[openbeos] Re: Visual Design for R1?

  • From: "Simon Taylor" <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 09:48:58 +0100 BST

> > From: "Simon Taylor"
> > >
> > > Although R5 does look pretty good, it is begin to look dated 
> > > compared
> > > to more modern interfaces.
> > 
> >     You're right!
> Perhaps not as emphatically as some, but I also agree.
> > 
> > >
> > > Is there any chance we could have a UI redisgn for R1? I'm not 
> > > asking
> > > for complete interface skinning (not sure I ever want that) - but 
> > > a
> > > redesign interface kit components and default decorator.
> > 
> >     I think you might have one.
> Personally speaking, a lot of work has gone into them already, and 
> I'd 
> hate to see work on controls which are currently done to suddenly be 
> "not done" because of a graphical redesign. At the same time, it'd be 
> nice to have an updated look.  This is a decision for Erik or Michael 
> officially, but I'd rather wait and see if someone decides to rework 
> the look independently. That "one more thing" syndrome tends to 
> prevent 
> getting stuff out the door.

Yes, agreed. However, only a relatively small amount of code would need 
changing - a few lines for the interface items. I realise from the app-
server POV, a lot of internal changes would be needed to support the 
curved tabs and the semi-transparent window shadow. However, we could 
always ask the CDT team for a new design with certain constraints (ie 
square tabs). The question is more about the principle of refreshing 
the look, rather than using that particular design.

eg: To create an acceptable graduated shadow (although obviously 
horribly inefficient) for the BScrollView B_FANCY_BORDER or whatever:

fBitmapChild->SetBlendingMode(B_CONSTANT_ALPHA, B_ALPHA_OVERLAY);
//Graduated Shadow
fBitmapChild->SetHighColor(0, 0, 0, 50);
for(int i=0; i<5; i++)
        for(int j=0; j<5; j++)
                fBitmapChild->FillRect(BRect(5 + i, Bounds().bottom - 5, 
Bounds().right - i, Bounds().bottom - j), B_SOLID_HIGH);
                fBitmapChild->FillRect(BRect(Bounds().right - 5, 5 + i, 
Bounds().right - j, Bounds().bottom - 6), B_SOLID_HIGH);

If you're worried about the amount of coding time a redesign will take, 
I think I'm probably capable of writing the drawing commands, if 
someone from CDT gives me an exact specification about the design.

I also don't think this would be the thing that delays R1, due to the 
relatively few changes needed.

And speaking as a complete non-designer, from a designer's perspective 
I imagine it would be nice to have "control" over the whole look of the 
OS, to acheive the complete vision, rather than just having modern-
looking icons paired with older-looking UI elements.

> > > More discussion and mock-up app shot at:
> > > http://si-msn.port5.com/OBOS-Look.html
> > >
> > > Altering a few lines of code in the Draw() methods of interface 
> > > items
> > > would not affect binary compatibility, but will completely alter 
> > > a
> > > user's perception of the OS. A new, modern look would re-enliven 
> > > the
> > > entire OS, and help to set apart OBOS R1 as being "newer and 
> > > better
> > > than BeOS R5" (many at the moment see it as a clone, instead of a
> > > binary-compatible API reimplementation).
> > >
> > > Thoughts/comments?
> A new decorator will happen when I get a chance to design (if not 
> write) a Decorator SDK which would allow for proper testing of the 
> API 
> and any new decorators. Right now, the development I've been doing on 
> them has been done in a less-than-ideal situation to say the least. 
> At 
> this point, the API is not far enough to reproducate Stuart's nice 
> work. That's not to say that before R1 it won't be possible. The main 
> problem is those rounded tabs. While nice, it would require either 
> (a) 
> a lot of really ugly code or (b) waiting until ClipToPicture is 
> implemented (I think). If you'd be interested in not waiting and 
> developing your own decorator, contact me off-list and we'll talk. 
> Hope 
> this answers a few questions for everyone. :^)

Thanks for the answers.

I might mail you offlist about other app-server stuff (or maybe on the 
IK mailing list if it's been opened to non-members).

> --DarkWyrm

Any thoughts from Stuart/Michael/Erik/Others on changing UI look for 


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