Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:10 UTC
Zeta No, BeOS is not dead as many will speed to the forums and proclaim. YellowTAB's Zeta is the true inheritor of BeOS 5's fortune, as it is based directly on Dano/EXP's codeline (which was supposed to be BeOS 6 but was never finished as Be sold its IP to Palm). At last, I got my hands on Zeta Beta-5a, and here is what I found and think of it so far. You might need to have some experience with BeOS in order to follow this article, but screenshots are included to make it easier for everyone.
Order by: Score:
GTF?
by Brian Matzon on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:30 UTC

"2. There is _stil_ no support for more than 90 Hz in the monitor panel. In fact, the current screen panel doesn't expose all the abilities of the driver and app_server. Be was thinking of moving to GTF, but Palm bought them before that happens."
What is GTF?

Generally it is great to see a new release of "BeOS" - and being ßeta, I am sure that most of the kinks will be ironed out before an actual release.

Are sliding tabs supported?

RE: GTF?
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:32 UTC

>What is GTF?

VESA autodetection method to get the right resolutions/refresh rates.

>Are sliding tabs supported?

No. The window manager is brand new code. It is not possible to support this now that theming is supported.

Amazing.
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:33 UTC

I must say, I am glad I'm an OSNews regular. I expected that this site would be the first or one of the first to report on Zeta, and was not mistaken.

Excellent review. Do you know if the same font rendering engine that PhOS used is here? that one seemed much better than Dano. Overall, a lot of these issues PhOS FIXED! For example, I got a routing 120 fps with my i810. Maybe looncraz left after all.

Uhm.
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:34 UTC

That should be "routine", and in GLTeapot.

RE: Amazing.
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:36 UTC

>Do you know if the same font rendering engine that PhOS used is here?

I don't know as I never used the PhOS BeOS distribution. But one thing is for sure: Zeta did something to the font engine code that decreased the font rendering quality when compared to any version of BeOS, even Dano. I hope they will find what's wrong and fix it for the final version, because the fonts are really not good...

The Title
by John Blink on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:38 UTC

I love the WORLD EXCLUSIVE titles they really get my attention ;)

I am really looking forward to Zeta, I would love to have it on my current machine, that is when I get my new machine ;)

Dockbert
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:52 UTC

I actually liked Dockbert a lot. I could use my Deskbar to keep track of windows and such, but Dockbert looks much better and has a nifty "CPU-usage" feature. It was also something i could keep on the side and launch favorite apps with. Not quite as space-hogging as the Dock, too, and has a few nifty graphical effects.

Also, I must say I liked the BeOS Terminal better than any of the Linux ones. I could configure it to be green text on black with spiffy no-background selection, as I like the readability better that way.

The /dev directory, implemeneted for POSIX compliance I think, was brain-dead. A UNIX/Linux like naming scheme would be better. Come on, /dev/disk/ide/ata/0_0/? better /dev/hda.

Nice review
by Jason Stiles on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:53 UTC

Good job on the review Eugenia. I completely agree with your conclusions regarding the direction that needs to be taken with this. I was attracted by BeOS's elegance and speed, and it sounds as if Yellow Tab is doing quite a bit of patchwork adding features etc. that aren't needed or wanted.

If they can focus on using the power of BeOS to take advantage of the latest hardware, who knows what it could do. Your report that it boots slower is very disturbing... Boot time is not everything but it sounds like you get nothing from this extra time (besides more fonts!).

Lets hope YellowTab gets the bugs worked out and keeps the focus on BeOS's founding principles.

:(
by Androo on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:53 UTC

Granted its just a beta, but from what I've read and heard Zeta is going in the opposite direction from the way I would like to see BeOS progress. I also thought this of the leaked Dano .. more features, fewer fixes. I wish they would dump the themeing engine, I wish they would adopt Freetype as the default font renderer, I wish they wouldn't throw Dockbert in there by default.

I hope none of this is the case for Zeta R1 Final. YellowTab, take head, in the opinion of many BeOS enthusiasts Zeta should be an R5 with more drivers, an updated networking stack and tons of fixes ... nothing more. I for one would be perfectly satisfied if that's all Zeta was.

RE: :(
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 06:57 UTC

>I also thought this of the leaked Dano .. more features, fewer fixes.

Dano was never finished. This is why it didn't have the fixes you wanted to see. As for more features, it was natural for Be to develop them, as Dano was supposed to be R6.

> I wish they would dump the themeing engine

No, that wouldn't be wise. The theme engine is there, it works and it was one of the points users were asking during the R5 days.

I agree about adopting Freetype and Fontconfig though. Dockbert shouldn't be there either, because duplication is a bad thing on any OS.

Couple thoughts
by pres589 on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:11 UTC

1. What the hell is up with the installer? I mean, not being able to pick source and target? Talk about dropping a really nice feature. Also, I take it Drive Setup is gone, or at least been made such a weak duck that it won't let a sure resize or remove/create other types of partions?

2. Make an amazing Word .doc translator, and life will be a little easier for some of us.

3. I think offering Dockbert to the user is just fine, I've never used it but it doesn't seem like a bad way to go about things.

4. Font rendering, for most of us, isn't that impressive in Dano, I hope it gets some targetting, that it would become worse in Zeta is distressing. I assume you played with the Rendering options in the font previews? (if it works, I saw in the review how some things are broken in there, this might be one of those items).

5. Best of luck to YellowTab and the coders out there helping them try to make the best BeOS they can.

looncraz
by LuzerLinux on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:16 UTC

I don't think looncraz left, I think he is just busy atm

BeEAR:
by Huffle Puff on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:16 UTC

From what I can see in those screenshots, it seems to be an application for finacial accounting purposes. But it seems very specific for Germany, because there are fields like "DATEV", which is the software/network for this here in Germany....

RE: Couple thoughts
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:16 UTC

> 1. What the hell is up with the installer? I mean, not being able to pick source and target? Talk about dropping a really nice feature.

Agreed. Bernd said that he would add it to his new Installer, but in my opinion, any new code is prone to bugs. Personally, I would just drop the YTAB installer and use the much simpler and less involved old one, and just add to the old one the ability to select the language and tweak a few things that might need tweaking.

(and I didn't even mentioned to the article that the thumbnails of any application you have selected in the new Installer are just very badly resized, using "Smart Size" instead of Billinear or Bicubic resizing method, making them looking exceptionally ugly!)

> Also, I take it Drive Setup is gone, or at least been made such a weak duck that it won't let a sure resize or remove/create other types of partions?

No, Drive Setup is there. As it was before. The same Drive Setup as Be's. But Be's Drive Setup doesn't have the ability to edit flags/create partitions. And so doesn't Zeta's.

hiring devs
by kazooki on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:28 UTC

i just hope they don't lure away the best devs from openbeos! a much more worthwhile project imo.

RE: hiring devs
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:30 UTC

>a much more worthwhile project imo.

I don't understand how you can say that when Zeta is there and it boots and it works, while OpenBeOS' doesn't. The only thing that Zeta doesn't have is the OSS way of doing development and the excitement of creating new stuff and becoming a "hero". But what Zeta does have is a codeline and a product that it is working with a great inheritance.

As an old BeOS user, I much prefer a company to offer me something that is inheritent from BeOS and it WORKS, instead of something that MIGHT work in 5-7 years from now. As a user, I need a computer now, not in a decade.

Not the BeOS experience?
by H-kon on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:31 UTC

Eugenia, you complained about Zeta being slow. Did you feel that you were using BeOS, or did it feel like something new?

It did seem from the review that zeta tries to be another Linux distro.

Judging from the review, Zeta will NOT be on my to purchase list.

RE: Not the BeOS experience?
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:34 UTC

>you complained about Zeta being slow.

No. The *booting time* was slow. The usability is the same as Dano's (which is *a bit* slower than BeOS 5 *naturally* because of all the theming stuff etc). As for the BeZilla stuff, it is slow on BeOS as well, not just on Zeta.

>Did you feel that you were using BeOS, or did it feel like something new?

Felt like BeOS Dano, with some additions, but these additions didn't always worked well (e.g. Tracker would crash when changing settings of the SVG icon size)

>It did seem from the review that zeta tries to be another Linux distro.

It certainly has this feel here and there. However, if YTAB *learn* from this preview and fix some bugs, then this IS a product to be in your purchase list. Definately.

Good and Bad
by Alan on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:36 UTC

I've played with Dano, Phos and use BeOS as my main OS, simply because it delivers most of what I want without the hassles I always seem to encounter with Windows.

I must admit that I got quite used to the way Dano did things, and missed them alot when I went back to plain old R5 (needed some apps that simply didn't behave under Dano). That the Font engine has gotten worse (It was way better under Phos) than the Dano original is shameful really, sorry and all of that, but it has to be one of the most used componants of an OS....

I truely hope Bone is fixed otherwise a whole lot of Dialup users of Zeta will likely be waiting until it is or be handing their copies back when they find out the worst...

All in all it's good to see that they are doing something, as their website has been awaiting for about a month now. I agree that it would be a good idea to have a central core of lads and lasses working on this, but time is money as the saying goes and programmers eat a lot of capital per head. So I guess that'll have to wait untill they start getting money back from Zeta R1.

RE the firewall issue, if its using Bone then you can install Snort (available at bebits) I don't know how good it is in the firewall sweepstakes but its better than nothing at all. That it wasn't included seems to me to be a very serious oversight on their part as Security on the internet are must haves and could be turned to a distinct marketing advantage.

And Finally Thanks for the review, I thought it a bit harsh re it's critism but I think that that is a case of each to their own and as I've not used it yet I can't really say more than that :-D

Good work Eugenia,
and well played the YT crew!

Just wondering..
by Entrancemperium on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:39 UTC

Im not trolling or anything, but I am woundering what the real advantages of BeOS are, I've never used it (though I have the install file) so I have no real opinion about it. What are the advantages over my Mac (OS X) or my PC (win2k, linux)? Is it unix-based / open source, etc? Fill me in ;)

Web Browser
by John Blink on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:40 UTC

If they are going to add something new, why not try doing something similar to Safari.

eg. KHTML stuff with an interface that is a lot like Netpositive with tabs.

Also in the future as the Mozilla team make gecko more embeddable that too could be ported. Imagine being able to switch between rendering engines for website that don't work well for konqueror derivatives(hopefully things in konqueror will be fixed).

RE: hiring devs
by kazooki on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:42 UTC

>> [openbeos] a much more worthwhile project imo.

> I don't understand how you can say that when Zeta is there
> and it boots and it works, while OpenBeOS' doesn't. The only
> thing that Zeta doesn't have is the OSS way of doing
> development and the excitement of creating new stuff and
> becoming a "hero". But what Zeta does have is a codeline and
> a product that it is working with a great inheritance.

i was talking about a "project" not a "product". having a free and opensource desktop OS in a few years (glad to see your prediction is down to 5-7 years instead of the usual 10...) is imo worth more than a feature bloated zeta this or the next year; always on the verge of bancrupting the company.

RE: just wondering..
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:51 UTC

Well, BeOS's main advantages (fully buzzword compliant) are mostly the technological innovations it brought (some still have no duplicate). BeOS will seem faster in day-to-day (ie not heavy compiling) use than anything on slower hardware. The user interface is quite beautiful and intuitive (IMNSHO). It has real-time video and audio (it was meant to be a MediaOS), so it is theoretically superior to anything else (other systems now lead due to raw speed). Programming for it is supposedly a wonder, and the API has things like BMessage (find the old BeBounce demo somewhere).

It isn't UNIX-based, but it is partially POSIX-compliant. Definitely not open source, though such an effort is underway. Linux and W2K will kick its ass in networking--BeOS networking sucks, even in the leaked stuff.

Overall, it's nice to boot into sometimes, and see what things could have been like. Nice to play 10 different videos at the same time--linux could never do that. Too bad it's dead, and if anything will eventually change that it's OpenBeOS, not Zeta.

RE: just wondering..
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:52 UTC
Addendum
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 07:59 UTC

I should say it's not as dead anymore with Zeta, but it is dead in terms of mindshare, just like the original. When you don't have mindshare, open source is the best way to go.

Re: Eugenia
by greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:01 UTC

I don't understand how you can say that when Zeta is there and it boots and it works, while OpenBeOS' doesn't. The only thing that Zeta doesn't have is the OSS way of doing development and the excitement of creating new stuff and becoming a "hero". But what Zeta does have is a codeline and a product that it is working with a great inheritance.

As an old BeOS user, I much prefer a company to offer me something that is inheritent from BeOS and it WORKS, instead of something that MIGHT work in 5-7 years from now. As a user, I need a computer now, not in a decade.


Didn't you learn anything from the Be experience? With closed-source applications you always have the risk of the company dying and taking your application with it, rendering all the time you invested in learning that application useless. If Be couldn't make BeOS fly, what makes you think these guys will? It's pretty clear they're not half the company Be was.

Interesting
by Robert Renling on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:08 UTC

And a fair bit of warmth.

so had they included that stegemann "multiuser" /patch/ yet?
it doesnt seem like it.

and an easy way to go if they want a so-so firewall solution is to use portsentry i.e not the best solution but a good userland "firewall"

good review.

Re: Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:09 UTC

>Didn't you learn anything from the Be experience?

I have. But open source doesn't guarantee ANYTHING either. Especially development. Especially good debugging. Especially professionalism with usability engineers with guts to kick the nuts of the engineers when they don't listen. Closed source development has its high points and its low points. Open Source development has also high points and low points.

At this point in time I prefer YTAB over any other BeOS project, just because YTAB's OS *works* and it is ready for consumption. This is their main advantage. As a consumer, I don't want to wait years, I want something NOW. And YTAB is able to provide me with that today.

It is simple economics. ;)

>With closed-source applications you always have the risk of the company dying

I can tell you my friend, I have seen a zillion OSS projects die because their developers just lost interest. It is the same danger. Always. You can never guarantee anything.

> If Be couldn't make BeOS fly, what makes you think these guys will?

I don't think it. I don't believe that they have many chances of sell enough to sustain them. Still, I do prefer them over any other BeOS OSS project, just because their product is something I can use TODAY.

> It's pretty clear they're not half the company Be was.

What do you expect when they have 5-6 people overall, and Be had 105 in its high day with over 70 engineers? Kinda unfair comparison, don't you think? ;)

Beta?
by Traal on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:11 UTC

So they released a "Beta" with missing features? I thought Betas were supposed to be feature-complete.

Why not buy the BeOS source code?
by Maarten Truyens on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:24 UTC

Hey Eugenia, just a thought. If such a small company as Zeta can buy the source code of BeOS, it isn't *that* expensive. Just like the open source community did with Blender, maybe that same community could buy the BeOS source code? Hell, I'd immediately pay 300$ for it to help this. It would give a huge boost to projects such as OpenBeOS... Anybody share this thought?

RE: Why not buy the BeOS source code?
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:28 UTC

>Anybody share this thought?

No.
The BeOS source code costs about $2 million dollars (this is how much PalmSource asked the last time to the people attempted to buy it). Blender only costed $100,000 in order to open source it, and even then, it took months to gather thant sum. There is no chance in hell that the small community of BeOS can buy BeOS. As for YellowTAB, I think they got the source by other (yes, legal) means, that I won't reveal here.

RE: Why not buy the BeOS source code?
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:31 UTC

They didn't buy it, they reached a licensing agreement with Be before Be was sold. I wish....

Nice review
by bkakes on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:57 UTC

Nice review, Eugenia. Gave a pretty good overview for us old BeOS users what using Zeta is like. Personally, I'm saddened by it. It seems that practically everything that made the BeOS neat back in the day has been laid to waste.

I mean, look, for example, at http://img.osnews.com/img/3692/zeta4.png. What do we see? Some programs have menus, some use tabs instead, and some don't deal with that kind of layout. Of those with menus, one has a help menu, and the others don't. Every program using any kind of toolbar-ish buttons rolled their own. Or do you like how the ffmpeg GUI (great name, btw!) window has some options capitalized, others not, and lots of the options just thrown into random groupings? Etc. etc. etc. There's just no consistency whatsoever.

Or look at, say, DVDRip. "Write to standard output"? Now, what the hell does that mean to anyone except a total geek? Why would you want to do it, anyway, if you weren't using something else on the command line? Oh, and you just have to love how ffmpeg GUI shows you the command-line output it'll use. WHY? So I can pat it on the head and say, "Good boy, you correctly translated the options I selected into the appropriate command-line string. Have a biscuit!" A good GUI is more than just a listing of all the command-line program's flags with checkboxes and radio buttons; it's about making choices. To me, Zeta looks like a mediocre Linux distro that doesn't use X11 and uses a different threading model. Yay. It seems the days of, "yeah, the BeOS is technically awesome, but the interface kicks ass too!" are long gone.

