Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Jul 2007 23:11 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation "The latest release candidate for eComStation has been released and it has some new interesting features as well. We wanted to take a look at it to see how easy it is to install. Why? Well, for many users the installation procedure has been and still is a painfull chapter when it comes to OS2 and eComStation. So in this article we will primarily focus on how easy this RC1 release installs on various pieces of hardware."
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This could be a great alternative OS
by rx182 on Wed 4th Jul 2007 23:50 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

...if they finally understand that it does look ugly!

Damn! Everyone I know who tried it before agree with me. All OSNews'ers agree. My mom agrees too!

They have one solid OS. The codebase is very stable. It does have a complete API for software developers. The only thing really missed is a good look! Oh, and a free version ;)

Seriously, if they would make it look beautiful, they could attract alot of people. Unlike many projects out there, OS2 is a mature project which really works.

Reply Score: 4

Cris Member since:
2006-04-12

rx182,
many of us users of eCS understand that it looks dated (I wouldn't say "ugly"), and there is a project (eSchemes) to change that.

But please understand that when it comes to operating systems (especially those built to do *real* work, not for kiddies) the look is not all that important.
Serenity Systems is making their money primarily from corporations that need a solid OS that gets their work done fast and without problems, without worrying about viruses and all that crap.

That said, I'd like VERY much to have a beautiful UI on top of eCS, but there are a lot of obstacles that need time to sort out (and maybe sometimes it's not worth the effort):

- Presentation Manager (the core of the windowing system in eCS) is dated, and when it was thought there was no room for a lot of nowaday's eye candy. But it is FAST, it has in incredibly complete and functional API (e.g. there are out-of-the-box geometrical transformations that IIRC at the time weren't in any other windowing system). To replace it just to have eye-candy would not be so wise, and it would probably be bad performance-wise.

- The font subsystem as well was not thought for antialiasing text. There is a work-around (The Innotek Font Engine, based on Freetype) that many of us are using to make the fonts antialiased throughout the whole UI. But this font engine is tested and warranted only in conjunction with Mozilla applications, so it is not enabled for the full UI out of the box. Again, stability and speed is the issue here, but a desktop user can easily enable it and I have never had severe issues with it.

In the end, an aesthetically better UI will come, but that is not high priority.

I hope this contributes to solve some of the doubts.

Thank you
Bye

Edited 2007-07-05 07:42

Reply Score: 2

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

And that won't happen until someone recreates Presentation Manager and it's APIs.

Though, in OS/2's defense, it's didn't always look hideous.

Version 3 was pretty: http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/os2warp3

Then came the ugly duckling: http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/os2warp4

I hate how they dropped the Notebook controls for the Tab controls.

Reply Score: 2

lproven Member since:
2006-08-23

I absolutely disagree. I don't give a damn about skins and themes and I consider that most of the modern ones are hideously ugly. They look like they were designed by 17 year old boys with the sophisticated aesthetic sense of a colourblind infant.

Most OSs and applications with skins look like horrible. There have been one or two good ones - Ubuntu's "human" theme is OK, Red Hat's "Bluecurve" was quite attractive. However, the only OSs which manage to look attractive are those which have no themes support and compel users to accept the professional look and feel the OS shipped with. Original BeOS was good; Zeta (I judge only from screenshots, it won't boot on anything I own) is tacky.

The best-looking OS of all time remains original NeXTstep.

Down with themes, down with skins. Compel all apps to a single unified look and feel and absolutely prevent users from changing it.

That's my £0.02's worth. :¬)

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I like seeing the difference between WinOS2, native, and X applications on my OS/2 desktop. It helps me keep in mind the relative capabilities of each.

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The trouble with skinless UI's is, eventually they look bloody awful - OS/2, AmigaOS, AtariTOS...if they had been built in the seventies they would still be wearing brown and orange suits, bell-bottoms, and huge brown glasses if they need them.

I can't agree with your view on Ubuntu, either; I think the theme is bloody awful. Though I'm not too impressed with Gtk in general - the only Gtk theme I can think of that i don't detest is the one I use with XFce, the name of which I unfortunately can't remember 'cos I'm nowhere near my XFce machine. But heck, for all I know in a few years OSX might look dated.

OTOH I do agree with you on NeXTstep.

Reply Score: 2

nevali Member since:
2006-10-12

...if they finally understand that it does look ugly!


Come back OS/2 2.1, all is forgiven.

