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OpenBeOs Developers Talk About Progress 261

DeltaSigma writes: "Michael Phipps, of the OpenBeos team, recently hosted a public Q&A Session where many of the public musings over a completely new open source operating system have been addressed. The answer to all the 'is there room in the market?' questions was answered in a way: 'We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job.' Perhaps more /.ers could keep this in mind ..."
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OpenBeOs Developers Talk About Progress

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  • People switch off from "commercial" operating systems to *NIX/open source operating systems because it benefits their company in some way. If BeOS can benefit someone more than their current OS, it will find its niche. It has to become unique and offer advantages though, in order to become a player in the OS market today.
  • ...but there's room on my hard drive.
  • BEos (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wastedbrains ( 588579 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:11PM (#3851547) Homepage Journal
    This is an operating system that hsould be developed even if there isn't "room" in the market for a new OS. Because as it progresses there will be room. As the OS becomes more usable people will make an effort to use it. Linux is a great windows alternative but starting completely over and not building off anything else is something that should really be done with most technology every so often. There is so much progress made in computer science why should we still be building off old systems and code. Build anew and you get a faster sleeker more efficient more reliable OS. This is great news even if it might take 6 years before it has the functionality of current OSes that are offered.
    • Re:BEos (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Raul654 ( 453029 )
      I agree with you in principle, but disagree with you in reality. In reality, the people developing OSS are a limited resource. More time should be put into making Linux user friendly and accessable to "normal" people (just think of those useful error messages some programs kick out) Why develop BEos from scratch to a point of usability when you have one OS that's already there? Why spread the Open Source community's resources even thinner, when it only detracts from what, IMHO, should be the overriding task of making a greater imact on the desktop.
      • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:44PM (#3851800) Homepage
        Isn't it possible that pushing Linux to the average user's desktop is like pushing a round peg into a square hole?

        It seems to me that Linux is and always has been a server and power-user OS. It's become more user friendly in recent years, with the caveat that the ease of use depends heavily on the under-the-hood stuff operating correctly -- my mom will never, ever be able to tweak her kernel or reconfigure an XF86Config file.

        Isn't is possible that an OSS-type BeOS is a better option? It provides an environment that is ground-up designed for desktop users. It can still give us all the Good Things that a OSS OS brings (compliance with standards, innate resistance to embrace-and-extend, etc). Why limit ourselves to only running over a specific kernel and using a specific (UN*X) basic paradigm?

        • I agree with you -- when I tried BEos (once upon a time), I found it MUCH easier to use than linux. But I guess it comes down to -- which has a better chance of success - taking BE and making developing it to the point where it can compete with windows, or taking Linux and covering up all those under-the-hood traits that have held it back so far.
          • which has a better chance of success - taking BE and making developing it to the point where it can compete with windows, or taking Linux and covering up all those under-the-hood traits that have held it back so far.

            In my experience, you just can't hide the under-the-hood stuff and assume the users will never need it -- remember the "zero administration" debacle?

            • Re:Good points (Score:3, Interesting)

              by affenmann ( 195152 )
              >In my experience, you just can't hide the under-the-hood stuff

              What about MacOS X?

              Anyway, I guess it would be a good idea to put BeOS (the UI that is) on top of GNU/Linux. But who am I to tell anyone what to do?

          • Re:Good points (Score:1, Flamebait)

            by MaxVlast ( 103795 )
            I don't want to be a jerk unnecessarily (too late, I guess), but to me, mis-capitalizing a specifically-capitalized word is the same thing as misspelling it. The name of the company was Be. The Operating system was BeOS. Another model of computer is the Mac (not the MAC, it's short for Macintosh, not media access control), which is made by Apple. Just like it's Linux and not LINUX, or Linus's name isn't LinUs, other proper nouns do not include InterNet, PhotoShop, or MicroSoft. Enough of being a jerk, back to being a lazy ass.
            • Isn't is a pseudo-acronym? The OS made by Be is called BeOS, that seems reasonable. The Mac OS is called MacOS, ditto.

              I know where it is done to mkae the name look funky, that's horrible, but wnat is the alternative? Beos and Macos? They loose meaning because it becomes less clear that they are the OS associated with Be and Mac, respectively.

        • > Isn't is possible that an OSS-type BeOS is a better option?

          I would like to see a free (or significantly cheaper) version of Lindows (including all of its features and goals). Should be too hard - it's open-source, right? At $99, it's not going to be a Redmund-killer by any means.

          Let's see, I can get 100% compatibility for $90 (Windows updrade) or I can get partial compatibility for $99. Sweeeet.
        • Isn't it possible that pushing Linux to the average user's desktop is like pushing a round peg into a square hole?

          Linux with Gnome or KDE is roughly the same as MacOSX with the Mac GUI: a UNIX-like kernel and command line environment with a nice GUI on top of it. I don't see why that should work any less well for Linux than for MacOSX. If anything, the Linux kernel and GUIs are faster, smaller, and more efficient than what Apple is shipping.

          Isn't is possible that an OSS-type BeOS is a better option? It provides an environment that is ground-up designed for desktop users.

          But what concretely does it do better? Yes, people were thinking "desktop" while writing BeOS, but I have not seen any feature in BeOS that I can't get on Linux, Windows, or MacOSX just as well. And from a programming point of view, an operating system through-and-through based on C++ seems a bit old fashioned and constraining.

          Also, I like the fact that Linux and MacOSX are POSIX-based and have a complete server environment integrated as well. And that's not just useful for programmers, it also means that artists and grandmothers get good, free software like web servers and FTP servers.

        • Why limit ourselves to only running over a specific kernel and using a specific (UN*X) basic paradigm?

          Who said anything [debian.org] about about [debian.org] limiting ourselves [debian.org]?

          Granted, two of the three above links are *BSD, but I don't see any reason why we couldn't have Debian GNU/BeOS [debian.org].

      • Re:BEos (Score:3, Interesting)

        by spitzak ( 4019 )
        It is possible that developing BeOS may be the most efficient use of resources for getting a user-friendly desktop onto Linux. If you strip out X and the BeOS GUI, I believe what is left is pretty much identical, and lots of people think the solution for fixing Linux on the desktop is to get rid of X.
        • Re:BEos (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wavicle ( 181176 )
          Unfortunately the truth is to fix Linux for the desktop, you need to fork the kernel.

          What makes Linux inappropriate for the desktop is its lack of real time features, its monolithic design, its unix everything-is-a-filesystem-object architecture, it's hostility towards proprietary hardware drivers, etc.. All good things or non-issues for Servers. All terrible for a desktop user. (hint: Desktop users don't want to recompile their kernel... *EVER* - and they don't want to wait for their OS Vendor to come out with a complete set of up to date kernels with drivers)

          Getting rid of X is a good start. Getting rid of lpd/cups is another good start. Major surgery on the kernel is also required.
    • Re:BEos (Score:3, Interesting)

      Exactly, so why don't we build anew?