But you know, I think the best thing said here was when Eugenia mentioned that Be used to have some 100 employees, while yellowTab has merely a handful. Back in the day, the BeOS was competing against an unstable and partially unadopted Windows, a Mac OS that had a pretty sad underlying structure, and a Linux without a decent desktop interface. Now we've got a rock-solid Windows and Mac OS, both of which do thousands of things the BeOS never dreamt of, and a Linux community that it hard at work to bring Linux to the desktop. Our expectations have grown far higher. Sad as it is, the BeOS's capabilities simply haven't caught up.

Hopeful
by Gabriel on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 08:59 UTC

I have really been hoping to replace my current music creation setup with Zeta, the purpose I bought BeOS for in the first place. At one point MidiMan announced it would be writing drivers for the Delta 1010 for BeOS, but as far as I can tell, nothing came of it. I was never able to buy a midi sequencer/audio recorder aside from tracker or drum-machine type apps.

I hope Zeta can steer this where BeOS said they were going; a Media OS. I am sure that means different things to different people, but to me it means running my midi and audio studio.

Strings tab
by Donald Milne on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:03 UTC

Hmm, I assume BeOS uses something similar to AmigaOS' catalog files for localisation, so that looks like a catalog file editor... quite why its part of an installation procedure though... who knows.

RE: Nice review
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:04 UTC

> Back in the day, the BeOS was competing against an unstable and partially unadopted Windows, a Mac OS that had a pretty sad underlying structure, and a Linux without a decent desktop interface. Now we've got a rock-solid Windows and Mac OS, both of which do thousands of things the BeOS never dreamt of, and a Linux community that it hard at work to bring Linux to the desktop. Our expectations have grown far higher. Sad as it is, the BeOS's capabilities simply haven't caught up.

Your whole comment was excellent Billy, as always, but the last paragraph really excels. It requires INNOVATION to be able to survive in today's OS world and captivate a market. Things are always getting tightier with time, not easier for OS companies/projects. Sad as it is for small groups... ;)

Small OSes,etc..
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:18 UTC

The same type of thing was happening 30-35 years ago. Reading Edsger Dijkstra gave me some insights into how this works. Back then, IBM and its OS/390 crap (according to Dijkstra) ruled the nascent computer world. UNIX was not nearly mature; E.D hardly mentions it. The point is, something will come along that shakes the world to its foundations (sad as it is, it won't be BeOS or Linux). Back then it was UNIX. What's it gonna be now? Plan9?

..first time as tragedy second time as farce....

Dissapointed
by misza on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:20 UTC

"Something more advanced like internet connection sharing, would be cool to have too."

There's ipalias, though it's not entirely user friendly ;)

"There is _stil_ no support for more than 90 Hz in the monitor panel."

You can download and compile the OpenBeOS Screen Preferences app from their CVS silly YellowTab.

YellowTab, get your act together and create something that will make us old timers proud, right now, I certainly won't be buying your cheap BeOS hack.

Re: Dissapointed.
by H-kon on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:31 UTC

YellowTab, get your act together and create something that will make us old timers proud, right now, I certainly won't be buying your cheap BeOS hack.
--------------
Thats what i am seeing too. The more i look at the screenshots, the less i want to buy Zeta. I am actually quite dissapointed.

Oh well, i am glad it is Zeta and not BeOS.

Why do i feel that BeOS was just raped and pillaged?

RE: Disappointed
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:33 UTC

Maybe this is why they didn't want to release it yet.

Re: Dissapointed.
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:35 UTC

>The more i look at the screenshots, the less i want to buy Zeta.

Well, most of the screenshots just show Be's own pref panels, and not YellowTAB's creations. Some windows are of YTAB's, but in the first shots it all Be's.

The design of the UI widgets was also Be's.

Check the printer windows on the first two shots for example. This is the new printer panel that Be created. Really nice I must say...

BeOS and TTF Fonts
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:38 UTC

Does BeOS support TTF fonts? If not, why?

Thanks.

Re: BeOS and TTF Fonts
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:39 UTC

Of course it does. ;)

b.e.o.s
by synergy on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:41 UTC

hm,

seems that many points critisized are being adressed by the b.e.o.s-approach, which i personally for this reason(s) find the most interesting. some might say that it's neither fish nor flesh, but properly done, it could combine the best of both worlds, means participating in the very good driver pools as well as the technical progress of the linuxkernel, as well as being source-compatible to beos.
sounds very promising...

as for dano, i don't think they've chance. really...!

RE: b.e.o.s
by synergy on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:43 UTC

"as for zeta...", of course!

RE: b.e.o.s
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:44 UTC

I don't like the BEOS approach. It combines Linux and Xfree bloat with something that needs to be responsive. Both of those have way more features than needed or wanted in a BeOS clone. Linux is good for Linux. there's a reason Be used a microkernel.

dano: you mean YellowTAB....then again, that too ;)

Cut-Copy-Paste
by wibble on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:52 UTC

Eugenia, your comment :

"Zeta uses a modified OpenTracker and Deskbar version which supports [...] a few other goodies like cut/copy/paste directly when selecting some files/folders "

Misses the fact that Open Tracker has had this for ages. I rebuilt my ppc box in January (maybe earlier) with the latest Open Tracker CVS tarball and it had this feature.

RE: Beta?
by NeoWolf on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:57 UTC

Nope. There's no telling what the status of it was, it was a leak. It wasn't released be Be Inc. at all.

And looking at these screenshots and reading this review really made me feel a tad nostalgic and miss my old PC and BeOS. But I'm pretty happy running MacOS X, It's not perfect but it does all I need now.

RE:  Cut-Copy-Paste
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 09:57 UTC

The last OTracker I used, about a year ago, didn't have that. And there was no official version that had that either. Not everyone is using CVS you know... ;-)

Re: Eugenia
by bkakes on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:04 UTC

Your whole comment was excellent Billy, as always

Thanks! ;)


I think one of the biggest problems with the "geek" community is growing up with stars in their eyes regarding Jobs & Woz (or Hewitt & Packard, or Gates & company, or whoever). The belief that two guys in their garage can create something cool and shake up the world with it. But what they often don't seem to grasp is that Jobs & Woz (to use them as an example), created an industry. They made something new that hadn't existed before. These days, companies like Be compete with huge, established companies who are in the same business. And that already have the investment of millions of customers.

The BeOS, as cool as it was, wasn't that different from other operating systems. It wasn't a completely new industry; it was a nicer operating system, which was an established industry. Yet a lot of its fans apparently expected the world to say, "Wow, that scheduler's a little neater, the API is cleaner, and the icons are cuter. Ok, you've convinced us...we'll throw away the trillions of dollars we've invested in this other platform and adopt yours!!" That's like saying, "Ok, we don't like this one thing about English, so we're going to change it and translate every book ever written." For people to be willing to throw away such investment, the advantages of the new platform have to be tremendous. Face it: the BeOS' advantages weren't tremendous back in the day, and they sure as hell aren't by today's standards.

Moreover, I doubt that too many people really care about the operating system, other than its not getting in your way (by crashing, not having drivers, not supporting applications, etc.) other than the capabilities it brings to its applications. Love or hate Apple, I think they realize this. They go, "Hmmm, a web browser is a crucial portion of a modern computer and the user experience with those existing on our platform isn't good. Let's deliver (what will hopefully be) a great experience to the user." Or they do it with e-mail, or digital photography, or whatever. But I'll bet that Apple has more people working on Safari than yellowTab has employees, period. There's just no way that yellowTab can compete with that.

So what is yellowTab left with? An aging OS that can't run most software in the world (including not being able to run a decent web browser at all decently), whose applications tend to lack even basic polish (and this is getting worse, not better, with time), and for which, in the few areas where it still is technically superior, the features aren't particularly compelling. Who's the market?

If it were me with BeOS source code, I'd attempt to do something radically different from what Apple and Microsoft are doing. What exactly, I don't know--I haven't thought that much about it. But the Apple I didn't succeed because it tried to take on IBM's mainframe business. To the extent that Be had a differentiating angle (personally, I've always thought the sole reason for Be's creation was to be bought by Apple), it was that it did media well in the days when competing systems didn't, and that it focused on bringing incredible power to the user in an easy package. Nowadays, as it stands, Zeta is worse than Windows or the Mac for media. And because of lack of polish and lack of talented engineers/UI designers working together, it's worse in terms of "easy package." By contrast, Apple and Microsoft are both strongly focused on it (Apple especially, in my opinion). Zeta simply cannot compete with that "differentiating angle"; if your army's outnumbered and outsupplied, you don't lead a forward charge.

Yet yellowTab hasn't bothered to seek out a new angle, something that could leverage what little technological advantage they still have. Instead, they're adding small applications to an OS that no sane person would use for such applications, anyway. It just doesn't make sense. They're obviously trying to appeal to the few BeOS diehards who say, "Man, I'd love to still use the BeOS [for reasons that are beyond me considering the awesome things competing systems can do], but I just won't be able to without a few more abilities." Great, so you string the small and ever-shrinking group of users who use BeOS "just because" along for a few years, and then what? The company folds and the game is over. They can't seriously be crazy enough to think that they can be successful by making and selling a product that to most users is "the exact same thing as Windows or the Mac, except with way fewer features and worse applications", can they? Rather than trying to fight Apple and Microsoft, they'd be better off trying something radically different, something that the other companies simply can't do. If it doesn't work, fine...they tried. But at least they'd have a chance. Where they're at now is playing chicken in a Mini against a freight train and hoping that somehow they survive.

RE: Re: Eugenia
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:10 UTC

You are 100% correct.

I think yT's target market is 1)Geeks and 2)BeOS fans. I bet they'll make a couple thou net profit, and then quietly fade off into promises and obscurity as the world moves to 64 bit computing.

RE: b.e.o.s
by synergy on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:12 UTC

"I don't like the BEOS approach. It combines Linux and Xfree bloat with something that needs to be responsive."

if you haven't, read the articles about and from b.e.o.s in osnews' archive-it depends on _how_ you do things...

My take on Zeta
by Michael Wulff Nielsen on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:13 UTC

As an old time BeOS user and developer I am saddened to see this review of Zeta.

It seems to me that YellowTab has taken BeOS and destroyed the principial idea: Keep it simple and efficient.

I see the screenshots and the "themes", and I feel sorry for what BeOS has become. I read what Euginia has to say and agree, what reason could YellowTab have to screw up a great/simple installer with more bloat-crap.

YellowTab should have sat down and done a bug-fix release first, then they should have turned to more features.

Frankly I don't see how they plan on competing with Mac OS X, Windows XP, or even KDE 3.1.

I also think that providing themes is a very bad idea. At least they should have focused on 2 themes, not 8. 2 perfect ones are better than 8 screwed up ones.

Just my take on this.
Michael

PS. I am not buying this one, perhaps the next version

RE: RE: Eugenia
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:14 UTC

The 64bit computing is just a recompiling away and a bit of testing/debugging. There is nothing stoping YTAB porting to a 64bit CPU.

The problem is, as Billy said above, lack of innovation and features that will sustain the OS and bring NEW users to their market. YTAB won't survive with only the current or ex-BeOS users as customers. It HAS to attract new ones, and to do that, it will have to prove itself against the big sharks. And you can't do that with 5 employees scattered around the world...

But I wholeheartely wish them the best of luck! I really do!

RE: b.e.o.s
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:16 UTC

Yes, I know all about the preemptive and lowlatency kernel patches. I have tried them; they have made zero difference in performance on two of my computers. You just can't have the Be innovativeness with Linux and XFree. If I want Linux I will run Linux, and I do.

RE: My take on Zeta
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:18 UTC

> I am not buying this one, perhaps the next version

Don't forget, this is only a beta. The final, might be a better one.

And also, if you and the rest BeOS users won't buy THIS version, there won't be a next one. Count on it.

RE: My take on Zeta
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:18 UTC

Well, remember that this is not a release, but a beta.

RE: b.e.o.s
by synergy on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:19 UTC

well, let's wait for the final "product" (if there will ever be one, but i'm quite optimistic), and then judge, ok?!
looking forward to it!

RE: b.e.o.s
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:22 UTC

Allright. That's what choice is about, after all.

I have problems with their licensing. What are they trying to do, build a semi-proprietary OS on top of Linux? Legal and feasible, but still. Pah. I believe their site says you have to be a developer to look at the code.

Tracker and some thoughts
by Nikola Pizurica on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 10:40 UTC

I agree with Eugenia about Dockbert.
I still have no idea why they've included it in Tracker.
It duplicates functionality of Deskbar, and it's fugly, IMHO.
Also, I can't speak for Zeta, but when I installed OT that has Dockbert included, you can't turn it off if you don't like it. Only option is to make it autohide.
I have SVG Tracker, and it is OK, but prone to crashes. Restoring Tracker helps, but hope YT will make it more stable. Also, I hope they automated making of thumbnails, not thru Thumbnailer add-on like it is in SVG Tracker (leaked one).
Also one more thing. People use high resolutions. I'm on 1152x864. I need bigger Deskbar. For example, build in option to dispay bigger icons in Deskbar. Why have options to have bigger icons in Tracker when Deskbar remains tiny?
BTW, look at this realy nice mock-ups. Now, that is Deskbar that it would be great to have. Much better then Dock-look-a-like Dockbert.
http://www.webhost-free.com/beadingo/guis/OBOS_UI_v2_3_1_a.gif
And Eugenia is right about Mozilla/Phenix. I'm too on dual Celereon 550Mhz, and Mozilla is slow. Usable, but slow. I made Net+ theme for it to look like BeOS app, but it surely doesn't feel like one. And it's memory hog.58 megs of ram are eaten by this beast.
And finaly, Eugenia didn't tell much about compatibility list. A lot of time passed since R5. Huge loads of new hardware apeared. I'm talking about loads of integrated audio/video chipsets and "softer then softomodem" modems (like AMR ones). I'm sure hardware compatibility problems will be much, much bigger now with Zeta then I had with r4, for example.

Buy or not buy?
by Michael Wulff Nielsen on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 11:21 UTC

Euginia you are perfectly right when you say that there will be no "version 2" if we don't buy version 1.

Well, so be it. A long time ago I invested a lot of time and trouble (plus some cash) in writing programs for a commercial operating system. Suddenly the company switched focus, threw the developers out in the cold and eventually was sold to another company.

Well, guess what if YellowTab goes under its the same old situation all over again.

I am not betting my time on a closed source operating system, I'd rather wait for OpenBeOS, even if it means running the risk that the OpenBeOS people might never deliver anything.

But if it turns out to be a really good product I might consider investing in a copy of it, just to play with.

Michael

And people ask why OBOS kicks butt =)
by XBe on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 11:22 UTC

This is what happens when a company don't listen to the market but rather what they wanna do themselves. This is exactly what I feared all along. yT is sort of vapor... I'm not even sure they have access to sources but rather just remove and append new software. That could be the reason to why they decide not to fix things like they should have.

I will most likely buy it anyway assuming they support GeForce 4, but my heart and hope goes to OBOS.

If only some more kernelhaxxors could join the group...

RE: Re: Eugenia
by ryan on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:17 UTC

" think yT's target market is 1)Geeks and 2)BeOS fans. I bet they'll make a couple thou net profit, and then quietly fade off into promises and obscurity as the world moves to 64 bit computing"

I think you are leaving out Beos' real target market....multi-media, audio/visual.

XP is definitely better than win 95/98 but i've found that its peformance become sub-par once you push into the 24 to 36 track range if you start adding real time effects. reponsiveness fades pretty quickly.

I've heard good things about OS X behavior when loaded but pricing becomes a problem there. The premimum of a OS X machine compared to a PC is about the cost of a good studio condenser mic, a mic preamp, a decent compressor or a couple of universal audio UAD-1s (an audio effects accelerator). The opportunity cost of buying that apple is quite high though i might do it anyway.

Beos on the other hand does the job (well it would if the software were there) and does it with cheap PC hardware. Openbeos is the future as far as i am concerned but i'll definitely purchase zeta when its available.

Re: Greg
by Michael Vinícius de Oliveira on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:21 UTC

Hi Greg!

