next six months or hand it over to Haiku Inc. That bounty has been stalled for over three years, but the site advertising it has only gone away in the past week or so.

A great shame. If you’re reading this Karl - please bring back haikuware, it is a brilliant resource and greatly appreciated by haiku users - even if they don’t take the time to say it often enough!

Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Haiku politics. Haikuware and BeBits were both welcome resources for BeOS and Haiku enthusiasts, and it is a shame that both may be gone because of BS.

[quote=humdinger]Really, he’s poring over the logs? Anything in particular that led you to your speculation?


Several commets he made on the haikuware forums. They are not available now to quote, but he made it clear that he didn’t like it when a haiku dev complained about the software that was hosted on haikuware. It seemed that the general opinion was that if it came from haikuware it was sub-standard.

This is just my read of his comments, I hope I am wrong and the sites come back soon.

Decisions for the Haiku project are made by the people with commit rights. Anyone’s proposal is discussed and if it gains traction with some of the committers, and the majority (formally or informally determined) approves, it can be implemented. I can’t remember Karl proposing anything besides not doing package management (which may be after it was implemented…). The committers didn’t agree with him.
His other endeavour has been how to spend donations to Haiku Inc. There have been long discussion, and the majority of Haiku Inc. didn’t agree with him to do bounties rather than contract work.
Looks to me like Karl can’t accept people disagreeing with him. If you can’t convince people of something, try as you might, it’s not prove that everyone’s just against you. It might just be that you’re wrong.

It’s just sad that he tries to cause maximum damage to the Haiku users by silently removing the software sites he created or bought.


Although it is traditional to claim that Haiku Inc has no decision making authority, in practice that’s laughable. Haiku Inc. controls the trademarks (without which the entire project must be renamed and all these sites closed down or moved), the purse strings, the employment contracts, relationships with important supporters like Google, and various social media.

Haiku Inc is not “the people with commit rights” it’s five guys, some of them are inactive or at the very least have taken no visible interest in Haiku for months. Those guys do not automatically reflect the wider opinions of committers, let alone users or donors, and they make no effort to seek those opinions, they just do whatever they want.

Actually Haiku Inc. decisions are taken in secret, by the few members who remain engaged enough to even take part. The “committers” (except for those few who are members of Haiku Inc) have nothing to do with it. When it is unavoidable that decision is eventually handed down to the public, maybe in a dismissive email from one of Haiku Inc’s members.

I’m sure none of this is done with much malice, it’s just easier to run things as a private club. But when people keep making public statements about how it’s an organisation that exists to serve the project not vice versa, and everything will be open and above board, it doesn’t take malice to fall short of those ideals.

Karl on the other hand apparently remembers putting his hand up when Haiku Inc. says it doesn’t have the manpower to get anything done, and being told that Haiku Inc. isn’t a volunteer membership body, its existing members choose new members at their private whim (implied: Karl isn’t invited).

Maybe Karl was wrong to be so cynical. Maybe over the next year or so Haiku Inc actually will manage to reform into a volunteer membership organisation, begin holding actual minuted meetings and let Haiku fans actually hold it to account. But I am not holding my breath.

It’s nice to see people pledging their undying love for Haikuware, but where have you been lately? The site has been deserted for the last several months. Maybe a new app once a month, if we’re lucky. It is not just up to Karl to keep the site up, it’s also up to us, the community, to keep it alive by feeding it with new items of binary delight. Or if you can’t do that, at least to keep the forums alive with comments. Don’t lay it all on Karl, it’s our responsibility too.

And having said that, I must admit I’ve put my own development activities on hold until we get a stable beta. The latest nightlies have just been too unstable. No big loss, you may say, your apps are rubbish. Fair enough, but at least I was writing them. 2 1/2 years between releases is just not good enough. If they can’t give us a beta, at least we need an alpha 5 to tell the world that the project is still alive.

But it’s part of the entire culture that says that Haiku was never meant to be a viable product, just a plaything for system devs. If you don’t believe me go read the devs mailing list archives, there are voices there openly saying there will never be a R2, just an ongoing learning experience for the devs themselves, and that R1 maintenance is doubtful.

Sorry, I’m drifting off the topic. No, actually I’m not. This is not about Karl’s personal grievances. It is about the project’s entire attitude towards its wider community (the little of it that’s left). The biggest news in the haiku world in the last YEAR has been that Tunetracker has brought out its own distro. After many years of NO activity on the PR mailing list, Ritchie is now trying to advance the project all by himself.

