[openbeos] Re: Visual design stuff again

  • From: "Simon Taylor" <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 16:24:15 +0100 BST

> On Thu, 2003-09-25 at 17:19, Simon Taylor wrote:
> > 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".
> I dont see how cosmetical changes will all of a sudden make it work 
> for
> these people.
> It would be much better to be able to say "Sure, it looks the same 
> but
> it works much better" than "It looks much better now but, well, it 
> still
> wont work for you".

I think you misunderstand what I mean.

I also don't want to see a new look at the expense of other 
improvements. I just want a look that mirrors the improvements.

You will have a much easier time convincing users big improvements have 
been made to R5, if the screenshot doesn't look exactly the same.

> > 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".
> They must have been running Windows for sure.

The reboot is caused by AlthonXPs with an unpatched kernel.
> > My point is that appearing to be a complete "clone" of R5 will not 
> > please everyone. Moreover, that does not even accurately reflect 
> > what 
> > R1 will be. 
> Are you saying that a different UI would please everyone?

No. That is why I would like to see all the existing code kept, and an 
option to switch to an R5 look if so desired.

I think that a screenshot with a look that is clearly inspired by R5, 
but has been brought up to date, more acurately reflects what R1 
actually is.
> > 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
> If it was the best choice for a given task I sure would.

If the task was being a desktop OS?
> > 100% new code, a name that doesn't include "Be" or "BeOS" anywhere, 
> > the 
> > first milestone release from a new team of developers, yet it looks 
> > the 
> > same pixel-for-pixel as a 5 year old OS.
> Probably because the focus have been on making it work better rather
> than look better.
> Besides, I like the R5 look. Guess why there are so many GTK and KDE
> themes that mimics the R5 look.

I quite like the R5 look too. But whenever I see it, it will scream "Be 
Inc" at me, and not "Walter". People won't walk past and say "That 
looks cool, never seen that before, where can I get it".

And the focus for the CDT team has been working on how it looks. That's 
why we have some beautiful mockups floating around the net.
> > 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.
> If by distributor you mean someone who re-distributes something most 
> software has many, many distributors. Just look at all the different
> download sites, RPM repositories, package systems etc.

Charlie was saying that it is the responsibility of the distributor to 
change how the product looks. Download sites certainly don't do that.
> > 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.
> "Any sale is better than no sale". A salesman with that attidude will 
> be
> of great grief for his company pretty soon.

Yes, OK.

But the thing that killed BeOS, aside from corporate politics and 
drivers, was lack of users. Once you've got users, a marketshare, you 
start getting interest from developers, big apps ported, whatever.
> Since I wont be coming to BeGeistert I wont have to fear Jonas 
> hitting
> me so I can continue this dire thread for eternity and beyond!

I'm not going either, so we're free to continue ;-)

You're entitled to your opinion of the thread as being "dire".

To me the look will have a big affect on the first impression the world 
gets of the first major milestone release of the project. Is the 
impression going to be "They went about it professionally, but at the 
end of 3 years development all they have done is cloned an OS that is 5 
years old"? As one of my teachers always used to say, "you don't get a 
second chance to make a first impression".

> Lars Hansson <lars-openbeos-misc@xxxxxxxxxxx>

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