Do you tried see BlueEyedOS Demo? No? Look at www.blueeyedos.com/downloads.html! Give a try. See and comment here again about Linux and XFree performances.

I'm wanting your positives words ;)

Michael Vinícius de Oliveira
~ BlueEyedOS.com Webmaster ~

Re: B.E.OS
by Guillaume Maillard on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:26 UTC

I don't like the BEOS approach. It combines Linux and Xfree bloat with something that needs to be responsive.

If I write a slow and non responsive app under BeOS will you conclude that BeOS is bloated? No, of course.
So, don't do the same with the linux kernel and XFree86, they are working very well, even without patchs (preemptive, etc..). You see XFree through KDE or Gnome, and the linux kernel through its boot time, I suppose. It's the mistake you do IMHO.

Take a look at the demo CD of B.E.OS, and be conscious that it's compiled in debug mode with a lot of 'printf', and with an app_server which is built (for debug) to redraw _everything_ at every needed redraw.

Regards,
Guillaume

Hold on to your server!
by Corey on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:35 UTC

Slashdot just linked to this story.

My thoughts
by DragonSoull on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:37 UTC

I must admit I was never a BeOS user, but I loved it none the less, and when I heard of Zeta I was hopeful to see BeOS back.
But this review brought me to reality, has Billy stated, and what does Zeta bring to the market that other OS don’t?
Linux is already pretty usable has a desktop (even if long way from perfect) and has community and commercial support Zeta can only dream about so who would by Zeta besides BeOS die hard fans?
So my conclusions are that BeOS has an OS is dead it’s just too old to compete with the rest of the boys, but BeOS has the collection of innovating ideas should live on!
Things like the database like file system, the translators, just to name a few are still with out mach on other system.
In the end I think what projects like OBOS could be doing is bringing these ideas and concepts to the next level and building what BeOS would of became and not what it was.

DragonSoull

Saddened by Zeta results
by zpixel on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:40 UTC

I was hoping beyond hope that Zeta would be an improvement. I wanted updated drivers, Media kit fixes (multichannel for example), OpenGl (as Bernd has repeatedly promised), and some of the Dano/Exp features. Sadly only the drivers issue will be updated. Some Dano/EXP features will be added but excessive bloat is also added. Eugenia reported that Soundplay was now broken. That is one of the ESSENTIAL apps for BeOS. Really sad news.

OBOS will need years to be a viable OS, but sadly they do not have the manpower to keep up.

I think this review is the death knell for BeOS.

Eugenia also hit on my major peeve with most Linux distros. I do not want zillions of options or apps to install. I wanted a decent desktop OS. I want basic functions that work. BeOS R5 and Corel Linux were examples of OS'es that did exactly that. Granted there were a lot of cool apps you could install later that independent developers made, but the OS itself was perfectly functional with the default install. Obviously as the years have passed the basic requirements for an OS has radically changed and these OS'es are now frightfully outdated. I am now resigned to use Windows XP as it does most of what I want, nowhere as elegantly as BeOS did, but it is being updated and has actually improved.
It galls me to think that BeOS is dying a most inelegant death. I would have liked to see one final blaze of glory with the release of Zeta.

looks nice
by squeebie on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:41 UTC

Wow, looks nice. I haven't used BeOS in years, and the other projects and BeOS editions don't support the wireless card for my laptop, so I haven't even thought about using it in a while. Nice to see they've got a decent amount of drivers and are putting some good work into Be again.

Looks like it's time to buy BeOS again ;)

'exp' as a release name is WEIRD
by swetland on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:50 UTC

That's just what we used to call the tip of tree ('exp' for experimental) as opposed to the release branch ('rel' for release). It looks even weirder in all-caps. I guess BeOS just won't die :-) Where's JLG to make some bizarre necorphilia crack?

- Brian

RE: Re: B.E.O.S.
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:50 UTC

Well, I look at the kernel through its enormous size and features that are unnecessary, plus some that are missing. Is anyone really going to be running BEOS on a SPARC? Also, on your site you mention that all the hardware drivers are compiled in...do you mean as modules? because if they are *actually* compiled in, that increases the kernel's footprint significantly. XFree (I read your piece on this site earlier; enlightening) I look upon as something designed for UNIX, not Linux. Its features--network transparency etc.--are lost for single desktop machines. Even within the Linux community there are many voices shouting for an alternate solution, like DirectFB. And last time I checked app_server didn't use 7.5% of my CPU like XFree does....

I wish I could try out your demo, but unfortunately the CD-ROM drive in this computer is b0rked. Will definitely when I get my main PC back.

RE: Re: Eugenia
by Greg on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 13:53 UTC


>I think you are leaving out Beos' real target market....multi-media, audio/visual.


Nowadays, that crowd's hardware is less and less supported. If you look at the website. you see that there is little information about anything media, just BeOS geek stuff like "History."

v wtf?
by slem bob on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:07 UTC
quick replies
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:10 UTC

A lot of the questions are already answered on the yellowtab forum btw...
Here are some quickies:

> > Are sliding tabs supported?
> No. The window manager is brand new code. It is not possible to support this now that theming is supported.
Let's say "for now". Really the decor system doesn't make it easy. It seems that would need some hacking.

> Maybe looncraz left after all.
He has become quite invisible currently... I think he has some personal problems to deal with.

> Come on, /dev/disk/ide/ata/0_0/? better /dev/hda.
Certainly not. And btw, even Linux is heading towards a tree-like devfs, years after BeOS did that.
The flat organisation wouldn't handle growing numbers of drivers. Do you know what namespace polution means ?

> Good job on the review Eugenia. I completely agree with your conclusions regarding the direction that needs to be taken with this.
After some moaning, I admit I agree too. It's always good to have external view of what you do ;)
I'll address issues in another comment.

> Also, I take it Drive Setup is gone, ...
It's not, however it never supported partition resizing. Besides it's true it has lots of limitations (like creating only primary partitions).

> Is it unix-based
<troll>NO, it's BETTER ;) </troll>

> eg. KHTML stuff with an interface that is a lot like Netpositive with tabs
I know there is development going on the browser side, but can't tell more atm.

>> [openbeos] a much more worthwhile project imo.
Why do people always try to oppose those ?
IMO both are useful, and both need more developers.

> BeOS networking sucks, even in the leaked stuff.
BONE works here. I even got a working netstat ;)

> Too bad it's dead, and if anything will eventually change that it's OpenBeOS, not Zeta.
Time will tell.

> Why not buy the BeOS source code?
For something to get bought, 2 parties must agree, one to buy, and one to sell. I'm not sure Palm even wants to think about it.
Besides buying the BeOS source code doesn't mean we would be able to setup an sf.net/projects/beos and put it on. There are parts that are *licenced* from other sources, that you simply cannot opensource if you don't want to face trials and such.

> The BeOS source code costs about $2 million dollars
For what they currently use IMO it costs much less than that... They should even pay me for cleaning up their cupboard from the box.

> Oh, and you just have to love how ffmpeg GUI shows you the command-line output it'll use.
What about you want to reuse it later in a Terminal ? Or add other options yourself that aren't in the GUI ? that's what I like in BeOS, simplicity is there (GUI), but complexity (the CLI prog) isn't hidden. Reminds me of what I read about an old Apple program (Commando).

> Hmm, I assume BeOS uses something similar to AmigaOS' catalog files for localisation, so that looks like a catalog file editor...
Yes it is.

> quite why its part of an installation procedure though...
Simply because currently the Installer just launched the PresonnalSettings Preferences, which has more than language settings. I agree it might seem odd now.

> "as for zeta...", of course!
Zeta is NOT Dano ;)

A few rants about your editorial style
by skamp on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:20 UTC

I check out OSNews' headlines everyday through its RDF backend, because it is a good source of news, even though there are way too much editorials entitled "Why I hate / love Linux" or "Why Linux isn't ready for the desktop". Hell, I just don't read them.

I do have a few rants about your writing though, Eugenia:

- the title of this review ("WORLD EXCLUSIVE") is really unjustified, it's not like YellowTAB is revealing a revolutionary OS that everyone was waiting for. You make OSNews look like a tabloid!

- I wrote you an email some time ago, complaining about the use of acronyms without giving their meaning: I suggested the use of [abbr] and [acronym] HTML tags. You didn't seem to understand the suggestion, perhaps you just didn't find it interesting enough. Anyway, it seems like I'm not the only one who's bothered by acronyms I don't understand.

- You write "[...] the user [...] can't create, edit/resize partitions. This is a huge limitation for most new users and plagued BeOS back in the day, and it will continue to do so, unless the user already has a free partition waiting for Zeta.". To my knowledge (I could very well be mistaking), neither do Windows OSes, MacOS X or Linux distributions offer such a feature. You always need to have a free partition to install an operating system! The bundling of Partition Magic with BeOS has nothing to do with the OS itself. I find the remark rather irrelevant.

- "The other reason is the startup sound, which is 1.3 MB": do you mean that the sound takes a long time playing, thus making the boot time longer, or that it takes a long time loading? In the latter case, I wonder how 1.3 MB can be long to load...

- "Samba. Where is a working samba? We need interoperability!": what about NFS? AppleTalk?

- "NetPositive [...] doesn't support SSL": I could swear that NetPositive in BeOS R5 had SSL support; could someone confirm?

- "mp3 playback did not skip (while it does on Red Hat Linux 9 on the much faster AthlonXP 1600+)": you make it sound like it is a real feature of BeOS. I play Flac, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files (all three formats have very different impacts on CPU and bandwith consumption) from my NFS server, with a Pentium III-M 866MHz, 256 MB of RAM, running Linux From Scratch and using XMMS: playback never skips, even when I'm compiling a software or uncompressing a bzipped tarball. Consider your own experiences carefully, your comparisons are sometimes very subjective.

That's all for today. Please take all these as remarks, suggestions, not as personal attacks.

Must have Samba
by Julian Bury on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:39 UTC

If Zeta cannot exchange data with Windows via ethernet, I will not be buying it. Some networking equivalent of Samba is a MINIMUM requirement.

I was a BeOS user from R45 thru R52/3 and, while I loved it, it would not do what I needed. So, when Be Inc folded I knew it was NEVER going to be what I needed and I removed it.

I have been watching and waiting for a suitable replacement that will allow me to keep Windows XP just for games and let me do everything else in a BeOS-like environment. That includes my accounts and correspondance so I'll need something like Open Office too.

Mozilla also absolutely MUST work properly. I will NOT put up with slow responses and a lack of utility. Java must also be implemented. That is also a minimum requirement for a browser.

My current machine is a high-end Athlon with a Radeon 9600 graphics card. I shall require that this resource will not be ignored by Zeta.

BeOS was always handicapped by the fact that there were no drivers for current hardware. Linux is now catered for by some sound and graphics card makers. BeOS never was. Zeta never will be. Zeta must therefore find a way to make use of the drivers provided for Linux by the likes of ATI and nVidea.

Will Yellow Tab make an effort in this direction? They should. After all, no drivers = no future. What do you say, Yellow Tab?

more info please
by Shintaro on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:41 UTC

Eugenia,
in your review, you said: "(I think HyperThreading support is already there, Be added it a few years ago, when Xeons HT were not even available, with the help of Intel)"

Can you tell me where it is ;)
Where did you hear or read about Be and HTT?
BeOS R5, nor Dano detect a HyperThreading enabled cpu, either Pentium 4 "C" or Xeon with HTT. R5 & Dano do detect an SMP capable system, but I assume thats due to MPS support in the bios.

RE: more info please
by Shintaro on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:44 UTC

Actually, that should have read, "neither" R5 or Dano detect & utilise a HTT (HyperThreading Technology) enabled cpu

RE: A few rants...
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:45 UTC

To my knowledge (I could very well be mistaking), neither do Windows OSes, MacOS X or Linux distributions offer such a feature. You always need to have a free partition to install an operating system! The bundling of Partition Magic with BeOS has nothing to do with the OS itself. I find the remark rather irrelevant.

You are mistaken. Windows and Linux definately allow for the creation of a new partition to install on during installation.

what about NFS? AppleTalk?

When i bring a machine on my network that supports samba/smb - it can instantly talk to/mount shares/etc... every other machine on my network. None of my machines at home use NFS, and while the Macs have AppleTalk, it's unused. I don't want to have to go running around and get YetAnotherFilesharingProtocol up and running on my boxes at home.

Puny icons
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:51 UTC

The pathetically small icons have always been an annoyance in BeOS. Why can't they add vector icons or at least support 64x64 icons?

Nice Preview Article,
by Jeff Flowers on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:52 UTC

Although I find the UI tweaks of Yellowtab to be ugly. I much prefer the old look to this.

I also don't agree that the lack a multiuser support is a problem, as I think that there is a place for single user OSes.

Re: Puny icons
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:56 UTC

> The pathetically small icons have always been an annoyance in BeOS. Why can't they add vector icons or at least support
64x64 icons?

icons in the Zeta Tracker are in SVG format, and can grow up to 128x128.

Unstable window expander in Deskbar...
by bryanv on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:58 UTC

Deskbar's team expander (showing the windows) is definately cool. Even if I'm not a bit biased.

The patches for this were sent to both YT and OpenTracker at the same time. OpenTracker has had this option for a while in the deskbar.

As for this option being unstable, I submitted a fix for all the instability last week. I have yet to see it commited. If I had commit access to the OpenTracker CVS, it'd be in there by now.

Eugenia, it's obvious you haven't used a recent OT in a _long_ time, or you'd have known about cut/copy/paste of files, and the "SuperExpando" deskbar.

As for me (obviously a BeOS dev) buying Zeta. They won't see a penny of my money. This looks like a bloated, vapor POS. No thanks, if I want crap, I'll use Linux.

Besides that, on a matter of principle (and the fact that I use it extensively) If the window title-tabs don't slide, I'm not wasting my money. YT, give me back the R5 look with slidy tabs, then I'll -consider- forking over some $$.

Re: article
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 14:59 UTC

Now onto the review itself:
(once again many questions are answered in the yellowtab forums)

The Strings tab in the PersonalSettings is a string editor for the locale kit. It is there at install time, simply because the Language button in Installer loads the pref panel.

Boot time:
Yeah, 400 seems a bit too much, really.
The startup sound size is easily fixed by converting it to IMA ADMCP, cutting it down to 300K.
Let's say also that more drivers means more binaries to load and check at boot...

> 1. The fonts are bad.
I think looncraz fixed it already, but maybe the fix got lost. As I remembered it has to do with the font file format or something.

> 2. The preference panel "Fonts" is now broken.
I think the Menu font is specified in the Menu preferences... Or I didn't understand the sentence.

> No DivX support I could see
I thought there was Hybrid Divx included. I have an updated FFDecoders anyway...

> personal firewall
<troll>That should be a 3rd party opportunity ?</troll>

> internet connection sharing
that shouldn't be too hard to add to Boneyard.

> 6. The logo of Zeta in the Deskbar is really amateurish
A matter of taste I believe... Does "BeOs" look that much sexier ?

> 1.Samba. Where is a working samba? We need interoperability!
Porting the current Samba needs fcntl() advisory locking, which BeOS defines in its headers, but doesn't implement. Not undoable for a faithful mind though.

> 4. No multi-user yet!
It is planned, but not for R1.

> (it is just a build flag ;)
No it's not. There is much more to correctly working multiuser than rebuilding the thing.
Things as simple as umask() aren't implemented correctly. (i.e. not inherited on exec()).
Also Tracker itself behaves quite strangely when run setuid.
But it's to be tested yet.

> Sucky VM in the kernel.
I believe that will only be addressed correctly by OpenBeOS itself.

s,Linux,GNU/Linux, ;)

Zeta remarks
by Jay on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:03 UTC

This review s one of the best ever on OS News and by Eugenia. It's good to see Eugenia get some credit for once. I do not think her review was harsh. She has simply always called them as she sees them. I thought it was fair and very balanced. As for tabloid headlines, every BeOS junkie on earth has been waitng for that headline :-)

I though Billy and Eugenia's (and some others) remarks are on the nose and lay out the problems for Zeta. Even if they end up being true, I dismiss, for now, the more negative remarks of some. I want to see the final release. It is hard for me to imagine former BeOS users not getting Zeta...how can we possibly resist?

The end game is the problem though, as many pointed out. It is very hard seeing Zeta catching the world on fire due to lack of innovation. I do not blame YellowTab for that - it appears they're doing what they can do. If they get some things cleaned up and support some modern hardware, I will not complain.

