I’ve just tried running Haiku in VirtualBox and I must say I am really impressed. There are two things that I found really cool: this is strictly a desktop OS (which means, there aren’t really any unnecessary pieces or drivers for server or embedded hardware, which makes system bulkier - being universal is not always a good thing) and it is really integrated. And it’s incredibly fast, even in the VM. Oh, and one more thing - I really like the interface, since I prefer flat themes rather than all those glossy 3d bells and whistles. I simply adore the old style of Haiku and its software. To sum up, I am really looking forward to try Haiku in real life as soon as it matures to R1 and gets the laptop-specific functionality (power-saving, wireless, bluetooth, etc.). But there is one more thing.
I think, for many users the main thing about switching to a new OS is whether they will be able to get the apps they need. For me, there are two main apps: a web browser and a word processor. AFAIK, the project of getting a native WebKit-browser is in progress, so it’s just a matter of time. But what about word processors?
What I’m looking for is something ideologically close to WordPad. Or, better, the Psion’s Word (that was included in the EPOC32 OS for these legendary machines). That is, a distractionless word processor that doesn’t get in your way. It needs to support all the basic formatting (footnotes, tables, TOC, paragraph styling, etc) and some writer-specific functionality - but it shouldn’t be as big and bloated as OO Writer or MS Word. I rarely need to do something with a document that I couldn’t do with a piece of paper in the real life. And I need it to have support for MS Word-editable formats (at least RTF).
I know there is AbiWord for Haiku, but it actually sucks even under Linux. And I know there is LyX, but it’s way too powerful for my needs. I work as a journalist and I study at the university, which means that I have to write a lot - so productivity is more important than functionality. Still I have to write academic papers - this is where I have to follow the standards for covers, footnotes, bibliography, etc. - but still I think something bloated is not needed to do that, the formatting is still pretty simple. Besides, the reason I don’t want to use ported software is that I like the interface paradigm of Haiku/BeOS apps, so I would prefer something native.
So, does anybody think there is anything like that? I was looking for something like this for Linux for very long, so if Haiku has it, that would be a killer-feature to me =)