The Haiku name

Curious about the name choice, it’s a lovely word, but is it right for an OS? I could see me not using the OS because of it’s name.
Like I said it’s a nice word but I can’t/don’t know how to pronounce it. As a self employed Computer Technician it’s bad enough trying to promote Linux without giving all 3 (in my mind, Lee-nux, Lie-nux, Lyn-nux) possible ways of pronouncing it.

My attempt at pronouncing it would be hay ku (hay rhyming with may and ku rhyming with two). Which, here in Scotland, would sound like I’m trying to catch the attention of a Cow.

It may seem petty or shallow, but I just don’t like the name. I love the project however, I loved BeOS and any attempt to recreate/improve it is a great idea.

Well done.


Don’t quote me on it, but I believe that the “netpositive” error messages may play a part in the naming. Most BeOS users will recall the silly but fun messages that popped up while having connection problems and such…

Haiku Pronunciation

Linux Pronunciation

Haiku is a good name. Much better than Windows which is boring and Linux which has no meaning.

1 Like

Not using an OS because of the name is short sighted. Some people even complain about Linux distro names. Like PCLinuxOS. That they like the distro but not its name. Too late now. Haiku name is very unlikely to change.

Myself, I pronounce it like, hi-koo. Very easy.

The Haiku name didn’t over power me at first either because I know it to mean Japanese poem but now it has grown on me and seems pretty good. It takes a little getting used to. Give it some time.

The name is no worse than ( and better than some ):
Linux, Windows, Free/Net BSD, Syllable, Sky OS, Morph OS, Zeta OS, Mac OS, Amiga OS, etc.

brewin, Linux name has meaning. It is (Linu)s + Uni(x) = Linux. Linus probably wanted to avoid using the whole term Unix because of trademark. So made the name different enough to avoid a legal issue. Just like how OpenBeOS changed name to Haiku.

I completely agree with you on the Windows name, it’s boring and can be frustrating in a search. “Windows” are very common on houses too.
On the other hand, windows can be opened to let things in and Windows is open to let everything in, very fitting.

Linux, an annoying name but a great OS none the less. I can see the Linus Torvalds connection and the unix name play, but anything with questionable pronounciation is annoying.

On a happier note, the links you provided were very helpful, thanks. I can now say, in Scotland, Haiku sounds like I’m saying hello to a cow rather than attracting it’s attention. Slightly better.

I’m curious about the possible link to these error messages, I shall have to investigate further.

Since this wasn’t actually clarified above, and I don’t know if the original poster knows this:

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry known for it’s simplicity. Haiku poetry often references nature.

Furthermore, the above mentioned NetPositive error messages were written in Haiku form - which was extremely unique for its time :slight_smile:

For me it’s a perfect fit for the project. Haiku are short Japanese poems - it’s a word that has connotations of both beauty (poetry, often about the beauty of nature or the changing of the seasons) and simplicity (they are always short, some claim exact 3 line and 5-7-5 syllable pattern but that is apparently not a rule applied to Japanese Haiku). Beauty and simplicity sum up exactly what we’re trying to do (a whole-project mentality, consistent thought-through user experience, desktop focus, and a feeling of a very fast, responsive system).

Haiku also has the subtle nod back to BeOS because of the NetPositive Haiku error messages mentioned above. Most of the ones in NetPositive came from here:

Also I should mention the name was chosen after a vote by the community - apparently it wasn’t many people’s first choice, but was a common second preference which was why it won out in the vote. I genuinely love the name, and also the branding that it has led to (the “leaf” symbol is a nice simple symbolic reference back to the seasonal themes common in Haiku).

My only wish is that people stop referring to “Haiku” as “Haiku OS” - saying it like that ruins the poetic sound of the name completely. It’s unfortunate that we were forced to due to being taken by a web squatter.

edit: emphasis added by admin.

here in Scotland, [hay ku] would sound like I'm trying to catch the attention of a Cow.

Oh. Now it make sense: cows are our end user target!


PS: Don’t lost all faith, when ready, I’ll bet at least one distro of Haiku will come with a name you’ll like. Meanwhile, who knows, Haiku name will eventually grow on you so by the time you’ll get used to it and wont need a distro named differently to be an happy user…

You in 1999: "Hey I’ve got this awesome new OS installed; BeOS!
Friend in 1999: "Huh, BIOS? What do you mean, you installed a new BIOS?
You in 1999: “Not BIOS, BeOS!” "It’s an OS!"
Friend in 1999 (looks puzzled): “And what is it, this BIOS thing?”

But it doesn’t relate at all to the Desktop analogy…ever seen a desktop with windows in it?

Hi koo. as in the japanese form of poetry. for example see
To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy

Linux does have meaning…
Linus + Minix = Linux

Tux = Penguin = Linus got bit by a penguin when he was a child…

Although Haiku is better :stuck_out_tongue:

well imagine if Bill Gates was bitten by a dog and named his first OS, MS-DOG and the second Billdows (almost sounds like bulldoze). Those names would have meaning!

There are also some OS projects that have felt the need to change their name to better reflect the nature of the OS (e.g., a change in development direction):

OpenBSD > TrueOS
Core OS > Container OS
Mandrake Linux > Mandriva
and others…

The name “Haiku” refers more to the Netpositive app than to the OS itself. It also sounds like one of those developer “in-jokes” or “recursive acronyms”. It would be interesting to see what the other name contenders were in the original vote. Even a slight change like “Hakku” (hack-oo) might be better, as it’s recognisable as being related to computing.

Original name of project is “OpenBeOS”, in short “OBOS”. And I think is still valid in some degree.
“Haiku“ I do not like too.
In future I hope for spin of Haiku with better name.
For OS names I like abbreviations too.
OBOS was good name.

Name must not have some strange associations in language. Of course if strangeness is not primary intention of naming.
And here, with multiple languages in the World we have some problem.
Some times association in language is not that bad, for example russians associate Haiku with “female screw”, but some times “Haiku” may sound not so friendly (like for me for exmpl. in lithuanian).
In that sense Abbreviations are better, they do not pretend that they are words with some kind of double inner meaning. Word meanings uncertainty causes stupidity.