I have never quite known what to think of OpenBeOS, although I fervently hope they succeed. It will be awhile though. I would not mind at all having something like Zeta to play with in the meantime, assuming it's useable - and it sounds like it will be. At any rate, I'm going to give it a whirl.

Good review
by me on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:17 UTC

In the way that it expresses my feelings towards what should and should not be worked on. I'd love to see more drivers, BONE and the new app-server but not bloat and inconsistancies and so.

Still, this is just the first baby steps of Zeta...

RE: Zeta remarks
by bryanv on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:20 UTC

how can we possibly resist?

Very very eaisly if the damn window tabs don't slide.

Where is the chance for BeOS?
by Andreas on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:24 UTC


Sometimes I use BeOS 5.0. It is quite good: fast and well designed. For everyday use you do not need much: good and fast internet browser (where is Opera?), mail and user group client, Java and multimedia. And spreadsheet with editor compatible with MS Office (something like OpenOffice is welcome however it would require XFree API for BeOS).

But where is a place for BeOS? I see only one: if BeOS would be small enough to be kept in Flash Memory, you would create super fast GUI for notebooks and bigger palmtops. Without power consumption, noise and warm of HDDs. Dream Mashine - something that is not reachable for Windows, Linux and MacOS X now and probably in the future.

"Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

RE: RE: A few rants...
by skamp on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:34 UTC

You are mistaken. Windows and Linux definately allow for the creation of a new partition to install on during installation.
I do not believe to be mistaken: BeOS R5's installation program does allow the creation of partitions too, even non-BFS ones. I don't know about Zeta, though. Yet none of these operating systems allows dynamic resizing of partitions without data loss, not even BeOS / Zeta (Partition Magic does it).

I don't want to have to go running around and get YetAnotherFilesharingProtocol up and running on my boxes at home.
That's not the point; nobody expects you to run several redundant servers at home. The point of interoperability is to enable most people to use file sharing (in this case), whichever protocol they use. You're using Samba, I'm using NFS; if Zeta supported both protocols, both of us would be happy with it.

Linux vs GNU/Linux vs A Linux distribution
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:37 UTC

That is accurate, is it inaccurate, and wrong to say that "Linux" has font configuration. It DOES NOT. Linux is a kernel, not an operating system, and not a distribution.

Ok, let's kill this complete nonsense once and for all. Saying Linux to a Linux distribution is correct. Saying Linux instead of GNU/Linux is correct. Ever heard of a pars-pro-toto? It makes articles and day-to-day speech alot easier, manageable and expressive. If you are confused by metaphores, you really should go back to school and learn to read.

Windows isn't just windows. It also has buttons, a kernel, internet browser, firewall, command line tools, ... But you don't see long-haired windows zealots yelling "It's buttons/windows!! Respect the work and philosophy of buttons!"

> "It's buttons/windows!! Respect the work and philosophy of buttons!"

Actually in MSWindows, a button _is_ a window, technically speaking ;)

repartitioning in Linux
by Nikola Pizurica on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:42 UTC

> To my knowledge (I could very well be mistaking),
>neither do Windows OSes, MacOS X or Linux
>distributions offer such a feature.
>You always need to have a free partition
>to install an operating system!

Mandrake has it since r7. DiskDrake is the name.
It is part of install. You can resize Win partitions with it.
Realy great app. Every "alternative" should have something like this. And even BeOS r4 had special edition of Partition Magic.

RE: repartitioning in Linux
by bryanv on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:45 UTC

And even BeOS r4 had special edition of Partition Magic.

So did R5.

RE: repartitioning in Linux
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:49 UTC

This version of Partition magic is old now and it doesn't support the new big drives. And Zeta doesn't come with it anyway.

In other words, they do need a *well-designed* partitioning tool to accompany Disk Probe. What needed changing was Disk Probe, not the Installer.

RE: repartitioning in Linux
by skamp on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:50 UTC

Thanks for the information. As I read resize fat partitions - resize partitions (when not caring loosing its data) ( http://www.mandrakelinux.com/diskdrake/ ), tough, I assume partition resizing without data loss is only supported for FAT partitions. So if I run BeOS or another Linux distribution, I'm screwed ;)

RE: repartitioning in Linux
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:51 UTC

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression DiskProbe was for looking at raw hex dumps of files. I really really hope they don't require you to do that ;)

You did mean DriveSetup, right? ;)

Replies
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:52 UTC

>You did mean DriveSetup, right? ;)

Yes, sorry.

>I think this review is the death knell for BeOS.

i think you are overreacting.

>what about NFS? AppleTalk?

Samba is more important for the kind of users Zeta will have.

>Where did you hear or read about Be and HTT?

At Be.

>BeOS R5, nor Dano detect a HyperThreading enabled cpu, either Pentium 4 "C" or Xeon with HTT. R5 & Dano do detect an SMP capable system, but I assume thats due to MPS support in the bios.

Yes, and this plus a small change in the kernel is all it is needed. Adding HT support is easy. The only thing that BeOS didn't support is the thing aboug bogomips, which they wouldn't add it anyway.

>The pathetically small icons have always been an annoyance in BeOS. Why can't they add vector icons or at least support 64x64 icons?

Zeta DOES have vector icons! Did you read the article and saw all shots?

>> 2. The preference panel "Fonts" is now broken.
>I think the Menu font is specified in the Menu preferences...

Yes. But it doesn't work!

>> 6. The logo of Zeta in the Deskbar is really amateurish
>A matter of taste I believe... Does "BeOs" look that much sexier ?

Much better, yes. Especially when selected with the mouse, it was still looking clean.

> Sucky VM in the kernel.
>I believe that will only be addressed correctly by OpenBeOS itself.

I believe this is the kind of things any OS company should be doing: engineering. If YTAB can't do that all, not even for R2, then they should not be working on an OS. No one said that it would be easy.

Re:
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 15:57 UTC

> >I think the Menu font is specified in the Menu preferences...
> Yes. But it doesn't work!
Are you sure you launched a new app *after* changing the font ? the settings only work for newly launched apps (the BMenuBar isn't suppose to resize itself, as it would need if it had to support changing on the fly, lots of applications would break).

Rights to source code?
by Jay on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:01 UTC

I visited Yellow Tab's site, and read through their "History" and "Products" section. I did find information on the history of the product - how they had begun negotiations with Be to develop BeOS before Palm bought Be. But Yellow Tab does not specify whether they actually succeeded in buying the source code from Palm after it had acquired Be.

In other words, is this new OS based on old BeOS code? And if so, did Palm approve its development?

Re: Rights to source code?
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:05 UTC

(100th comment ? *g*)

Palm has nothing to say about an agreement that was made before they bought anything.
However There are some changes that need to be addressed about that agreement, that has to be discussed with Palm. Obviously we can't say anything about it.

RE: Rights to source code?
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:08 UTC

>Are you sure you launched a new app *after* changing the font ?

Yes, I did. I know.

>In other words, is this new OS based on old BeOS code?

Yes. It is based on Dano/EXP codeline, right out of Be's latest source code.

$
by Kevin on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:10 UTC

Where can i buy it? :-) this is great

Hehe..
by looncraz on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:15 UTC

Okay,

There is a final system that brings the product together. The font problem was resolved long ago, but seems to re-appear on systems with R5 most prevalently. I architected the repair, so I know.

Your startup time is terrible. My Zeta installation starts before my monitor is warm enough to show anything. The startup sound I never liked (huge). I cannot think of much o anything to slow down your boot that much, except a driver exception being handled about fifty thousand times. Which makes me think the ATA133 support may be a culprit. Often you would think such delays are from Networking slowdowns (as you can see with Win9x), but our BONE is loaded side-by-side with everything else even before the app_server (with a delay), so that is no problem. However, it is possible you still have the debug level bootscripts in place, which could result in such slowdowns. But I thihk I am the only one with them...

The installation-time repartioning is a simple item to support...now... We just prevent any partition on that hardisk from mounting during the installation, instead of mounting whichever ones by default.

Also, the installation process should be including a wizard, but my suddenly bogged schedule has slowed my progress on the ZWizard API. I have been able to make a real working wizard now, finally, so this feature may still be able to make it for R1.

Anyway, I am not arguing for Zeta b5a, as it obviously has many known flaws (why else would it be a beta?). The decors have actually been repaired a great deal, though none of these updates have made it off my computer. The latest deco r was not by me, but I have asked Bernd to relay a message to the creator to have him polish off the other alpha / concept decors while I am finishing up my latest contract. When this is done (two weeks or so), I will polish everything I have done, and then dive in and do what I am most famous for... creating a BeOS distrobution. Then the yT team will see what I think Zeta should be when released.

The betas simply are containing the technologies we created (and not even all of those). yT should seriously think about merging together several of our relateed technologies and create a team for the purpose of patents. There are many awesomely innovative ideas that are not yet known to the world.

Anyway, I must be off...

--The loon
PS: Nice and fair BTW, Eugenia :-)

... driver support
by blokkie on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:18 UTC

I installed BeOS5 some time ago. I had to manualy install the ati driver (lappy has ati-rage-mobility) . As in .. boot up in low res and without colors .. browse to bebits .. grab the driver , install VESA stuff .. edit some file, reboot, worked.

It's good to see all this fixed in ZETA.

Are they working on the BeOS Filesystem ? Coz when I tried BeOS5 and moved or copied big files BeOS just crashed and rebooted.

HW : acer travelmate 529ATXV

Fonts..
by looncraz on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:18 UTC

Oh, the fonts in our latest test tracker were accidently hard-coded.. should have been B_MENU_FONT (or whatever the contsnat is), heh.. oops

--The loon

Re: Hehe..
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:21 UTC

The return of the vangeance of the loon ?

btw,
SOFTWARE PATENTS SUX.

Good review, etc.
by Bobthearch on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:38 UTC

Great scoop Euginia! I really enjoyed reading the article and the comments so far.

I'm waiting to inspect the final hardware support list before I decide to purchase or not.

YellowTab has preliminary product descriptions that do not include a complete list of applications, yet. But the Home Edition says will include an office suite. Did you see anything like that in the Beta? Just AbiWord?

Too bad about the Installer. That was one ~super~ idea in BeOS. Install BeOS from any partition to any other partition and carry over all installed apps and user files...

Anyway, I'm very glad to see they've released something.

Best Wishes,
Bob

Slow boot. . .
by Terry Brennan on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 16:43 UTC

...is a real problem. For me, the great advantage of BeOS 5.01 (the only flavor I have used) is the speed with which it comes up and runs. A slow BeOS looses much of it's advantage over Linux.

The other feature(s) I was looking for was support of more hardware. Eugenia mentions WiFi; I assume that means I will be able to use my LinkSys WPC 11 under Linux. But what about the dreaded AMC bug, and support for Pentium 4?

Good review, Eugenia. Lots to think about. Thanks.

Terry B.

RE: Puny icons
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:01 UTC

I know they can go up to 128x128 but as Eugenia pointed out, the user cannot make the changes applicable to the entire operating system which is something that is a bigger usability improvement than themeing is.

Smooth window dragging not new
by Chris Stumpf on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:20 UTC

Hate to break it to you, but smooth window dragging has been around a long time. OS/2 has been able to do it since Warp 4 was released. I remember doing a demo at a store I worked at with 4 mpegs running, you could drag one of them around the screen and not only would the others continue playing smoothly, but the one being dragged never glitched either. This was on a P90 with an S3 video card back in 1996.

Re: Smooth window dragging not new
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:24 UTC

This time it's not about video playback (which BeOS was doing flawlessly even before 96), but about reducing flicker caused by redraws being done while the video card sends the framebuffer to the CRT.

RE: Smooth window dragging not new
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:24 UTC

Sorry to break this to you, but OS/2 does NOT have Smooth window dragging. I don't think you have understood what really this is. ;)
We are not talking about video performance and latency, we are talking about something that's similar to VSYNC. You haven't understood what that is, you confuse it with video playback smoothness.

hmm
by Heh on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:31 UTC

Hmm... This seems similar to another time when a group of germans had delusions of grandeur....

...of course,that ended with hitler blowing his brains out in a bunker. ;)

ISDN
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:40 UTC

What kind of changes or enhancements are there already? Will Zeta support ISDN plug-in cards? Does the new FAX application work with ISDN?

RE: ISDN
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:41 UTC

I don't have ISDN here so I couldn't test, but I know that YTAB was working towards much better ISDN support, so there is hope. ;)

Market for Zeta and alt/OS
by Jason Gade on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 17:50 UTC

The real market for Zeta and other alternate OS's is the geek community. People who are willing and have the desire to try new things. We are on the fringe of the normal user community.

Windows, MacOS, and Linux really have their markets well defined and pretty much locked up. Linux started off as a hobbyist OS that reached a critical mass and is now starting to take on some of Windows and MacOS market, but it is still more useful in the places that traditional UNIX has been. It gained enough users and developers from the fringe to start breaking into other markets.

It was mentioned that Jobs and Woz and Gates et al. created an industry. That is true, but their original customers were people like us -- people who used stuff because it was cool. It was several years before their first products started making inroads into the business and non-technical user markets.

I think that the same situation applies to Zeta and other alternate OS's. Companies and OSS projects need to know who their customers are -- early adopters and people who use their products because they are 'neat' or cool. These projects then will either stay in their niche or they will spill over into more mainstream markets. But the projects will not succeed by making a frontal assualt directly at those markets. I think the experiences of Be Inc., Amiga Inc., and others bear that out.

Zeta will only succeed if they listen to and go after their target market. I wish them the best of luck, and if they fix some of the bad points that Eugenia pointed out I may just buy their product.

Credits
by aphex on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:11 UTC

Good review.

RE: Market for Zeta and alt/OS
by Bram on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:16 UTC

I couldn't agree more with you. Listening to your (target) audience is the best thing anyone can do (regardless of what you develop). I think however the Zeta people will be doing this. Their replies to this preview have been interesting, they immediately offered to look into the slower boot times etc, so it's good!

Button Style
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:24 UTC

I wish they'd restore the old menu/button style ... I hate that dano look. Does anyone else agree? It just doesn't look BeOS!

RE: Button Style
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:28 UTC

> It just doesn't look BeOS!

I was work in progress by the Be usability engineers (was not created by YellowTAB but from Be themselves).

Patents
by looncraz on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:28 UTC

Well...

If you don't like the idea of patents, we could at least get the software organized in such a manner as it would be patentable. Patents are good, IMO, you can always do your own open licensing and such.

--The loon

ramble on...
by mouth on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:35 UTC

First and foremost, good review Eugenia. Very direct, not at all candied-up, and the best review/article from you yet. Hope the rest of your articles continue down this path.

As for Zeta, I have been eagerly awaiting the release since I first heard of them. This review gives me a glimpse of what I have to expect with the release. My major concern is not the technical side, but rather the interface layout. BeOS was an elegant system with something for the average and geek users alike. I hope Zeta did not lose sight of this.

Even though I am not as excited for the Zeta release as I once was (bought a new Mac), I am still running r5.0.3 natively on my only x86 machine, and it is awaiting Zeta’s release.

Good luck to the Zeta contributors, and you have my money when Zeta is released.

good review overall
by AlienSoldier on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:40 UTC

Icon:
128x128 max? why letting it hardcoded to size smaller than a hi res screen? I always liked those big icon on amiga demo coverdisk ;)

blue eye OS:
it's not my number one choice either, but look at it this way. One have a driver in it because of it's linux root, one do an app in BeOS api using that driver .... after one see the app already done and say to itself, would not be too much work to port that driver to beos. If blue eyed OS would not have been there that app and that driver would not have existed ;) . See it as symbiosis cooperation.

Hyper treading:
even if i find this quite BS from intel marketing pr dept, i also want more info on this an zeta. Also test on some multi CPU board would be nice (because it's not the same code base as R5 i want re-confirmation it can run on 8 CPU).

Copy/Paste:
copy paste was in OT yes, but a tracker add-on was on bebits even long before that (i think it was called XCV)

Theme:
I'm the most anti theme in the world, when i see this remove the sliding tab i'm even more pissed. It's one of the 1000 thing that add-up to make BeOS so great overall. Anyway, the only theme that would matter (and Jess would agree here) is to be able to remove the supid white paper paradox that came with wysiwyg era and that is no longuer needed in an all digital age, Of course this cause problem as all app need to have is color balanced accordignly but at least it serve a purpose (energy economy on laptop LCD).

