[openbeos] Re: openbeos Digest V8 #114

  • From: Nicholas Blachford <nicholas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2008 01:00:04 +0100

From: Christian Packmann <Christian.Packmann@xxxxxx>
Subject: [openbeos] Re: openbeos Digest V8 #104

Nicholas Blachford schrieb:
DarkWyrm wrote:
This could probably be a nice niche market for Haiku, considering its low hardware requirements, if someone had sufficient interest in writing
for the hardware.

I think it's a wide open market so has good potential.

LOL. There seems to be far more OS competition on ARM than on x86, see
http://www.arm.com/products/os/ .

Most of those are real time OSs.

Contrast that to the desktop where Haiku is not likely to ever be
anything beyond a small 2nd league player.

Being a tiny 3rd league player on mobile devices would certainly be
better? You are aware that Nokia plans to buy and opensource Symbian?
How do you want to compete with that, in addition to embedded Linux and
all the commercial OSs?

You seem to have misunderstood, I am talking about MIDs (mobile Internet devices) *not* mobile phones.
The Mobile phone market is highly specialised and mature.

MIDs is effectively a brand new market, somewhere between phones and laptops, though you could also include some sub-laptops. They are pretty much pocket computers and are quite possibly the sort of thing that will replace the traditional desktop PC.

FYI: I know this area is interesting to ARM because I happen to work for them. Having followed Haiku from the beginning and being a BeOS user before that it struck me that it's an ideal OS for such devices, more so than the likes of Linux.

Besides, even if you want to target the mobile market, x86 will be there soon. Atom and Nano are already well suited for so-called "nettops", in
one or two process shrinks x86 should be suitable for PDAs/mobiles.
Forking development to another ISA at this point in time seems
superfluous; by the time Haiku is mature enough, x86 will be "good
enough" for most mobile applications.

Intel have a lot of work before they can go in a phone, process shrinks certainly wont do it (if they keep scaling at all).

IMO an ARM port would be a waste of precious developer man-hours, which
would be better spent on writing applications to make *using* Haiku

This is the open source world, it's not about assigning developers to a task, it's about developers scratching an itch. I was asking if anyone had that particular itch.

And I think that Haiku can be successful in the desktop market, even if
it will never reach a marketshare of more than 0.5%. Once you reach a
kind of "critical point", the OS will be healthy. Look at the Linux
market; even though the marketshare is tiny, Linux development is still
gathering steam. You don't need any kind of "final victory", just a
sufficient base to ensure continued development of the OS and its

Sure, but my point was that going after MIDs might be easier for getting the numbers up quicker.

From: "Raymond C. Rodgers wrote:

This echoes very strongly of Be's focus shift.

I was asking if someone was interested in a port not a focus shift!

My opinion on the focus shift was that yes, it was a bad move but they really had no other choice. At the time Be couldn't even *give* BeOS to PC vendors so they jumped on a potential market which never played out.

Someone new would probably need to
step up for work on it to begin, and I don't know the details  of
Haiku's kernel-level architecture, but I have a feeling that
there'd be
more than a little work required to get it running on ARM.

The Haiku kernel was based on NewOS, how far away from it has it
I ask because there's a partial ARM port in the NewOS source tree.

If Travis is still working in his usual methodical way, I doubt there
would be too much difficulty in integrating the changes. I have no
kernel experience, but I can't imagine it would be too much more
difficult than adding the new code and some #ifdef ARCHITECTURE/#ifeq
ARCHITECTURE ARM or similar statements.

From what I've done on m68k I'd say it's not too hard as long as you
target arm with mmu. mmu-less ones aren't worth it.


Of course, now with the Intel Nano processors in the market,
computing doesn't necessarily mean mostly ARM any more.

I wonder how long it will be before Win Mobile is focused on

We can only hope that MS makes a focus shift to it, and drives
themselves out of business... ;-)

If only!

Interesting comment, especially given the seemingly common belief here that Intel will sweep all before them with Atom.

There is a battle coming but it's interesting to note that Intel and Microsoft both make their money from devices which are relatively high priced. They can do this because they went up against companies who sold higher priced kit in relatively low volumes. Wintel copied all their technology and had the volume to cut prices and that was that. With all this interest in MIDs and low priced sub-laptops both companies will have big problems if they are *successful* - they can't make big margins from these devices.

It's going to get very interesting, and probably sooner than you think :-)


Anyway, I'm half considering doing the ARM port myself...
I'll need to start reading up on the Haiku kernel, anyone got any pointers where I should start?


Nicholas Blachford
"You made your point, you will be deleted."

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