It looks like I am the only one who thinks that is insane. This is the 21st century. You do not survive by endless tinkering. You survive by creating buzz, excitement, by constantly giving people something to talk about.

But let me shut up. There’s no point, hardly any devs read these forums anyway.

I don’t read every message on the dev list, obviously, because I don’t remember seeing the specific discussions you allude to, but the general picture I get is a handful of people making a reasonable effort to slog forward at a point where there’s a lot to be done but the none of the choices are really ideal. I mean, beta/alpha/etc., there are sure problems here that anyone can point out, but it isn’t because the developers have some kind of hostile-to-users attitude, it’s likely a very typical problem at this stage of a large project with few resources and no particular deadlines. Some newer stuff still needs fixes, other stuff is now getting old enough that hardware etc. is leaving us behind, issues pile up and you wonder if Zeno could get there faster. Maybe they’ll all get sick of it and quit, and we’ll never get a release. My feeling is, if and when there’s a release, it will be great, and we start from there. Prior to that, there’s no use wailing about it, and certainly no use worrying about everyone’s attitudes about R2.

To return to the topic of the thread, I guess the question that arises is, what now? Was there a major need for a haikuware site under present conditions? It sounds like not really, as the sites were out of commission for some time before the question even came up? But if there is, what are the options for dealing with that need?


I'm quite a bit surprised by this, being myself a dev and having personally commited to doing the beta1 and R1 maintenance (and reading the forums).

Yes, Haiku is made by people working mostly on their free time, and some of them have no interest in doing a release. Is that a problem? I don't think so, these people are doing quite good work in preparing the features for R2 and beyond. Some are also not interested in the PR stuff. Is that a problem? I think not, anyone is free to join the project and start helping with that, as Richie Nyhus and Andrew Hudson did recently. And yes, we do need a lot more people in the PR team, because the people writing code won't take care of that work.

You see a problem of the attitude of the projects toward the community. The Haiku project is, above anything, about writing the code for the OS. I think it delivers on that side, and the level of donations directed to Haiku, inc. in the previous year shows that at least part of the community is happy with that. I think there is a problem of the attitude of (part of) the community towards the project. It's easy to complain that things are not done right, that they could be improved (and it's even easier to do so, when you are right about it). But, anyone is free to step up and join the project and start helping (note: I'm talking about the project here, let's leave the non-profit org out of the discussion for now - until the next paragraph at least). I think you did so, by writing some apps and contributing to the forums (here or at haikuware). Maybe you can help create more buzz too. Join the PR team, help propagating the news and doing some outreach. No need to even know how to write code for that.

About Haiku, inc: the late events clearly shows that yes, there is a problem in how it is working. There is an ongoing complaint that the decisions are made in “secret” and there is some truth to this. There are some good reasons for this (for example, Haiku, inc is sometimes dealing with very personal issues of the developers they have hired, and it is nice that not all of the discussions are disclosed). But most of the time they sure could do things more openly. The Inc is in “life support” mode right now anyway. Most of the board members have no time to run it anymore. This means it may be a good time to setup a new team, and it looks like a lot of people around here have ideas about what could be done. Maybe you should all at least try to apply to be a new board member and help draft the new status there (if that fails, at least you will have one more reason to complain about Haiku, Inc). If they don’t accept you, maybe you can start a new non-profit and fork the sourcecode. Is the “Haiku” name that important, after all? If that’s all there is to it, you don’t need the people writing the code, anyway, so just find another cool name for your project and make it a success! I’m looking forward to it. Maybe some fragmentation and diversity is welcome?