In fact the slidy tab concept was not even 100% evolved, what would have been nice it to have the window start glue itself to other window once the tab is no longuer at position "0", so that we could move the entire rolodex of windows. would not be really hard to do to sent mouse moved message so other window follow. All the window that fit a certain tab patern would follow. Once a window tab is slided back at is original position the glue behavior disapear, not even a need for a widget of a pref panel!

OGL:
YT better release a video of it playing with fps enabled ;) i don't care if it don' support MY card, as long as it support one that we will not have to be 1000 to fight over on ebay ;) . I don't care if actual GL stuff dont work anymore. Only stuff i liked was Behavior and i planned to code something better anyway for my simulator. If no Hardware OGL present i am not sure i will get it (i will even but don't tell YT).

BeOS apple and Windows:
Look at all those car model on the market, BeOS will find is place. Just do a killer amateur rocket launcher monitoring app or a telemetry thing for RC car ... anything. Just kid wanting to have it done once and for all with fubar PC of their parent could see it welcome. YT is 6? this mean they need to sell lot less than M$ or apple to make money.

The install to another partition:
This need to stay, remove this and i fly to germany to spank your butt ;)

OSS:
Sure zeta is not, but OBOS is and many part of the OS are , mail daemon, file system, tracker, deskbar, ide replacement and many more... Also i think yellow tab will turn into a beos red hat in the future. Another point is that BeOS is enough add-on based to survive for a long time by getting feature that way.

RE: good review overall
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:45 UTC

>copy paste was in OT yes, but a tracker add-on was on bebits even long before that (i think it was called XCV)

Which *I* published it there, so yes, I know about it.. ;-)
But it is a buggy addon. Not really recommended.

Give them a break
by Anonymous on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 18:59 UTC

I hear ppl saying, I wont buying that.. and that sucks.. remember this is a BETA. I remember when I got my Disks from M$ for Advanced Server and Profesional. It was so buggy. It looked like crap, had alot of different problems. Then I got RC 1 and the final version. I would say that it was 3 different versions of Windows. I think it took 3 months or something between the different betas.. maybe they had 500+ developer? Any ideas?
Common give the guys a break at YT. They are working hard to get you the best.

I read the review...
by Erwos on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:16 UTC

And I just couldn't get excited.

I've used Windows, MacOS, and various Linux distributions over the years. Each of them has their relative strengths and weaknesses.

When I read this review, I couldn't help but wonder "where are Zeta's strengths?" Honestly, it didn't seem to have _any_ areas where it really excelled over the competition. No decent browser, no reliable email client, spotty hardware support, bad fonts, no useful 3D support, and no new commercial apps for it. In fact, the only useful feature it seems to have is backwards support for more "recent" BeOS releases.

One other thing: how the hell did a buggy beta release get a 8.08 rating, when RedHat and SuSE got 7.5s? I mean, c'mon Eugenia, that does not make any sense. Either the ratings are "relative" (and thus useless numbers) or you're just not telling us something amazing about Zeta.

Why should I (a non-BeOS user) buy Zeta when I can download RedHat/Gentoo/Debian for free? The review doesn't do a good job of explaining that. _IS_ there a reason to do it?

-Erwos

Re: mmu_man and others
by bkakes on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:28 UTC

> Oh, and you just have to love how ffmpeg GUI shows you the command-line output it'll use.
What about you want to reuse it later in a Terminal ? Or add other options yourself that aren't in the GUI ?


Ok, first of all, if you want to "reuse it later in the Terminal", then why would you using the GUI in the first place? But fine, if you're hell-bent that people might actually want to do this, there are ways to hide it, rather than having this big honkin' text box at the bottom of your interface that is 100% guaranteed to scare some users, let alone being worthless to most.

Secondly, if you want to use "other options", why are those options not exposed in the GUI in the first place? Are you making an actual interface? It sounds to me like you feel a text file listing the command-line flags might be a fine interface for a program--a window with checkboxes for flags really isn't much different than that.

I'm sorry, but it's this level of amateurism that has led to this monstrosity of a "BeOS" distribution.


BeOS apple and Windows:
Look at all those car model on the market, BeOS will find is place.


My god, will we never hear the end of this insane argument? An OS is a platform, not a stand-alone product. Tell me, if I buy car X, are you affected? Are there places you can't drive because I bought car X and you bought car Y? No. There's really no reason for you to care what I buy ("safety" is a tangential point here, so don't even bother mentioning it). However, you should care what OS I buy. The larger the userbase, the more applications and driver support. Pretty basic concept, no? A car is simply a horrible analogy. By your logic, Beta and the Atari Jaguar still have a chance in the market. (sigh)

RE: I read the review...
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:29 UTC

>Why should I (a non-BeOS user) buy Zeta when I can download RedHat/Gentoo/Debian for free?

Because Zeta is *much* faster in UI responsiveness than _any_ linux. Because it has much better latency and better multimedia performance.
Because Zeta is *simple* and EASY to use, much simpler than Windows or Mac even. There are no secret kung-fu you have to learn. Zeta just works and takes less than 1-2 days to learn all its secrets as well, while this procedure takes years with Unix.

BeOS/Zeta is SIMPLE. It is FAST. It is an appliance OS in a sort. These are its qualities over the competition.

it's a shame...
by Kevin on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:32 UTC

It's a shame that BeOS doesn't have any good video editing and capture software/hardware.

It would be awesome, to have something (even just Premire quality) running on Zeta on a dual xeon HT system. Performance wise, it would be amazing.

RE: Button Style
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:39 UTC

>I was work in progress by the Be usability engineers (was not created by YellowTAB but from Be themselves).

I realize this, that doesn't mean it doesn't suck ;-) At least give a theme option. This is my main reason for never updating to Dano, it's oooooooogly!

No sliding tabs? :-(
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:40 UTC

Another great feature of the wonderful Be UI that I'll miss ... I don't know if I like where this is going.

questions... anyone elaborate?
by Bobthearch on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 19:52 UTC

I'd like a little more info, please. As I posted earlier the review was excellent. But now that I've been thinking, a couple of questions have popped into my mind.

First, any sign of an office suite, as advertised in the Zeta Home Edition description? Abi hardly cuts it as an entire office suite.

Second, the review mentions three games. I was under the impression that Zeta was working on something original. Any comments?

Third, I use a small freeware app called wxMount to individually select which partitions to mount at boot. With wxMount there's no GUI, but you do get to see all of the available partitions and simply select from the list. The BeOS PE preference tool has an all-or-nothing type choice. Somewhere I read this would be addressed in Zeta. From looking at the screenshots, it still seems to be mostly all-or-nothing - I certainly don't see a list of available partitions and check-boxes. Am I missing something?

Forth, can someone explain more about the updates YellowTab made to AbiWord?

-Bob

I'm wondering
by s_d on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:00 UTC

if several usability and marketing "engineers" and other "artists" weren't just those persons who emptied Be's pocket and brought Inc down

RE: questions... anyone elaborate?
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:09 UTC

>Second, the review mentions three games.

These games was a minesweeper, a cards game and the Flight Demo.

>Am I missing something?

No. The partition mounting is the same as on BeOS 5, and it SHOULD NOT change, for simplicity reasons. All or nothing, as you said.

> if several usability and marketing "engineers" and other "artists" weren't just those persons who emptied Be's pocket and brought Inc down

No. Be gone down because it didn't sell enough. End of story.

RE: No sliding tabs? :-(
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:13 UTC

Why? Did you actually USED this feature, or you just want it there just for show-off?

Mockup
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:14 UTC

Ok, some people here said that they didn't particularly like the Dano/Zeta widget interface.
I say that it is actually pretty good, but it can be better. It just needs some polishing (and font fixing).
Here, I just quickly created a mockup cleaning up the interface. I believe that the new widget set is nice, it just needs attention to detail, as everything else does:

http://www.osnews.com/img/3692/printer.png

Thansk Eugenia
by Bobthearch on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:35 UTC

Thanks for replying to my post.

Too bad about the mounting choices though. I use a single FAT32 partition for swapping files between operating systems and want BeOS to mount this at every boot. But I ~don't~ want any of the installed operating systems to have access to each others' partitions.

As long as I can still install wxMount, I'll be fine.

Best Wishes,
Bob

By the way, at the YT website they advertise the Home Edition at 700MB, but the beta was only 500MB. I'm thinking they saved some suprises for R1.

Disk Space on Desktop?
by Jason on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:47 UTC

Is there any way I can replicate that disk space bar in windows? I LOVE that thing!

RE: No sliding tabs? :-(
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 20:49 UTC

>Why? Did you actually USED this feature, or you just want it there just for show-off?

Actually, I did, it's very useful being that apps like netpositive or gobe productive do not have builtin tabbing.

As for your mockup, it looks better, but i still like the old button/checkbox/radio box/combo box style FAR better than the new one ... it's just simple, nice to look at, gets the job done. That's why I love be. I never themed it anyway, it was great the way it is. I think 50% of what I love about it is the brilliance of the UI.

RE: Mockup
by Eugenia on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 21:19 UTC
RE: Mockup
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 21:26 UTC

Nice looking, but I don't know about the bold font on the tabs ... perhaps on the active tab only or none of them at all.

Fair
by jefro on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 21:38 UTC

Seems like a good report.

I'll purchase it even with a few bugs. I bought winxp/linux and it has bugs.

Re: Mockup & tabs
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 21:43 UTC

> No sliding tabs? :-(
I use them too, with Opera windows...

About UI look, well without touching the control drawing code you can already have nice effects...
Those shots don't show much of controls themselves, but you see how themable Zeta can be:

http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/beos/shot_Gonx_Zeta.png
http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/beos/shot_XP_sux.png
(including Deskbar position :p)

I did a tech demo about theming, that I think was shown at webbit.

Then if you really want real R5 controls... nothing is impossible you know ;)
But that's really not what I have on top of the list.

Re: Mockup
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 21:58 UTC

Here is what the printer prefs gives with my current settings (Gonx colors):
http://clapcrest.free.fr/revol/beos/shot_printer_prefs_gonx_theme.p...

sliding tabs
by Kevin on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:12 UTC

">Why? Did you actually USED this feature, or you just want it there just for show-off? "

I used them constantly. Not having them really cuts down on the easy of use of BeOS/Zeta's gui, IMOP.

not /.ed ?
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:17 UTC

The server OSNews is on seems very reliable, it got /.ed and it's still there ;)

Re: Disk Space on Desktop?
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:18 UTC

better ditch windoze and use BeOS, you'll find many other things you will love ;)

wow i am number 145 comment
by eightiesdude on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:19 UTC

Whoa not to shabby for an os that they say died awhile ago. I loved my beos and linux when i first discovered both back in 1999. I purchased beos 4.5 and 5 pro. Then soon after it was over.

After reading this great review of zeta. I am a bit worried that this version of beos maybe in some aspects not a step forward but a step back. Now this could change if they fix those things that were found problematic in the review. I hope i am wrong about judiging zeta. But I really hope someone in the beos community comes out with an updated version of beos5 without trying out to many new things. Beos was a great os I use linux now but wish I could still have the beos option as well especially for those older computers i got laying around. Beos was sure zippy on those. ;)

I was hoping Yellowbox would end up saving me a bit of money...being the old school BeOS fan that I am (Beosiman at Arstechnica), but with 1) Apple bringing impressive hardware to the table 2) Panther reportedly running faster than any previous version of OS X and with WinXP not being that bad a PC OS to run games on...I'll probably purchase my first Mac in 5 years.

I was hoping for the best with Yellowtab, but if I'm going to support one platform financially it'll have to be the one that I think will provide me the greatest return on my investment.

I wish the employees at Yellowtab the best of luck.

This BeOS nut is moving back to the Mac.

Re: Mockup & tabs
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:36 UTC

>About UI look, well without touching the control drawing code you can already have nice effects...
Those shots don't show much of controls themselves, but you see how themable Zeta can be:

Do the themes change the buttons/checkboxes/etc or just the window titlebars ... I think the original Be titlebars are great so i don't think I would even touch themes unless I could restore the original widget look.

RE: Well, guess I'm heading back to the Mac...
by TrueDis on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:37 UTC

Shame on you ... I take pity on your poor soul.

RE: Mockup
by cr@zy on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:39 UTC

Thats a great mockup, hope they implement that. Overal I a agree with you on the interface, I think its great. Why was the font rendering engine changed in Dano and then in Zeta?
Oh and the 400 fonts is stupid, no reason for em.

palm
by ryan on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:40 UTC

What i find interesting is the path of palm in the future.
They already said they want to make larger devices like notebooks or at least compact ones.

At what point does a palm-based desktop, perhaps one that runs on an ARM become a viable alternative to beos, openbeos, yellowtab, linux on x86. By that point, if that point, it would have lots of software and there is no way it could tolerate any kind of bloat since it would also have to run on cell phones and pdas. Multimedia is already a focus on Palm OS 6 and they have the be team.

of course such a scenario is many many years away if ever, and i still consider what yellow tab has done and what OBOS is doing very cool. I will support both.

Re: Re: Mockup & tabs
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 22:44 UTC

> Do the themes change the buttons/checkboxes/etc or just the window titlebars ...

(once again)
Currently theming includes:
- all ui colors
- fonts
- desktop backgrounds
- window decor, that is, the border and the scrollbars.
- other things such as Terminal settings, deskbar position, ...

As I explained already I do have a system that changes the controls look (OSX menus hmm), but it's nowhere near even alpha quality, so it doesn't have its place in a commercial OS. (yet)

BeOS
by syrek on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 23:01 UTC

I don't care if it's buggy, it's important to support all that's left from BeOS. This was and could be again a great OS to work with. The first time I used BeOS I learned the interface in a short time, learning macOS or windows took me longer and learning Linux took me even longer. I loved the "keep it simpel" statement and Zeta looks like it's leaving this statement a little bit.

I just wont comment about Zeta untill I have the oppertunity to play with the OS. I would like to see a downloadeble demo of Zeta. But I must say that this review brought me back to earth. I have read every argument and some of them where waved away using the argument; "it's just a beta", then is my question, why add so many programms and unussefull add-ons in a beta. Are they planning to add more in the final :S

I hope Zeta is just teasing us and the are keeping some huge surprises for themselves for now, because when I read this review it's not the BeOS/ Zeta I was hoping for.

I dare zeta to let me play ;)

[offtopic] @mmu_man: You said you did a tech demo about theming, I'm writing a paper about customizing and I'm in search for information, do you have some suggestions, about books, webpages or any other source off information. [/offtopic]


Re: BeOS
by mmu_man on Mon 2nd Jun 2003 23:08 UTC

> I'm writing a paper about customizing and I'm in search for information

You have my mail here ^ btw, that would change me from spams ;)

helping OBOS
by paul on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:11 UTC

It seems to me their is a lot of wondering when openbeos
will ever have a working os.

Instead of buying zeta why dont you who are supporting
open beos trying like send them a contribution.........

My self i will wait an see what happens with open beos.

It open beos can be done look at atheos it will take time

but hopefully they can in two to five years get a working

os. I still think beos should have sold to apple when it

had chance just my $.02 cents

RE: helping OBOS
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:26 UTC

What a freaking troll you are! Or you don't have a freaking CLUe of what you are talking about.

>Instead of buying zeta why dont you who are supporting
>open beos trying like send them a contribution.

Because OBOS won't be ready for many years to come. Why would I want to support OBOS instead of YellowTAB who NEED the money to survive the one and only AUTHENTIC BeOS SOURCE CODE?? WHY??

And what makes you think that the OpenBeOS can do it better than YellowTAB can? They all are a bunch of geek developers (YTAB and OBOS), with no project management or usability engineers. In other words, even if OBOS was usable today, it would have been worse than YTAB. It would have been "a semi-working Linux".

Get over it and support the people who have SPEND all their personal life savings in order to acquire the BeOS source code. Yes, this is the deal we are talking about here. Some of the people in YellowTAB has put THEIR LIVES to secure that source code that you once loved but now you are ditching like freaking idiots.

F**CK
I am so freaking pissed off right now with you supposed ex-BeOS users.

You don't want to use BeOS or Zeta? FINE. This is perfectly viable point and *understandable*.

But PROMPTING other users to NOT buy Zeta and put their hopes in the COMPLETE vaporware of OBOS, instead of the ALREADY USABLE solution of YTAB, it is distasteful and WRONG. Morally it is, for ex-BeOS users.