      People seem to forget that although BeOS was ultra-great, it was designed under commercial pressures. They had to have a product that worked soon, and that limited them. We can do so much better. Here are some blue sky ideas for my "dream" OS:

      • Object filing system, so for instance you can have people, and money as objects, and multiple directory hierarchies. I won't go into too much detail here.....
      • GUI based on Mozillas Gecko - with some optimisation that would be the most kickass graphics engine imaginable
      • Total network transparency: Linux is pretty good, but imagine having network swap, if you run out of hard disk space, objects that haven't been accessed for a while are swapped out to other computers. Net result: huge amounts of disk space.
      • Knowledge representation based APIs. Most operating systems use huge data structures passed to functions to control them. Windows is big offender, not sure about Linux (depends on desktop I think). However, the web is heading towards being based on AI knowledge representation systems - the semantic web. If the OS was internally built on logical assertions and RDF-style abstract data structures, it'd be in prime position for ultratight web integration

      I mean really, we should not limit ourselves to merely small steps. Linux will do for now, but eventually we will need to move things forward, completely free of the past. Why not?

      • Object filing system, so for instance you can have people, and money as objects, and multiple directory hierarchies. I won't go into too much detail here.....
        BFS can do this already. It's the way they implemented mail on BeOS: it was just a bunch of textfiles in a folder, but with attributes for To, From, Date Received, and so forth attached. You could also make a very simple database using that aspect of BeOS, and there were a few custom BeOS webservers designed that took advantage of that fact specifically to allow very simple databases without an engine. Amazingly, OpenBeOS already has a fully working replacement for BFS that has all of the features and seems to match the speed. It's still in alpha, but you should go check it out.
        GUI based on Mozillas Gecko - with some optimisation that would be the most kickass graphics engine imaginable
        Don't get me wrong here, but why? Gecko is designed to be an HTML viewer. Why do you want that as your GUI? I swear, I am not trying to start a flamewar; I honestly don't understand this one.
        Total network transparency: Linux is pretty good, but imagine having network swap, if you run out of hard disk space, objects that haven't been accessed for a while are swapped out to other computers. Net result: huge amounts of disk space.
        Check out Plan 9 [bell-labs.com].
        Knowledge representation based APIs. Most operating systems use huge data structures passed to functions to control them. Windows is big offender, not sure about Linux (depends on desktop I think). However, the web is heading towards being based on AI knowledge representation systems - the semantic web. If the OS was internally built on logical assertions and RDF-style abstract data structures, it'd be in prime position for ultratight web integration.
        That's over my head, but it sure sounds good, so go over to OpenBeOs and add it!
        • BFS can do this already. It's the way they implemented mail on BeOS: it was just a bunch of textfiles in a folder, but with attributes for To, From, Date Received, and so forth attached. You could also make a very simple database using that aspect of BeOS, and there were a few custom BeOS webservers designed that took advantage of that fact specifically to allow very simple databases without an engine. Amazingly, OpenBeOS already has a fully working replacement for BFS that has all of the features and seems to match the speed. It's still in alpha, but you should go check it out.

          Ah, not quite. BeFS allows for flexible metadata, great, but not quite what I was thinking of here. An object filing system is a bit different to tagging files with metadata, although they can often achieve the same thing in different ways.

          Don't get me wrong here, but why? Gecko is designed to be an HTML viewer. Why do you want that as your GUI? I swear, I am not trying to start a flamewar; I honestly don't understand this one.

          Don't worry, it's not obvious why until you've played with Mozilla a bit. Gecko is an HTML viewer yes, but it can do a lot more than that. The whole Mozilla front end is written in XML and rendered by Gecko - the menus, toolbars etc are written in a way similar to web pages (styled by css, handled by javascript etc). XML is pretty flexible. Mozilla is written using XUL which is like HTML but for user interfaces, however you can mix and match content types at will. SVG is like Flash in XML and I've already seen some extremely cool demos of what you can do with SVG in Mozilla. Imagine having a user interface with the slickness of Flash (clearly it'd have to be subtle, but you get the picture). Mozilla also supports MathML for embedding mathematics into the document, and I've seen ChemML be transformed into SVG diagrams of chemical formulae.

          What Gecko does is give you a set of very generic but powerful tools that let you do very easy but powerful graphics. The only problem is basically speed at the moment.

          About Plan-9, yes that has some neat ideas, including integrating everything into the filing system (which is sort of what I meant by the OFS).

          The knowledge representation stuff is just meaningless until it "clicks" I've found, check out the semantic web documents at the w3c - the stuff TBL has got planned for the next generation web is simply mind blowing. And that's my whole point: this sort of stuff has to be taken into the design at the beginning, it's not something you can just add later.

          One thing I don't think is useful is constantly reinventing the wheel. If I ever was to create my dream platform (what a geek!), I'd use Linux as the base. Writing efficient VM, video drivers etc is a solved problem. It'd really be more a new type of desktop environment: you can base something on Linux without using the Linux development systems or UIs, look at TiVo.

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:18PM (#3851597) Homepage
    Now if we could just get people to stop buying station wagons and stick to either tanks or batmobiles, we'd be in business.

    Seriously, though, I think right now is a key turning point in the platform wars. Simply put: thanks to widely-available and cheap networking and a proliferation of cross-platform applications (even on the desktop, at least until MS decides to pull the plug on Apple), the platform you're running on means less now than ever. That's the point Apple's trying to make in their new advertising campaign. Given that, it might just be that there's room for an OSS desktop.

  • It's good to BeOS is still kicking around. That OS had great potential for desktop use. Linux is great, but overall I thought BeOS had a better "feel" to it. It was Macish yet PCish. Good for newbies. I hope they can get things working to give even more alternatives in the world of OS's.
    • Uh (Score:2, Informative)

      by emmons ( 94632 )
      Be is dead and gone. Its assets were bought out by Palm earlier this year. BeOS died a horrible death along with the company and is now partially owned by Palm- who won't release it since it doesn't suit their business well. They bought it to get the development team who is now working on PalmOS.

      This article is about OpenBeOS, which is currently vaporware. They don't even have a functional kernel yet. They've taken the NewOS kernel and badly maimed it... there aren't many competant kernel hackers on their team.
  • Define 'marketing' (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MediaBoy77 ( 469933 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:19PM (#3851608)
    "Marketing is not our job"?

    Well, that's his perogative, but not necessarily one that will lead to a successful project.

    What's the goal of this project? To create a new open source OS that no one uses? If so, marketing is definitely not their job.

    But if one of the goals is to create a new open source OS with a strong, active base of users and developers, then marketing MUST be part of the job and project plan.

    Marketing goes far beyond advertising for the sake of increasing revenue. Marketing is all of the PR work you do with the development community, IT decision-makers, not to mention the media (including Slashdot).

    Too often, open source advocates only associate marketing with profit-making companies, while forgetting that non-profits have marketing people too.

    From museums to charitable foundations, the most successful ones are those that can successfully market their 'product' to the world. Open source software is no different.
    • by DeltaSigma ( 583342 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:49PM (#3851838) Journal
      Please read the linked content. If you do you'll find Mike makes reference to companies and organizations expressing a commercial interest in OpenBeOS. What we have here is truly unique: An operating system built from the ground up that isn't directly tied to "old" technology. I don't mean to say that old technology isn't important. Indeed it is, because it's proven. But one must recognize that a platform which is no older than five years, that's public, which works on many hardware configurations, and still has the best media management (yes, BeOS under proper configuration and on decent hardware [my SCSI setup being one of them] is better for multimedia than apple systems). It has a place and my question in the article was rhetorical really. A lot of today's self-described linux advocates are advocates of just that; linux!

