Haiku releases alpha 1

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org
Tue Sep 15 15:16:20 UTC 2009

On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM, D. Hugh Redelmeier<hugh-pmF8o41NoarQT0dZR+AlfA at public.gmane.org> wrote:
> | From: Giles Orr <gilesorr-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org>
> | Nevertheless: Haiku, the Be-alike OS, has released (finally, after
> | eight years) an alpha version.
> Thanks for posting this.
> Here's why I won't be bothering with Haiku.  Some of what I say might
> be wrong: I don't want to invest the time to become an expert.  Please
> correct any mistakes.
> I can't imagine wanting to run Be.  If I remember correctly, it won't
> run POSIX programs.  So it is starting from scratch as far as
> applications go.

I don't think that's quite true...  They have been "improving POSIX
compatibility."  There's a certain amount of question of "from what"
and "to what," but it's definitely non-zero.

> As I understand it, Haiku is binary-compatible with BeOS.  After a
> decade if disuse, those binaries are likely not worth saving.  This
> seems like a horrible constraint.


> Drivers are a real problem for any OS.  The PC platform is
> particularly difficult because there is just so much diversity.
> Compare that with the Mac PowerPC platform on which Be had its best
> run.

Interesting bit of information:  Apparently the Haiku guys have built
a "source level FreeBSD network driver compatibility layer," so that
they can support any network hardware working on FreeBSD.

That doesn't cover video or disk or USB support, but it's not nothing...

It looks as though there's enough "similarity" at API levels that they
have Firefox running.  Not sure what version, but again, "not
nothing."  There seem to be some of the Gnome apps that run on it.

None of this represents disproof of your implication that Haiku is
constrained in troublesome ways, of course, just that some of the
constraints may pinch slightly less badly than you suggested.
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