You don't know the PERSONAL SACRIFICES Bernd has done in order to secure for you this source code. You fucking don't.

Thanks for this review. As usual, I agree with basically everything you have to say. I also must add my voice to the cries in this forum:

"Hey, YellowTab! Don't just add features. Fix problems! Don't bloat the OS! AND MOST IMPORTANT: get a user interface and usability expert and then LISTEN TO THEM!"

I am concerned about the final state of Zeta, but I still want to upgrade. The updated USB and other drivers make it a desirable update, regardless of the future of the OS. I use BeOS very often so I want whatever updates I can get. What I don't want is useless duplication (Dockbert) and new features that are hacks (do the new SVG icon features show up everywhere else in the OS or only in the Tracker???).

I like sliding tabs, too, BTW.

are all beos users stupid
by paul on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:44 UTC

Its seems to me eugenia u must hate beos why would any one buy zeta?????????????????????????

The idiots who run be inc screwed up when they turned down apple's offer to buy beos.

Since apple an microsoft aint buddies apple could have developed beos?

Zeta is only giving updates to beos which can found on the internet.

This version they realease now is overbloated...........

Thats one reason i still use windows cause it works
Be Inc screwed up when they would not sell to apple since
Be Inc had idiots running the company apple would have developed beos an would not have cared about it being on
ibm compatable platform.

Just goes to show how stupid Be Inc was.

RE: are all beos users stupid
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:48 UTC

>Its seems to me eugenia u must hate beos why would any one buy zeta

Why are you saying that I hate BeOS? Just 20 minutes ago I was reading on Slashdot people saying that I am a BeOS fangirl (not true either). You obviously don't understand what you are reding and you try to CATEGORIZE me as this or the other OS fangirl, while it is not the case for any OS. I just write what I see.

>Zeta is only giving updates to beos which can found on the internet.

WRONG. Did you not read the article? Most of the new drivers and some of the applications found on Zeta ARE NOT TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE ELSE.

>Just goes to show how stupid Be Inc was.

that's your opinion. But I know things that none of you know, and I can tell you that Be had no other choices than the ones it made. So I suggest you shut up your stupid big mouth who doesn't udnerstand anything.

WOW!
by Nathaniel Downes on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:49 UTC

This is totally cool! Way to go!

Does it run on PowerPC?

RE: WOW!
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 00:52 UTC

>Does it run on PowerPC?

No. Be stopped maintaining their PPC port after the release of R5. It will need a bit of work to make it work on PPCs.

Zeta Personal Edition?
by Wrawrat on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 01:03 UTC

Hey Eugenia (or anyone else having an answer to my question), do you know if Zeta is planning to release a PE like BeOS did with R5? I heard a lot of good thing of BeOS, but I never tried it and I doubt R5 will work on my computer. Oh, and I tend to be the kind of person that tries everything before buying. ;)

RE: Zeta Personal Edition?
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 01:07 UTC

I don't think they will. These days most people don't run on FAT32 and ext2 which Personal Edition required in order to load (ext3 and NTFS has numerous problems when loading PE under them) and they would not possibly spend the engineering time required to fix these issues (and with NTFS is not always fixable).

What I would suggest would be YellowTAB to release a "live CD" which doesn't have the ability to get installed in a hard drive, I believe this would be a nice test for users to make sure their hardware works. Be did that back in the R4.5 and R4 days.

The "OBOS NOT Zeta!!!" people
by Greg on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 01:17 UTC

You need to remember that this is still ONE community. It's not like there's some sort of war between them. yT in fact said on their website that they are considering open-sourcing some parts. The OBOS devs are counting on Zeta to drive up interest in the OS. If Zeta fails, the community will die. Do you think someone's gonna look at yT's experience then and say "Wow, this Be community is really appreciative, maybe I should do something for it"? No. BeOS fans will have got their second chance and squandered it because they were too picky. By the time OBOS reaches any releasable stage, the hope will be dead. Like it or not, the whole community was SO much kept alive and interested by all the Zeta rumors. This is a great thing you're destroying, people. It doesn't matter whether there is anything new produced; as long as the community exists, there will be some drivers written and the compatibility extended for another short time. So, choose: Living OS or "blah blah blah company can't use good english doesn't care about users this sux0r"?

RE: Zeta Personal Edition?
by Greg on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 01:20 UTC

Strange as this sounds, if they do release a live CD I hope they cripple it somehow. If people just make a new partition with it and install like many did with PE, that will not add to sales at all. I hope they sell many boxes (I plan to buy it in the fall).

An observation-
by John Marranca, Jr on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 02:38 UTC

I am a faithful, although NEW (as of April) BeOS user. I tried BeOS 5 last year, to no avail, but I finally mustered the time, and got it correct on my K6/400 here. I love it! I love the 99% stability, the speed, the simplicity, and the flexibility of the OS in general. It, simply, gives me a great user experience without the useless junk I don't want or need. If the horror stories continue as I've read them here tonight, I (like other BeOS users) will simply stay with their PE 5.0.3, or their Pro Versions...and just keep hoping that SOMEONE will get it right.
I'm no Linux basher (by in large), but if I wanted another flavor of Linux, I'd buy LINUX. Let's hope that ANY future BeOS "Clone" stays true to the original Be model, and stays within the old adage of "Keep It Simple, Stupid"!

THEN, they'd sell tons of them.

John

Amazing...
by Captain Chris on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 02:44 UTC

What has amazed me the most in this thread--which I have not had time to read all of, I admit--is its shear size. I've looked at it twice today while taking a break from work, and I'm quite amazed at how many people are this crazed over an OS that never really got anywhere (as far as market share is concerned). This is pretty cool. I knew the BeOS fans were pretty ardent, but I didn't know there were this many out there.

Live CD (Demo CD)
by looncraz on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 02:50 UTC

I brought the idea of a hardware testing CD that had just a basic launch routine that ID'd the hardware and gave a supported status (per item, and listed the driver used), but the idea was considered too big of a task for our already over-burdened team. Maybe after R1 I may decide to do this on my own.

Anyway, I have decided to bring my development machine back online and actually plan out time to develop, starting tomorrow. My first order of business will be to construct a completely new base Zeta, implementing all items I repaired in SD-a-1/-2/PhOS. Once I have completed this base, I will submit it to Bernd for use as a possible final build base.

In other words, a clean OS for the RC1 + builds, instead of the changes manually thrown in like is done for the betas (even though we have a nice build system in place, heh...life).

--The loon
(All my fans / friends know what I am up to, and are happier than a dog when the rubber band finally gets that tail off..heh)

RE: The "OBOS NOT Zeta!!!" people
by JP on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:00 UTC

>By the time OBOS reaches any releasable stage, the hope will >be dead.

This is the oldest fight in software, "speed, price, quality . . . pick any two".

Eugenia, thank you for this review. Ironically I learned Zeta is of no interest to me at this time . . . well, that's a valuable thing to know.

I use BeOS Pro 5.0.3 currently and with lots of help from others have it running on modern hardware. As OBOS becomes available that is my most likely migration path.

Eugenia I'm like 3 times your age . . . so a few years is nothing to me. It takes me that long to go to the washroom.

Also, I respect the hard work by Bernd and the other Yellow Tabbers; however I really disagree with the "suffering" lecture you gave because we are all blind to the suffering of others to a remarkable degree and buying software is not the solution to this dilemma IMHO. Bob Dylan said it better it IDIOT WIND:
You'll never know the hurt I've suffered,
Or the pain I feel inside.
And I'll never know the same about you,
Your holiness, or your kind of love.
And it makes me feel so sorry.
I D I O T W I N D. und so weiter.

What's even more ridiculous is to label some guy as a "OBOS not Zeta" people. I'm mean what's with that? Where do labels get us? I could tell from the review I won't be downloading Zeta but that just says it doesn't fit my situation at this time.

Re: No sliding tabs? : (
by zealot on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:02 UTC

>>Why? Did you actually USED this feature, or you just want it there just for show-off?

Hey, I actually used that feature...

RE: The "OBOS NOT Zeta!!!" people
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:16 UTC

>Eugenia I'm like 3 times your age

You can't be 90.

Nice Review Eugenia
by moooooooo on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:27 UTC

i havent read everyone's comments yet, but i enjoyed your review. Concise and to the point.

Have to disagree about Mozilla being slow on BeOS though, but of course the review was about Zeta so it might be an issue there.
I have a 1GHz PIII and 512MB RAM and frankly BeOS R5 (BONE) flies on that, Mozilla included.
cheers
peter

RE: Nice Review Eugenia
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:34 UTC

> Have to disagree about Mozilla being slow on BeOS though, but of course the review was about Zeta so it might be an issue there.

No, *it is not* a Zeta issue. Mozilla is unbearably slow on BeOS 5 as well. You have a much faster machine to say that BeZilla is faster. But I also have another faster machine, and I can tell you, BeZilla is _nowhere_ near the performance of Mozilla under windows/linux on the same machines.

Mounting Windows Shares
by Sikosis on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:34 UTC

Whilst there is no Samba, couldnt you use CIFSMounter (GUI app from BeBits) that uses cifsmount to connect to Windows Shares.

I use it on BeOS to connect to our Win2K and NT4 servers.

RE: Mounting Windows Shares
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:36 UTC

>couldnt you use CIFSMounter (GUI app from BeBits) that uses cifsmount to connect to Windows Shares.

Very buggy and featureless app. Try playing some mp3s via the network and then come back to us and tell us the results...

Firebird
by jefro on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:40 UTC

The new firebird (mozilla) port is really looking good on a newer fast machine.

Video Covertage of Zeta in CeBit2003
by Quake on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 03:58 UTC

Here's the link (66.4 meg DivX):
http://ddanneels.free.fr/Zeta-CeBIT2003.avi

Woot
by mlk on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 04:52 UTC

But without slidy tabs, I'd have a hard time justifing buying it (even if the slidy tabs are only on the default BeOS theme).

No Sliding Tabs
by Sandwich Boy on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 05:52 UTC

Pfft. I'll see you next revision, if ever, Zeta...

OpenBeOS, B E OS, let's talk, baby. Cosmoe, what's up?

If OBOS is dead, how come every1 waiting for it?
by XBe on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 06:00 UTC

Isn't it pretty odd? I mean everyone seem to agree that OBOS team is the coolest people on earth... how is it possible then to say that they will not succeed?

The only guys I've actually heard say different is Linux zeals, but on the other hand, they'd say that about pretty much anything.

What this sort of brings to my attention, shouldn't there be a huge interest from devs to work an a project that is sooo popular?

Mozilla / Firebird runs fine on R5
by Sikosis on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 06:22 UTC

I'm finding Mozilla Firebird 0.6 is great and definately not slow for all my web needs - my system is a 433 Celeron with 256mb of RAM (a PC that would struggle running Win2K/WinXP)

BeServed ?
by moooooooo on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 06:33 UTC

Eugenia, is BeServed included with Zeta? Was that the app that gave the connectivity to Windows and Linux via CIFS ?

re: Mozilla slow, yeah it's hard to compare my PC to yours....my friend "repaired" my Abit BP6 mobo (dual 466 celerons) but i'm too scared to connect it (soldering doesnt look too good).....then i'd be able to compare!!!

Just for the anti-zeta comments, this review was based on a beta version. It was/is a good review but it's still a beta of Zeta.

Don't decide to not buy it based on the comments in here.

Wait for Eugenias review of the official R1. Then try and see a demo of it and then make up your mind .
cheers
peter

very disappointing..
by MarcoF on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 06:40 UTC

I expected Zeta to be much, much more.. this is a very disappointing review (well, not the review, the object under review).. I hope for the real R1 Zeta will be more than this unfinished Dano clone.

re: Mozilla / Firebird runs fine on R5
by gfx on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 06:51 UTC

I'm finding Mozilla Firebird 0.6 is great and definately not slow for all my web needs - my system is a 433 Celeron with 256mb of RAM (a PC that would struggle running Win2K/WinXP)

Have you tried running WinXP ? You will be surprised
it isn't too bad when it's running on such a machine.
one at work is a 266Mhz and it works. a coworker was
enthousiast about his 166Mhz machine with 256MB and XP...
it needs the ram, and a more modern harddisk doesn't hurt either... but graphicaly XP is quicker then a Xfree/KDE
combo...

Re: BeServed ?
by mmu_man on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:17 UTC

BeServed uses its own protocol, so it has nothing to do with CIFS support.

NOT disappointed..
by PeterM on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:18 UTC

It is good to see such a huge amount of reactions. ZETA/OBOS/BeOS seems to be a hot topic. Everytime Osnews has a report on ZETA lots of people who call themselves (ex-)BeOS users feel the need to explain why ZETA sucks (?). I'm sure ZETA won't be perfect (a perfect OS does not exist), but they keep the BeOS source alive. That should be reason enough for every BeOS-user on the planet to buy a copy.
So Opera, Gobe (and others) wake up! It's time to start coding for ZETA (the sun shines and I'm an optimist!).
Bernd, I wish you and YT lots of success!

how did they get be's ip since palm wasn't licsining it?
by Anonymous on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:26 UTC

eugenia do you know?

Re:
by mmu_man on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:32 UTC

> (the sun shines and I'm an optimist!)
Wow, that makes one so far !

> how did they get be's ip since palm wasn't licsining it?
that had been said 10 times, they got it _before_ Palm bought it.

sliding tabs
by Arthur on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:48 UTC

Hey I bet most of you don't know that mandrake 9 has sliding tab. Not only does it have tabs but will slide automatically so some portion of the tab is shown.

Please don't make up your mind until after the review of R1.

Re: sliding tabs
by mmu_man on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 07:49 UTC

They do ? Let's sue them ! *g*

Excellent article!
by mario on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 08:15 UTC

Kudos to Jenny!

Also..... I think I'll stick to BeOS r. 5, for now, thanks.

Great Work YT, Honest Review Eugenia, Thoughts
by Tony on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 08:55 UTC

I want to express my thanks to the hardworking members of YellowTab for contributing to the BeOS community with Zeta. This initial peek at Zeta shows promise - I'll certainly be buying a copy. I also appreciate Eugenia's thorough and unflinching evaluation of the Zeta Beta.
Like others here, I find the Zeta vs OBOS vs BEOS conflicts confusing and disturbing. I believe all of these efforts are vitally important to the future of what was once BeOS. Everyone who enjoyed BeOS and would like to see it endure in some fashion should do their best to support Zeta, OBOS, BEOS, and whatever other BeOS projects and products appear. I believe that these projects are complementary and that their components can be combined and shared. It is vital that these projects try to work together and strive for common standards such as those championed by BeUnited so that they can collectively be targeted by software developers. The relevance of all these BeOS projects will ultimately be determined by the appearance of quality third-party applications that let normal users get their work done.

Thanks,
Tony
(OpenBeOS Contributor - InputServer Team)

bah
by joebeastie on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 08:56 UTC

this is really sad people. all you beos fans out there have been waiting for this moment for such a long time and when it comes around you snub your nose at it. bah to you i say.i find myself agreeing with eugenia alot. if you do not support this then it can not take off. give them the support they need so they can better support you. Zeta is now. myself personally, although not a real big be guy myself, will be getting myself a copy because there is so much potential here.

My Opinion
by Max on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 09:48 UTC

I don't really care about BeOS but if I would I would surely buy Zeta. People who think they can migrate to OBOS in one or two years are just blind. Really you geeks seem to lack the most basic common sense in the case of your pet projects. OBOS won't be ready in 2 or 5 or 10 years. Please look at ReactOS to see what happens if a few geeks try to clone a full-fledged Desktop OS.

Just as you will never see an OSS clone of WinNT, you'll never see an OSS clone of BeOS.
Any real future for BeOS will die together with YTAB. Buy Zeta even if it doesn't meet your demands. See it as in investment in the future / charity.

re: bah
by Jack Burton on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:04 UTC

"if you do not support this then it can not take off. give them the support they need so they can better support you."

Uhm, maybe because I'll never put my money (AGAIN) on a company just because they have been "nice" and they put their lives in that work?
I did once, with Be, Inc. They failed. They left a (good) product in a bad state. So, why should I bet on another company which could share the same fate ?
At least, if the code was available, no one could shut the OS off. And Eugenia, while you are right that OpenSource doesn't guarantee ANYTHING, at least it doesn't promise ANYTHING.

