[haiku] Re: Rethinking the Haiku Distro Guidelines

  • From: Ivan Vodopiviz <merkoth@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 15:25:43 -0300

>I am not a big fan of distributions myself. But the most important
>thing about free software is independence. I don't want to be
>controlled by any organization and, frankly, I don't wouldn't want to
>use an OS that is almost impossible to be forked.

>Distributions should be discouraged but it should be made clear that
>it is possible to fork Haiku and start a new project based on it. That
>provides the assurance that even if Haiku Inc. is acquired by some
>evil company, people will be able to keep using their system simply by
>using a fork of Haiku.

>This is the main property of free software. I know it's obvious but I
>just wanted to underline it. Don't cripple Haiku's freedom while
>trying to avoid "the distro mess".


Distributions and forks are completely different things. Let's say I
want to make a "Gamer" of Haiku, taking more or less the vanilla Haiku
and adding as many games as possible into a DVD. There simply isn't
any reason for me to fork the entire tree when I don't even need to
compile the thing from source. Distributions are nothing more than a
bunch of apps packaged together. Haiku's source code has little to do
with the matter at hand, IMHO.

>Anyway, my point is we want people to work with us, not in parallel. And my
>first argument was that the trademark policy needs to be crystall clear.
>For these two reasons, I would say we should not make it any easier to spin
>off custom distributions of Haiku. We should protect the Haiku name and
>logo, period. If people want to influence the distribution to address
>specific needs, but they don't want to release something not being called
>Haiku, they have the very sensible option to become a project contributor.
>Or they need to take the extra hassle of removing a few strings and
>replacing some bitmaps. Which is easy to do, contrary to what some seem to

I agree, but what happens with colliding decisions? For example: Basho
comes with the filemanager in explorer mode by default while AFAIK
Haiku R1 is likely to come with spatial mode by default. While this
could be later solved by some sort of "First-boot Wizard", there
aren't many workarounds for the time being. Moreover, as Matt said,
changes like this one actually affect the look and/or feel of the OS.
How can this be managed in a way that satisfies both parties?

Maybe I've been using Linuxes for too long, but Linux Mint uses a very
simple scheme: Community-made derivative distros are considered
"Community Editions" and are clearly marked as that. You can download
Linux Mint "Codename", Linux Mint "Codename" KDE CE, Linux Mint
"Codename" XFCE CE, etc. Maybe Haiku can use something like that?


Iván Vodopiviz

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