Help needed for FOSDEM stand

Hello there!

As you may know, some members of the Haiku team (usually mmu_man, oco and myself) attend FOSDEM, the yearly meetup of opensource developers in Europe. (if you are not familiar with that, we have a report from 2019 here for example: )

This year, FOSDEM moved to an online event. Which means we have a bit more work than usual, we cannot just get there on the saturday morning when the event starts and set up our usual space with demo computers running Haiku and improvised tour of the OS features.

In order to provide a similar experience, the plan is:

  • A “mini site” hosted by FOSDEM with a few paragraph of text introducing Haiku
  • Some videos showcasing the OS and its main features (usually we would demo filesystem attributes, multimedia playback, probably show some of the new applications like Medo this year)
  • There will also be a Matrix chat channel (bridged with Freenode IRC) where people can join and ask questions (but I’m not worried about this part, we can tell our existing Freenode community to join that channel for the weekend and help run it).

So, if you’d like to help with setting up the mini-site (I guess it’s mainly about extracting the relevant things from our existing website) and the videos, your help is welcome.

Given the short delay (2 or 3 weeks left), maybe there is not much time for new video content and existing videos can be reused instead.

If someone wants to run some “special events” like live streaming (or pre-recording) an introduction to Haiku, that’s welcome as well.


I could probably help out with the mini-site. Are there any requirements/special requests for it?

There are technical requirements: (basically it uses Hugo just like our main site, and we provide only the content, the style will use FOSDEM branding).

As is usually the case with FOSDEM, we get provided the infrastructure (usually a table to put your things on, a wifi network and a power plug; this year an empty website and chartoom) and what we make of it is up to us.

Here is the email they sent us:

Congratulations on your stand at FOSDEM 2021. Now the “real” work starts :wink:

We realise we left you very little time to prepare, and we apologise for it; FOSDEM 2021 is a new experience and our tried-and-tested recipes don’t work as well in the virtual world.

Nevertheless, to recap what we already stated, this is certainly what you will get from us:

I’ll explain in reverse order.


You’ll get a chatroom at (with a lot of help from the amazing Matrix people) for your stand, to manage as you wish. We propose that you create some kind of schedule (can be public, can be private) of when an interesting person will be at your stand, so interested visitors can have a chat.

We’ll make sure your primary stands page links to the chatroom.


In a way that still has to be developed (or at least worked out), you’ll be able to upload (or rsync/sftp) some prerecorded video’s (showcases, interviews, demo’s, etc.) to a folder under

We’ll also make sure that there is a link from the stands page.


There will be a website called which will list under /stands/ all stands at FOSDEM 2021; organised per theme. Each “stand” has a primary (index) page with some generated content. All other pages are up to you: you can put everything on the primary page, create subpages or do something else. The website is generated with Hugo, and every stand is a directory (with under content/stands. Your pages are thus content pages (HTML and MD), which means you don’t have to care about how it looks (we’ll put it in the FOSDEM theme) or how it exactly is configured; we deal with all that.

You can add static content (images, etc.) to be used on your pages.

We’ll fetch all your content once per hour (when the site is up - sometime next week) with git. Therefore, in the acceptance mail, we asked you to provide us with two git repositories; one for the content files (you don’t have to provide the rest of the Hugo scaffolding) and one for the static files. Make sure we can pull without authentication.

As soon as the site is up, well provide you with the link so you can check how everything will look. You can also clone our git repo and check for yourself (see the Hugo documentation for more details on how - the command is hugo serve).

