Thoughts on the Reopening of Haiku User Groups

Dear members of the Haiku forum,

In a recent thread within the Italian Haiku Group, we initiated a very interesting discussion about the possibility of reopening and standardizing Haiku User Groups worldwide. This is a matter I believe deserves broader attention, so I’d like to share some reflections and gather opinions from all of you.

First and foremost, I’d like to emphasize that User Groups have been a crucial element in the BeOS community in the past, providing an opportunity for enthusiasts and developers to meet, share ideas, and work together to improve the operating system. However, in recent years, many of these groups have slowly faded or closed. The question we must now ask is whether it’s the right time to reopen them and if we can find an effective way to do so.

One of the initial issues we need to address is the standardization of User Group names. This was raised in the Italian Group, and I believe it’s an important point. We should aim to have a uniform name for all groups so that they are easily recognizable and connected to the Haiku project. However, we should also consider flexibility to adapt the name based on the culture and language of each local group.

Furthermore, we should discuss how to make User Groups more appealing and participatory for the community. There are many possible ideas, such as online or physical events, training sessions, hackathons, and more. What do you think would make a Haiku User Group an engaging place for enthusiasts?

Finally, we should assess how to manage communication and coordination among the various groups. An essential tool for this could be the creation of a centralized online platform that allows all groups to share resources and information.

I would love to hear your opinions on these matters and any other ideas or suggestions you may have regarding the reopening of Haiku User Groups. The goal is to strengthen our community and collaboration, so every contribution is valuable.

Thank you all for your attention, and I hope this discussion can lead to a brighter future for Haiku User Groups worldwide.

Best regards,


As a former officer of the Cedar Valley Commodore User Group supporting Commodore 64 and 128 users in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls metro area in northeast Iowa, I can say that it takes a lot of work to organize a user group. Starting in 1994, there were only a handful of 8-bit users left in those cities so the office of “program director” was created as a composite of several previous positions. My duties included selecting a topic of presentation each month, assisting the club president in writing the newsletter, presiding over every meeting and in the meantime, the club president copied files from the public domain software library for a “disk of the month” selection that was sold for a small fee as a fundraiser.

Most of this can be automated by having online presence such as this web forum and setting up a blog to replace the newsletter (as is also done on the Haiku web page) every month. Frankly, this web page is essentally a global user group already. The only part missing would be a monthly meeting which could be done remotely using Jitsi Meet and web-cams. (There are other streaming services like Zoom or Google Meet that could also be used but Jitsi is free/libre open-source software.) If the presentation were polished and kept on-topic, a You-Tube channel or similar service could be used to publish the presentation.

As far as monthly in-person meetings go, I think that ship sailed with the tide of our times. Online presence could be improved through quarterly online meetings and an occasional convention like what WalterCon used to be, would be a direction to expand. All we’d need for that is some organization and enough news to make some buzz about Haiku.


I agree with you that user groups are important.

I recall there was some discussion a very long time ago on the Haiku mailing list, but I don’t think a conclusion or consensus was reached back then.

I think the naming considered back then was something along the lines of “HUG xxx”, as in Haiku User Group xxx. An example would be HUG Nordic (it’s the one I remember), which by the way is still on the web at:

(Very cool website!)

I also vaguely remember that the trademark policy would have to be followed by the user groups.

That being said, a long time has passed since then: some people have left the community, some new members have joined. And means of communication have also changed quite a bit. So you are probably looking at starting from a clean slate.

I don’t have a strong opinion, but I tend to think that each (local) community could do it’s thing, and as long as it contributes to spreading the word about Haiku, nobody would complain.

The only advise I can think of is: keep it fun! That’s probably the secret to long term continuity and eventual success.

Good luck!


I don’t know if user groups need so much coordination and centralization. To me, the point of local (or national) user groups is to do whatever the local people want to do.

For example:

The Australian user group had online conferences, because Australia is very large, and in-person meetings were unpractical

On the other hand, BeFAN and then the HSA did in-person meetups in Germany (BeGeistert), eventually managed to attract Haiku developers from France and other countries as well.

So, share what you do, it will give inspiration to other user groups to do similar things, or maybe different things :slight_smile:

As for the names, be creative and a bit silly with wordplays in typical BeOS and Haiku style. BeOS had BUGs (Be User Groups) and Haiku had and can continue having HUGs (Haiku User Groups). But if you have an opportunity for a better name in your chosen language, go ahead!

The local Linux user group here is called the CULT (Club des Utilisateurs Linux de Toulouse), it will be hard to top that…


Hello everyone,

I’m excited to see the interest in reopening Haiku User Groups and the discussion about standardizing names. As some of you may know, we’ve managed ITBUG, the Italian BeOS group, for almost 10 years.

The idea of having an acronym like “HUG” is certainly charming and somehow evokes a sense of community and affection. Regarding standardizing national or territorial variations of names, I think it’s a valid point to discuss. On one hand, it might help maintain some consistency in group names and make global recognition easier. On the other hand, it could limit creativity and individuality for each group.

Perhaps we could find an interesting compromise, like having a fixed part of the name (e.g., “HUG” for Haiku User Group) followed by a variable part that reflects the location or language of the group. This way, we could maintain global identity and allow groups to add that personal touch that makes them unique.

I’m eager to hear others’ opinions and contribute to shaping the future of Haiku User Groups. Let’s continue working together to strengthen this fantastic community!

