Why haiku can be better than linux in theory?


Roughly twenty years ago, maybe more, maybe less, I was on a visit to New York City, when the cousin I was staying with took me to some sort of PC club or users group meeting where they demoed BeOS. I have vague memories of a dimly lit room with the demo being shown on a projector, The presenter brought up an app which had a 3d cube and he proceeded to play a video on each face of the cube while rotating the cube. I can’t remember how the sound was handled but, I remember being blown away by the fact that this OS was handling six videos simultaneously, each one being rendered on a face of this 3d cube that was being manipulated in real time. The hardware was a multiprocessor box of some sort and was probably fairly powerful at the time.

When I got my hands on my own downloaded copy of BeOS R5 Personal Edition, I installed it my own modest PC to give it a whirl and was blown away again by how fast it booted and how responsive it was. It made my modest PC seem very fast. I remember doing an experiment where I loaded multiple mp3 files and played them simultaneously I had so many files playing at the same time that I could barely make out a single one but I couldn’t hear any glitches. Doing the same experiment on the same hardware running Windows produced audible glitches with only three or four songs playing simultaneously. I was hooked but, the Internet had become “a thing” by then and I was having issues with my dreaded winmodem (remember dial-up?) so, I only played around with it occasionally. In addition, there were far fewer open source apps available, Mozilla being one of the few major projects at the time.

Over the years I have grown to dislike Windows more and more for various reasons and adopted Linux (Ubuntu) as my main OS as a result, starting with the first laptop I bought back in 2008 (came with Windows 7 Beta, a.k.a. Windows Vista). Regardless of what I am running, Beos/Haiku is never far from my thoughts. I consider it potentially the best OS ever. I have a few devices that use Intel Atom CPUs and when running Haiku they are all responsive and pleasant to use. No “clicking and waiting” unlike Linux which can become very unresponsive at times. I don’t use Windows often enough anymore to comment on Windows.

BeOS was about 15-20 years ahead of it’s time. Tablets are pretty much what Be Internet Appliances were supposed to be. If the amount of open source applications available now, had been available when BeOS was being actively developed maybe the outcome would have been very different. I think Haiku still has a chance of making an impact especially on more modestly powered devices.


Be’s engineers certainly did a good job of here of making a virtue of a necessity. Be didn’t have the capabilities in place to match what everybody else was doing with video, but this demo looked really fancy. The key here was to focus on things the hardware other people have doesn’t do, so you’re on home turf and they aren’t. If you’re trying to win money off Doyle Brunson, don’t try to beat him at poker, offer him a round of golf. Want to beat Michael Jordan? Try baseball, not basketball. And so on.

Rather than render one VGA resolution video (which dedicated hardware did easily), you can do four QVGA videos and it seems like that’s four times as impressive, even though it’s almost the same work. Rather than draw it in a boring rectangle (again easy in 1990s hardware) you can draw it on the sides of a moving cube, slightly harder in software but not by much, but impossible for the home/office hardware video playback of the day.

I don’t know if this fooled anybody who actually needed a platform for video, but it hyped up fans, which was perhaps even more important for Be Inc.


Yes, there was definitely a bit of hyperbole in the video on a cube demo but, that doesn’t detract from the fact that Haiku feels a lot more responsive on modestly powered devices and handles video and audio better AFAIKT. I remember videos playing smoothly under Haiku that would drop frames like crazy when using Windows on the same hardware.


If I like to play football… I have to buy football shoes!?
If I go to swim I don’t need shoes!?

If it is this what do you like to say?!


Indeed, I too have found the performance with Haiku to be vastly superior to any other OS when playing videos, altho Linux is really good at video playback also. I routinely fire up a external USB 1 TB drive with Linux Mint installed on it.


The real advantage Haiku has always had was a cohesive design, which offers a lot of benefits, the messaging through the kernel being among them


In my opinion, Haiku is already better than Linux for Desktop use in many respects. It is more responsive, it has a focused, cohesive set of applications, and a programming infrastructure that is designed to expedite creation of desktop applications. If only it had hardware acceleration… :frowning:

Top people are working on that!

Processor core count is growing, and GPGPU has a lot of potential with openCL.

Haiku’s pervasive multithreading allows it to take advantage of these additional cores without much hastle. Admittedly, I don’t know if OpenCL works at all on Haiku right now, but if/when it works can you imagine giving Haiku 64 CPU cores and 1000 GPU cores?


There is no openCL hw support yet.


Oh, certainly not. There isn’t even hardware accelerated OpenGL yet. It’s an interest of mine, but I am focusing on easy tasks on the bug tracker because I don’t have enough experience to work on hardware acceleration.


You can however still use OpenCL, but it will run all computation on the CPU (for now).


