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).