Use cases arguments for Haiku in 2020?

Hi All - is there a good place to develop and post arguments on who-how-why should consider using Haiku in 2020?

I can imagine this would help in advocacy, but also in informing (potential) developers of possible or existing use scenarios.

Things that pop to my mind are:

  • radio stations/streaming/podcasting ?
  • people with old but functional hardware that they wanna setup for single use (like media player, controller, for old compute games …)
  • people who need simple but powerful and customizable user interfaces (like web kiosks, computers for older and people in special needs)
  • people who want to learn FLOSS programming operating systems, but not want to have the pressure of lots of frequent updates (Linux is too complex )

Haiku is intended to be a full-featured personal computing operating system; so anything that people do with “personal computers”, they should be able to use Haiku.

Initially, of course, our target audience is more technologically-oriented users, but as Haiku matures, eventually we’d like everyone to be able to use it.


As a writer and an occasional programmer, I find Haiku convenient and easy to use; this is my primary OS at home. Any ordinary user’s task may be completed under Haiku, if the hardware is chosen correctly; except for videoconferencing.

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We need a modern internet browser, that can be cover the daily use of any kind of user (zoom/others). As waddlesplash say; the OS is personal computer oriented but can be used for a specific task if is personalized (such as a digital signage for example).

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The short way I would say it is “you want something as nice and simple as macOS, but you want it open source and/or don’t want to pay for costly Apple hardware”.

Or, the other case is “you’re frustrated that no Linux distribution manages to ship something that just works, despite trying for more than 20 years. Yet you find Windows is bloated and you would rather not use it either”.

At least that’s what we try to build. But we’re still in beta and not quite there yet. So, for now? If you want to try an OS that’s a bit different, or see what it’s like contributing to a fun and welcoming open source project.


@PulkoMandy I disagree. Mac os is a mess. Haiku is much better thought out and way nicer and simpler to use! :wink:

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I prefer Haiku because of logical and clean design. The file system makes sense, settings make sense, the GUI makes sense. Its fast, lean, responsive. Its open. I can use it without command line. The developers are great. The users are great.

Twist the question around - why are people using anything else? There is only one answer (software and hardware gap), which is shrinking every day. Eventually there will be no gap. Hey, thats a nice slogan for Haiku in these troubled times - shrink the gap.


Having a focused target audience(s) for Haiku is somewhat I think about all the time. I often (well…very often) repeat that Haiku is still at the early stages here. But things will improve here.

The point is that now, in the 2020s, aside from the very curious techie enthusiasts, no one use a OS per se. Like a concept, u know…

Having a fresh, innovative UX is great.
But UX doesn’t live alone. UX is devoted to make users perform their tasks (in an unique way).

To perform tasks you need applications. And to do that a la Haiku way you need native applications. Otherwise, you’re just going to have the same overall experience of Linux in a non-hardware accelerated GUI.

And you can’t have the same godzillious number of apps you have on Linux, Windows or…well…iOs. A selection of which apps to promote the development of must be sliced.

Which apps need to be created first? The most useful for the intended target audience (that cannot be the general, average, unskilled user IMHO)

And here we’ve closed the loop…

As long as there is now real 3D support this won’t happen. You get nowhere nowadays without decent OGL/OCL support.

What you really meant to say is that Windows is a mess :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Nope, I didn’t; that goes without saying. They both suck! :smiley:

Until now, everyone who tried to develop apps eventually hit one or more bugs in the OS and ended up being OS developers :smiley:
It looks like Zenja is changing that trend, however.


Well, the question implies (or was understood as): “Why to prefer Haiku in 2020 when there are others mainstream OSes?” I personally don’t use Haiku as replacement of anything else. Haiku has personality, elegance and beauty by itself. Many design decisions are still unique among all existing OSes (attributes, packagefs etc). And this is sufficient motivation for Haiku users.

I strongly disagree on that. To perform tasks you need applications that can collaborate among them and with OS. For example, in Unix you can pipe the commands into a chain. This feature is not due to any of these commands, but is the ability of Unix shell. There is nothing like this in Windows (or at least it was nothing like this long time). Of course, you can install all this in Windows, but when somebody asks you to remotely repair something on his computer and you start to suggest him to install TeamViewer, he often feels overwhelmed. Same for Haiku. You can write hey scripts to manage GUI elements and events in a way that simple is not accessible in other OSes.

Of course when somebody comes from other-OS-land and asks: Why have I choose Haiku?, he is customized to do things the way his OS does them and the only his concern is: “Does Haiku have X, Y and Z feature?” He is simple ignorant regarding what Haiku has and his OS doesn’t.

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Maybe, yes

But a second question will come quickly: what can I pratically do under Haiku?

This is important for the engagement on the long run.

That is quite scaring at first. I’m trying to improve my c++ skills to develop something small here and there. But becoming a system dev for the OS is kind of mission impossible to me :confused:

You can rely on the OS development team to investigate the bugs. You can see our patches too. And it isn’t always as complicated as you’d think, the OS is just code, and most of it doesn’t require a black belt in coding skills or something special like that. It will usually be small things. One example I happen to remember is Paladin shows colored items in the file list view for a project. It does this by calling SetHighColor on the list items, but in Haiku that didn’t work (in BeOS it did) because we always reset the color to black before drawing. That was a two line patch to the code in BListView.

Of course, the more advanced your app gets, the more likely you will hit some special corner case that no one had noticed before in the OS itself. But for a simple app you will probably stay in the well-known path and don’t hit this many problems :slight_smile:


Some years ago i start thinking about a gui app for pizza shops writing with yab.

But i have sooo many idea and running project, that i never start with it. But it is a use case for haiku.

Interesting idea, but if it becomes popular, Haiku would be known as Pizza OS.
Not sure it is a good idea after all :laughing:

This way haiku have a market :slightly_smiling_face:

I wanted to update this post and integrate your suggestions, but feel that maybe they are for different time points…like:

This is like something to say now in 2020 with current night build releases.

This is like something to say in 2021 (?) with next stable release?

This is like something to say in 2022 (?) with final public v.1 release?

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This sounds great and I would love to maybe brainstorm a paragraph or two of elaboration of this idea!