So, it must be said - get over it - BeOS is dead. Palm didn’t buy Be, they bought Be’s IP. Even if Palm decides to do something with BeOS, it won’t likely be called BeOS.
The King is Dead. A number of people and groups have stepped forward with actions to back words… Michael Wulff Nielsen wrote up an editorial on his opinions on what to do. It’s in the “Read More” link at the bottom. Along those same lines, Michael Phipps has started a mailing list at the prompting of many on the BeDevTalk mailing lists. They are looking to replace components of BeOS with open source modules one at a time, or a complete work from scratch - which is still a bit unclear to me as yet. If you would like to join, you may do so by sending email to email@example.com with ’subscribe’ in the Subject field.
There are also three petitions now set up to help convince Palm that BeOS is worth continuing - Here, here, and here. The first being especially important, as Palm is actually waiting on the information retrieved in that one. Go sign them.
There are numerous people talking with Palm now about possible solutions to keeping our beloved OS alive and well. Palm is very open and receptive, it would seem, to these ideas. Keep your fingers crossed, and stay active in the community.
So now that we know for sure that BeOS will die, what are we to do about it??? So far the suggestions I have seen point to a couple of solutions:
1. Email palm, as if that would make any difference. I personally don’t believe it will.
2. Create a money based campaign to convince palm, won’t work either.
3. Turn over and let BeOS die.
I find none of the above alternatives to be very attractive, so it seems I will have to find a fourth option.
After some time and some thought I found a possible solution.
4. Create a new BeOS
Okay, before the flaming starts about how long that would take and how impossible it is, let’s look at a hypothetical way of doing it.
1. Find a suitable kernel
Possible candidates would be the Linux or the Atheos kernel. Personally I think the Atheos kernel might be the most Be like kernel, but the Linux kernel is far more mature. I will leave that to the developers taking on the kernel. On to the next step.
2. Implement the Storage and Application Kit/Server
This would be the absolute number 1 priority for a “new” FreeBeOS. In my opinion the system should aim for a source-level compatability between R5 and the new FreeBeOS. There is a lot of work to be done but in my humble opinion it might be possible. Perhaps we could even fix a lot of bugs during the process.
3. Convert the OpenTracker/Deskbar to the new system.
This would bring the lovely user interface of BeOS to the new system, and it would ensure source level compatibility
4. Start bringing all the other BeOS system stuff over.
Now we are really rolling
~~~~~~~~– Time out ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So is this possible??? It’s hard to tell, I am an application programmer not a kernel guy. I hope people take this opportunity to discuss it in depth.
Of course the new operating system wouldn’t have the advanteges of the slick BeOS kernel, but it would be opensource and free.
Perhaps BeUnited could be the focus point of this immense project, because this would need the ENTIRE community, every developer, every user and by god all the man power we can muster. The good thing is that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we can just look at how Be did it.
If you want to see what inspired me take a look at www.aros.org.
Thanks for your time
Michael Wulff Nielsen
Author of Cool Cat Editor
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