Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th May 2010 10:03 UTC, submitted by robertson
BeOS & Derivatives Two news items about alternative operating system news in a row? What is this, Christmas? In any case, the Haiku project, the darling of OSNews (hey it's okay now), has released its second alpha release. This new stable development release contains some serious improvements over the first alpha.
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For the user to stay in control, the deskbar must stay easily accessible.

I think the idea is that by using a "tab" on top of each window it allows the deskbar to always be clickable, even when a window is fullscreen. If there is a window covering the deskbar, you could right click (or middle click, I can't remember) the windows's tab to push it behind everything.

It would become something useful if I could move the tab all around the window and create tabbed windows in the way the newer KDE 4 does.

Moving the tab all around the window is an interesting idea. As for now, you can slide the tab along the top of the window by holding the shift key. I'm sorry, I can't remember if they plan on adding the functionality to group windows into a single window with tabs, but I think they are. You can simulate it by placing windows on top of each other and sliding the tabs around, but I agree that having the functionality built in would be very nice.

I miss windows grabbing with Alt + Click in the middle of the window.

It's there. I think it's shift + ctrl + click, but I can never remember. I always have to hit a bunch of key combinations before I get it. ;)

Spatial file browsing is bad as a default settings. It fills your desktop with loads of windows that you don't care about, and once you've done with it you must close all those windows, one by one.

Haiku has been the only OS where I've tried sticking with spatial file browsing. It's been good for me. It behaves correctly, for example, by remembering the location and size of every window. Sometimes I find it nice to have the "trail" of windows open. Sometimes, when I know I what I want and want to get to it quickly, I just right click on the folder and "drill down" through the menus to get it. Also, I sometimes just double click on folder after folder while holding the "opt" ("Windows" key), which will close the last window I was in while opening the new one.

By the way, I love the "resize" button of each window. I never use the maximize button in any other user interface, but I find I use the resize button all the time.

Edit: Eugenia had an interesting comment about spatial file managers here:

But I wonder if this behavior is here to stay when Haiku devs begin to have security in mind. Good security without some kind of installer is difficult. I'm personally a packet advocate : it allows caring about security and centralized software management, without introducing some "next" hell.

You may be interested in reading the discussion on package manager ideas for Haiku:

Edited 2010-05-10 20:58 UTC

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