      People don't seem to want to be bothered with supporting truly open source software. This is just an indicator of such a person's own cynicism regarding the potential success of open source. I acted under no direction of the OBOS team. They're right, it's not their job to market, but whoever wants to get the word out is welcome and that's exactly what I did. Now come on, read about what we're doing. Try to understand where we're coming from and where we're going before you judge us from an article, the length of which just barely constitutes a paragraph. I'm sure that if you looked into OpenBeOS, while it might not be the OS for you, you'll agree it has its place. Sorry to bother your slashdotting with this plea for sincere consideration, I'll go back to work now...
      • I can't believe I ate the whole thing! (Yes, I read the log.)

        I made no judgement as to the quality of the OS (in fact, I greatly admire OBOS's techincal goals). But this an observation about the chances of OBOS's success if the people who are creating it don't take some level of responsibility for nurturing a user base.

        IMHO, saying "We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job" does not bode well for the additional goal of "But I also want to make it work for my Mom".

        My mom, your mom, everyone's mom for that matter, needs to learn about alternative OS's somewhere, and see the value in using them. That can be accomplished without multi-million dollar ad campaigns. But it cannot be accomplished if developers take the position that evangelizing and marketing (which are flip sides of the same coin) is not their job.
        • A serious question here: why does anyone "need" to learn about alternate OS'es?

          I ask because in order to get this message across you need to use an argument that has more meaning than "stopping the MS hegemony" or to "create choice". There needs to be a reason than people can actually personally relate to, such as "because we have the best quilting design software" or "because we provide the easiest-to-configure internet access".

          It's easy to convince as /.'er - just throw out a few neat acronyms, flame some other OS, and claim to be the latest-and-greatest-but-still-in-development. But that may only impress 10% of the market.

          What about the other 90% who just want the damn thing to work most of the time without too much hassle? What do you offer them?
    • Yeah, but far and away, the best marketing is word of mouth betwixt people who know each other and trust each other. Its like, a quadrazillion times more effective than keeping your website updated, doing mailing list announcements, etc.

      In this respect, it still comes down to good old userbase. Which, when you're *not* advertising, will be a function of .. well, the functionality and usefulness of your product, minus any competative FUD your competiation successfully slings into the heads of your _potential_ user base. Sometimes, if you can get enough of a bootstrapped userbase, youd probably rather do *no* marketing than get people listening to a 'who is technically better' discourse between you and your competitionn, when your competition is held in wider public trust (not by us, of course, but by the general public) and has sh!tloads more money than you.

      Consider that companies *pay* people to go into bars and malls to talk their product up ... the OSS community *users* really have to realize that the best way the average non-programmer OSS user can repay the programmers for their work is by being loud and vocal about what they use. The user, in the OSS community, is the true marketer (and who best understands the needs of the next potential user than their best friend?) and this is a viewpoint I would like to see encouraged a little more in the OSS world. Dont write docs, dont contribute source - get your neighbour to understand why he needs to make the switch (or run them alongside each other, or .. well, you're the salesperson, you be creative and figure it out. :)
    • But if one of the goals is to create a new open source OS with a strong, active base of users and developers, then marketing MUST be part of the job and project plan.

      Yeah, they need to keep that in mind all along, just like Torvalds did. Oh wait...

  • Who's job do you think it is?

    OSS has grown up in many ways. Because of this, it's time we stopped acting like children and took responsibility. As a group, we decided to adopt restrictive licenses in order to prevent our creations from being used in a manner we did not approve of and we decided that we actually cared who adopted our operating systems, our programs, and we decided that we were going to compete against organizations like Microsoft.

    Now you may not have liked those decisions, but as a group, that's where Open Source went.

    Down that path lies marketing (including FUD, which we seem to have adopted quite easily), profit (which we still claim to want, even if we debate how it's actually obtained under this model.), and responsibilty (since we presume people will use this O/S to do business.)

    If you don't want to take the responsibilty to handle the tasks that aren't fun (such as marketing), please don't complain in a few years that the project died of lack of support and adoption.

    • I believe they're planning on distributors to handle their own marketing. Similar to Linux - the marketing for Linux is being done by IBM, RedHat, Mandrake and other distros instead of Linus and the development team.

      The OpenBeOS team is depending on the same thing to happen with their OS. An audio company could have a distro with apps and drivers specifically targeting the audio segment, while another company might have a distro with programs specific to their goals. Each would market their own distribution.
      • I believe they're planning on distributors to handle their own marketing. Similar to Linux - the marketing for Linux is being done by IBM, RedHat, Mandrake and other distros instead of Linus and the development team.

        And yet, that doesn't decrease or remove the need for marketing. Instead, it simply changes who your marketing is targetting. Do you think distributions of OpenBeOS will just appear? Maybe that happened with Linux, but it took a very long time (as measured in computer time, since it's only been a little over 10 years now). No, if the OBOS team wants their software to be used, then they will need to either distribute it themselves (market to end users), or actively find others to distribute it for them (market to VARs). If they do neither, then OBOS will die. And maybe that's fine, because perhaps they're just doing this for fun and their own personal use and it doesn't really matter to them whether or not others use their software.

        • Then who did Linus market Linux to?
          • See the part where I said

            Maybe that happened with Linux, but it took a very long time (as measured in computer time, since it's only been a little over 10 years now).
            and extrapolate from that what you will. IE, it's taken Linux a long time to build up marketing steam; it could've gone faster had Linus actually marketed the kernel (of course, he wrote it originally just for his own use, not to take over the world, so of course he didn't do any marketing); Linux was a bit of a fluke, since I doubt you can really come up with another such example in the computing world; or any other conclusion you wish to draw.

            Marketing isn't a silver bullet, of course. Just because you take the time to evangelize your work doesn't mean anybody's going to buy into it. But not evangelizing (note that, as other posters have pointed out, marketing is a whole lot more than just buying advertisements, and I think evangelizing is a good word to cover more of this because it includes things like helping our your developer community and just generally making sure people know what cool stuff you're doing) is a very good way to not go anywhere.

    • As a group, we decided to adopt restrictive licenses in order to prevent our creations from being used in a manner we did not approve of and we decided that we actually cared who adopted our operating systems, our programs, and we decided that we were going to compete against organizations like Microsoft.

      Wrong. Not everyone made any of those decisions. Some people use completely free licenses (BSD), many OSS developers don't care who adopts the operating system, and quite a few never decided to comete against organizations like Microsoft.

      Next time, speak for yourself, not every OSS developer.

      Dinivin
    • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:32PM (#3851715) Homepage
      As a group, we decided to adopt restrictive licenses in order to prevent our creations from being used in a manner we did not approve of and we decided that we actually cared who adopted our operating systems, our programs, and we decided that we were going to compete against organizations like Microsoft.

      Now you may not have liked those decisions, but as a group, that's where Open Source went.

      Whoa, slow down there, cowboy.

      The licenses which make OSS possible are there to do just that -- force people and organizations to stay honest and not simply take advantage of the efforts of others. What you can *do* with that software is pretty much unfettered -- consider all of the places you can find Linux in one form or another.

      Besides that, who said we (we as in the community) had decided to compete against Microsoft? Competition implies that the OSS community is tied up in a parry-and-jab with MS, which we most definately are not -- why else would we be so eager to interoperate with Windows boxen, even when it means trying to adhere to MS's broken "standards"?

      OSS is about a way to develop software, and nothing else. My personal interest, and I dare say the interest of most people involved in the development or use of OSS, is only to obtain and use the best possible software solution for our needs.

