Archive for the ‘Haiku’ Category.

Stable, pretty, convenient GUI

No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to find a simple, nicely pre-configured graphical user interface for Linux.

I’m used to spending a lot of time setting up things on Linux. I’ve done it for years. It’s been a fun hobby. I remember the first time I started using my mom’s new iMac, many years ago. I remember thinking it was so boring. There was nothing to setup or configure. It didn’t bother me, though, because I thought the default configuration and appearance was really nice.

I want something like that for Linux. I want a GUI that:

…has attractive default settings.

…includes complete window management functionality.

…has only one way to do everything.

…requires little configuration and maintenance.

…does not look like Windows 95.

I really want to like KDE.The recent 4.5 release behaves a little strangely with my video card, but it works. I’ll probably stick with it for now.

I’m also a big fan of Window Maker, but I always end up “using” it too much instead of “doing” stuff with it.

As for other operating systems, Haiku meets the requirements of the kind of GUI I’m looking for. Maybe instead of trying to find the perfect GUI in Linux, it would be easier to write all of the software I need for Haiku and use that.

Why I started using Haiku

I have dual boot setup on my computer with Arch Linux and Haiku. Arch Linux is my primary operating system, but when I want to relax or have a little more fun I boot into Haiku.

I started using Haiku about six months ago, and for a pretty simple reason. It’s an entire operating system made by one group of people.

GNU/Linux is made of different pieces of software written by different people from different places at different times. It’s a collection of multiple options for kernels, window managers, desktop environments, libraries, sound systems, boot managers, and on and on.

GNU/Linux works, and works very well in my opinion, but I was looking for something different, something with more of a complete design in mind. I wanted something that had the consistency of Mac OS X with the freedom of a free and open source license. FreeBSD meets that criteria if I exclude a graphical user interface.

I looked into alternative operating systems and Haiku fit my criteria well. It’s a complete and unified operating system from boot to GUI, including an API for everything I need. It has very active development, and a nice, yet small, set of applications to use, including a native WebKit web browser.

Haiku is a remake of BeOS. I have never used BeOS before, but found out I really like using my computer the “BeOS way”. Compared to other operating systems and user interfaces, I prefer to use Haiku. I like the consistency between applications. I like the responsiveness of the user interface. I like the clean look and nice default settings. I like the simplicity of installing and uninstalling applications. I find that the user interface better fits my work flow.

I’m excited about Haiku having a stable release some day, whenever that is. I’m also excited about writing some applications for it, but I can’t really think of what to make. I’ll probably start by just converting my video game to native Haiku code.