Linked by bcavally on Mon 21st Dec 2009 17:18 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Today there are many operating systems available. Every vendor or community round it tries to make it as good as possible. Having different goals, different legacy and different cultures, they succeed in it more or less. We (end users) end up with big selection of operating systems, but for us the operating systems are usually compromise of the features that we would like to have. So is there an operating system that would fit all the needs of the end user? Is is the BeOS clone Haiku?
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Haiku's UI dated?
by stippi on Mon 21st Dec 2009 20:27 UTC
stippi
Member since:
2006-01-19

I'm a bit irritated that the author writes, Haiku's GUI was designed in the nineties. That's because I just redesigned it this year, and I've tried to be tasteful and modern. Of course, Haiku's UI is an evolution from the BeOS GUI. But a BMW designed in 2009 is also an evolution from previous models... Of course the BeOS heritage is something important for most Haiku fans, so it was important in the redesign I did.

Ok, the windows don't have soft shadows. And the GUI has almost no animated transitions, but that is of course not visible when looking at a screen shot. Only the missing window shadows are. Is that the sole reason why I keep hearing Haiku looks like from the nineties? Or is that just a rumor that doesn't want to die, because Haiku used the exact BeOS look for so long?

Just interested.

Reply Score: 14

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by judgen on Mon 21st Dec 2009 20:45 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Let me just say: I love your work. And i think its ESSENTIAL that it stays "feelin' BeOS" bacause that is one of its awsome features. Ive yet to see any other modern UI where you dont have a horizontal or vertical bar that takes up screen estate. In BeOS its done correctly with the deskbar up in the corner and tabbed windows so its very easy to get to the deskbar without minimizing anything whilst still having all apps in full screen mode. I guess the shadows and 3d bling is what makes for modern theese days... not the ability to be productive and use all the screen estate that you have payed for. (the zsnake on the desktop also makes it possible to do file browsing without ever having to minimize a window. almost forgot about that one.)

Reply Parent Score: 5

v RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by invent00r on Mon 21st Dec 2009 22:05 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by bcavally on Mon 21st Dec 2009 21:24 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
bcavally Member since:
2009-12-20

My mistake. It should be written: "BeOS's GUI was designed in the mid 90s, and Haiku's GUI is based on it. And for average user it looks like not much has changed since the nineties."

And yes, by modern, I mean rounded edges, soft shadows, "thin borders round the windows", etc. As I said: in some aspects it reminds me on CDE. Just compare Haiku's LaunchBox with OS X's Dock. But this is my personal opinion, I am not a professional designer and this can be very sensitive topic for Haiku users.

BTW: I am looking at Haiku alpha 1.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 21st Dec 2009 22:03 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok, the windows don't have soft shadows. And the GUI has almost no animated transitions, but that is of course not visible when looking at a screen shot. Only the missing window shadows are. Is that the sole reason why I keep hearing Haiku looks like from the nineties? Or is that just a rumor that doesn't want to die, because Haiku used the exact BeOS look for so long?


IMO it's just a slightly more-sophisticated version of "I may not know art, but I know what I don't like."

Many people perceive "modern" and "current" as if they were interchangeable concepts. And most of the people who pontificate about that stuff have no formal design training or experience, so they evaluate the BeOS/Haiku GUI solely by the presence or absence of current flavour-of-the-month UI trends (rather than evaluating it based on valid design principles).

In other words, the reasoning goes something like this:

- (insert latest release of popular, mainstream OS) is a recent operating system, therefore it must be modern
- therefore, its GUI must be "modern" too
- therefore, that's what a modern GUI looks like
- therefore any GUIs that look different are, by definition, not modern

And IMO, I think that's due to the larger cultural attitudes towards design - particularly the perception that design is an artistic (rather than scientific) discipline. So because it's a field that's (perceived as) largely subjective, many people assume that any opinion on design is automatically unassailable - no matter how ill-informed or poorly-qualified it might be.

Or to put that in a more humourous way:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by Parry Hotter on Mon 21st Dec 2009 22:45 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

To me, even though I have never been a BeOS user, Haiku has the look of fast and no nonsense. The 2D feel sits very well with me.
To Joe Sixpack however, whom I have subjected to Haiku many times, Haiku does seem to look like Windows 95. I suppose it's the absence of rounded corners, transparency, glossy buttons and what not.
Not everyone's dream is a bleached silicone blonde in a new Corvette on a sunny beach, many would prefer a drive by their lonesome in a vintage Lotus in the Scottish hills. In a drizzle. I'll take the Lotus, thank you.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 17:49 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Not everyone's dream is a bleached silicone blonde in a new Corvette on a sunny beach, many would prefer a drive by their lonesome in a vintage Lotus in the Scottish hills. In a drizzle. I'll take the Lotus, thank you.


