[openbeos] Re: Visual design stuff again

  • From: "Simon Taylor" <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 16:43:38 +0100 BST

> 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.

Definately not. Well, not based upon this evidence anyway. I have not 
written a single line of code for OBOS, I'm not in the admin team and 
definately not in the "club", if such a club exists.

The first time I brought this issue up on the list, Michael asked for 
the disucussion to be continued with him in private, if anyone wished. 
Those emails went into what the R1 release aims to be, and touched on 
some of the FAQ entries.

<To quote from one of the emails I refer to:>
>However, in the first paragraph of the first question, you state 
>"Improvements to OpenBeOS will follow only after R1 is completed." - I 
>think that could use some clarification.

It will get some, probably for the new site. Many of the FAQ's were 
written some time ago when not all things were clear.

> > 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.

lol OK.

Personally I find this a lot more relevant than some of the other 
topics of late (notably the CLI vs module debate). 

I'd class myself as an "outsider" too, by the way.
> > > 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.

Marketing and development (much like user-friendly and geek friendly, 
or CLI and modules :-)) are not mutually exclusive concepts.

I'd love to see OBOS in a position of desktop domination in a few 
years, but if that's ever going to happen the development team have to 
respond to the wishes of users. Of course, I don't mean that me (as an 
outsider) should be able to come on this list, stamp my feet and say 
"R1 must have multiuser support"! What I mean is that the development 
team can't just forget about the users, and leave all the issues that 
those pesky users throw up to a distributor.

ps: I don't think the dev team are forgetting about user issues at all, 
from all the mailing lists I've read, and discussions with Michael - 
that just seemed to be what Charlie was suggesting they should do.

> > > 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.

"Product development"? That sounds like marketing and sales :-)

I disagree on who the market is for R1 though:
-Current R5 users, of course.
-Ex BeOS users, who know the good points but abandoned the platform for 
whatever reason (showing progress is crucial to recapturing them)
-Other interested parties - I starting using BeOS after Be Inc had died 
- no reason why R1 shouldn't capture completely new users like that 
> > > > > 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

I don't disagree. I'm talking in addition to the other improvements.

A working WalterOS in R5 clothes vs a working WalterOS in WalterOS 
> > 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.

I see R1 being in a similar position to R5 with respect to 

The creator, OBOS in this case/Be with R5 creates and provides the base 
distribution (a bit like PE).

Other parties take that and add non-OBOS stuff (third party apps, 
drivers, tools whatever) like what MAX and Developer's Edition have 
done with R5. I don't think they should be responsible for modernising 
the look. Surely you wouldn't argue they should be responsible for 
modernising the network stack - OBOS are doing that. What's so 
different about the look.


> > > 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.

So much for the famously friendly BeOS community who are always happy 
to help out newbies.

I agree that there are certain users who shouldn't really be using R1. 
But I think there will also be users who would be an asset to the 
community, who may be put of by their perception that R1 has no 
improvements from R5.
> > "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?

Fair enough point. But not really to do with the issue of whether OBOS 
R1 should have an updated look.
> > 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. 
> it's Gobe 3.0.4 for Windows is now available as demo at Gobe.com. 
> Thanks to 
> "Galley" for this information.

With more users you will get more interest in creating apps for the OS, 
that was my point.

> Charlie


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