A Poignant Plea to the Powers (Th)at Be
Why shouldn't Be give its orphaned OS all the options it can?There's something likable and self-effacing about an operating system that grants its users and developers leave to pop the hood and make modifications-the closed-box designs of Mac OS and Windows both seem to say that Cupertino and Redmond, respectively, know best. With Linux, there's no part of the operating system's codey underbelly with which you may not fiddle, but if you've spent much time trolling through the spaces where the Penguinistas gather, chances are that "likable" and "self-effacing" are not the words you'd use to describe Linux and the Linux community. This brings me to BeOS, the technologically unique but application-poor desktop operating system that, with its speedy, attractive GUI and tightly integrated terminal application, offers something for newbies and hackers alike. What's more, the large degree to which BeOS is POSIX-compatible makes most command-line Unix programs available to its users.
The BeOS Tracker and Deskbar interface components are open source, and what remains of the BeOS faithful benefits from the fairly frequent performance and feature updates that come out of the OpenTracker project.