      Raising the awareness of the project is important, but generally good and useful software concepts attract users and developers far more effectively tan "marketing".

      • Competition implies that the OSS community is tied up in a parry-and-jab with MS, which we most definately are not -- why else would we be so eager to interoperate with Windows boxen, even when it means trying to adhere to MS's broken "standards"?
        Sorry, but this argument is complete garbage. Let's see how Merriam-Webster [m-w.com] defines competition:
        1 : the act or process of competing : RIVALRY: as a : the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms b : active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply
        2 : a contest between rivals; also : one's competitors <faced tough competition>
        "Offering the most favorable terms" could include providing interoperability with the customers of the competitor. Whether it is done is a question of tactic, not the question of whether the competition takes place or not.

        While it's hard to speak of the open source / free software community as a competitior due to lack of organization, several companies such as Mandrake are directly competing against Microsoft for the desktop market. They do have their tactic and can change it if they want.

  • As we've seen in OS land of late, your OS needs some serious financial backing to get it off the ground. Even linux was just another hobby OS until the big boys got involved. While I'm a fan of BeOS, it seems like its main target market, media applications, is already well-filled by Apple and Microsoft. They also have the additional hurdle of starting several years behind these other mature OS's. If they can overcome these obstacles, then all the more power to them, but at this point it's an uphill battle. Good luck guys.
    • by WowTIP ( 112922 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @04:33PM (#3852179)

      Michael Phipps gave an interesting answer to the "Why openbeos?"-question in the Q&A-session:

      [Captcpu] Here's a nice one from: [mwilber] Why did you decide to start the OpenBeOS project?
      [17:35:47] [mphipps] Insanity. ;-)
      [17:36:25] [Captcpu] good answer :)
      [17:36:52] [Captcpu] but wait..there's more...[mphipps] Seriously - I had a project that I have been working on for years on BeOS. The short version of the story is that it is an object oriented paradigm in which every class is a process and every instance is a thread. It needs hyper fast messaging and process/thread swapping. No other OS will do that. Even R5 wasn't the best.
      [17:37:47] [mphipps] So, when the Palm announcement was made, I looked at Linux and the BSD's, but none of them were as fast and as easy to use. So I decided that BeOS must continue on.

      Hopefully more people will see things the same way. Some things are hard to do, or outright impossible in most common enviroments today. If enough people makes this realization OBOS could have a very nice thing going.

      Another thing that often is forgotten when talking about OBOS is that the goal is not only to recreate BeOS as OSS. It goes beyond that. The goal of OBOS R1 is to recreate BeOS R5, but when the devlopment continues towards OBOS r2, new interresting stuff is going to be implemented. The plans of what to include in the post-r1-releases of OBOS are made at the Glass Elevator mailing list [sourceforge.net]

  • by truffle ( 37924 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:29PM (#3851691) Homepage

    If you have trouble reading the one linked off the front page, here's a mirror of the log in HTML.

    http://www.kupoflux.com/tmp/beoslog.php
  • "We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job."

    Translation: "No."
    • There is nothing to market. OpenBeOS is vaporware right now. There's very little done besides a lot of talk.

      For instance: The kernel is a fork of the NewOS kernel, which is far from complete itself and there are few if any competant kernel hackers on the OBOS team. Also, fork has been changed so much (mostly superficial changes) by the few developers who are working on it, that changes to the NewOS kernel will not easily port to the OBOS fork.
      Also, very little else of the OS has even been seriously started on. Check out the OpenBeOS website [openbeos.org] and see their progress indicators.

      I'm not saying that the project will go nowhere (that's only my personal opinion), only that if it does it will be years before anything of significance is realized.
      • Considering the short amount of time involved and the progress indicators you mention, I think most people would agree that the obos project has progressed quite well and its perceiveable that if they continue at their current rate they'll meet their goal of providing all the major functionality of beos 5 in a couple of years.. but I guess its easier to get modded up by some clueless idiot when you troll than to actually make insiteful observations.
  • 'We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job.' Perhaps more /.ers could keep this in mind ...

    The question the guy asked was "What plans have been made to succeed in the areas Be failed in, the marketing, the lack of drivers, and apps? Without these we could be in for a repeat...."

    Marketing is not the job of OSS, useable software is. I'm not entirely sure whether Phipps wasn't reading all the way through, or answering little bits, or...

    Be didn't die because it was great software, Be died because it couldn't do the job. Or, another way of putting it, you couldn't do the job with Be.

  • Technical question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Raul654 ( 453029 )
    Given that BE is relatively new, and as yet (I would assume) under-developed, what would be the challenges in getting it to work natively using windows drivers? In other words, why re-write every driver for every peice of hardware, when one could change the OS once instead?
    • natively using windows drivers

      Damn near impossible. Oh, and Be is dead and gone. This is OpenBeOS that's being talked about, which as of yet is vaporware.
    • I think using Linux drivers is more likely.

      The lack of drivers, especially for the graphics cards, is really a hurting point for any alternative OS.

      I have heard that the division between the driver back-end of XFree86 and the "X" part is getting better and cleaner, which may lead to eventually being able to use XFree86 drivers. But I doubt it is there yet because I don't see it being done now.

  • WhoOS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    With quotes like 'We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job.' it's no wonder why 98% of the public have never heard of BeOS.

    That kind of attitude certainly isn't going to get your OS on any desktops, and pretty soon you won't have any job.

    **News Flash** Marketing works - especially if you have a solid product like BeOS was. Do you think MicroSoft and AOL would spend the wads of cash on marketing if it didn't work? Hell I'd be willing to guess that 40% or americans think that America(n) Online is the Internet.

    While it may not be the developers' job to market BeOS, they need to be more aware that marketing plays an ever-increasing role in the success of any product - including Operating Systems.
    • Re:WhoOS? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dinivin ( 444905 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @03:45PM (#3851806)
      That kind of attitude certainly isn't going to get your OS on any desktops, and pretty soon you won't have any job.

      Except that none of these developers are working on OpenBeOS as their job. They are working on it because they like it, and that probably won't change even if no one uses the it.

      Dinivin
    • BeOS the product from Be and OpenBeOS the open source software project are two different things. BeOS was closed source and no code from it is in OpenBeOS.

      And they are right that marketing doesnt matter to them. They arent trying to grow marketshare, they're trying to build an operating system to satisfy their desires. If they are the only ones who use it, it doesnt change a thing.

      Marketing plays no role in the success of their product because the definition of success for their product isnt about having market share or making millions. It is about building their os the way they have envisioned it.

      by the way, the reason 98% of the public have never heard of BeOS is because Microsoft abused its monopoly position to force oems to not offer it as an option on their systems.

      No amount of marketing will help your product be accepted in the market if the monopolist controlling the market won't let your product into its playground.

    • Don't forget, however, that at the moment there is nothing to market. Right now OpenBeOS is vaporware. There's no functional kernel (there's a derivative of the NewOS kernel in the works but few competant kernel hackers on the OBOS team), little networking code, no window manager or graphics subsystem, only a somewhat functional file system driver, etc. etc. etc.

      IF the project ever gets anywhere significant, it's going to be years from now.
    • Great, could you help them out by pointing to an open-source currency to pay for this that won't get them arrested for counterfeiting?

  • Actually I did use BeOS at one time..

    But while its journalizing system was good..

