[openbeos] Re: Visual Design for R1?

  • From: Erik Jaesler <erik@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 17:05:17 -0700

Simon Taylor wrote:

Thanks very much. Heh - looking at those mock-ups, I think ppl would be crazy to switch to anything other than the default ;)

What do the ppl responsible for the actual controls (Erik/Mark?) think about a redesign of these components?

I've commented on this before, but I guess it bears repeating. At this point, we will *not* be redoing the controls. A lot of work has been put in getting them where they are and there are lots of other tasks that are far more important to actually getting a shipping OS. If we get to R1 and it seems a *terribly* pressing issue, we can take up the debate then. If it is truly important enough, we'll delay the release. I imagine given the choice between "release now" and "delay for widget makeover", people will overwhelmingly choose in favor of "release now". The key thing to remember is that doing it now would cause the same delay -- easier to overlook since it would be happening in the middle of so much other work, but still there.

A side note: You mentioned the use of "gradients" in the BeOS window tabs. Those aren't gradients, per se; they're drawn to look like they are. That is to say, there is no "DrawGradient()" call hiding somewhere in app_server that we could just expose (or even use behind the scenes). And that's fine for window tab elements whose size never changes. But for controls, whose size can change at any time, it's a whole different ball of wax. You'll end up having to create that gradient-drawing API (after all, buttons aren't the only place you want them, yeah?) and that needs to be done correctly. It's exactly the sort of thing we want to do for R2 -- and exactly the sort of thing that will have to wait until then.

If you really have time to spend recoding the drawing routines for all the controls, please spend it working on things that have not already been written. You don't have to be a wiz to write unit tests, for instance. =)

Believe me when I say I'm no enemy of aesthetics -- BeOS' clean, sharp look was what initially drew my eye when I first saw a screen shot in Electronic Musician back in 1995. And there's little doubt that this look has aged a bit. Nevertheless, I'm going to be pretty peeved if working, tested code gets monkeyed with just to sex up the widgets a bit. Let's just get this thing out the door, and then we can all have a grand old time extending our favorite OS.


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