[other] Haiku Project Announces Availability of Haiku R1/Alpha 1 (THE multimedia-OS resurrection)

Even if I perfectly know that the team is uninterested in a port, the news is so exciting that I can’t force me to be indifferent here…

September 14, 2009 – The Haiku Project is proud to announce the availability of Haiku R1/Alpha 1, the first official development release of Haiku, an open source operating system that specifically targets personal computing. The purpose of this release is to make a stable development snapshot of Haiku available to a wider audience for more extensive testing and debugging. This will help the Haiku development team identify and address bugs, and thus improve the quality of the system as development keeps advancing towards the subsequent development milestones. Bugs found in Alpha 1 should be reported to the Haiku bug tracking system at http://dev.haiku-os.org. This first alpha release of Haiku comes approximately eight years after the project kicked off, and is the direct result of the dedication of many volunteer contributors from all over the world. Special thanks go to former Project Leader Michael Phipps, as well as to the small but very resilient group of core developers who stuck with the project throughout the years. Alpha 1 will be followed by additional development milestones, eventually leading to the long-awaited final release of Haiku R1. These subsequent official milestones will be announced as the release dates are defined by the Haiku development team.

Haiku R1 Alpha 1 Availability

  • Download ISO/raw/VMWare image: http://haiku-os.org/get-haiku
  • Purchase CD (from the end of September): Haiku Store

    About the Haiku Project
    The Haiku Project is a volunteer-based initiative whose goal is to develop and promote the adoption of Haiku, an open source operating system for personal computing. The project was kicked off in August 18, 2001, with the name of OpenBeOS and under the direction of former Project Leader Michael Phipps.
    At present, the Haiku Project relies on a global community with members that contribute in all areas of the project, including but not limited to development, testing, documentation, on-line content, support, public relations and general advocacy. The project is also backed by Haiku Inc., a US-based not-forprofit organization founded in 2003 to assist the Haiku Project in reaching its goals.

    About the Haiku Operating System
    Haiku is an open-source operating system that specifically targets personal computing. The main goal of Haiku is to provide computer users of all levels a system that is fast, efficient, simple to use, easy to learn and yet very powerful. In order to reach its goal, Haiku reimplements and builds upon the ideas, technologies and end user experience introduced by the Be Operating System.

  • Official website


    Just what we need… another UNIX based OS that will “brain-drain” the existing ones that are already overwhelmed. As if Linux isn’t already a splintered enough mess without losing talented developers to bring this back from the dead.

    Yes, I do agree with you. I just hope it won’t end up that way.

    Best Regards,
    Nathan Trip
    Engineering Dept

    and to add to that… the fact that Apple was willing to pay $429m for NeXTstep but only valued BeOS at $125m should surely be telling you something forart.it. I don’t know (comparatively speaking) how much market share or kudos was enjoyed by either system at the time - but Apple obviously valued one a lot more highly than the other.

    Forart.it - I’m not trying to pour cold water on your idea. Really, I’m not… but I am finding it difficult to identify Haiku’s USP. From what I’ve seen of Haiku, it has a dated and (frankly) rather dull look to it - and it doesn’t seem to have an identifiable niche. But it does have other attractions - especially the fact that people can’t fork their own distro without permission. If that’s true it could turn out to be a big plus point in Haiju’s favour. Conversely, it might also preclude Haiku from using GPL code.

    The bottom line though is that you still need to identify the potential beneficiaries - because porting Ardour might well be a gruelling task.

    Also, which 3rd party technologies would you be looking to eliminate?? Ardour doesn’t seem to be encumbered by too many.

    I don’t know I think there is beauty in Chaos. It really depends on your perspective… But that is dirverging from the topic at hand. I was merely describing Linux as both being Beautiful and Chaotic.

    I think that anybody is at all serious about this they should talk to Haiku developers and see if they are at all interested in producing an OS where one of the primary goals is Audio/Multimedia production. If it is modelled after BeOS it should already be very good latency wise. If for instance they were to be interested in having jackd as a first class citizen of their os (not just an optional extra) there might be a case.

    Personally I couldn’t move away from anything that didn’t have really good opengl support (my day job requires it)… but I could be convinced that Haiku could be useful for me as an audio production OS if either…

    1. The core development team was committed to that as primary goal and us such would make sure that any release would be suitable out of the box for audio production (unlike most linux distros).
    2. There were significant performance advantages to be had.

    Even so I wouldn’t like to see Paul and team spending effort on this until jack and some of the smaller jack based programs have been ported and shown to be working well.

    This is not the first time such a project has been announced and raved over. Every so often someone wants to revive the Amiga or the NeXT or the Sinclair. And that’s cool, such projects ensure that some programmers aren’t sitting on their hands.

    However, I take the same approach towards such projects that I take with long-term personal relationships, i.e. we can talk about one when we’ve actually had one. Until then it’s all just prediction, projection, and conjecture. The time to crow about Haiku is when it has something to show. As we say here in the middle of nowhere, “No show, no go”. At this time it seems that Haiku’s got no go. Please advise when it’s got some, e.g. when I can install it with full support for my present hardware.