    It lacked other nice functionalities usch as multi-user..which was not added until the ned and other missing features..

    ah the OpenSource Market has already spoken.. BeOS is RIP..lets give it a nice rest..
    • But isn't Open Source about choices? If people like BeOS far be it from those of us who don't like it to claim that it is RIP
    • It lacked other nice functionalities usch as multi-user..which was not added until the ned and other missing features..
      What was nice about BeOS was the simplicity: how many home-ish users really need a multi-user system?

      Multi-profiles would be nice, that is true. But multiuser in that type of OS would be a fairly useless thing to implement.
      • how many home-ish users really need a multi-user system?

        Anyone who shares their computer with family or friends on a regular basis. I myself enjoy a Mac OS X computer with separate accounts for each member of my family; they can create documents, download files, and so forth without stepping on each other's desktops or making major changes to the system (without my permission). My wife can litter the desktop with text documents, my kids can add their own browser bookmarks, they can download and rip whatever music they like -- it doesn't get in anyone else's way.

        Really, multi-user systems might not have been all that important in the "old days" of personal computing. But now that a $699 off-the-shelf box and a cable modem is enough to become a vulnerable server on the Internet, multi-user setups are essential for basic security, with the added benefit of keeping everyone's virtual space personalized and distinct from everyone else's.
        • Anyone who shares their computer with family or friends on a regular basis. I myself enjoy a Mac OS X computer with separate accounts for each member of my family; they can create documents, download files, and so forth without stepping on each other's desktops or making major changes to the system (without my permission).
          That's not multi-user!

          Multi-user is multi-concurrent users. I know having multiple profiles in BeOS would/would have been nice.

          But I am talking about current users - ala a Linux box serving out shell accounts or whatever.
          That's not really useful in this day and age for home users.
      • Multi-profiles would be nice, that is true. But multiuser in that type of OS would be a fairly useless thing to implement.
        Two words: security and security.

        1. Profiles are little more than eye-candy without permissions to enforce policy on said profiles. Without some sense of multiple users, one user cannot restrict read and/or write access from other users. Even home users have something to gain from little brother not being able to delete big sister's homework. Not to mention keeping users from deleting or changing key system files.

        2. The multi-user paradigm allows services to run as other than "root." One of the big weaknesses of most home flavors of Windows is that a compromise in any program is a "root" level compromise. I feel much more confident knowing that if a back door happens to be in my irc client that my exposure is limited to my personal files. Losing data sucks. Having to reinstall the OS sucks worse.

        Regards,

        -l

        • I am not about to disparage security by any means. Without it the company I work for would not be on the Internet. Even so there are a couple of considerations to take in when working with an OS and determining if multi-user is required.

          First of all note that BeOS had hooks built into it for multi-user opportunities. The default user-id is Baron, not root. There are add-ons that provide a multi-user environment as well.

          There are down sides to having a muli-user platform as well. There are situations where it makes sense to have the OS come up and start running a user application. Tivo is one example, Internet radio stations are another.

          That said, one of the down sides of having a multi-user system is the very thing that makes it handy to have. Adding cycles to authenticate access slows down a platform.

          Also note that if little brother is dedicated to finding a way to delete big sister's homework, the fact that the platform is multi-user, with ACLs, does not prevent little brother from being paitent and finding bit sister's password, or breaking the SU password and getting to the file.

          Actally having to re-install an OS is nothing compared to losing some data. For example the password file to your online bank account, or your graduate thesus and supporting documentation. The OS is either available on redilly available CD-Rom disks, or other handy resources. If you have spent months collecting and analyzing data, putting together your paper, you probably can't re-create it overnight. If your Online checkbook is compromised, it very well may cost you significanly more than the value of your time and materials to re-build your system.

          Then again, it apperars that you have different ideas, so I could be wrong.

          -Rusty
  • Of course open source is about scratching an itch. But once a project becomes bigger it depends on the enthousiasm of the participans. And how many people do you realy know who don't try to spread their enthousiasm around. And isn't mouth to mouth the best way of advertising a project..
  • If your heart is in it and it brings you joy, then go ahead. Chances are others will see the love you put into the project and give it a try.
    If not, you still learned a lot in the process and quite possibly added to the pool of knowledge and others will still benefit.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    OpenBeOS founder Gene Kan has taken his own life. He was also one of the designers of GNUtella. Very strange. More information availble in this Wired article [wired.com] for all the details. I must say, Drano is one hell of a way to check out.
    • While Gene Kan's death is certainly tragic, he had nothing to do with OpenBeOS that I know of. He was never even listed on their website, he most certainly wasn't a founder, and I never heard of him once in connection with BeOS during the time I was involved with it (from Preview Release 2 in their pre-Intel days up through Be, Inc.'s demise). I can't remotely find anything that suggests otherwise.
  • Still not perfect, but much better:

    <Captcpu> and now.. we are starting. :)

    <mphipps> So I want to ask any people in the north americas to let the Europeans ask questions first. Just to be nice.

    <Captcpu> good evening everyone, I'm Captcpu and I'll be you're moderator this evening :)
    <Captcpu> and that's mike if you didn't know :)

    <mphipps> Hi! Even though we are starting early, I will stay until 8 (my time) unless we run out of questions. ;-)

    <Captcpu> the way tonight's chat is going to work is, you can private message me your questions, and I'll foward them to mike :) so, Private message me away, I'm waiting :)
    <mphipps> What if we threw a war and no one showed up? :-) Someone, ask something!
    <Captcpu> we'd be in trouble :)
    <Captcpu> it's simple /msg captcpu Your question here
    <mphipps> monolith - no estoy embarrazada. :-)
    <Captcpu> Hey Mike, Monolith would like to know if you're with child.
    <mphipps> Monolith asked if I was pregnant. :-) While I first said, no, I have to say that it feels like we are giving birth. ;-)

    <Captcpu> <lillo> first Q: is someone already working on the kernel VM? It seems like a very urgent task to be completed before other things can be touched...
    <mphipps> Yes. Next question. ;-)

    <Captcpu> <Matzon> Since newos is nowhere complete, why did we fork this soon? is he willing to divulge any rough specifications on what the VM will and will not support? ie. integrated VM/FS cache and/or mmap/munmap?
    <mphipps> Good question. I am wondering that myself. ;-)

    <Captcpu> and to add to it, he has to say... <Matzon> Why rename all newos methods to be BeOS compatible (thus making obos kernel undiffable with newos), when we could have provided an abstraction layer?
    <mphipps> Truth is, Travis et al have a lot going on in their lives and they haven't been making major changes to NewOS. If you go back even 4 months or so, there weren't a lot of check ins. And we are getting to the point where we need to spread our wings and fly.

    <Captcpu> here's our next question from <BlueOS> When do you join B.E.OS? and a secondary more serious question: <BlueOS> What about binary compatibilty in the driver side?
    <mphipps> As for the second part, we are doing the easy stuff ATM. There are bigger changes to be made that will make the question irrelevant. BlueOS - when will you join us? ;-) I don't see anything in our way to having driver level compatability. No bus_manager compatability, though.

