Would Haiku benefit if headquartered in the EU?

The European Union has made moves to uphold the sovereignty of personal data and to break up monopolies of IT businesses, a very different course to that being perused in the USA where such firms have been allowed to consolidate their power and stamp out competition, such as Microsoft did with BeOS. In terms of user privacy, it differs greatly from that of totalitarian nations with major programmes for IT such as Russia and China, and has pioneered legislation to that effect such as the General Data Protection Regulation. On the other hand, it does not have any major domestic software platforms, such as Windows, Mac or Android, and perhaps this is an opportunity for Haiku?

Would Haiku benefit if it were headquartered in the EU? I am thinking in terms of receiving development funding, the ability to be part of an EU strategy for IT sovereignty, or just a perception of sharing European values of privacy and ownership of personal data. What would be the disadvantages?

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Our EU headquarters are at http://haiku-support-association.org/index-eng.html

We could use that legal entity there. But, 1) not sure what we’d do exactly with it right now and 2) someone has to do the paperwork and stuff.

From my local point of view here in France the current government seems pretty happy with using Microsoft/Google/IBM things even when there are local alternatives available. So I don’t have high hopes for anything in that area. Maybe it’s different at the EU level or in other countries.

If you look at announcements like this: https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/collection/open-source-observatory-osor/news/eu-funds-open-source-programm#:~:text=The European Research Council (ERC,security testing and on cryptography.&text=One such grant was awarded,is designed to be safe.

You can see that:

  • They have no problem funding Mozilla, which is not EU based
  • These grants tend to go to large-ish projects or entities (research labs, universities) where someone has time and motivation to do the paperwork to apply for it.

If you look at https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/informatics/open-source-software-strategy_en the current strategy says Open Source gets “equal treatment” with proprietary software. That’s not really as supportive as it sounds. I’d prefer if they said “OpenSource is strongly preferred” instead.

Then there was EU-FOSSA which ended last month: https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/informatics/eu-fossa-2_en They tried different things: hosting/funding “hackatons” (coding sprints) for various projects (one of them for the Apache foundation, again something not EU based), a bug bounty program mostly geared towards security and internet infrastructure, etc.

So apparently:

  • Having an HQ in the European Union does not seem to make a difference
  • What’s needed is someone doing the work to apply to such programs, tell them what we need and why we’d be useful/what we would bring in.

Also, remember that Google and Microsoft are now also Open Source companies and will probably apply for these things as well. So we’ll still be competing against them.


Wow, thank you for such a comprehensive response. I think with the US, EU and places like Russia and China going their own ways, it is probably early days yet and the EU will probably in due course start to seek sovereignty of their IT needs, but apparently it is not at that stage yet.

Yeah, in some rare cases you can get some millions from the EU, like MINIX, which we know now everybody using an intel CPU is running without being told… I once met Tannenbaum and proposed him to try the Haiku GUI atop MINIX but he didn’t even answer, shy guy.

Haiku GUI atop another kernel or OS? Is that theoretically possible? Kinda got the impression that it was very closely tied to Haiku’s internals (including kernel).

It’s possible if you’re willing to change either the kernel or the GUI implementation (or possibly both). A current attempt at this is V-OS from former Haiku contributor Barrett: https://github.com/Barrett17/V-OS . An older one is Cosmoe: https://github.com/Ithamar/cosmoe

So, what wouldn’t be theoretically possible? You may need to change a lot of code, it’s a lot of work, but I don’t see how you could make this impossible. I mean, you can already run a virtual machine with Haiku inside it on Linux, that’s a way to do it :smiley:

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For what it’s worth, I made sure to keep our core infrastructure somewhere “politically boring”. Our infrastructure was located in Germany. During the shakeup a few years ago, I moved everything to Amsterdam (where it continues to live today). We do have our nightly images in object storage in the US though.

Haiku, Inc. (A US not-for-profit) holds copyright over a lot of our code, but since the core codebase lives in git in Amsterdam (as well as multiple other locations) it really doesn’t matter too much. Several board members are located in the EU as well offering them some protection from US prosecution.

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