As an a person who enjoys OS weird, when I heard the first beta release of Haiku came out I knew I'd end up playing with it. As its inspiration BeOS was one of the several "ahead of its time" OSen that were crushed by the Windows/Mac/*nix wave I figured there might be something in it. Some playing and doc reading lead to more than a few idle thoughts:
- The fellows behind it maintain a gcc 2 toolchain for backwards compatability on x86 while having a seperate gcc toolchain for x86 and other platforms that tracks newer gcc versions. This suggests it could be forked and built on a Republican toolchain without too much fussing. If I have a free hand in 5-10 years I might try that.
- My hardware worked. The onboard graphics controller in my AMD E-350 was allowed to control the graphics. There wasn't any hardware in the laptop left unrecognized or obviously dysfunctional.
- It has a ports tree. The ports tree offers some choices in the vein of GPG 1.4.x vs evil GPG 2. The software the offer as packages tends to pick the awful newer versions as the default suggestion
- The PRNG is yarrow.
- Haiku is very GUI centric. As a GUI centric OS it appears far better behaved than any recent GUI centric African linux. It probably won't be replacing anyone's well worn and practiced workstation interface.
- A brief non-exhaustive stress test where different video were played at the same time failed to induce stuttering, like in the old BeOS demos. Ubuntu can't do this. Your experience may vary, deeper probing might find problems, but on the surface it seemed to preseve the real time flavor of its ancestor.
As it stands today Haiku isn't replacing anyone in the Republic's current workstation setup,1 and adapting it for that use would take a substantial investment of time. On the other hand Haiku is very much worth considering for an entertainment kiosk, recreational device, certain kinds of nostalgia itches, or baby's first computer. In most cases where Ubuntu seems like a tempting solution, this Haiku beta release is probably going to work.
- On the other hand BeKUNTd could get a V genesis sometime in the late 2020s [↩]