Wait until you get a major update on Mint. First Mint update on my laptop stopped sound working entirely. It was great until that point. I had hoped Linux desktops had gotten better since 1999, but unfortunately not. There’s far too much software on the software manager on Mint that hasn’t had a major update in 3+ years.

It’s like people create new apps and don’t maintain them, then others start coding similar but different apps… Not that anyone in Haiku could possibly be accused of NotInventedHereSyndrome™ too. :wink:

I’ve now abandoned mint and installed a not-very-working Haiku install on my new Linux laptop. Plenty to hack at and fix :slight_smile:


Ubuntu-ish distributions (and to that extent debian-ish) distributions with major updates always had that problem, when you had better times just installing the new release, and putting your programs back.

That’s why i passed to rolling versions (Arch-linux in my case), so i keep rolling (ha!) without problems. But requires initial manually tweaking here and there to achieve finesse stuff (which i like), while having a great wiki for everything that you may not know.

Regarding the topic? Nah, i dont think Haiku beats Arch for my hardware setup (which takes ~300RAM MB on booted, idle composite desktop), nor video playback, nor anything i do right now (mostly coding and terminal hacking).

However, i like the consistence of Haiku UI, because everyone has “the same” and that’s good when delivering applications. And responsiveness, when threads go according to plan.


Actually rolling linux distributions are best. Rolling GenToo since so many years I can’t remember and had little problems (mostly coming only from bleeding-edge experiments with partially-free software required for game-deving) while stuff like Ubuntu tends to break with every update. People should really stop looking at Ubuntu or other such “blocky” distributions. They had been made to motivate “notorious windows fanboys” to switch over by giving them something looking more similar (and as instable) as they know from windows :stuck_out_tongue:


I haven’t used Linux in quite a while - my work machine is a MacBook Pro (as well as an old MacMini)… my super duper old HP Pentium D running Haiku is much more responsive and one thing I can’t do on a Mac that I can with Haiku is adjust Volume / Mute of multiple simultaneously running apps via the Media preflet Audio Mixer.


Well, while my two favorites are the Mac and BeOS/Haiku, I also do still use Gnu/Linux (Devuan and regular Debian purged of systemd) as a third system. I haven’t experienced the update breakage problem; in fact, I’ve found Debian stable to be more reliable than Ubuntu, the testing branch, or rolling releases I’ve tried like Void or Gentoo. It’s literally built for a workstation environment, and I haven’t had any problems with it (other than the modules/drivers and packages lag behind the latest software).


The main reason for this is that Debian is sort of the “dinosaur” under the Linux distributions. It’s like “notoriously” 5-10 years behind the rest (not security patch wise but kernel and user space software wise).


So far Mint 19 has worked well for me. It’s similar enough to Windows behavior (I’ve used Windows since 2.0) that I’m not a complete fish out of water, and able to get things done, yet unlike Windows it doesn’t sit there hammering on the HDD with no apparent reason for doing so, and doesn’t force updates. And with VirtualBox, it can host my old P-to-V Windows system and my Haiku beta! So twice a week or whatever, I can go into Windows when necessary, while increasingly transferring my productivity off M$.


ironically, the topic intended to be talking about how haiku can be better than linux, degraded to a so often seen babbling between linux fanboys repeating to each other their mantras how their millionth distribution is better than Windows and how they hate MS. What are you doing on a non-linux OS forum at all then?
Personally, and I am not a Haiku user (I need to set up my spare x86 machine yet to play such games), nor was a BeOS user, I am here because am interested in OS development, but, looking at screenshots, I definitely see already one thing how Haiku is better than linux - its UI is times nicer and more aesthetic, ergonomic, than anything in linux. of course, it’s easy, because linux UI is the ugliest thing ever created. worse in it is its extreme inefficiency and bloat (graphical stuff and linux overall). But Haiku looks nice not because of the competitor is such a loser, it’s realy cute. And I bet, it loads CPU less than linux, again - everything loads less. well, maybe except OSX on PPC. :smiley:


Ironically those complaining about Linux users are those starting the Linux Bashing right off the bat after complaining about the Linux users.

Happens always.

And to answer your question: I know BeOS since the old days… I know Linux since early kernels… I know windows since early days (3.x)… I know DOS since early days… I know MacOS since early days… I’ve seen and used various Linux distros (including LFS… if you even know what this is!)… and I’m doing cross-platform and non-cross-platform development across various systems on a daily basis.

So if you think you need to insult me (or others with similar or broader knowledge base) then go troll some other place. :roll_eyes:


if you own this forum, block me, if I violated the rules, report my post, if none of that - well, you know… :wink:

PS. I reacted exactly because of you. you were sh1tting windows on every post here, despite the topic has nothing to do with the linux fanboys’ insecurity about windows. this pissed me off and I reacted, it was definitely a mistake, because the last thing to do in the long list of time wasting possibilities on the internet is to react to linux fanboys moan about windows.