[openbeos] Re: Visual design stuff again

  • From: Charlie Clark <charlie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 14:52:50 +0200

On 2003-09-25 at 11:19:56 [+0200], Simon Taylor wrote:
> > Rather than this discuss this here I refer to the FAQ on the website.
> A FAQ that me and Michael have agreed in private, needs a lot of 
> clarification in certain areas.

Confirmation that OBOS is now in the "Club" mode. Note this is not a 
criticisam merely a statement of fact.

> Although non-technical, this is an issue that affects all of OBOS. As 
> long as people have opinions and make comments, I will keep discussing 
> the issue here. Also, this list contains many more "outsiders" - those 
> are the opinions that really matter for this particular issue, IMHO.

Well, I think we're going way off-topic and respecting Jonas' opinion this 
will be my last post to this list on it. He's likely to box my ears at 
BeGeistert 011 else.
> > Oh well, we'll just have to live without them.
> Why?
> They are the very people we should target  - people who are prepared to 
> download and try an alternative OS, people who have read good things 
> about BeOS and decided to try that. We should be able to say to them "R5 
> might not have worked for you, but try OBOS R1, it's much better".

There you go again. "Targetting" is what markteting and sales are about. 
OBOS development includes neither. By all means set up a OBOS-distribution 
discusson in an appropriate way.

> > hehe, I spent two hours this morning helping a Windows user because of 
> > exactly the same problem. My experience of users new to BeOS is 
> > continually 
> > one of amazement particularly regarding hardware support and that 
> > despite 
> > all the known issues with lacking drivers.
> We obviously know different users. I have read lots of comments in forums 
> all over the place saying "My PC just keeps rebooting - this is rubbish".

Forums reflect a truism of digital communication - the easier it becomes to 
communicate the banaler the communication itself tends to get. This applies 
to mailing lists as well. BeGeistert.org has neither and for good reason.

Anyway the first rule of product development is to know your clients. Those 
are currently exclusively BeOS R5 users. They will appreciate "Walter" with 
a new kernel, improved networking and new drivers as will BeOS developers 
such as there are. Personally I won't move to an OSBOS that doesn't have 
binary compatibility.
> > > > It's 100% new. Which is why it gets a new name.
> > > 
> > > And the same look as an OS from the last decade? That is my point.
> > Why not? It's an operating system not a fashion accessory.
> Huh? Do you mean it doesn't matter how it looks? In that case, would you 
> download TriangleOS if it had lots of cool features, even if it looks 
> like this:
> http://members.chello.nl/w.cools/screenshot6.PNG

Well, I've got BSD 4.6 without XFree86 running and use ssh for my server so 
looks don't always matter. Then again I've got a T610 phone and a NeXT 
Cube. What does this imply? Horses for courses.

I'm not saying that looks don't matter but a working WalterOS in R5 clothes 
is much more important to me than
> Linux (as a full OS) is the only thing in the OSS world that even needs 
> the concept of distributors. That is because there is not one co- 
> ordinated project to create "an operating system" - there are lots of 
> individual bits and pieces that a distributor needs to bring together and 
> try (and fail mostly) to make it seem a consistent package. OBOS doesn't 
> need a third-party to do that for them.

I disgree: I have three different distributions of FreeBSD.

> > Distributors and retailers are essential for the success of any 
> > product. 
> > They do a lot of hard work convincing people to try or buy their 
> > product. 
> > They might even invest in improving the core product or adding to the 
> > application palette. Think of Dane Scott's great work with TuneTracker 
> > as 
> > an example.
> You'll have to explain your TT example. Isn't Dane just a commercial 
> software vendor? AFAIK, he doesn't even distribute BeOS (just advises 
> people to d/l PE or buy pro from purplus etc). He certainly isn't 
> responsible for changing the look of the OS.

He is involved in selling a solution for radio stations that just happens 
to be based on the BeOS. I'm sure most of his customers don't really know 
this and probably don't even care.
> Retailers are different - they sell what they're given.

Not necessarily. Many retailers often dictate conditions to their 
suppliers: Aldi here in Germany is famous for this.
> Again, in a wholly self-contained OSS product, retailers and distributors 
> are not that "essential". How many retailers and distributors do you know 
> of for the GIMP? Yet I would say that is quite a successful product.

It is certainly widespread though I've never had cause to use it myself but 
in what way is it a product? Productisation is a business process.

> > Again, I don't agree with this definition. What does OBOS gain from 
> > these 
> > "users"?:
> > "Wow! 'WalterOS' looks great. Runs on some but not the stuff you need 
> > to 
> > pay for and sign NDAs for to get the specs of my hardware. Still no 
> > apps 
> > for it but who cares 'cos it's just so cool!".
> > Those are users?
> Yes, they are - if they are "using" your product, then they are "users"! 
> ;-)

Including the ones who always demand and never give? I can do without them.
Users require support which generally involves work.
> "Runs on some but not the stuff you need to pay for and sign NDAs for to 
> get the specs of my hardware." - I have no idea what this sentence is 
> about, sorry.

Think of nVidia's drivers, or a certified Java machine, or a legal 
DVD-player. All three features require NDAs and the latter two cost around 
USD 1 million apiece. Where is this money going to come from if there are 
no distributors prepared to pay for this?
> If we get 100,000 users using OBOS because "it's cool", that might 
> encourage GoBe to release Productive 4 for BeOS. There's no way we'll 
> ever improve the app situation without users. And any type of user is 
> better than no user.

Not a chance I'm afraid and, yes, I am privileged to more-detailed 
information on this but, no, I am not allowed to say more than that. FWIW 
it's Gobe 3.0.4 for Windows is now available as demo at Gobe.com. Thanks to 
"Galley" for this information.

Charlie Clark
Chief Chaos Coordinator
BeGeistert 011 - NeXTsteps
Düsseldorf 18 - 19.10.2003

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