[haiku] Re: Differences between BeOS and Haiku

  • From: Stephan Assmus <superstippi@xxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 19:40:22 +0200

On 2010-07-24 at 17:31:52 [+0200], Humdinger <humdingerb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
> -- Truls Becken, on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 00:46:34 +0200:
> > Although the target for Haiku R1 is to recreate BeOS R5, it has
> > already surpassed the original in many areas.
> [...]
> I'd add:
> - Better POSIX compatibility
> - More supported filesystems (I think: ext2/3, reiserfs, udf)
> - Adjustable antialiasing (greyscale or LCD subpixel)
> - Subtly modernized GUI (gradients, pop-up menus, button and border
> style etc.)

Hm, I don't really agree it's subtle. That sounds a bit like I've made 
almost no changes, which isn't at all the case. It tooks quite some work 
actually, and with the Look test program, one can toggle the old and the 
new look, while the old one wasn't 100% like BeOS R5 either. The changes of 
the old Haiku look is what I'd call subtle changes versus BeOS. :-)

We do have quite a few API and implementation improvements as well over 
BeOS. For example BString has a threadsafe copy-on-write backend, which can 
significantly speed up certain string operations, and save memory. BMessage 
is central to any Haiku app, and sending BMessages to local targets in 
Haiku does not use kernel ports, which makes it a lot quicker as well.

Then all the kernel improvements. Almost 7 times faster compiler times on a 
two way SMP system? That's simply amazing. The file cache boost many 
operations I frequently do during each work day.

Haiku has mmap() and select(). Sockets are file descriptors, any one 
remember the pain these items caused porters? The pthread API is a first 
class citizen in Haiku, Haiku and pthread threads are interchangeable.

Anyone remember using net_server? Usually, it had to be restarted once 
every two days at most. I remember returning to my machine in the morning 
and net_server used up all RAM and CPU. BONE wasn't much more stable. And 
how slow it was...

Also many of the apps and preflets that come bundled have seen substantial 
improvements, too. A lot of third party projects have been intergrated, 
info_popper, mail_daemon replacement, SpiceyKeys (bad example, though), 
TrackerGrep (TextSearch), Guido (DiskUsage).

There is just one area that BeOS R5 was better for me, which is 
reliability. Haiku crashes very seldomly for me, I use it every day. 
Perhaps once every two weeks or so, depending on the usage pattern it can 
be much worse of course. The filesystem is not as reliable. I know that 
BeOS could corrupt a filesystem as well, but with Haiku, it's frequent 
enough that it's a real issue. It used to be quite good, but development 
goes on, important changes are made and living on the bleeding edge means 
you sometimes have to live with unfortunate regressions. All that said, I 
can't imagine using BeOS R5 again, that would mean missing too many subtle 
and not so subtle improvements. :-)

Best regards,

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