    <Captcpu> here's another one mike... <AnEvilYak> is he willing to divulge any rough specifications on what the VM will and will not support? ie. integrated VM/FS cache and/or mmap/munmap?
    <mphipps> Yes to both of those features. I would not want to ship without. At least, that is the plan ATM. ;-)

    <Captcpu> Here's a nice one from: <mwilber> Why did you decide to start the OpenBeOS project?
    <mphipps> Insanity. ;-)

    <Captcpu> good answer :) but wait..there's more...
    <mphipps> Seriously - I had a project that I have been working on for years on BeOS. The short version of the story is that it is an object oriented paradigm in which every class is a process and every instance is a thread. It needs hyper fast messaging and process/thread swapping. No other OS will do that. Even R5 wasn't the best. So, when the Palm announcement was made, I looked at Linux and the BSD's, but none of them were as fast and as easy to use. So I decided that BeOS must continue on.

    <Captcpu> here's an interesting one from: <shatty> the new font engine is going to be freetype right? when can we expect things to reach the stage where that is working? it's part of app_server, so we need to wait for app_server don't we? :-)
    <mphipps> The font engine is indeed going to be freetype. Proto 6 is in development right now. I don't think that font handling is in it, though.

    <Captcpu> Here's one: <macdonag79> Why are people writing custom versions of basic CLI tools when they could be obtained from, eg, *BSD?
    <mphipps> Good question. Many of those custom CLI apps are little tiny things to help us develop. I doubt that they will be part of the final "release". But since we don't have bash, et al, yet, some little things to help us work and test make sense. The whole shell is scheduled to go out the door.

    <Captcpu> <elver> How is the name choosing going? Will we stick with OpenBeOS (unlikely) or do we have a list of possible names already?
    <mphipps> We have been cutting the list of names down. Many that we submitted were not usable for one reason or another. It hasn't been our top priority, but it is getting there.

    <Captcpu> Here's an interesting one: <linn> question: who are you? you = captcpu. may I answer Mike?
    <mphipps> sure
    <Captcpu> I'm a web developer and college student from Las Vegas. I'm Kurtis Kopf's Business Partner in real life, the guy that's designing the new website for Open-Beos :) and I've agreed to help as I can :) besides that I'm a pretty normal guy.. I think..

    <Captcpu> Someone (forgive me for forgetting your name) wanted to know about the Game Kit, what's the status?
    <mphipps> Game Kit. Ahh. The poor, misbegotten step child. :-) Honestly, I haven't heard from RobMed in months. GK is one of the items on the list for the poor unfortunate soul who signed on to be the "C++ code finisher".

    <Captcpu> Here's one: <Matzon> I read a review of TuneTracker, wherein Dane Scott mentioned that obos would have a first release this year - ofcourse he is only speculating... but what is our (roughly) timeframe?
    <mphipps> Sigh. So many ways to answer this. There is the Commodore answer "when it is done". There is the Microsoft answer "Q3, 2002". There is the real answer... I very strongly feel that we could finish this by the end of 2002. It will mean some long nights and hard work. But I think that it could happen. What would it take? Some more *REAL* help. Some people willing to really dig in, grab some piece of work and ride it until it is done.

    <Captcpu> Ooooh.. question about networking: <z3r0_one> Question: I've seen recently that the network stack is being moved into the kernel (if it hasn't already been done), and that sockets will be file descriptors. Does this mean that the net team borrowing ideas from BONE, and trying to recreate it? Has the problem with select been fixed yet?
    <mphipps> Where is David when I need him? ;-) select will depend on the new kernel it's not properly fixable on R5. The networking stack, as it is today, runs as a kernel module. Is this BONE like? No. BONE had it truly built in, I think (I wasn't on the beta list). The select issue is very easy, with source code. The OBOS kernel will handle select right, out of the gate. It remains to be seen if our networking stack will work properly with R5's kernel's select. I doubt it.

    <Captcpu> Here's we go...
    <Captcpu> <DragonSoull> 1. I've heard requests to make server applications like mySQL run in OBOS. Are you doing any work in that direction? And if so don't you think that's outside of the "Desktop OS" focus of the original BeOS?
    <mphipps> *Excellent question*.

    <Captcpu> I figured ;)
    <mphipps> mySQL would certainly be required on a server. But I can see, too, where it would be cool to have it on a client. For developers, for one thing. So I don't think that doing some small amount of work to make mySQL work is a bad thing. But that is different from major work or porting it ourselves. I ***STRONGLY*** believe in the focus on the desktop. BeOS wasn't, isn't and shouldn't be a server OS. Does that mean we shouldn't be able to run ftpd? No. But the *FOCUS* is on the desktop.

    <Captcpu> Here's an innocent question: <x-gh0st> Will R1 support localization or is this feature reserved for R2?
    <mphipps> R2. Localization is *VERY* important. And it *has* to be done right. And it really needs a whole ball of other features, like GUI with a layout engine.

    <Captcpu> and now we have hit the 19:00 hour. Oficially starting =) <M_BeOS> can i ask, 'What plans have been made to succeed in the areas Be failed in, the marketing, the lack of drivers, and apps? Without these we could be in for a repeat....'
    <mphipps> That is probably an FAQ. ;-) Few, honestly. We are an OSS project. Marketing is not our job. I expect that OBOS will have a "RedHat". Some company to come along, package our source with a dozen CDs of apps and sell them. Driver wise, we are helping and supporting anyone who is interested in writing them. Scott is doing an awesome job at BeDriver, and BU is working in that area, as well. I am hoping that with the shrinking of the hardware market, there will be fewer drivers to write.

    <Captcpu> Here's one from: <coolbear> What are the GUI Interface plans for after version 1.x, are they in consideration now? I have some proposals, where should I send them, and in what format?
    <mphipps> Yes, we are thinking about a number of things.

    <Captcpu> " <coolbear> I refer to API and features. "
    <mphipps> There are a few proposals out there, now, for new looks and feels. I have certainly heard about Gonx enough times. ;-) API wise, I haven't hear a whole lot. Any proposals, thoughts, ideas go to Glass Elevator.

    <Captcpu> here's a long one from: <misza> Do you agree that it would be better to clone the current UI (Yellow Tabs, same functions like double click a tab minimize it) and implement all those functions exactly, and provide an interface to skin the UI(e.g change position of buttons, implement light skinning) having the current UI as the default one because that is familiar to alot of users, Rather than to create an entirely different UI that may be infl
    <mphipps> For R1, there is no promise of skinning. The only "promised" feature is that it will look like and work like it does today.

    <Captcpu> Here's a good one from: <AlienSoldier> As to help the community and OBOS in itself, does the OBOS team will suggest a line of hardware so that futur buying streamline the community to have easier driver transition in the first release R1.
    <mphipps> Sigh. ATM, this is a tough one. We have the Matrox driver "in the bag", so for video, that is my only promise. If the kernel boots on it today, it is likely that it will tomorrow, too. As for other stuff (networking, sound, etc), we can't really say. If current R5 supports it, esp if the driver is publically available (i.e. source), we probably will, too.

    <Captcpu> and now <sdrsolo> states "Out of the 214 listed programmers how many are contributing?"
    <mphipps> Not enough. In fact, we are reworking the web site to make it more representitive of those contributing. Let's put it this way - there are 32 people with CVS write access. And none of the team leaders are beating me up because they have to submit so many patches. OBOS is still a place where *1* person can make a huge difference.

    <Captcpu> and... <mwilber> have you been contacted by any corporate/government/educational organizations that are interested in OpenBeOS?
    <mphipps> Yes. A few corporate. And we are working with those.