Seriously, if there's an easy way to skin eComStation like “classic” OS/2, I'd think about using it.

Reply Score: 1

BS
by flywheel on Thu 5th Jul 2007 00:01 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

How come the useability of software nowadays always is measured in looks?

I like the look of the PMShell (It is not overcrowded with bling-bling like the Vista UI, really pissing me of and therefore reducing the userfriendliness a great deal) it has got this minimalistic beauty that you otherwise only see in Haiku-OS, and I love the functionality of the PMShell/WPS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: BS
by nevali on Thu 5th Jul 2007 21:57 UTC in reply to "BS"
nevali Member since:
2006-10-12

How come the useability of software nowadays always is measured in looks?


I think you misunderstand. It's not about Mac OS X or Vista-style “wow factor”, it's about a pleasant interface.

OS/2 2.1 and Warp 3 had straightforward, clean, uncluttered interfaces.

Warp 4 was ugly as sin. eComStation is terrible.

Windows XP and Vista only manage to keep out of that “butt-ugly” camp by managing to keep the flashiness fairly tidy, and even on that score you'll find thousands upon thousands of people who'd rather stick with the classic theme.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: BS
by rcsteiner on Fri 6th Jul 2007 02:56 UTC in reply to "RE: BS"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I think OS/2 2.1 was an big improvement over 2.0, Warp 3 was a large improvement over 2.1, and Warp 4 was also a fairly large improvement over Warp 3. Especially things like the newer color-tabbed properties dialogs which I admit I much prefer to the older spiral ones with the grey side tabs.

As I recall, though, most PM elements were completely untouched by the transition from Warp 3 to Warp 4. I'm not sure what elements of Warp 4 are uglier than they were back in Warp 3...? If you don't like the icons, for example, change them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: BS
by nevali on Fri 6th Jul 2007 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BS"
nevali Member since:
2006-10-12

As I recall, though, most PM elements were completely untouched by the transition from Warp 3 to Warp 4. I'm not sure what elements of Warp 4 are uglier than they were back in Warp 3...? If you don't like the icons, for example, change them.


Warp 4: IBM introduced that horrible taskbar thing, and made the window furniture gratuitously fugly.

Warp 3 and 2.1 were pleasant to look at, if a little too “business-like” for some consumers.

Warp 4 looked like it was designed by a hobbyist after a heavy night out.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: BS
by rcsteiner on Fri 6th Jul 2007 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BS"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

The Warpbar toolbar IBM borrowed from Lotus SmartSuite? Easy to disable, tho I haven't chosen to (I use it plus the Launchpad plus a third-party task bar called Smartbar).

http://toastytech.com/guis/os24_1stscreen.gif
http://toastytech.com/guis/os24_warpbar.gif

http://pages.prodigy.net/michaln/history/os2warp/warp_desk.gif

http://www.os2world.com/os2place/smartbar/indexe.html

FWIW, the icons and such for OS/2 2.0, 2.1, and 3.0 were designed by Susan Kare:

http://www.kare.com/MakePortfolioPage.cgi?page=9

the same person who created many of the icons for the classic MacOS and Windows 3.x.

Reply Score: 2

Nice look?
by rx182 on Thu 5th Jul 2007 14:58 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, most of you misunderstood me. I will make it clear, my desktop is Windows XP with Windows classic style enabled.

A good look != a colorful theme. I hate themes myself. I just think that eComStation looks ugly because everything is too cluttered, etc. The icons aren't attractive. Top-level windows has weird borders, etc. I would be happy if they would go back to a Windows 3.x style. At least, it wasn't ugly. Some of you mentionned BeOS and I agree with you. BeOS looks good, so is QNX.

I don't ask much. Just a basic style (no need for theme support) that is consistent. OS2 Warp 3.0 would be fine IMHO.

Reply Score: 2

Main barrier
by fretinator on Thu 5th Jul 2007 15:39 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

The main barrier for EComstation is price. Why on earth anyone would pay this much for a niche OS is beyond me. I keep hearing that it is IBM's fault. I really don't care. $49 is the price point. At this price, it would be a very interesting product. At its current price, it is a strange novelty.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Main barrier
by rcsteiner on Fri 6th Jul 2007 02:58 UTC in reply to "Main barrier"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

I agree with this, but it's not an item that can be changed unless IBM decides to change it.

Until they change their licensing methodology, eCS will be an interesting but overpriced solution, at least from a hobbyist point of view.

Reply Score: 3