Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 12th Jan 2004 05:21 UTC, submitted by Simon Strandgaard
OSNews, Generic OSes When new operating systems gets designed today, great systems such as Amiga, Atari and VMS, seems to get overlooked in regard to their original features not found on other OSes. It might be time to collect and categorize those special unique features under the great/lost ideas wiki, so new OSes don't have to re-invent the wheel and re-innovate.
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Re: Re: Screens
by Ucedac on Mon 12th Jan 2004 12:38 UTC

To Solar
>> Screens are useful enough without the dragging feature!

The way the screens in the Amiga were handled was way much better than the concept of virtual desktops.

First it allowed instant redraw of the screen, in fact there wasn't such thing as redraw, only with a registry change on the video hardware you could see one screen or another, so you never saw windows and its content being redraw on the screen, like what happens with the virtual desktops in X.

The idea of dragging screens was very handy, it allowed you to see what was going on the background almost instantly. You dragged the screen to see if the background process had finished, if not you just pulled back the front screen. It was like dragging or folding a piece of paper to see what was going on the background screens.

As I said the response time was always instantaneous, in fact the whole Amiga GUI/IO input was that way, only when the processor was under extreme high loads you were able to notice some delays. To resume, it was a true user oriented system.

I feel so sad about the Amiga... Most of its features were far much better than Current OSes. Is quite difficult to explain how useful is to have path aliases to someone who never used it before, and is convinced that its loved UNIX clone is way much better than anything else in the world.

If Amiga-like path aliases would be incorporated in Linux, the stupid path problem from one distro to another would be able to be fixed in 5 mins.

For example suppose that one Linux distro (A) has its fonts located on

/usr/shared/fonts

And another Linux distro (B) has the same fonts spread across two different folders

/usr/shared/X11/fonts
/bin/shared/fonts

The problem is that you will need to recompile/package apps differently for Distro A or distro B with path aliases you can do this

On distro (A):

assign Fonts: /usr/shared/fonts

On distro (B):

assign Fonts: /usr/shared/X11/Fonts add /bin/shared/fonts

On both distros Fonts: now points to whatever fonts directories the distros are using, any program which wants to access the fonts doesn't need to care anymore about where the physical path is, they will only try to read the content of Fonts: so let?s say my program requires to access the file ?verdana.ttf? I will do ?Fonts:verdana.ttf?

The same for libraries, gadgets, etc or anything you would like to imagine But as I said before explaining is not enough until you have seen it on action.