    I wrote an article recently that was essentially the results from a day spent surfing the SourceForge audio/MIDI projects. It’s remarkable how many pre-alpha projects are hosted at SF. As I wrote, ideas are easier than plans, plans are easier than their realization, and realization is always a matter of sufficient time and energy, those rarest of commodities.

    Nevertheless, let 10000 flowers blossom. Good luck to the Haiku devs.



    thorgal, given that jack already runs on windows, OS X, solaris, freeBSD and over any tcp/ip network as well as linux ALSA and OSS backends, i think that the backend aspects of a haiku port would not be so big. However, JACK is very dependent on a well-functioning POSIX API.

    A BeOS style OS could be quite interesting for Audio production. The big advantage of BeOS back in the day was that it supported very fine grained multithreading which allowed it to use multiprocessor systems very efficiently. With todays multicore and multithread CPUs this approach should yield better results than it did 10 years ago.

    Part of the advantage was with the native UI… So a GTK port may not nessarily give all this advantage. From memory BeOS was posix compliant and if Haiku also supports this porting jack shouldn’t be too much of a hassle this would be a good first step.

    The other big barrier is exactly what sound hardware does Haiku support at the moment?

    [edit] ok just checked out the website and it looks like there are few Maudio cards which are at least partially supported including the 1010. It’s vesa mode graphics only. I wonder how hard libffado would be to port?

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Ardour could be ported to Haiku successfully. I don’t doubt for a minute that whoever ported it would get a great sense of satisfaction - but what then?? How many others would benefit from all the hard work?

    Better people than us have produced better OS’s than Haiku, only to watch them fall by the wayside. NeXTstep was an OS that looked fantastic and really captured the public’s imagination. But the public didn’t buy it because they couldn’t find a niche for it. Apple salvaged bits of it and imported it into their own OS which did have a niche - and that bit was crucial because it’s “having a niche” that makes the difference between success and failure for an OS. Apple’s niche has traditionally been multimedia apps. Windows’ niche is traditionally office apps. Linux’s traditional niche is server systems. But where is Haiku’s niche? That’s the question you haven’t answered forart.it. What does Haiku do that is special?

    In my experience there is seldom anything to be gained by constantly reinventing the wheel. People only notice you if you invent a wheel that does something novel - but that’s the bit I don’t see from Haiku. What does it do that is novel? I genuinely can’t see anything at all. It seems to be a classic exercise in reinventing the wheel.

    I’ve managed to port Ardour to Cygwin and it was a relatively painless task - but only because someone else had already ported many of the technologies that Ardour relies on (such as gtk-x11, libsndfile, libfftw3 and various other things). If I’d had to port all those things myself (as would probably have been the case with Haiku) I’d have had a much bigger mountain to climb.

    Now some people can climb mountains just for their own personal satisfaction but most do it because of sponsorship or because they’re raising money for charity etc. In other words, there’s someone who’ll appreciate their efforts when the job is done. Because once you get to the top of that mountain, if there’s nobody to appreciate your achievement, the only thing you can do is to climb back down again - which isn’t anywhere near as satisfying.

    So if you want some Ardour dev to devote his energies to a Haiku port, first you have to identify who’ll be there at the end of the exercise to appreciate the achievement. That’s the bit that isn’t clear at the moment.

    True, it’s probably more accurate to describe Apple’s niche as “multimedia and desktop publishing” rather than just multimedia.

    I think you make a good point though Danni, about “the beautiful chaos that is linux”. If a credible, open-source OS came along with enough performance to service today’s multimedia applications BUT (and this is the crucial bit) WITHOUT the millstone of having dozens of not-quite-compatible variations (i.e. distros) slung around its neck… yes, I can see the attraction of that…!

    if it has a functioning POSIX interface and working X11 implementation (or something else which GDK supports)
    Check this out: http://tiltos.com/drupal/node/16
    I wanted to have a GIMP on haiku, so I decided to do something with that. There were two paths to achieve this goal. The first one was to port a GTK+ and then replace X11 calls from a GIMP with the Haiku's ones (complex task). The second one was to port X11 to the Haiku (easy task). I chose the second path for now. The GIMP on haiku is quite stable except the bug #283 , which also affects Abiword and Gnumeric.
    Better people than us have produced better OS's than Haiku, only to watch them fall by the wayside. NeXTstep
    Once again, Wikipedia is your friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeOS
    Apple CEO Gil Amelio started negotiations to buy Be Inc., but negotiations stalled when Be CEO Jean-Louis Gassée wanted $200 million; Apple was unwilling to offer any more than $125 million. Apple’s board of directors decided NeXTSTEP was a better choice and purchased NeXT in 1996 for $429 million, bringing back Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
    I've managed to port Ardour to Cygwin and it was a relatively painless task - but only because someone else had already ported many of the technologies that Ardour relies on (such as gtk-x11, libsndfile, libfftw3 and various other things). If I'd had to port all those things myself (as would probably have been the case with Haiku) I'd have had a much bigger mountain to climb.
    That's why platform indipendency is a really important thing (which Ardour, unfortunally, don't have).

