How you can contribute to Haiku

There seems to be this idea that there are only two ways for people to make a contribution to Haiku.

1. Learn C++ and the Haiku API, register as a dev and start hacking away on the OS itself.

2. Send money.

Both of those are good and excellent things, no doubt, but are they all there is to it? I don't think so. Not all of us are destined to learn C++, and even if you know the language, it's a long way from that to writing OS-quality code. Not all of us have a lot of spare cash lying around (although there's a worthwhile suggestion here). Here are my suggestions for other things you can do.

3. Write applications. Haiku needs apps. All sorts of apps.

4. Create wallpapers. If you are of an artistic bent, create wallpapers that are somehow Haiku-ish. What does that mean? I'm not sure, I'm not that artistic. But there are people who have that way of looking at the world. We need you. I'm not going to insist that you only use Haiku graphics apps to create those drawings (although that would be awesome!) Create a website just for Haiku wallpapers.

5. Create system sound sets. Haiku is supposed to be a media-savvy OS, but it ships without a single beep or bing. I said that I am not artistic, but I can handle a bitmap editor. Put me behind an audio editor and I am totally lost. We need people to make these things for us.

6. Icons! Back in the BeOS days, hardly a week went by without someone posting a new set of icons. the BeOS Icon-oMatic was a fun little  bitmap editor that any ten-year old could grasp within minutes. I've stated my opinion of the Haiku Icon-o-Matic elsewhere. It is not fun and it is not easy. Hardly surprising that there are just one or two HVIF sets available. But if you are the kind of person who can bend IoM to you will, let's see those icon packs!

7. Spread the word. Start blogs, and websites, and Youtube channels about Haiku. Don't worry if they're not top quality. What we need at this stage is quantity. When someone googles "haiku" the first ten links must be about an operating system, not about Japanese poetry! That is particularly true if your first language is not English. Spread the word about Haiku in Urdu, and Serbo-Croatian, and Setswana!

8. Participate. get out of lurker mode on the blog forums and Facebook groups. State your demands and opinions. Go to Haiku's homepage and let the devs know that there are users out there who need haiku to work right now!

Can you suggest a few more things that will help to push Haiku into the spotlight? Put them into the comments below!

© Michel Clasquin-Johnson 2014-2017