About Mozilla
by decaf on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:08 UTC

I don't know if it's slow compared to Mozilla on other platforms, but I can tell you it flies compared to IE on my machine and launches in 4-5 secs (slow for BeOS though). I'm pretty sure you will be satisfied with the current builds. There are still issues in usability, but that's because there are to few devs working on those issues so it's hard to keep up.

Other than that I can just say that I intend to buy Zeta but I think Yellowtab should fix the things mentioned in the article. I'm confident that the ppl working on Zeta will do their best.

i'll be buying Zeta
by moooooooo on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:11 UTC

i'll be buying Zeta as the BeOS experience is still a good one even after Be Inc ceased.

The rootless X support alone will be worth it. Very much looking forward to it.
cheers
peter

I will probably be buying Zeta too.
by ds on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:36 UTC

Since I use BEOS every day, ( except when I have to use doze :-( ), I guess I will spring for Zeta.
I am curious to see codeliege.

Oh, and did I mention I NEED sliding tabs.
Screw the theming, I just want sliding tabs and/or automatic cascading windows.

Moooo:

Eugenia is dead right. Mozilla is SLOOOOW on old Celerons. It crawls on my dual Cel. 550's.
However, even on my 1Ghz PIII 768MB, it doesn't exactly fly but more or less ambles along. On the same hardware, IE 5 is much more zippy.
Every now and again in R5, Mozilla will do something which pegs the cpu and I have to wait several seconds for Mozilla to respond. <Grrr>

Eugenia:

You are missing the point to say OBOS (or whatever daft internal name they have for it now) will be ready in 5-7 years. For the purpose of OBOS is not only to be a component in its own right, but to provide components for others to use.
Right now, I am using small components of OBOS in BeOS R5. And more will follow.
And even if OBOS never eventuates as a complete product, we can use Zeta.

Re: Eugenia Mozilla on BeOS
by s_d on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:41 UTC

It is slow when crating new windows, and thus unusable for people heavily accustomized to SDI-model of InternetExplorer.

But it is almost usable with tabbed browsing

Re: My opinion
by syrek on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:43 UTC

If you watch closely to the BeOS project, you can see, they are building on an existing kernel, newOS. This kernel is not finished yet, but making progress as we speak. This is a kernel simular to the BeOS kernel as it's developed by an ex BeOS developer.

Also all the kits are developed serperately. You can install openBFS in BeOS r5 if you want. Also Zeta is adopting the opensource code of OpenBeOS already in it's OS, or at least the developing tools they created.

I also agree we don't have to expect an openBEOS release comming out next year, but 10 years, I hope they will finish sooner.

Then there's also Beunited.org, what is neglecting it's tasks, It was ment to be a standarisation for openSource BeOS development, but in the mean while all the openSource projects are developing the Kits from scratch. And B.E.OS is split in another project called BeFree, this means all developers are scatterd over projects which will take years. I hope beunited will get it's act togheter and glue all the projects into a mean lean developing machine. In my eyes it still is posible to keep different projects, but by gluing the kit developing into central teams would speed up progress. The tricky part is letting the kits work with the chosen kernel.

Also everybody is throwing names around the board, and I just want to mention I'm a big fan of Darkwyrm a developer with OBOS. I hope he will recover soon and takes a little more time for his health, because a healthy darkwyrm can code more than a sick darkwyrm ;)

Re:Re: My opinion
by syrek on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 10:48 UTC

Oops in the beginning I mention BeOS as an opensource project, which should have read OBOS ;)

sorry ;)

beta5a..
by micronuke on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 11:21 UTC

what i really can't understand is that this should be Beta5A.. despite the fact that Beta4 should have been the last one, this still looks more like a developer-alpha than like a Beta. the point of a Beta is that you only fix bugs and don't add features anymore.
looking at the screenshots, there's still lots of stuff that needs to be fixed or even added (and a Beta shouldn't have more features added, new features = new bugs).. like seen here:
http://img.osnews.com/img/3692/zeta2.png
the "under construction" in the updater preferences.

i also hear here and there about secret innovations that YT still has. but if they really have.. why the hell do they keep them secret?? i think NOW is the right time to show. i think this review is read by a LOT of people. if there are innovations they should have been in this reviewed Beta, because later people won't care anymore.

just my 0.02?..

RE: My opinion
by Pier Luigi Fiorini on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 11:43 UTC

syrek, BeFree is a project and B.E.OS. is another one.
Please remember these words. ;)

Networking Preview?
by dude on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 11:56 UTC

To Eugenia --

(This is comment #206, so I hope it gets read...)

Can you please preview the networking part? I never got Dano, so I've no idea how is it working, if there were any improvements, etc.

Looks cool but...
by Pier Luigi Fiorini on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 12:18 UTC

I really don't like the default theme, I'd prefer the BeOS 5 look but it seems that you can change the Zeta theme.
It looks a good (except for the UI) work but I am not sure if Zeta has a future.
Zeta is a sort of Dano but I don't know the term of the license they have with Palm.
Can YT start with the Dano code and release a Zeta version 2 with some improvements, such as a full multi user environment and a better VM?
I am happy to hear that BeOS is hard to kill but I think that BeOS is not the operating system of the future.
Linux and other Free *NIX are complete operating systems, much POSIX compliants and perhaps much stable.
My experience with BeOS Max was too bad to consider BeOS as stable as Linux with new hardware.
Anyway I would try Zeta, maybe I will buy a copy.

Re: Looks cool but...
by mmu_man on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 12:48 UTC

Max isn't much more than bebits-loaded R5... considered by some people illegal btw (at least the selling of CDs, which theorically isn't allowed in the PE licence, only free download)

RE: My opinion
by syrek on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 13:27 UTC

[quote]Two new coders joined us and received a full CVS access. The first one released some days later BeFree, a BeOS clone based on the FreeBSD kernel under GPL&LGPL license. I don't know if BeFree will try to reuse our code or not,but its Kernel Kit has some similarities.[/quote]

reading these lines, I think somebody has joined, riped and started his own project. I don't think he's working on 2 projects.

well
by popo on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 13:36 UTC

I will surely buy the zeta for my part...
BeOS used to be an OS that I loved to use, same for linux, but the current distrib and the way linux is heading just plainly suck and I prefer to stick with a winxp currently.
I really hope that there will be some hardware OpenGL acceleration, in fact it will be surely the main reason if I buy it or not.

For mozilla on an athlon xp 2gHz with 512MB, well it's slow as hell ( on BeOS ), I am wondering how people can say it's usuable...a P3 < 1gHz box running win98 is way faster than that...

Anyway I really hope that there will be harware OpenGL acceleration ( i know second time I am saying that ;) ) , without that, they will failed without a doubt sadly.

And to finish, great review, better to point out the mistake s in an alpha version than when it will be a "true" beta...
I hope that YT will finish well the zeta and not rush it out....

BeZilla
by Daan on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 15:04 UTC

Thank some of you for mentioning BeZilla. Though it does not run really fast on my Pentium II 350, it seems to work fast enough to be usabe. Okay, Opera or NetPositive is a hundred times faster, it is somewhat slower than Mozilla on Linux or Windows, but still it is usable.

heh!
by leprOSy on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 15:06 UTC

Maybe some people forget some things and try to compare apples with pears.
Peoples forgot worldwide betas (like win3.1 & 95) with millions of beta-testers and the problem for these users at this time to install a Linux distribution.
Now, a decade later, all is easy and looks fine. But the "giants" of OS Houses are still not perfect: I can take a decision between a teletubbie_UI-OS with build-in blue screens or a Linux with uglier UI (except RedHats bluecurve) and a horrible translation from enlish language to german Language (yes, ppl, shut up about Bernds english, the US-american german isn't a way better). Nobody is perfect!

Seems, people expect from yT a complete better, faster, multicompatible and "i don't know what more"-OS.

Hey, awake!! Yellowtab is a company with only a handfull of people and a small budget.

I mean we should think of the way could be the target...
If zeta RC1 isn't give 100% satisfaction to the world, we, the users can talk with yT to make some things better for the future.
Try to ask Microsoft about a driver for bfs, haha...
Give this new flower a chance, be fair!
and don't forget: Be DIFFERENT!!!

To Bernd, mmu_man, looncraz and any member of the developer team of yellowTAB: RESPECT! You did a wonderful job!

leprOSy,
dan0/ PhOS user

PS> do not forget: mozilla/phoenix/firebird is not a hack of yT
PS_2> mozilla works fine here under dan0, i never had problems and it is not much slower than under other OSes...

Ten Years
by Jay on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 15:21 UTC

I am certainly not trying to speak for Eugenia, but when she spoke about OBOS in a decade, I think she was using it as a figure of speech. In other words, nobody has any idea at all when OBOS will even have a beta.

Some of the posts in this thread have been excellent, but just as many are ridiculous. The idea of people, after reading a review of a *beta*, saying they will not, under any circumstances, buy it because it doesn't have sliding tabs or some feature someone doesn't want, is ridiculous. We'll see when the time comes. I don't know what the final outcome of Zeta will as far as being a success or not. It certainly has a steep uphill climb to make. But, I know people here (like myself) will be opening our wallets because we won't be able to resist.

The tremendous amount of posts in this thread does not surprise me at all. BeOS is an OS that touches sensitive nerves and many are still angry and passionate about it. It was the one OS that almost made it - and a great OS it is.

YellowTab Zeta
by JCooper on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 15:24 UTC

I recommend the video posted above....all I can say is wow.

It still has the elegance of BeOS r5....but emulating the mac on x86, and ripping DVDs to DivX in 1hr (both on an athlon xp2400) are definitely selling points to me! Where do I sign.... ;)

Alas, poor sliding tabs
by Harmonious Avenger on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 16:34 UTC

I had thought of buying Zeta, but I am dissuaded by this review. The loss of sliding tabs is fatal; it was one of my favorite features (I open a lot of windows at one time). The fact that font rendering has become worse is also very bad. I thought R5 was bad enough. Looking at R5 for an extended time made my eyes water.

For me to be interested again in BeOS, I would require:

1. Either very good anti-aliasing of the fonts or the ability to turn off anti-aliasing.

2. Fix the query mechanism so that querying on a missing attribute does not always produce false, even when I have a !=. The database file system is almost excellent but not quite, for email filtering.

3. A half-decent browser.

4. Bring back sliding tabs.

5. Copy/paste of files. (Seems like this one has been done.)

6. Command line move and copy should preserve attributes safely.

7. A working "man" command vs. pointing and grunting through a bunch of html links to find documentation.

I would also really like a port of the ruby programming langage for scripting.

Ruby
by pafcu on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 16:49 UTC

Ruby is already ported: http://www.bebits.com/app/1741
might not be the newest version but still...

RE: Alas, poor sliding tabs
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 17:00 UTC

> 6. Command line move and copy should preserve attributes safely.

There is a copyatr and moveatr or something. Try them on the command line, there are there since forever.

>4. Bring back sliding tabs.

This is not possible with the new theming engine. The window manager is brand new code and it doesn't have such capabilities because of it.

Re: Alas, poor sliding tabs
by mmu_man on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 17:03 UTC

> 1. Either very good anti-aliasing of the fonts or the ability to turn off anti-aliasing.
Since BeOS R5.1 you can turn off AA totally, and even tweak it much uglier, system-wide.

> 2. Fix the query mechanism so that querying on a missing attribute does not always produce false
I'm not sure this isn't intended by the semantics of bfs queries...

> 3. A half-decent browser.
I must say mozilla is becomming usable... though I still use Opera here :^)

> 4. Bring back sliding tabs.
Once again, it's not that we don't want to, but it might need some engineering (read: time spent, = money) on that, as it doesn't seem to be possible currently.

> 6. Command line move and copy should preserve attributes safely.
The cp and mv CLI tools do what they are supposed to do...
There had been numerous fights about making them attribute-aware or not. The simplest cons is it's Unix tool, it shouldn't deal with non-Unix stuff. (btw, copyattr --data copies attributes, and mv does move them along as long as it's on the same partition)

> 7. A working "man" command vs. pointing and grunting through a bunch of html links to find documentation.
I have a better idea on this side as well...

> I would also really like a port of the ruby programming langage for scripting.
Nobody stops you from porting it yourself... or search on bebits:
http://www.bebits.com/app/1741

bah
by johnG on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 17:06 UTC

Eugenia wrote:
But I know things that none of you know, and I can tell you that Be
had no other choices than the ones it made.


Yeah, they had no choice but to make their shareholders happy. Bleh. I still have my Be Inc "We *heart* developers" letter. I guess it should've said "We *heart* shareholders".

Re YT, I'm sorry, but the new GUI is a mess -- regardless if Be Inc themselves began working on it. The original R5 GUI is clean, functional, looks good, and is spartan. The new one is extra frills for frill's-sake. Yuck.

Finally, I still don't understand: does YT actually have the BeOS source code or what? Is this all legit, or will Palm be shutting them down once COTS boxes are available?


Re: bah
by Jay on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 17:46 UTC

Yes, it is legit. YT had agreements with Be before Palm bought it, agreements that had to be kept (as far as I know).

Re. bah
by johnG on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 17:51 UTC

YT had agreements with Be before Palm bought it, agreements that had to be kept (as far as I know).

If that truly is the case, I'd be curious to know how long the license contract is good for.

I'm still curious to see YT's actual release, and to see how much of the community's responses they take to heart. ;)

v Eugenia's Foul Mouth
by Terence Stamp on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 18:38 UTC
Learning to cope with the ghost 'sacrificing a company'....
by Viagra_Transistor on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 19:17 UTC

Well,
I saw Zeta in different versions and had the advantage to see how it developped (generally it got better every version) - from the leaked dano clone to towards Beta s throughout CeBit and last at Begeistert 10.
Eugenia was everytime a decent writer, trying to bring the GEEK towards BeOS user and for all the other Penguin Heads, Big Brother M$ Wankers and Egophilish Mac Dummies (call me blond, cuz I use a Mac, not Wintel, Aye!).
In this column I just read about the Glory and Grace of Be Inc. through Eugenia's hand which undoubtable had one of the most shitty Managements found at any sector.
If you put the grace of the developers which could downsized to half a dozen of real Einstein's together with the unbeatable bad Management, you will get a company which smoked nearly a quarter of a billion US$ in the oven. This is Eugenia's magic Be...
Criticizm - yes of course, Eugenia. But this was neither exact a correct test nor fair...(in one point youre right: economy is not fair).
YT has to cope with all this ghosts, attempt to polish up their OS to today's standards in more'n'more points. And it's heavily suffering from the lack of coders. That's true, Eugenia.
Eugenia is talking about a fast machine she's got for testing - well, great days those old BP6 days Eugenia - but life goes on.
Zeta rocks on a P4, Dual Tualatin P3 or an actual AthlonXP's. Running Basilisk, Bochs on diffferent Workspaces parallelly (in fact this must be the fastest MacOS 8.x machine I've ever seen, even in Emu mode), watching the mpeg2/divX'ed Movie (take a concrete look, Eugenia - there IS DivX support) DURING ripping that movie directly from DVD, opening over 3000 mp3 simultanously with Soundplay (guess what Eugenia - Soundplay did NOT crash!! Wonderworld!) IS enough performance and shows me that they are on the right way.
In fact, ZETA has more Perfomance you will ever get on any Wintendo or 'get a coffee until I boot'-Gentoo Linux or your 'Click-1-2-3-4 Finder-nearly-opens'-MacOS BSDX'ed.
YT improved Bone from Bone7a to Bone8, they corrected errors in the mediakit2, the are in talks for a heavy crypto - support by the Stegemann Bro's (!).
These thinks are simply DO work. And yes HT is supported on P4 - even watching ZETA flying on an U160 15k SCSI disk is mind blowing (and yes it is the Adaptec AHA29160 SCSI Card which is supported by Zeta)....
They got a hard ride to ride. As long they keep ears on the Community and keep the management on the safe side, we should support YT folks where we can.
YT's only mistake is that they disgruntle a lot of great CODERS in not delivering the latest actual Beta's to their hands. That's a BIG mistake they have to work on.
But this is not a point you (could) mention.
Anyway: Honour to those who still Be-lieve.
My vote for your insight view: 3 of 10.
Sorry.

Submissions
by Terence Stamp on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 19:41 UTC

Submission of a comment on OSNews implies that you have acknowledged and fully agreed to the following terms:

1. No bad mouthing or cursing.
2. No attacks to other users or news editors of this web site.
3. Whatever you got to say, say it in a calm way, and explain your reasoning as an adult, and not as a 10-year old kid.

