[openbeos] Re: Visual design stuff again

  • From: "Simon Taylor" <simontaylor1@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 12:08:54 +0100 BST

> This is a distribution rather than a development issue. As has been 
> pointed 
> out: "Walter" will be using a different font-engine library so it 
> will look 
> different. It's quite likely that all the supplied apps have 
> different 
> symbols as well to avoid additional copyright issues. Furthermore the 
> deskbar will have a nice little "Walter" or possibly other symbol 
> instead 
> of "BeOS" so it won't be that easy to mistake it for BeOS R5.

It's not an issue of being mistaken for R5 - it's an issue that people 
will not realise there have been MAJOR changes from R5.

> Everything else is essentially for the creative design team or for 
> those 
> brave souls prepared to bring out commercial distributions of Walter.
> While the discussion on usability is a relatively interesting I 
> personally 
> find it somewhat of a sidetrack for this list. Isn't the Glass 
> Elevator a 
> better place for this discussion.

It's not on GE because I'm still talking about R1. The fact that it 
isn't directly a developmental issue is why most of the emails have 
been private between me and michael, and why I didn't respond in depth 
to Adi's original question about what we had been talking about.

> > 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 RAM".
> If we're only talking about addressing the couple of hundred ex-R5 
> users...

I think there's a few more than that - a few thousand downloads per 
week of PE - many of these probably can't even boot it and scrap it 
immediately, so won't even consider R1 if they perceive it to be the 
same thing.

We tend to look at BeOS through rose-tinted glasses to a certain extent 
- we're the ones who actually use it. We forget that many people have a 
negative impression of R5 simply because it didn't work on their 
hardware. The best possible release of R1 needs to maintain the 
positive associations (like those we have) - but needs to show people 
with a negative view of BeOS that improvements have been made. 
> > 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.
> 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.

> > 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.
> Key word here is selling. That is what distributors and not 
> developers do.

Developers have to make a product that distributors are able to sell. 
Shared responsibility.

Also OBOS is not linux - R1 is going to be more than a kernel. A 
download of R1 from www.walteros.org will be akin to a download of PE 
from www.be.com. That is a truly great thing for consistancy - that the 
whole OS is developed by the same folks, and it really reduces the need 
for distributors at all. The only thing I can see commercial 
distributions adding are their own closed source things (Zeta's 
tracker) and support.
> > 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:
> Screenshots as deciding factors? mm, I thought low latency, 
> performance and 
> the like were more important... stops before he goes to far

I stand by that. Buzzwords may get people interested, screenshots will 
decide if they can be bothered to download and install. I'm talking 
users here.

> Charlie


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