Take care,


As an occasional Haiku user, personally, I have never found ‘user groups’ to have any real use.

I tried a Linux User Group, & it was a waste of time; so you will need to have something really positive to offer!

These days, people don’t like to waste time travelling, so it would need to be an online community, which is basically what this forum is, or could be. Maybe set aside an area on here for local groups(?).

I think that in places where people can meet, there could be install parties or participations to a local conference. These events could appear on Haiku main page as BeGeistert used to do. What will be needed is of course date and localisation of the event, a short presentation of what it is and a line ‘Haiku will be represented by XXX Hug’. Following that by a mean to contact the group would be a nice addition.
In places where people can’t meet physically, they will probably be more online meeting and coding parties.
In both cases, some groups can initiate common projects, Genio is a good example of that. We can easily imagine that inside these groups people will communicate and/or code in their language. But as @lelldorin stated in another thread, it is important that these code contributions, as small as they can be, are not lost. So, I think that inside the group, an effort should be done to put contributions (code or docs) in a form that can be shared with other groups. Having a place common to all HUGs would be good to expose the resulting works and why not coordinate efforts. In matter of docs, perhaps BeSly knowledge base could be a starting point.

Because for you the language is not a barrier.
There are a lot of people who are not speaking English fluently enough to understand what they may find on the web. Even if it is allowed to post here in other languages, it’s not natural for people to do it. In those groups they can find help in their language. Also, when it is possible to meet, some people will better understand if you show them directly.

Well, you can also… not join them :slight_smile:

I have moved in several different cities, in one place the Linux User Group had monthly meetups, mainly it was eating pizzas, bring your laptop and show the last thing you installed or whatever (one time we spent the evening playing games on an Apple ][ emulator), overall it was fun.

In another city, the city wasn’t big enough, so the user group was for a larger area, as a result it was mainly a mailing list thing, I never met anyone, and the mailing list was nothing but useless arguments about which non-profit is THE local user group…

And where I live now, there is a full-blown conference every year with talks, various opensource projects showing things in the conference hall, and so on. It is bringing people in from all over the country now. I am very happy to give talks there about my projects, I met a lot of nice people there too.


/me wonders if an eventual East African HUG would be called “Haikuna matata” :stuck_out_tongue:

Guess the Argentine one could be called some variation of “”? (HUG sounds somewhat like our “jug”, “.ar” is our .TLD, and “jugar” == “to play”).

Haha, funny! :laughing:

But doesn’t catch with me…


Thank you for your contributions and thoughts on reopening the Haiku User Groups. It’s clear that we are moving towards a vision where these groups will serve as local gathering points, providing local support to Haiku users. It’s a very valid approach and could be extremely helpful for those seeking assistance in their own language or locality.

The suggestion to create a dedicated space on the Haiku website to facilitate group formation is an intriguing idea. This could indeed expedite the process and provide a centralized platform for all the groups.

Regarding the name, I agree that the acronym “HUG” is a charming and recognizable element, but I also understand that finding a name that is appropriate, meaningful, and sounds good can be a challenge. It’s an important aspect that deserves further discussion to strike the right balance between internationality and local roots.

We are all here to work together on this project, and it’s exciting to see such interest in creating an international yet authentically local community. Let’s continue to share ideas and discuss how we can bring this vision to life.

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Dear @SamuraiCrow ,

I am really happy that you are in a better financial situation than me, who actually on a Haiku machine and do not a have a chance to have a machine with another OS than Haiku this way I could not participate on a User Group meeting with webcam …


Moreover –
in 2021 I became enthusiast and attempted to organise ONE Hungarian Haiku/BeOS Meeting for monthes.
Finally in February of 2022 just 3 persons met only – however I’ve envisioned a lot more – from old members and possibly new ones as well.

Also the meeting was ambivalent for me
as we felt ourself well – thanks to our host @extrowerk who was kind to offered his flat as were so few and could fit there and was able to sit together and talk each other. The 3rd one who could participated then : was @davidkaroly.
Meanwhile we tried to boot my machines I brought with me and they discussed something they attempted to solve to launch and port in the meantime – kindly but declined my expressed ideas regarding an enterprise related Haiku.
It was not a finacial stuff priomarily but getting a team for coding / translating Haiku, related docs, sites etc.
so what happens through Haiku site voluntarily, in spare time, of the people interested in it.

I wish all of user groups to have their meetings back again …
… especially if you find a core team to have time and effort to organize it. If the passion would loose - like at me - this won’t be periodic finally and will fade away again.
I’m afraid it is needlessly to organize it if there is no inner motivation of possible participants to make a gathering. : (

Haiku is beta test software at this point. Please do not begrudge me my second hard drive with Linux on it. The cost of an SSD is getting fairly affordable in smaller capacities anyway. If I thought my spare internal platter drive would survive shipment, I’d send it to you.

Thank you.

Sorry, I forgot some culture thinks all capital letters means yelling about it …
I just wanted to pinpoint the online meeting is far beyond my capacity actually as my payment is just enough for rent a flat and buy food only. ; )
I had not intented to cry out loud just marked as important part my reply.

So again, sorry for using it I was growing in terminal time where capital letters ment important thing – it was not chit-chatting era as such netiqette stuff spread in quasi-internatonal era or in nowadays.

Also I wanted to mention : not all people can join online even in this era - however they have device and software if something in the deep is still not ready.

That’s all.

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