Not laughable. And even you are able to distinguish the different tasks of Haiku Inc. and the Haiku project:

The actual decisions of the direction of the project, that is what’s of interest of the users and devs, remain with the committers. Decisions like: PM or no PM, details about PM. Apply for GSoC or not. What is put in a release. When to release. Release as gcc2hybrid or gcc4. Go 64bit only. Scrap x86 and go with ARM as main platform. Change focus to Internet Appliances…

You then go on and respond to my description of the decision process of the Haiku project with how Haiku Inc. is run…


But most of the time they sure could do things more openly. The Inc is in “life support” mode right now anyway. Most of the board members have no time to run it anymore. This means it may be a good time to setup a new team, and it looks like a lot of people around here have ideas about what could be done. Maybe you should all at least try to apply to be a new board member and help draft the new status there (if that fails, at least you will have one more reason to complain about Haiku, Inc).[/quote]

I’ve probably out-stayed my welcome in this particular conversation already, but if I might add one last thing:

Reforming Haiku Inc. is not the only possible way forward. As the existing members know running a non-profit is a burden and that burden is not eliminated but only parcelled out differently by reform. Haiku’s contributors and/or the existing non-profit members could look at Free Software umbrella organisations that hold non-profit status and do administration on behalf of several projects. Examples include the Apache Software Foundation, the Software Freedom Conservacy, and Software in the Public Interest. One of those (or there are doubtless others to consider) might be willing to embrace the Haiku project, taking over the trademarks, etc. and allowing the existing non-profit to be wound down.

Over the years Karl supported Haiku with a lot of time and money. He was frustrated by Haiku’s inability or lack of interest in taking input from people outside the developers lists. He was frustrated with Haiku, Inc’s unresponsiveness and lack of visible activity. He had a vision and that vision was that the applications would show the world why Haiku mattered. He was especially frustrated by decisions that made Haiku unable to run legacy software, read only folders and the package manager.

I also share the belief that it will be the applications that convince people to adopt Haiku. I never had the time or money to create a web site dedicated to Haiku applications, and so I have written articles and contributed to discussions advocating for more applications.

I personally want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Karl for all the effort he has spent supporting Haiku. Having Haikuware up and running for so long has been a great boost for Haiku.

Thank you, Karl, for all your past support of Haiku. All the best to you.

I am still waiting for the bug reports on the supposed compatibility breakages with BeOS. Despite multiple requests from several developers, which have all been ignored. The few reports we got were already fixed, or are still being investigated.

So, this complaint that we break compatibility with nogood reasons and don't care about the complaints are not true. But the people complaining must take the small effort needed to open a bug report. Otherwise nothing will happen. I think this is a fair and simple rule?

Your statement that the problems must not exist is an example of the gap between ‘app friendliness’ and ‘developer attitude’. The issues do and did exist. Do you remember the BeOS compatibility package? Why wasn’t this installed by default? I personally tried numerous apps that would not install after various upgrades. It’s going to be more difficult to dig up examples because our main repository of legacy apps is now gone.

Also, I’m not saying that I was always against these changes,because there was usually an explanation of sorts if one were to reach out to the developers. But certainly some of these changes could have been made with less impact to the community at large. For instance, could we have not had a deprecated installoptionalpackage with a message that said “Please use HaikuDepot”? Just one example.

It has always been clear (to me at least) that Haiku has stayed for a very long time in pre-alpha then alpha, so that we can break compatibility with ourselves. Otherwise the first release of Haiku would be full of legacy quirks and wrappers for everything that happened in the last 15 years.

So, we decided on a compromise which is to stay compatible with BeOS, only. This means there is a fixed target and it makes things a lot easier.

I will repeat myself once again, as I already did many times. "I tested random software and it did not work" does NOT help to fix the problem in any way. You ask why we don't provide the BeOS compatibility package by default. The reason is that this way the default system is "clean" of the legacy stuff. It makes sure people learn about the correct way to do things (using find_directory instead of hardcoding paths, etc). If we had the package installed, people would still be hardcoding /beos/apps/whatever into their apps, and the day we decide to remove it, we would face the problem again. Or, we would decide to have our system folder called "beos", a trademark infringement, just so old apps can run.

After all those years, very few people took the time to open specific bug reports about the software that is broken and that they still want to use. I did more than my share of fixing issues on my own (just yesterday I uploaded packages for the BeOS port of the VLC media player to HaikuDepot). I still have free time to work on such things, and my TODO list is shrinking. Yet, I don't see much reports about broken software happening. To me it means that the few apps that were broken are not useful to anyone, or at least not enough that they are bothered to open a bug report. Seriously, how hard is it to attach a debug report to a ticket? You don't want to spend these 5 minutes, and we should be working to fix the problems? Note that I don't pretend that the issues don't exist, only that in the software I use, I either didn't see problems, or I already fixed them. But I don't use (or even know) all of the BeOS software.