I think the idea is to give the following information:

  • A short overview of what is Haiku, covering the frequently asked questions: our goal is writing a modern and well-integrated desktop operating system, we have a BeOS compatibility layer, etc.
  • A “what’s new since last year” (can be based on the beta2 release notes) and maybe “what’s coming up next”
  • A “get involved”/“how to help” page as well as a way to submit donations (this is an event mostly targetted to people already well into the free software thing, mostly developers)
  • Usually we also give a demo of Haiku showing (I think this would be best done as a video in this year format):
    • extended attributes: live queries (editing a people file and showing how tracker immediately adds or removes it from search result), stored queries, how to use a stored query as a MediaPlayer playlist, querying for bookmarks (possibly including a mention of Googlefs showing how this could in theory extend to files that are on the web)
    • Media support: running multiple MediaPlayer instances, showing Cortex with all the media nodes, maybe using that demo where you can have multiple videos coming from different apps shown on a spinnnig cube, sometimes I also added a MIDI keyboard. This year I guess we would instead showcase Medo?
    • User interface: stack and tile, “X-Ray menus” showing how you can right click a directory in Tracker and easily navigate inside it, worskpaces,…
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Thanks! I’m glad we only have to provide the content, I thought I had to make a website from scratch.

I was thinking of maybe linking to the Haiku page on DistroTest so users can test Haiku out online without having to download or install anything. I will need to put a warning to let people know the performance isn’t that good, though.

In regards to the videos, we will need others to help record those - I’m not a video producing expert, so hopefully someone else can pitch in and help.

I tested Haiku on DistroTest using R1B2, sluggish but usable on my slow DSL connection. I noticed that there is an option before launching the OS to upload a file to the VM before launching. Could this be used to import another ‘drive’ with some demo files?

Hey all, work on the FOSDEM stand can be viewed here:

I’ve used Notion for this because Notion supports Markdown and pages can be exported into Markdown for easy uploading into Github. If you have a Notion account, you can edit and comment, otherwise feel free to comment on here.


most of the operating system is built from scratch to imitate BeOS, save several components which were open-sourced by Be Inc.

The last sentence isn’t really clear to me

On the “Get Involved!” page maybe add a section for IRC? Sometimes things can be arranged or explained faster then on the forum

“FAQs” could deserve some love

Overall very nice IMHO :slight_smile:

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Here’s a suggestion:

Haiku is the realization of those concepts and technologies in the form of an operating system that is open source and free. With only very few components open-sourced by Be Inc., almost all of the OS was built from scratch; modelled after the BeOS, though with many aspects extended and modernized.

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I like the suggestion very much. Very clear and true to me.

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As I mentioned, it’s still WIP so yeah, FAQs still doesn’t have anything yet - I’ll get to it though. And yes, thanks for the suggestion about that sentence on BeOS - I will update that.

If anyone would like to help write some of the pages please let me know - many hands make light work!

Just to clarify too, the Notion page is not what the final result will look like - FOSDEM has created their own website theme so the only things Haiku provides are the Markdown (text) files and the images/documents to be uploaded onto our stand.

Just to throw in my two cents worth, it would probably be good to be able to show any new/in development user applications or ports.

The core of the OS working well is important, but showcasing what’s available software wise and at what stage is important to attracting attention.


Hi everyone,

Thanks to jt15s and the marketing team we now have some info pages on the FOSDEM website.

Over the week-end we should have things happening on our FOSDEM “stand” which is a Matrix channel. You can join #fosdem-haiku-stand on freenode which is bridged to our FOSDEM stand, or join it directly from Matrix (instructions on FOSDEM website). We’ll be answering questions about Haiku, and if you have other ideas what to do there, your help is welcome :slight_smile:

If you wanted to chat with other Haiku devs and users, that may be the opportunity (even if we’re already available on our own IRC channels)


I have my BeBox set up so I’ll try to make a little video showing up inside and outside…


Brilliant work folks!
Thank you for keeping Haiku visible.
<3 FOSDEM and I will try to stop by tomorrow.

So the video I made is accessible from the stand page.

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Doesn’t seem like the providers think it’s secure there :confused: :stuck_out_tongue:

Oh oh!
This page is blocked.

We’re looking out for you. Telenet has identified this
website as restricted content and blocked it for your protection.
Think we got it wrong? Report it as a safe page.

Odd, works from here… should report to the FOSDEM team… but it’s probably your ISP that sux :stuck_out_tongue:

Could be, but reported it as safe and still won’t let me look at it :stuck_out_tongue:

:confused: FOSDEM = Belgium … my ISP = Belgium, doesn’t add up :wink: