[openbeos] Visual design stuff again

  • From: "Simon Taylor" <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 10:30:31 +0100 BST

> >> > Myself and Michael are still discusing the GUI stuff offlist ;-)
> >> 
> >>     Share with us! :-)
> >
> >Not a lot of progess really, we both recognise we both have 
> > reasonable 
> >arguments (but mine are more reasonable :-))
> You know, isn't that odd...
> My copies of those emails show that my arguements are *far* more 
> reasonable. :-) :-) :-)
> Actually, for those interested, what we have spent most of our time 
> talking about is how to "market" R1 and, in fact, if we should name it
> that.
> To sum up Simon's side (if I may be so bold): We have one chance to 
> have a first release. It should be something really great. Go ahead and 
> make an R5 compatible version, just don't call it R1.

If I may be so bold as to correct you :-)

R1 is going to be the first milestone release. I want a look that says 
"This is OBOS R1", and not one that says "This is a clone of BeOS R5". 
Something inspired by R5, but improved - a look that mirrors the 
internal changes. OK, so it is binary compatibile - but then Windows XP 
is by and large binary compatible with Windows 98 - that doesn't make 
the OSes the same. The perception of most people atm is that OBOS R1 ==
 BeOS R5. I believe that OBOS R1 (should be) > BeOS R5 - and to make 
people realise that, a new look is the easiest way.

I am also not against keeping all the current code, and allowing users 
to "switch back" to the R5 look.
> To sum up my side: R1 is a fine name. Everyone expects OSS projects 
> to start with a 1.0 release that is not super feature rich.

My issue with the naming comes from how the development team see the 
release. If it is viewed as a major release (and moreover a very 
important release because it is the first one) then by all means call 
it R1, but to emphasise the major first release of a project composed 
of 90% new code, it would be good to have a new look to go with it. 
Something that makes ex users say "Hey cool, an improved R5, I'll 
download it and take a look" and not "A clone of R5? No point me 
downloading that because I know it won't boot on my box with 1 Gig of 

If the developers see R1 as a hoop that has to be jumped through before 
they can start work on the cool new features for R2, then by all means 
get it out the door as quickly as possible, but then I don't think it 
should be refered to as a major release.

> Our R1 should
> be miles ahead of R5 (something that Simon would like me to trumpet 
> more) with mmap, networking in kernel, more drivers, etc. R2 and (more
> likely) R3 will be the releases to shout about.

Yes, I think R1 should be sold as "more than R5". We shouldn't try and 
sell it to every user on the planet, I admit it will not be ready for 
them. But to get back some of the departed BeOSers, it is vitally 
important that they see R1 as an improvement to R5.

I will download R1 and use it no matter what it looks like. But for 
others, the screenshots will be the deciding factor in whether or not 
they download and try it. In a thread on OSNews about Zeta releasing 
new screenshots, somebody posted a link to the OBOS GUI mockups:
Actually, I didn't think that the widgets and glyphs in the screenshots 
looked bad at all. But if you want to see some sketches that are really 
beautiful, check out these from an OBOS artist, especially the ones 
linked from the bottom part of the page:

[the link doesn't work any more, btw]

I have listed below ALL the comments relating to that link (no negative 
ones, because there weren't any in that thread). Hopefully, reading 
these, you can see what an impact an updated look has on possible 
future users (ps - none of these comments were from me ;-)): 
Czeslaw, those screenshots are gorgeous. I would order this OS if it 
looked like that. The screenshots for yellowtabs demo are not to my 
liking however. It just looks tossed together and is not smooth...which 
is the reason everytime I try moving to linux, I move back to OS X and 
I agree fully. Those screenshots of OBOS have really gotten me excited. 
I want to try it out so bad. That's what an OS should do for 
people...excite them. This is the most exciting GUI for an OS I have 
seen since the first screenshots of OS X and now being a fulltime OS X 
user for 3 years I wish it looked like the OBOS.
I know openbeos.org but are there any other sources of info? Is it 
alls i gotta say... if the obos ui looks like those shots... whoa 
nellie! 8-D
I looked at those OBOS screenshots months ago, and I was wondering if 
it is a reality or just a dream. What is the timeframe (and a REAL 
timeframe) for a working copy of OBOS to be released? Any operating 
system that works like Be, looks like those OBOS screenshots, and can 
run basic apps will become my new primary OS!
Everyone *DOES* realise that the OBOS Screenshots, while fantastic 
looking are:
1) Just mockups
2) Mockups for OpenBeOS R2 - or rather the next big version after the 
initial release.
OpenBeOS is working on R1 at the moment, a COMPLETE clone of BeOS R5. 
They wont even consider changing the GUI until they decide, ok, this is 
as identical to R5 as it's ever going to get, now let's start making it 
So basically, you've got a LONG wait until you get to see OpenBeOS with 
that look.

Note the last comment: "OpenBeOS is working on R1 at the moment, a 
COMPLETE clone of BeOS R5. 
They wont even consider changing the GUI until they decide, ok, this is 
as identical to R5 as it's ever going to get, now let's start making it 
better." - we all know that is complete rubbish, but that is what 
outsiders see as the goal of OBOS R1 - a COMPLETE clone. I always see 
it as more of a "binary compatible API re-implementation".

The question really comes down to this: "Do we want people to use R1?".

I hope that it will be a good release, that is ready for people to use 
it. In that case, we want to get people excited about the OS (like 
those comments - I want more info. Where can I download it?) - so a new 
look would be good.

If R1 is not ready for people to use it, then I suggest that it is not 
really "R1". One of the key goals of the project has got to be to 
create an OS that is usable by non-geeks (as R5 was). If R1 doesn't do 
this, then I think it could damage the project releasing it as R1 - it 
alters perceptions of the project - so call it something that shows it 
is not ready for prime-time yeat, something like 0.5.

That's a brief summary of my side :-)
Yeh, I still have strong feelings on the issue.


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