STATUS: Initial brainstorming on the topic of starting a Debian/Linux like distribution for BeOS (Debian/BeOS or BeBian :), or CDD (Custom Debian Distribution) of Debian/Linux with OSBOS (Open Source Be Operating Systems) developments and customisations
dea.BeBian = Debian for BeOS
In the past 2 years exBeOS userbase and developer community has dropted drasticly after the initial promisses for it's resurrection. YellowTAB currently only commercial distributor of BeOS codebase, is constantly delaying delivery of sucessor (packaged their own distribution named Zeta) of BeOS 5.03 - last official commercial release by Be Inc. before thay went down and later bought by Palm. Simoultaneouslly several efforts were taken on by developers to re-live BeOS-like system in non-commercial forms:
B.E.O.S trying to do it re-using Linux code like XFree86 and replicate functionality of BeOS API on top of it (originaly BSD, but recently switching to GNU/GPL, ) - mostly developted by Guillaume Maillard with some assistance of few people,
COSMOE started as ambitious new ground-up project that recently also switched to the Linux and is syncing with OpenBeOS, developted almost exclusivly by Bill Hayden.
BeUNITED - USA registered 503 Non-profit orgainsation established with slightly vague idea to mediate early development efforts and setup standards that would be followed across different implementations, currently hosts for donnated (mostly abandonware).
Away from major developments aspiration is project BeOSMAX, which is distribution of last BeOS Personal Edition 5.03 with a number of tweaks, customisations, patches, drivers and big software bundle - currently in version 3, with no long term plans as it is relaying on Zeta prospects.
Aside from these efforts there was a brief attempt of establishing BeOS low-compatibility but high aspirations sytem called Siquel, that was abandond after a few months, as well as much more sucessfull SkyOS which is rapidly growing commercial operating system that bares some resamblance to BeOS and usess a lot of code from free implementation of Be File System - OpenBFS.
In respect to these recent (lack of) developments and market position it would be interesting to bring these individual projects into some kind of reusable and modular system (highly possible consindering high modularity of BeOS).
With the hope that development will take of faster as:
- all 4 development projects are operating as Open Source projects,
- Linux kernel of 2.6 branch (with more preemptive support) is maturing
ReiserFS 4 (most close to BFS concepts of database-like file system) is stabilizing
third generation of custom distributions (like KNOPPIX and DeMuDi) are maturing and targeting specific desktop users - while building on features similar to those of BeOS, there could finally be enough interest in Linux community to focus on some of the clear concepts of BeOS API.
- to join Debian officialy or use principles and technologies?
- benefits could be big exsposure
- shortcomings - extra administration to handle in slow and often conservative Debian
- which of the development projects will be willing to join/compromise with other projects and actually collaborate on development on new Custom Debian Distro?
- seems that B.E.O.S had most developers, but least code
- how to distribute non-free code in thid distro?
- this could be discussed with Debian developers