There are a lot of people who think they know what Haiku needs and keep requesting a single leader.
Meanwhile, there are the people actually working on Haiku who insist this is a terrible idea.
I think the outcome of this is clear: find someone who wants to be the leader, fork the Haiku sources, and see how far that person can take the project before they do a burn out, because it is simply not possible for a single person to be in charge of everything. And I’m sure once there is one single person to attack, the criticism from all the “I know better” people will be directed directly towards the leader, instead of being “shock absorbed” by the project and the community as a whole.
For focus, I don’t know what to say. There are a lot of happy user and a small number of people who say they think the project is beyond hope and very misguided, but keep coming back to it year after year. Personally I think the focus is pretty clear on making an operating system for desktop computers. If there was no focus, we would be seeing a mobile phone version, a server OS, probably a version running on a Linux kernel, and so on; we would see people converting our apps to Qt, making a version of Haiku that run only on command-line with no GUI, and probably a dozen distros. This, somehow, does not happen. How do you explain it if there is no focus? The truth is, making a good desktop OS is a massive job. And within that job, there are hundreds or thousands of tasks to accomplish, and we can afford to let developers pick what they want to work on, depending, not only on what’s most pressingly needed, but also according to their personal skills, motivations, and the time they can spend on the tasks. So, yes, if you look at it only from the perspective of your personal idea of what’s most pressingly needed, well, first of all, not everyone has the same idea, and second, it ignores all other factors. Also: is there any constructive complaints about this? Like, things that we have done and really shouldn’t have because it was a massive waste of time?
Marketing: the OS is in beta phase. It is definitely NOT ready for general users. That makes it a bit difficult to market. You have to target tech enthusiasts, early adopters, and maybe software developers. Which we do, at least here in Europe, by giving talks and attending various opensource conferences and meetups about “alternative computing”. I think the slow growth of the project is OK. We have time to grow slow and steady. There are people who are happy users of Haiku, and, first of all, we can take care of them (and of ourselves). When we have done that, we can see about widening the audience. What would it bring us, anyway? If the goal is to get more users to report more bugs, I don’t see the point. If the idea is to get more contributors to the core OS, I don’t know if “marketing” is the right term, but surely we could do more tech talks and conferences to attract developers. But then, you don’t need to wait for “Haiku” to do that: anyone can submit a talk at a conference. For example, rjzak (who is or was active on this forum) did one at a conference about package management, Leah Hanson (who I don’t think ever contacted the project otherwise?) did one about the Haiku vector icon format. You made or found a cool thing in Haiku? Go share it with other developers! You need some stickers and other promo material for a conference? Ask Haiku inc to fund it, I’m sure they will, and we have the sticker designs ready to print. And if you want to get more involved with this, there is also an endless list of tasks to do: design a flyer (we have one but it’s super outdated), make new sticker designs, handle DVD manufacturing and shipping for the next release, write blogposts and articles about Haiku, and so on. It’s true that there isn’t a lot happening in that area, so, help welcome