    I have to say it again: Haiku port it’s not that important, but “getting rid” of 3rd party technologies would result in “portability easyness”.

    "the beautiful chaos that is linux"
    The beautiful of linux is the openness, not the chaos. Haiku team has introduced a kind of hierarchy in the open source scene (for example you can't make a distro without permission), it's not the cathedral nor baazar, but "kibbutz" approach: http://homes.dico.unimi.it/~monga/lib/oss-icse04.pdf

    I somewhat tend to agree with you (not on apples niche but on the rest of it). Haiku’s spiritual ancestor is BeOS and well I remember back into the BeOS 5 days that some of the larger DAW makers were looking at the system with great interest. Unfortunately Be went over to embedded systems and was bought out by Palm not long after.

    Basically Hardware compatibility is going to suck, software compatibility is going to suck. The clean design might be nice (compared to the beautiful chaos that is linux). But the bottom line is - if Haiku is able to extract say 40% extra processing power from a quad core processor then it might be worth the effort. Of course Linux, Windows and Mac and associated software are probably a lot better on multiprocessor/multicore machines then they were when BeOS was around and the benchmarks I remember were being done.

    Forart.it, you are making yourself look ignorant, perhaps even stupid. You keep repeating stuff like this: “That’s why platform indipendency is a really important thing (which Ardour, unfortunally, don’t have).”. By the definitions you are apparently working with, there is no such thing as a platform independent program of any complexity. Its been patiently explained to you that Ardour relies on POSIX, the C++ standard library, GTK and Glib all of which are HIGHLY portable APIs. They exist on every operating system that has sold more than 100 copies. If Haiku doesn’t support these APIs, then it is the one that is deficient. If it does, then stop bickering on this forum and go find some people that actually want to port Ardour to your preferred OS.

    and in addition… isn’t there always going to be a risk with any open source OS that it will go the same way as Linux and end up with a disparate bunch of forked or specialized distros?


    I stand corrected, BeOs and therefore Haiku was not UNIX based as I had thought, I realize Haiku isn’t “Linux” based, my point still remains that the type of high level developers Linux in general could lose to this project would be a shame since Linux has been continuously making such good progress especially in the multimedia field. Just an opinion.

    Moving from Windows to Linux as a multimedia platform for many is equal parts labour of love/nightmare so I wonder how many people will have the sustained interest to make the leap again starting from the ground floor.

    No, Haiku IS NOT a Linux-based OS.

    Do you know Wikipedia ?

    Or, check out the official FAQs:

    Is Haiku based on Linux?

    Haiku is not a Linux distribution, nor does it use the Linux kernel.

    @forart.it: linux is not unix, read again :wink:

    For multimedia applications, moving away from Windows is good, but to Linux is not that good, IMHO.

    Even Linus Torvalds has recently criticized the Linux growth, saying that the kernel has becomed “bloated and huge” replying to an Intel study which had found Linux performance dropping by two percent every release.
    Check the article: http://www.h-online.com/open/Linux-Bloated-and-Huge-says-Linus--/news/114289

    To understand even better what I mean, check out the funny Urias McCullough’s “attack” to Dell’s Ubuntu @ LinuxWorld ( http://www.haiku-os.org/blog/koki/2009-08-27/oscon_opensource_world_2009_double_report )

    I don’t think that an Haiku port could “steal” developers from Linux; on contrary, good solutions from a real multimedia OS could be ported back to Linux, benefiting both worlds.

    IF Haiku really lacks a POSIX interface (which is all that “Unix” really means these days), then its absolutely true that any existing or potential Ardour developer spending time on a Haiku port will “steal” time away from both Linux and OS X and FEATURES IN GENERAL. This is also true if it lacks an X11 implementation or some other graphics API for which there is a GDK port. The amount of work involved in porting Ardour to a platform that lacks either one of these APIs is almost equivalent to completely rewriting the program. If you don’t understand why, you don’t understand the architecture of modern software. Just porting from GTK1 to GTK2 was a mammoth effort.

    On the other hand, if it has a functioning POSIX interface and working X11 implementation (or something else which GDK supports), then porting Ardour to Haiku should be more or less trivial, and doable by any moderately skilled programmer, including someone who already uses Haiku and is enthusiastic about it.

    I don’t think there’s a “risk” (if that is the right word) that Haiku will fork in different distros, mainly because it is, in itself, quite monolithicaly developed.

    A linux distro is a pick-n-choose; you take a kernel made by someone here, a windowmanager developed there, this IM-client, that image viewer and so on. Whereas the core and core applications of Haiku seems to be soley developed by the Haiku team.
    I’d think you’d better compare it to the BSD camp, that eventually you might end up with two or three versions but nothing more.

    I also hope someone (not necessarily an Ardour core developer) makes a port to Haiku, it’d be interresting to see if and how it would work.