I’ve been following the Haiku project for a bit and I find it quite nice to bring back to life the old BeOS. It was without a doubt a good OS back in the days and I’m sure that if it was luckier and with some more advertisement it would be really bid today.
However there are features that are lacking really bad (and this is my point of view, so please, don’t see this as an attack to the project).
In my view Haiku misses one big issue to make it an OS to the people, it misses a localization kit. Something that will format currencies, numbers, text alignment, dates and the whole texts on the base applications to the language and locale of the user. I think this would break the wall of non english speakers to use Haiku.
I also believe that other kits like XML, multimedia would also allow developers to add more applications to the OS.
And finally for a start a port of the OpenJDK should be a priority, not because of the port itself, but because by doing this we enable people to access a huge amount of software some free and other proprietary that is available for long to everyone on other OSes.
I believe that the localization is a simple kit, maybe reuse the GNU gettext PO file format and reimplement it as a Object Oriented C++ api would be enough, this way we just need to port some PO editor and we enabled everyone to i18n, l10n their apps.
The game kit is kind of confusing to me, i read the code and i see a low level audio player… that’s not a real game api, it’s more a multimedia api. Gaming is an important feature and most of the times a reason to chose an OS, so i thing that we should either pick a free API, for example something like crystal space, of just write wrappers around OpenGL, OpenAL, maybe DevIL and ffmpeg and make those the game API, of course if we go low level like on the second option we can merge the game kit to the multimedia kit i was talking before…
Last but not least keep it simple one major step would also be a multicast dns service like apple bonjour to setup all the network aware appliances.