Friday, April 13, 2007

Haiku Distroes

I put a piece of news yesterday on, that work on WalterOS, a haiku distro is starting. This seems to have caused some debate on OSNews and on the OpenBeOS mailing list.

So to explain:

I personally believe that there should be rules when making a distro outside the rules of MIT, GPL and usage of brand names like the Haiku name. Those rules should be set by the team that controls the main system repository, and this is Haiku. All others should follow those rules.

I have no intention what so ever to cause any trouble for Haiku or to make an obscure claim to fame. Haiku has already said that they wouldn't want a distro before R1 is out and I agree with them completely. Also I don't have to be the one leading the distro that comes out if it is one, or even one of the distroes that come out. I just want to be a part of it. This is not about leaders it is about working to create.

Back in the early days of BeUnited, in September 2002, I had an offer to work with Simon Gauvin on a distro of Haiku for BeUnited and I accepted it. BeUnited however dissolved so I guess we can't do that. But I can surely work with others.

I can even say I had 2 offers of people wanting to work with me (in just under 24 hours!!). One of them was planning his own distro but thought it would be better if more people united.

So, this stage is just planning. It is not implementing anything, and all plans will be discussed with the community.

The only thing I hold for my self is the joy of participating in the effort to bring down Microsoft...

If you have any questions feel free to ask them. I will try to answer them all.


Serpentor said...

There was talk about distros on the #Haiku IRC channel the other day and everyone agreed that it would be best if there was ONLY ONE distro. That one distro should be from Haiku Inc and that is all. None of the users wanted to deal with the distro nightmare we have right now with R5 and R5+Bone and Zeta etc. It is the same situation with the Linux community. You have all this cool OSS out there but it is tough to use it if you don't know how to do your own builds for whatever distro of Linux you use. I believe this is another reason why Linux hasn't taken off with regular computer users. Ubuntu is a step in the right direction but it has taken the Linux community how many years to get to that point? I vote for one Haiku distro to unite all Haiku/BeOS/Zeta users. So, if you REALLY want to "create", help Haiku Inc produce the one Haiku OS distro.

Petter said...

You're probably sick of me, and attacking anyone (as everyone was accused of doing at osnews) is not my intention. I do however have some questions for you, and I'm not trying to be hostile or anything. I'm not saying you doesn't, but people need to stand criticism and/or direct questions. Anyway, onto the point.

Why do you really want to create a Haiku distribution? I can see that BeOS Max was needed for people that wanted to try BeOS on newer hardware. Thats a good argument to create BeOS Max.

What I don't understand is that you (amongst others) have made up your mind (already) that a Haiku distro is *needed*. Why? Is these one of the reasons:

- Your'e not satisfied with the direction of Haiku, and want to go in your own direction?
- You see the need of bundeling apps with the OS, because people find it bothersome to download them?
- You want to be in charge of something (which is fun of course)?

These are just questions. Not accusations of anything.

You say in your post that you "just want to be a part of it". Why can't you be a part of Haiku? There's many ways to contribute. If you are a coder; you can code, if not, you can help spread the word and get the "max out of Haiku" (which I in the beginning thought your plan was judging from your site: "Haiku Max site is here to help you get the Max out of Haiku and BeOS"). Maybe that means your own distro to you.

Anyway. As I said, I'm not trying to attack you, so don't shoot me down. I'm just trying to understand this wanting-to-create-a-distro-mentality , which so many people seem to have (I've heard there are some more people with intentions of creating a Haiku distro).


Vassilis said...


The thing with a distro is to cover a need and not all have the same needs. For example you can't force a developer specific distro on a gamer or a gamer distro on a developer, and surely putting everything in one box is too much.

Unfortunately startup OS need to have a variety. Haiku R1 is not a distro. It is a basic Operating system. And as such users of it will need to extend it to fit their needs. Not all users however have that ability on a startup OS.

Today it is a different ball game. Linux took too long to mature, not because the community was not united, but because they didn't focus on the user (e.g. see debian wars). This changed with Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Fedora.


I am very satisfied with Haiku.

People don't want to download a bunch of apps to test a newcomer OS. It doesn't have to be bloated, but useful and full featured.

I don't need to be in charge. I want a great Haiku distro. The OS will be great, I am sure of that. But to succeed it takes a bit more.

There should be rules however set by Haiku Inc. Otherwise it will be a mess. On the other hand I don't see why the MIT license if distroes are discourage all together.

Do you doubt I could help make a good distro? If it is so, I can understand your reservations, otherwise, I don't. I know my limits and although I am a fairly good programmer I don't have the knowledge to help with the code of an Operating system, but I have the knowledge to create things around it.

In any case, I am always open to suggestions.

Petter said...

Do you doubt I could help make a good distro?

I don't doubt you could make a good distro. What I'm worried about is that it won't *help* Haiku.

Bundeled apps is now probably one of the few arguments for creating a own distro. Thats fair enough. I've never had the need for bundeled apps, but if other people do, so be it.

I know my limits and although I am a fairly good programmer I don't have the knowledge to help with the code of an Operating system, but I have the knowledge to create things around it.

There are a lot of things around the Haiku internals that needs to be done. Applications is needed for one.

Andre said...

The main reason I don't use Linux is because there are a trillion distros. Please don't turn Haiku in another operating system like linux.

Why not work with the haiku team to help them create the official Haiku Inc. Distro?

Vassilis said...

Haiku is not and shouldn't be a distro. It is the base operating system. If they focus on a distro they will loose valuable resources. I have no problem working on a singe distro designed for or by the haiku team, but that is not my choice. The people behind Haiku have to decide that. I will gladly help if they ask me to. However the MIT license of Haiku means that there can be 1000 distroes... I just want to make the ONE... :-)

ToneStone57 said...

ok, I'll say this.

Haiku is open source & MIT license. It doesn't matter if you guys all want only Haiku OS, because other people out there will take it and create a distro.

Here is the first Haiku distro

And very certain others will come too. You can't stop distros, because the license allows it.

So, if you stop Vasper, how will you stop the other 10 or so people working on distros???

Vasper has to choose what he wants to do and his decision is to make his own distro.

As for the base Haiku OS. Some people will enjoy using it, others will want something more ( ie: a preconfigured or customized system with lots of applications preinstalled ). Look at Linux, there isn't just one very popular distro, but instead a few. What does that tell you? People should choose for themselves if they want to use Distro A, Distro B, Distro C, etc.!

ToneStone57 said...

Making distros & programming are two different things.

Vasper may not be able to help with C or C++ coding. So, he wouldn't be able to help there. And haiku may want to create a base OS without bundling applications and programs with it, etc. I for one don't want to go to Bebits (or use BeShare) to find the programs, then download & install them. And many new users will feel the same.

So, then you have to make a distro. There is another way which I've posted here and will make you guys happy:

I believe haiku really needs what I mention in my post above.

Andre said...

At least, there should be a standarisation between the distros so software will be able to run on any Haiku Distro.

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