    <Captcpu> this reminds me. there. that fixes that. anyway.. here's one from: <z3r0_one> Question: Another tough one: Is true multiuser support in the future of OpenBeOS?
    <mphipps> Nice. :-) It all depends on what you mean. ;-) For example - If you mean "I want to log in and have my own email settings, home dir, etc", then that is an R2 thing. If you mean "I want OBOS to be just like my Linux box where I can have all of my 1337 friends log in and download warez", than no.

    <Captcpu> Here's a good one: <M_BeOS> I can't program, and neither can many of us... How can we help on other ways?
    <mphipps> Just like a kid at camp. Send money. ;-) Seriously, though, folks. One way is to volunteer at some of the other BeOS groups. Many of them are always looking for *GOOD* help. Translators can always mirror and translate our site (or others). Being helpful in the community. Being on IRC and answering questions. And also doing testing. We are (slowly) getting toward another release. We would like more people testing and looking at things.

    <Captcpu> Here's one from the Dark Side of the Mac: <mdvb747> Are there any plans for a PPC version of OBOS?
    <mphipps> When Steve Jobs calls me and asks for one. Seriously, though - I love PPC. I *want* to give my Mom an iMac and have it run OBOS. The question is time and resources. I can't justify dropping VM or other "generic" work for a port to a platform that doesn't really want us. If someone wants to do it, I am more than open to helping in any way. But I can't justify "assigning" people to it.

    <Captcpu> and an interesting question from: <miloshe> When can we expect USB support and a nice media player?
    <mphipps> USB - Hopefully with R1. I have a good USB book and I have done some preliminary work on it. "Nice Media Player" is somewhat vague. I would have to ask what is wrong with R5's.

    <Captcpu> <El-Al> Is anybody working on OBOS API documentation? <El-Al> .....and if so, what tools are being used to documen<El-Al> Is anybody working on OBOS API documentation? sorry abou the repeat there at the end :)
    <mphipps> OBOS API documentation has a team, yes. What tools? Not 100% sure. We are using doxygen inside the code.

    <Captcpu> Here's one from down under: <SmallStepForMan> Well, OBOS has been going for just over 9 months now. How do you look back on the last 9 months, and is it according to expactations, subpar or way beyond expectations. BTW - good morning from Australia
    <mphipps> G'Day to you! The last 9 months have been unimaginable. I had no clue what I was in for. None of us did. It has been a fun trip, though. My only regrets are a) that I can't do it full time and b) the price that my family (and others) have paid.

    <Captcpu> and from: <el_d00d> Will there be localized versions of OBOS, and can some of us help translating OBOS?
    <mphipps> el d00d, huh? :-) Nice. Localization (which we touched on briefly above) is an issue for R2+. I know how important it is to you. But it really should be done right. And that means when we have the time and freedom to do it the Right Way.

    <Captcpu> Mike, Monolith has informed us that our spanish sucks.
    <mphipps> I didn't make that one up. ;-)

    <Captcpu> but.. onto the next question: <grim> How's progress with the change of team structure going? Are the leads working on todo-list-type pages? IMO, it would need to be pretty fine grained to allow people to pick up a smallish task, work on it, submit it and be happy:-) Rather than TODO: Finish the kernel...
    <mphipps> The team structure didn't really change all that much. Adding people to the teams changed. And that went pretty quick. Some TODO lists are done. Some need more work. If you want to work in an area and can't find the todo list, ask the team lead. They will help you. And if they don't have one, they will get sick of people asking... ;-)

    <Captcpu> Here's a long winded one: <lillo> currently there's a debate on wheter obos should be fully graphical or if it should have a text console as well just in case. It's sure that the second would be useful during kernel development, but it'd break the BeOS phylosophy... What's your opinion?
    <mphipps> This is in reference, I think, to a conversation that we were having on the kernel list. For the average user, I think that the system should be just as it is today. I can see some value to a boot disk that is text based. For either emergencies or as a "download this, see what hardware it detects". But not for users to use every day.

    <Captcpu> <M_BeOS> Are we going to have humorous API call's just like Be did?
    <mphipps> I won't dictate that, either way. I certainly intend to extend the "is_computer_on" series in the kernel.

    <Captcpu> here's one from: <Deris> Will there be a new OBOS update that will replace certain things (like apps and preferences)
    <mphipps> I think that this is asking about an automatic update. Personally, I like that idea very much. I know that there has been a lot of interest in the community about that. I would love for someone to write such a thing. Can't promise that it will be us.

    <Captcpu> Programming, Oh my!: <mmu_man> What about a BeIDE replacement ? (I suggest XEmacs >:-)
    <mphipps> E$*#()#*Q)(? Begone you heathen dog! There is aught but one True Editor: VI! :-) I put BeIDE in the same catagory as a number of other apps (browsers, mail clients, etc) - every distro should have one. But they are not necessarily the realm of the OS group.

    <Captcpu> <mene> Will opentracker be moved into OpenBeOS CVS..and developed under OpenBeOS name?
    <mphipps> I doubt it. That would "cut off" other groups that might want to use it.

    <Captcpu> here's one: <scanty> What can we expect from the OBOS POSIX-layer ?
    <mphipps> Hopefully, functionality. I would *love* to see it work as well as R5, plus mmap and select.

    <Captcpu> cute. fuzzy. animals? <elver> Linux has Tux, BSD has their cute little demon. Should OpenBeOS have it's own cute animal? If so, what should it be? :)
    <mphipps> OpenBeOS will not have a cute animal. Whether some other, different name has one or not is up in the air. The admin staff is about 50/50 split on whether it is a good idea or not. It would have to be a good one.

    <Captcpu> <Zaranthos> Question for mphipps How much time do you spend on OBOS? Do you work full time and then work on OBOS?
    <mphipps> About every waking minute. I do indeed have a full time job. (And a wife and 2 kids). I work on OBOS an average of 4 hours a day.

    <Captcpu> Packages? for Me?: <RageMax> are there any plans for a _standard_ package format for program distribution, possibly for R2?
    <mphipps> Plans? No. This is a veyr good idea. And I think that it ties in to the installer/updater mentioned earlier. (Pardon my dyslexia).

    <Captcpu> Cash? Money?: <earlcp> How configurable will the VM and DiskCache be for users? Example I would love to devote 512K to just the DiskCache.
    <mphipps> Ideally, not at all. Very briefly, the ideal VM/cache system would need no tuning and would always have the information you want to access in ram. I know that we won't be *ideal*, but very good would be nice. I would like to think that mundane details like disk cache and VM size would be something that the OS could handle on its own.

    <Captcpu> <Der.is> Will you release a commercial version of OBOS (for companies), so that you can afford OBOS-update servers or such? <Deris> =) sorry!
    <mphipps> I think that the question here is really "How will you afford to run OBOS without any money?" Part of the answer is that we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Part of the answer is that I am hoping that distro makers see good reason to "give back to the community".

    <Captcpu> <elver> What about firewalls? Do people have to code their own firewalling software (like in windows 9x) or will the firewalling be built into the kernel or the net_server? (more like Linux)
    <mphipps> When you say firewall, you could mean a couple of things. BeOS, by default, had all of the ports closed. Now, I am not a security guru, but that seems very secure to me.