I got modded down for something I wrote, yet Eugenia says far worse and makes it personal, yet her posts stay up. Lovely.

RE: Submissions
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 19:46 UTC

I am trying to respond to you for the last half an hour and your email address does NOT work. Provide me with an email address that does and you will get the answer.

email
by Terence Stamp on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 19:48 UTC

Try heavensmasher@ispwest.com

command prompt in zeta
by cr@zy on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 20:09 UTC

all i care about is that their command prompt still has the same awesome functionality it had in r5. if only linux had a bash shell for x with the same functionality.

For those of you who are comparing usability/ease of use of linux to beos. give me a break, try beos then talk.

anywho, once zeta is out, I am buying it. I have a p2 450 with 512 megs of ram pc doing nothing.

and a suggestion to yt: if possible, try to release the source to anything you can. open source isnt the holy grail, but i'm sure it will still help. work with the devs as much as possible, thats what i loved about be.

"Linux's latest font config is worlds better in my opinion."

Linux doesn't have anything but a kernel. Linux is a kernel not a distribution.

If you want to say that:

"The latest Linux distributions feature font configuration that is worlds better in my opinion."

That is accurate, it is inaccurate, and wrong to say that "Linux" has font configuration. It DOES NOT. Linux is a kernel, not an operating system, and not a distribution.

Even if I were to assume "Linux's latest font config" referred to the "latest" Linux distribution, which one would that be, the latest of RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake, etc? Please be more accurate.

Or maybe I would be talking about BlueEyed OS, XFree86, or FBDirect's font configuration. Or KDE's font configuration vs. Gnome's configuration.

Apparently Eugenia has forgotten that Linux has *MANY* options for different desktop applications and there is no such thing as a "Linux font configuration" program.

Even more comments...
by Michael A. Clem on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 20:57 UTC

I'm still hoping that Zeta will improve on BeOS 5.0.3 without breaking compatibility. I'm not too worried about new apps coming from Zeta, maintaining the OS is more important. Even more importantly, though, I'm hoping that Zeta will build interest in BeOS, and bridge the gap between 5.0.03 and OBOS.
It's a shame that the Yellowtab people won't or can't be more open about their code and agreements, but it seems likely to me that Yellowtab will eventually switch to OBOS as it develops. Part of the beauty of the "BeOS" way is the modularity of the OS, which should make it easier to modify and upgrade. But I agree that they shouldn't offer unnecessary or duplicate options. A downloadable system much like BeBits would be fine if a user wants something different.
As for the sliding tabs, I've always found it to be a "neat" feature, but not all that useful. As someone else mentioned, if you could "group" tabbed windows together, it would be more useful. But I like right-clicking on the title bar to send a window behind other windows--I don't know of any other UI that offers that.
Finally, while I agree that Mozilla/Phoenix is still slow, I wouldn't call it unusable. I'm running BeOS 5.0.3 on an old AMD K6-200Mhz system, and while slow, it works. I can do my banking and manage my credit cards on their websites with Moz/Phoenix. Yes, having a decent browser is important to the OS, but we simply need more good developers working on it, or a good alternative like NetOptimist. The Zeta people seem to have spread themselves too thin as it is. I suppose they could've worked on a browser instead of a To-Do list, though.

RE: Even more comments..
by looncraz on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 21:57 UTC

Heh...

We are stretched a little thin, but we have to be in order to get out a respectable product. We are not rushing this as much as many want us to, because we can't afford it.

ToDoIt is nost like working on a browser. A browser is very close to its own OS, which is why there aren't billions of them that are great.. just three or so. We already have a working Mozilla and a great Phoenix. So we work on those... and yes, we actually do.

yellowTAB is very similar to OBOS in organization... haphazard with only minimal order. Everyone has some idea as to what they should do, but they know that if they don't do it.. someone else can take over... just takes longer. We are developing in such a manner that our work can be thrown on top of maybe an OBOS R1 and then OBOS R1 will be a modern OS still, with modern features.

yT is not like Be, INC. We are not extremist minimalists. We like options.

We do have a coordinated effort going, the problem is that certain features are so interdependent that showing off parts to the public just creates confusion. The language panel that Eugenia saw was to allow anyone to modify the language translations. When R1 is released, it will make perfect sense.

The decors, except one or two, are all concepts. Alpha or Beta quality. If there is a problem with one decor, it is because it was just being used for testing, and thrown into the beta simply for archival purposes.

Remember, after Beta comes delta, gamma, release canidate, then release. We are approaching the next threshold very quickly, and the steam is now picking up.. mostly thanks to the attention here.

And for whoever it was who said that Zeta seems to have troubles PhOS fixed, just remember.. I made PhoS, too :-) If the problems are back, it is because there is a better fix on the way. A proper fix, not a hack.

--The loon

Mozilla on BeOS (R5) and Zeta comments
by Jace on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 22:45 UTC

Slow. Slow slow slow. SLOW. It works, for the most part, (I can do my bankingand browse sites that Net+ cannot browse) but it is very slow and does not behave as though it is really a BeOS app. My goodness, the controls are sluggish and they aren't BeOS API controls. The scroll bar, for example... there's almost zero visual connection between the use of the scroll-bar and the result of its use. Horrible. The Mozilla UI stuff is double-plus ungood.

I would love if Mozilla on BeOS were to be gutted and rebuilt as a native app. I mean, then it wouldn't really BE Mozilla, but hey, I don't have any problems with that. All I care about is having a decent browser that performs like a native app.

I hope that YellowTab's developers are testing things on computers that AREN'T the bleeding edge. I run on a PIII 500MHz (planning to up it to 933). There are lots of BeOS users on older machines. That's the beauty of BeOS. It makes your older machines live longer because the OS isn't a bloated bastard pig.

I also hope that YellowTab is selecting the right people as beta testers and that they listen to them. Harsh commentary like Eugenia's is exactly what they need to pay the most attention to.

RE: Mozilla on BeOS (R5) and Zeta comments
by Eugenia on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 22:50 UTC

> Slow. Slow slow slow. SLOW. It works, for the most part, (I can do my bankingand browse sites that Net+ cannot browse) but it is very slow and does not behave as though it is really a BeOS app. My goodness, the controls are sluggish and they aren't BeOS API controls. The scroll bar, for example... there's almost zero visual connection between the use of the scroll-bar and the result of its use. Horrible. The Mozilla UI stuff is double-plus ungood.

EXACTLY. Thank you Jace.
I don't mind the looks of the widgets not being native, but I DO mind the slowness.

Should I close the lights on my way out
by SmallStepForMan on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 23:27 UTC

I doubt anyone will continue reading up to this point (231 posts), but here's my $0.02 worth.

-yeah, I'll buy Zeta Deluxe. Why not.
-Mozilla is dead, Firebird is the successor. Who cares if the shipping version is not perfect, its not as if updates aren't available every 2 weeks on BeBits.
-Who cares about sliding tabs? Neat, but never really used it. Thats why you have WORKSPACES.
-Dockbert is a lame duplicate, its not as if you cant turn it off. Looks neat the first time you see it, though, so it may be used by newbies more often than the deskbar.
-Themes are selectable, I like the Gonx screenshot shown on the BeOSJournal.org Beta review.
-There are new video drivers coming (hinted on BeOSJournal), it may be that YT may licenced the SciTech display technology (my guess, not fact). Heck, even poor Amiga licenced that tech.

All in all, YellowTab have done an excellent job for their first release. Dont dispair people, there is always room for a Zeta2, Zeta3 etc. Eventually, ZETA will use the OBOS core instead of Dano. Until then, enjoy Zeta. It's a stop gap until OBOS arrives in 2 years or so.

@SmallStepForMan
by DaaT on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 23:34 UTC

Beta _preview_, not review ;) Did you also like those babies photos? That's my niece ;)

DaaT
http://www.beosjournal.org

my last post
by DaaT on Tue 3rd Jun 2003 23:36 UTC

ugh.. i meant "baby's photos" of course... silly me.

DaaT

re. Even more comments...
by johnG on Wed 4th Jun 2003 00:26 UTC

It's a shame that the Yellowtab people won't or can't be more open about their code and agreements,

As a responsible company, they should tell their customers the truth. I assume they have.

Their site says:
Before Be, Inc. sold its assets to Palm, Inc., we managed to close a deal allowing us to distribute the PE version...

In June 2001 while we went into the final negotiations with Be, Inc. over financing the development of a release of BeOS R6, we got the message from Be, Inc. that they were no longer able to negotiate with us. [snip]

Once the shareholders of Be, Inc. had voted to approve the sale to Palm we established the needed contact with Palm, Inc. in November.


Note, that says contact, not contract.

That doesn't sound to me like they have any source code, but rather that they may legally distribute PE binaries.

I'm not sure why anyone thinks they have licensed the BeOS code base. I certainly can't find anywhere on their site that says so. Maybe someone here is starting rumors?

geez, what a bunch of whiners
by Mike on Wed 4th Jun 2003 01:28 UTC

Did anyone really beleive that 'any' company could buy the rights to BEOS and just continue running the show as in the past; producing ground breaking apps & revolutionary OS concepts?
If it is true that Zeta has bought more than just the Open Source rights to BEOS, then I believe it is possible that great things may, yet come from them.
I have had the pleaasure to have written programs for many OS's including DOS, OS2, UNIX(SCO, AIX. & Coherent), as well as BEOS.
Let me tell ya, programming a BEOS app is no piece of cake. It can, however, be much eazier than doing the same task on most other OS's. Depends on experience & friends.
I haven't had the pleasure to try out Zeta yet. I do trust Eugenia's judgement and when they make a version available, I will buy it.
I will be quite happy if Zeta just sells me a (cheap) version that supports most of the last BEOS release & a little DANO plus more drivers. I would expect them to hire additiional 'vital engineer's; at this point and produce a much better second version. A consolidatiion between the various open systems into YellowTab would also be usefull.
The simple truth remains, there have been almost no extended attempts to 'create a new OS' in decades, with the exception of BEOS.
I wish YellowTab only the best & I would like ya'll to seriously consider the (mostly) valid points that Eugenia brought up in her article.

PS - I would realy like to beleive that the staff of YellowTab is FULL of dreamers.


Sincerely,

Mike

I'm in
by Piers on Wed 4th Jun 2003 01:49 UTC

Well, I am for Zeta and I admire what a few people are trying to do. Why we have the community fractured as it is working on similar projects instead of focusing to bring what we all want is beyond me.

OpenBeOS will slowly creep into Zeta as different parts are developed or so that is my understanding. I think this is great as the combination of these two teams will keep the code and OS distribution alive.

Browsers, now I would love to have Opera 7 on Zeta, screw Mozilla unless someone does some serious code culling and chop out the bloat. I want Zeta mainly as my primary OS and as an OS I can use for Music creation purposes (VST's and hard disk recording/editing/mixing). I know no other OS that has the potential to do this as well as BeOS and it's derrivatives. Windows XP is a joke and so is Mac OS-X. Linux is just as bad but is seems to be doing well in the 3D scene. I think Zeta/OpenBeOS would make a real killing in the Pro/Semi Pro media content creation markets and tying into that gaming (would love Il2 FB to run on it then I would be liberated from Windows).

I will wait and see what the YT team deliver and most likely end up purchasing Zeta cause I know they are the only conduit for BeOS derrivatives and I don't think OpenBeOS will survive that well without them and my computing sanity will definately not survive for too long in a MS world.

I just don't get it...
by nossai on Wed 4th Jun 2003 19:52 UTC

Mmmkay... Maybe I'm stupid, maybe my english is so bad that i just don't get it. How about these sources? There was a discussion about the sourcecodes in this forum, but I didn't find a proper answer to the question "Does YellowTAB has the original sourcecodes to BeOS?". Obviously YellowTAB has something more than BeOS R5, and obviously it's very much like Dano. Obviously it includes BONE (90% finished). But how about the actual sourcecode? If they don't have all lines of code, they will never be able to complete the last 10% in BONE (in a nice manner), neither will they be able to complete the remaining coding in the rest of the system. They will surely be able to make patch after patch and somehow make the darn thing run, BUT NEVER PERFECTLY.

Ok, let's say they have the sourcecode. That's great! We will see Zeta R1, and I will buy it (if my hardware is supported, since I don't have the money to buy new). Hopefully we will see Zeta R2 and so on... The question about how YellowTAB will manage this is a latter one. As Eugenia has pointed out several times, they will need engineers, not BeOS geeks (no offense meant, I highly respect YellowTABs work).

Let's say that they don't have the actual sources, but just some binaries and a few lines here end there. Well, not so great. We will, here to, see Zeta R1 (which I still will buy), but nothing more. Maybe they can make some more patches and blaha blaha... It just won't hold!

The reason I ask is that I want to know, or at least get a feeling, of what the future holds for Zeta. Will YellowTAB ever become a company like Be Inc., with 100s of employees and such? I am not a big fan of the OBOS project, it's a great thought and it might help Zeta, but I just can't see how it could become a well-working OS in a relatively near future. All respect to OpenSource, but in this case I think a company with funds and competence is what is needed. We don't need to see the sourcecode to BeOS (Zeta), we just need to know if it exists! Can we trust YellowTAB?

Surely I understand that it's very much about business right now. YellowTAB can't reveal too much because of their situation. But what I don't understand, is why we can't have a yes or no answer to my initial question? And, to underline it even more, the question is more about trust than anything else. I want to know if there will be a future for Zeta/YellowTAB or not.

So, please give me a straight answer. I would think I'm not the only one that wants one. And if it's not possible to answer yes or no, please tell me why!

Thank you,
Elias

Original Widgets
by TrueDis on Wed 4th Jun 2003 20:52 UTC

Euginia, if you pass any comments on to YellowTab, let them know that even though we can't have sliding tabs back we still want the original BeOS widgets (those new buttons are ugly, designed by Be or not)

IT'S BEOS
by Dane on Thu 5th Jun 2003 13:57 UTC

I have tested Zeta Beta5a and found it to be every bit BeOS, entirely familiar and comfortable, stable, and quick. People might want to quibble about little window dressing things, but in my experience, it did a great job of running BeOS applications and presented me with an interface that only varied slightly from what I was used to in 5 PE. In moments I had everything arranged to my liking. This is BeOS 5 with an improved media kit, improved networking, improved drivers, improved lots-of-things. Let's be happy and eager for Zeta and quit slamming it. Geez, it's not even out yet and the wolves are already at the door!

KHTML
by gmlongo on Thu 5th Jun 2003 17:04 UTC

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Probably the most important app is the browser. I really wish somebody would do something similar to Safari and create a BeOS browser based on KHTML. Even Atheos/Syllable has ABrowse. It would finally give BeOS users a high quality browser with a BeOS native GUI. Not that I don't like how Mozilla/Firebird are progressing. I just want a native browser with native controls, and therefore, native speed. Is that too much to ask? ;)

-G

RE: KHTML
by John Marranca, Jr on Fri 6th Jun 2003 13:18 UTC

I have tried several ( of the FEW ) browsers available for BeOS, and I still keep coming back to NetPositive 2.1. Yes, it's old, and has a few JavaScript problems, but it is fast and stable. The NetPositive 3.0.3 beta is horrible, and Opera doesn't support 3.62 anymore. Also (maybe it's just me since I'm a BeOS newbie), I didn't have much success with BeZilla. But I DO agree with the concept of a Safari-like browser. That would be nice, in my opinion.

"Be" good to each other.


John

PS:Is the Zeta Beta available for purchase from yellowTab yet/at all?

RE: IT'S BEOS
by Diane on Sat 7th Jun 2003 10:50 UTC

That's good enough for me & I was always gonna buy Zeta in the first place anyway. Slam it all you like just cos it doesn't live up to YOUR expectations - then look at the interest this review has aroused.
I dread the way things seem to be heading - to a future where it's a moot point as to who actually owns my data & my right to use it. I'm in the despised "average user" league & way too old to adopt Linux, believe me I've tried. I still enjoy the simplicity & stability of BeOS, so Zeta's the future for me & probably many others like me. "Where do I sign?" - I'm ready when you are, you got my money too, yellowtab.

GREAT ARTICLE
by THETESTER on Wed 11th Jun 2003 12:00 UTC

Hi Eugenia,

I enjoyed reading your article.
- detailed description of problems
- no brainless hurra
- ability to criticise
- background knowdledge
- writing style

and others.


Thanks!