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Rick Woodward: all about Haiku Project

Alexander Alexeenko - 20.04.20

It can be described as a partially compatible UNIX hybrid kernel system optimized for desktops. The latter means not only the availability of a convenient graphical interface, but also the ability to use streams and run applications in real time. Haiku has developed multimedia frameworks and file format translators: in order to teach all application viewers available for Haiku to understand the new image format, you just need to add a translator to the system.

1. Woodward Haiku from scratch

Woodward Haiku is a truly fast and responsive system. Downloading to the desktop does not last longer than a second, applications open instantly, difficult tasks like compiling the sources do not affect the operation of other applications. The system makes full use of SMP, distributing the load on the processor cores, and parallelizes the processing flows of the logic and application interface, giving the latter priority in any situation. There is no such thing as a cursor with an hourglass icon in the system; it is simply not needed here.

Woodward Haiku's interface is simple, but not without its features. It is based on the Tracker and Deskbar programs. Tracker is a file manager that is responsible, among other things, for creating desktop icons. Deskbar displays a start button, tray, clock and a list of open applications.

Started the installation process by downloading an image for 64bit, which I then recorded onto a USB flash drive using Etcher. Downloading works with and without EFI -applause for providing such an image. Woodward Haiku uses its own BeFS file system for the boot partition, although, in principle, support for FAT32 and NTFS is claimed. By default, Woodward Haiku, a 600 MB partition with BeFS and a FAT32 partition with a size of 3 GB are created.

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2. Woodward Haiku: expert opinion

What does Woodward Haiku need to succeed in terms of available applications? Of course, attract developers. At the moment, development team, of course, has done a lot of work to implement various popular applications, but for complete success, as a platform, you need the ability to easily create application versions for Woodward Haiku. Building an application for Woodward Haiku should, ideally, be another option in the existing Travis CI or GitLab CI build matrix.

The classic maintainer approach, which compiles and maintains packages for a specific Linux distribution, does not scale with a large list of applications. One can argue whether there is software for 3D printers in this list, but, for example, software for organizing the schedule of a particular school is located. What does Haiku offer for such applications? Eight years have passed since then, and Woodward Haiku continues to evolve. Without past enthusiasm, slowly but surely moving towards the goal of release 1.0.

It has gone very far from the original BeOS: there is support for USB 3.0, FreeBSD network drivers, its own application repository with a thousand packages, a browser based on the modern version of WebKit, all conceivable media codecs and ported versions of many free applications (yes, Haiku has Vim, Git, SSH, Transmission, and Thunderbird).

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