    <Captcpu> <monolith> does he aim to try and get market share in the desktop arena, taking from MS, or does he plan on creating the best possible OS, with no compromises made for the less technologically-capable folks that make up the general public?
    <mphipps> This is really a marketing question. Think about Linux for a moment. We are more like Linux (the organization) than Be. I am not here to change the world, necessarily. I am not here to sell N boxes per year. I am here to make an OS that I want to run and that you want to run. But I also want to make it work for my Mom (a non-techie). I don't believe that these two things are mutually exclusibe.(exclusive)

    <Captcpu> and now.. for the last question for this session.
    <Captcpu> <Zaranthos> Is there a timetable for an official OBOS name so we can start grabbing up domain names? :^)
    <mphipps> I am assuming you mean "to help out the project". :-) I just got some mail about this, actually. Hopefully, we will have an annoucement of where the name issue is going soon... Folks - this has been a lot of fun. I appreciate you all taking time out to come here. I do have to go, though.

    <Captcpu> I would also like to express the many private messages I've recieved thanking Mike and his team for all the hard work they have put in.
    <mphipps> I think that we will probably do this either weekly or every other week. We will get the logs posted shortly... Bye, all! Thanks again!

    <Captcpu> And that ladies and gentleman is the end of the session. Thanks for Attending!
  • palm and BeOS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paradesign ( 561561 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2002 @04:31PM (#3852155) Homepage
    is there any news at all on what Palm will do with BeOS?
    i wonder how much BeOS will influence the PalmOS.
    i seems a shame that such a good OS should die like this. i applaud OpenBeOS for their work at "reviving" what once was, even if it is stil linux.
    • I don't know much, but I have read that Palm is basicly sitting on BeOS. A company called BeUnited inquired about licencing it but couldn't pay Palm's asking price which I believe was around $2million. Also unlike many early rumors palm is not baseing PalmOS 5 on BeOS code. Palm 5 was however writen by largly the same group of coders that came from Be.
    • i applaud OpenBeOS for their work at "reviving" what once was, even if it is stil linux.


      OpenBeOS is not, nor was it ever, linux or any form of linux, with the exception of some ported cmd line utils its all written from the ground up using the original beos api for a guideline.
  • by g4dget ( 579145 )
    BeOS was a reasonably nicely engineered system, but it was yet another variation on one of the traditional kernel architectures written in C++, with a bunch of C++ libraries for one of the traditional GUI architectures. Maybe OpenBeOs will also be well engineered, maybe not, but do we really need it?

    I suppose in a world where people spend a lot of time writing PDP-10 and game console emulators, another nostaliga-driven software effort won't matter much. But just imagine if all that effort were directed towards doing something new and original: coming up with new kinds of user interaction, figuring out entirely new ways of organizing kernels, rethinking the way kernels are implemented.

    If it has to be a clone of a system that has been done before, why not clone and create a better implementation of something that differs more from what we already have than BeOS?

  • <Sarcasm>It makes perfect sense to reinvent the wheel again. It is totally obvious that we need another completely new operating system. The other ones certainly are not suffering due to lack of time, money, resources, or talent. Let's put another small group of talented people together to work on another splinter of the open source world. Let's not team more people up to work together to build something which has a chance at gaining/taking market share from a proprietary solution. Hazzah! A completely new effort is a brilliant solution!</Sarcasm>
  • by coene ( 554338 )
    This is why Open Source isnt taken seriously by many real companies -- many of the majorly hyped projects take this type of opinion towards marketing, "not our job". The fact is, it should be if you want your product to be used, open source or not.

    Marketing does not need to mean advertising. I believe for Open Source projects, they need to use marketing as a way to define needs of the market (or the wants of the users), and goals of the project. As well as a way to present the product to the end user/customer.

    How can you develop something for which you do not understand its requirements, nor its goals? Just because it is open source, and a voulenteer effort, does not mean its a good idea to attack the project blind from 2 sides!
    • Perhaps I am wrong, I expect that I am for some situatins.

      In any case, I don't recall anyone askin the guy building the helicopter in his garage if there was a market for the thing. Or the handyman who puts together a skiff out of some plywood and marine glue and fibreglass.

      In my opinion, the folks working on OpenBeOS are highly skilled craftsmen who are using their tallents on their own time, to work on a project that interests them. If the end result of that project is a product that only they use, I doubt that they are going to be particularly disapointed.

      At the same time, I am one of perhaps dozens or hundreds who are looking for an update to BeOS that will allow me to use new hardware that BeOS does not support. Not because I can't use BeOS now, I do. Because I would like to go back to using an OS that performs the way BeOS does, and that I can use newer hardware and peripherals with. To me that makes OpenBeOS worth while, and worth following.

      Then again, I won't force that view down your throat. If you insist that the handyman building a boat in his back yard, on his own time, do a marketing study on the demand for personal watercraft, I think I can afford to compliment him on his work and help him get it to the water when he is ready to do that.

      -Rusty
  • I say definately. I love linux, and I use it for just about everything I do. But that doesn't help say, my parents, or friends I know who are looking for something which requires less of them.

    With MS basically looking to try and force people into XP, I've been wondering what I'm going to recommend to these people. OS-X is a definate possibility, but apple hardware is rather expensive. And I'm not exactly a huge fan of the way apple handles things either. They are not exactly a model company either.

    Honestly, I've never gotten a chance to use BeOS. I really wanted to give it a whirl, but it went under before I got a chance. From what I saw though, I think it might fit into that space very well, if they can get enough apps. (Binary support for other free OS's would be good there. Not sure how feasible that is though in this case.)

    Regardless, they aren't a company. They have no need to prove market or profitability. If they want to do it, that's all that really matters. There's no need to justify your itch before you can scratch it.

  • I hate to ask a question on /. that my be heresy or brilliance or both:

    Simply put, BeOS was an excellent operating system, but OBOS may (or may not) fall under some of the axes that fell on BeOS.

    Boot Loader: Acceptance by OEM's I take it is not a concern, but should be in the mind of the developers, just in case.

    OSS: Attracting developers did not seem to be a problem, but because of the politics involved with some binary compatability with OSS, there were *drivers* for hardware that were rejected because BeOS was closed. (don't pshaw, that is why you could not get anything beyond a 3com 905 to work despite drivers being written...I ran into that problem)
    Not a fun place to be, you know the OS and hardware will work, but the person who wrote it gets smacked down. Grrrr.

    The "B" in BeOS/OBOS: perhaps the B shoud be for BSD, that way the above OSS conundrum does not present itself. Think about it: forks and usage of the source w/o giving back are welcomed and would avoid the "show your source or piss off" problem.
    This, I think, would also round out the BSD family (Open/Net/Free) with a Multimedia (crus of BeOS) quite nicely if the developers did decide to use BSD. (and this coming from a Slackware, and slight Redhat, fan).

    Interesting that I found myself getting excited, but after the first round of being wowed and then let down when Be dropped BeOS, well, "once bitten, twice shy..."

    .
    • Simply put, BeOS was an excellent operating system, but OBOS may (or may not) fall under some of the axes that fell on BeOS.

      The MAIN thing that killed BeOS was Microsoft actively blocked computer manufacturers from putting it on their computers. If it had been shipped with computers you can be sure that plenty of developers would have been developing apps, and Microsoft knew that.

      Even the Bush anti-trust settlement forbids Microsoft from stopping manufacturers, so OBOS would have a shot at getting on computers. BeOS was much more user friendly than Linux, so this is a possibility.

"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk." -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_

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