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BeOS moves homes again

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Deej on Friday, 09 Sep, 2005 @ 7:26 AM
Be Inc

Man, I thought I was on top of news this morning, but IsComputerOn beat me to it. ;)

BeOS, or at least the intellectual property that was once known as BeOS, has shifted owners again. As stated in this press release, it seems a Japanese company, Access has purchased PalmSource (not Palm, the hardware portion that was known as PalmOne).

What does this mean for BeOS? Likely, Absolutely Nothing. What does it mean for PalmSource and the PalmOS? Seems they want to infuse development of the OS with an influx of cash. What does this mean to yellowTab and Zeta? Remains to be seen. But since yT had an existing agreement with Be, Inc. for developing and distributing BeOS prior to Palm’s Be, Inc. buyout, and the license remained, I’d venture to guess that the license will still stand for yT.

8 Responses to “BeOS moves homes again”

  1. oktokie Says:

    Japanese are more fond of people pursuing alternative life style. You can tell by huge beos community sprang up in Japan during late 199x period. Some of the usergroups are still very active in Japan. Let’s write letters to access begging them to free BeOS!

  2. mmadia Says:

    not to be a naysayer, but wouldn’t the opensourcing of R5 have a tremendously negative impact on Haiku (and its public relations) ?

    All the time that went into bringing Haiku to booting into a functional GUI. -poof- now, pretty much worthless.

    Would Haiku continue on proceeding with their current codebase or frantically switch over to Be Inc.’s code?
    Either way, would it divide or even discourage the developers?

    I agree, being able to look at Be’s code would be interesting. though i don’t know how practical it would be in the end.

  3. Dave Says:

    Could there be a petition to ask Japan’s Access to release the source to the PC based Beos OS, since they have no interest in it?

  4. Jacob Says:

    I doubt the release of R5’s original code would have too much effect on the existing Haiku project. BeOS users have come to accept the fact that the platform has been fragmented. It doesn’t matter much to the average BeOS user who has the original code because for all intents and purposes - the platform already works. Unlike the consequences present in most Linux variations - Be (or whatever we call it now) has fewer inconsistencies between distributions than anything else I’ve seen. If anything, releasing the original code would take most of the burden off Haiku’s development and allow for more productive bug-fixing and expansion. Reverse-engineering is as pleasant as it sounds, so if we can get the source into the Haiku project (which is assumed to be well documented and up-to-date) this platform could take a healthy step foreward. But then again, who knows? BeOS was supposed to be dead back in 2000, but I still use it every single day! Go Japaneese!! (They’re really nice people, is it any wonder they like Be?)

  5. Jonathan Thompson Says:

    Assuming a large body of source code you have not seen is well-documented and up to date is foolish at best. If you want evidence to suggest otherwise, I’d recommend checking out how many API calls have zero documentation in the Be Book, and how much of documentation is incorrect where it exists.

    A funny thing happens to source code when money is involved: quite often, there’s a huge pressure to get something released as quickly as possible, and there’s only so much in the way of human resources available to achieve that, so they have to prioritize what is left out. Curiously enough, a huge percentage of developers hate doing documentation, which also seems to fit nicely in the “If the code doesn’t work, the documentation doesn’t matter!” argument from the powers that BeOS (had to throw in that pun :> ) and the “Ship it now, we can’t afford to wait for documentation!” arguments from the bean counters.

  6. Evert Mouw Says:

    Here is the news article on a Japanese BeOS user group, but I can’t read it :-(


    I asked them to mail Access.

  7. looncraz Says:

    About the only things in BeOS that could probably be open sourced that would be of use would be the interface kit, media kit, openGL implementation (hardware), and of course, BONE.

    But, then again, most of that would be used as reference, the BeOS code is far beyond R5, as witnessed by Dano. Some good code to have would be as much as is owned by a third party (i.e. Intel).

    I would bet that would remove the ability to free much of anything from the Media Kit without some pretty good effort, the kernel would be nearly useless, the app_server is almost guaranteed to incoprperate licensed techs…

    Be, INC said they could not open the source, they it seems they tried, because of the massive amount of third-party software involved. Access would have to infuse a great deal of cash just to weed out the third-party software from the BeOS source.

    Not all of the licensed technology is going to be in seperate libraries or probably even files. Almost no one knows what is what by now.

    Would be nice to have the code nice, free, and open though.

    –The loon

  8. Tuishimi Says:

    I think it would be a boon to have R5 code released. Man I miss running my BeOS. I would love to see it run at 100% on some new technology.

    I gave my last Intel box to my mother to use. Now I only have Macs and of course BeOS does not run on G3 or up. I am in dire need of my fix. :)

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