I like that analogy - Haiku: the Lotus 7 of OSes (when an MGB just seems too over-engineered).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by HappyGod on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 04:53 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

OK, first up, I've never used Haiku (or BeOS), so I'm basing my opinions purely off your screenshots. You can correct me anywhere the real-life experience differs from what I mention here.

It looks dated because:

1. The icons look cartoon-like. This is not allowed these days. Compare the windows7 trash icon with the Haiku equivalent. You want realism, and you want hi-res.

2. It's all a bit grey. Title-bars, buttons, scrollbars, menus etc, are all Soviet Russia. These days you want some colour here and there.

3. Soften it up. Every window, button and control appears to have sharp corners. 90 degree corners == 90's styling.

4. Integrated 3D effects are not an option. Must have.

I'd just like to add that although these things make the OS look dated, I actually prefer it.

The first thing I do to either Linux or Windows is turn off all the 3D crap, and set the colour scheme to military grey.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by stippi on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 09:33 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
stippi Member since:
2006-01-19

Ok, thanks for the specific replies.

* I applied the round corners for the tab control, and I am not opposed to using it more in the UI, but to my own taste, I don't associate "modern" with the round corners. I find the sharp edges just as stylish. To me, the soft gradients are much more important for a stylish look and I also applied a faint glossy look to some controls, but I really hate the over-obvious glossy look. Also note that the round corners take considerably more computing resources. Since they are not important to me personally to define a stylish look, I just left them out.

* The missing 3D acceleration is just something we have to live with for the time being. It is being worked on, but it's not there yet and obviously the developer could need more help. Without that, shadows are a no-go. I do think they improve clarity on the desktop, although it is totally overdone in Mac OSX for example.

* The grey UI is actually on purpose. I have produced some content creation apps for BeOS/Haiku and I work in this field for a living. You cannot have your entire Screen tainted from a neutral grey like in the default Ubuntu setup as that will offset your eyes and you cannot procude visual content that way. It's like your entire monitor has a badly shifted white-point. That being said, the Haiku GUI has exactly as much color spots in it as for example the Windows 7 UI (checkmarks, radio buttons and a color for the focus control). Only the window decor has a little more color by default in Windows 7... and when you hover/click controls.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 18:01 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

1. The icons look cartoon-like. This is not allowed these days. Compare the windows7 trash icon with the Haiku equivalent. You want realism, and you want hi-res.


Just from a subjective taste point of view, I've always liked the BeOS icons. To me, the cartoonish-but-clean/minimalist quality makes them look like updated MacOS Classic icons (similar style, but not as "flat"). And I like that BeOS/Haiku icons typically use a consistent visual perspective. While I wouldn't consider it a deal breaker/maker, looking at a Windows desktop always irritates my aesthetic sensibilities (some icons use a straight-on perspective, some are isometric viewed from the left, some from the right, etc).

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by Glynser on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 09:59 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

But a BMW designed in 2009 is also an evolution from previous models...

That's your opinion.

For me, it's degeneration.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by stippi on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 10:03 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
stippi Member since:
2006-01-19

Hehe, I picked the example badly. :-) The BMWs really were a degeneration, though they seem to recover slowly with the most recent models, at least the 3xx line.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by adinas on Tue 22nd Dec 2009 14:19 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

One of the reason I like Haiku is its design. So please do not change it too much.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by Beck on Wed 23rd Dec 2009 17:27 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
Beck Member since:
2007-09-03

I agree... i love the current design!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Haiku's UI dated?
by gabe on Wed 23rd Dec 2009 20:06 in reply to "Haiku's UI dated?"
gabe Member since:
2009-07-25

There's nothing wrong with Haiku's UI from a nostalgic BeOS point of view (and I used to write software for BeOS).

It needs to evolve further though, and I'm not just talking about "how a combobox is drawn" or whatever. Really, the available UI controls are quite limited. Standard draggable toolbars and docking logic, draggable splitters, maybe an analogue to Apple's modal sheets... Even GTK+ offers a much richer and more capable selection of widgets.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Haiku's UI dated?
by stippi on Wed 23rd Dec 2009 20:24 in reply to "RE: Haiku's UI dated?"
stippi Member since:
2006-01-19

Good points. From the list you gave, we implemented the draggable splitters, but the rest should be taken from some apps in our SVN and improved into public API.

Reply Parent Score: 1