Hi, Am 26.03.2012 22:33, schrieb John Scipione:
Since I am clearly biased, what I propose is to allow Stippi aka Stephan Aßmus to decide since he responsible for so much of the look and feel of Haiku, he is the best person to adjudicate this decision.
Ok, here is what I think on the matter... :-) IMHO the GUI should be consistent, and you already worked on that. If the buttons have round corners, so should the menu fields, check boxen and other controls. I would just reduce the corner radius be 2 or so pixels.
Previous to your work, there was already some roundness in the tabs and the sliders. As you can see in the sliders, they mix roundness and sharp corners (for the thumb) to fit in with the rest of the controls. The tab view also blends in (IMHO). Even when it uses round corners for the active tab, all the other tabs get sharp corners and so does the frame.
IMHO, there are three problems with round corners: * They use significantly more CPU to render.* It is hard to use round corners everywhere, you can't currently use them in the window borders, not so easily in text controls and larger views such as BBox and BScrollView and neither in BScrollBar. The reason is mostly backwards compatibility. I can guarantee you to break apps if you change how BScrollBar looks and often merges with the window borders and such stuff.
* And the biggest problem I see is that it does *not* fix the "dated looking" UI.
Let me explain the last point. Clearly, as you said yourself, round corner buttons are very old. Surely Windows XP and certainly original Aqua look dated today. They had round corner buttons, so clearly we cannot look modern by simply having round corner buttons. There must be something else that makes an UI look modern. It can't be just the button corners.
I think a UI looks modern by using less meaningless borders around stuff and by using more spacing and larger margins overall. In particular the Haiku inner window borders. But the tight spacing used in Haiku makes it look like an OS designed for small screens suddenly running on modern hardware. And the lack of window shadows doesn't help either.
The square and sharp look is actually quite modern as others have already pointed out.
To improve the look, I would personally invest in elliminating redundant borders and to introduce more resolution dependent spacing and margins as well as automatically scaled fonts. This will of course make people unhappy who like to fit as much as possible on their screens and see it as selling point of Haiku, but IMHO for someone being used to the spacy and modern looking Gnome Shell looking at Haiku for the first time, I am pretty sure the crammed UI is the actual problem. It's just much easier to say it's because of the sharp button corners. Even BeOS had rounded buttons. I particularily designed the sharp buttons since I felt it was more stylish.
That being said, it would be quite easy to make your version of BControlLook an alternative alongside the original version and make libbe.so instantiate either one based on a user setting in the Appearance preflet. Even if you make the rounded version the default, I would just be very surprised, if the "dated looking" remarks stop. For that to stop, more work is needed. But it would be worthwhile.
Best regards, -Stephan