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Monday, November 7, 2011

Haiku, the poetic OS

I assume most of you who are reading this blog post already know what Haiku is! Most of you will have seen a link to this blog on the Haiku forum or the IRC chat. If not, then let me explain! I am not referring to Japanese 3 line poetry! I am referring to a project which develops an OS that is a reimplementation of the Be OS 5 that strives to be source code and binary compatible with Be OS 5! The following in quotations is an excerpt from my haiku post in my "GNU/Linux and Free Software" blog.

"Back in the mid to late 90's, there was a company named Be Inc. which produced a computer called the Be Box. This Be Box ran an Operating System developed at Be Inc. called Be OS. Be OS was and still is today considered by many one of the most advanced Operating Systems in existence. Be OS had features that no other OS had at the time or since. Be OS was a pervasive multi threaded, Preemptive-Multitasking, Symmetric Multiprocessing OS with protected memory for user and system processes! Be Inc. and Be OS enjoyed a small but loyal fan-base, many of whom are still loyal today! But the future of the Be OS was in jeopardy when Be Inc. went out of business. Since the Be OS was proprietary, it's users had no upgrade path, nor could they fork it.

All seemed lost when some loyal Be OS users decided to re-implement all of Be OS back in 2001. They wanted the new Be OS clone to be binary and source code compatible with Be OS 5.0. In this way they could continue using the native Be OS programs unmodified, without a recompile(if the source code was available). The Be OS clone was named OpenBeOS. OpenBeOS had some trouble though! It used the name "BeOS" which was owned at the time by Palm Inc. The new project was facing a lawsuit if they did not change the name, they did. OpenBeOS was renamed to Haiku in 2004. One may ask why the name Haiku! What is a Haiku? Haiku is a form of Japanese 3 line poetry. The old BeOS used Haiku as their error messages! Sure beats cryptic messages by a long shot! Haiku did not see a first Alpha release until 2009, followed by Alpha 2 in 2010 and Alpha 3 in June 2011"

Below are some screenshots of the Haiku Desktop. Please note the background image has been changed from original.

Currently, Haiku is under heavy development as they plan for the first Beta release! At this stage, Haiku will be feature complete as far as planned features for release 1. There will be bugs which limit or deminish features, but they will be squashed by the time R1 gets released! The one feature that has yet to be implemented that is holding things up is package management! It is the last big pin to fall before Haiku stikes it out! I hope it will be soon!

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