AmigaWorld.net has posted 5 new official AmigaOS4 screenshots. The latest shots show several appearance differences regarding the GUI. Saturday there’s an AmigaOS4 on Tour event planned to be held in Augsburg, Germany.
Five More Official Amiga OS4 Screenshots
2003-06-14 Amiga & AROS 71 Comments
I was just wondering! It seems as if this is an OS past it’s time. It seems as if it is big in europe! Why not also in the states?
Their are alot of Amiga users in the US. What makes you think that this OS is “Past its time”. If people use it & it is still being developed for, then I think the time is still now. I still use AmigaOS to write MODS.
Same here. What does this OS offer that others don’t?
> It seems as if it is big in europe!
At one time the Amiga was very big in Europe, in some countries even with market shares up to 90%.
> Why not also in the states?
Within the US the Amiga was mostly popular amongst graphic, video and sound professionals. But sadly not so much with ordinary consumers. I believe this had mostly to do with marketing.
I believe that generally speaking, people in the US are more sensitive to marketing than the Europeans. So when there are dozens of PC clone companies (including Commodore which bought Amiga) tell these potential consumers that IBM compatibles are without a doubt the best (yes with MSDOS vs AmigaOS’s 32-bit multitasking color GUI based solution) this is more effective than 1 company stating the contrary. Amazingly C= thought Amiga would sell all by itself, just for being superior…. Betamax anyone?
The machine was however popular amongst US video specialists (i.e. Disney & Warner brothers) and at NASA they used Amigas for handling the telemetry of their spacecrafts and such.
IMO the OS offers much more freedom than most other solutions. Due to its modularity I can easily change application lauchers, filesystems, filemanagers, etc. For most OS components there are various alternatives and the OS has a transparent structure and logic.
Furthermore the OS performs well, is very responsive, customizable and extremely good at multitasking. Also I like the concept of screens very well, so you can easily switch between dozens of screens all with different screenmodes:
Similar questions asked at the OSNews forums:
“Also I like the concept of screens very well, so you can easily switch between dozens of screens all with different screenmodes”
From Todays point of view the Screens should all be trashed into dust and normal Window should be used which looks more professional and are less resourcehungry. I used to be a fan of Screens myself (yeah how comes after using Amiga for more than one decade (if not longer, still using my a3k so it’s ~18 years all in all)). Anyways I am a bit disappointed with AmigaOS not making any steps to become a more pleasing to use Operating System. This isn’t meant as critics but more to encourage the developer to step ahead of the limitations. The applications are still inconsistent, no toolbar, ugly icons (the same old glowcrap). I wished they would also have pleasingly enchanced while porting the entire Kernel+OS to PPC. From the screenshots to value they still show the same cut of time as it was ~8 years ago and no real investments have been done to enchance it. Ok I can’t blame Hyperion for not improving it since they are owning the code for not long ago so time will tell but we all agree that AmigaOS can’t stay the way it is now a lot of things has to get enchanced.
– Consistent Toolbars,
– Consistent Dialogs,
– Trash Screens in favor to Window only,
– No mixture of ReqTools, ASL, GatTools, MUI,
– Heavy enchancements of the graphicelements,
– Use of standard libraries such as png, gif, jpeg, tiff
etc. like other OS’s use (QNX, BeOS, all GNU systems)
And much more. Even more than written on the official AmigaOS4.0 development plan. AmigaOS 4.x is nice to see same goes for MorphOS but both are definately NO reasons to buy either AmigaOne or Pegasos for me. Only the bundle with PPC Linux makes it worth getting an eye thrown on it. But for professional business such as working with
AmigaOS as MorphOS are no choice. Please recall the article from Eugenia regarding MorphOS some weeks ago, same valid arguments could be said about AmigaOS. But let’s see what the future shows us. MorphOS 1.4 and AmigaOS 4.0 are not the end of the line.
did any one else notice that in the second screen-shoot that the person posting tried to protect the name of the person in the email/IM (?) program but forgot to also smudge it out at the top of the menu bar.
Yes, I’m the one who’s been giving Amiga OS 4 a hard time about it’s look and I’ve gotten some really good responses to the reasons it was so ugly. The best was the retro 8-bit color thing.
These screenshots are better and the last one is much better. There are still the textured dialogues and the bad icons and the 8-bit color scheme, but these seem toned down a lot in these shots so that I can imagine what this thing will look like if changed to color hues that don’t make me puke.
C’mon you German guys, put some sunshine into this!
he is covering his e-mail address – not his name
but I love the Amiga 4 look. It has an industrial look and feel. It is conservative yet funky. In fact, it reminds me of MacOS X Server 1.0 when it was released. The greys and metalic look ‘n feel.
The question I want to know is why are there people hell bent on making Amiga Yet Another Windows Clone? Amiga is Amiga. It has its own look ‘n feel, philosophy and way of life, why are there people who are trying to impose their view onto something that the majority of the Amiga fanboys like my self consider a very good move forward whilst being “different”?
Who’s trying to make the Amiga look like a Windows clone?.
I think the screen shots look like OS 3.9+ more stuff.
I dont know why everyone is so hung up on shiny animated
desktops. Its a PC not a kiosk with a touch screen in the middle of the mall.
“The question I want to know is why are there people hell bent on making Amiga Yet Another Windows Clone?”
That’s the last thing I want out of any OS, but my GUI should be something that makes me WANT to use it. The Amiga OS 4 GUI is for some reason being purposely presented in DRAB colors and with dull/strange icons.
Yes! It’s funky! But that’s bad.
I’m not asking for a “Luna” look, because that stinks too. I’m looking for functionality and personality that makes me WANT to use the system.
I still think the older Mac OS GUI AND the Windows 3.1 GUI (leave out Program Manager) were more intuitive and fun. These latest GUI screens for Amiga are great, but I’d still like to see it with less dull grayish colors and modern icon art.
The puke-gray tones and bad icons aren’t cutting it.
I can’t see myself sitting for eight-to-ten hours-per-day in front of a computer that looks this way and that’s the point of a good user-interface.
“From Todays point of view the Screens should all be trashed into dust and normal Window should be used which looks more professional and are less resourcehungry.”
Couldn’t agree less with you there. 😉 IMHO, Screens is probably one of the strongest concepts in the Amiga GUI as it also holds the key to working with screens across two or more monitors in future versions of AmigaOS.
It’s *incredibly* useful and allows you to switch applications about 10 times faster than you can with a 3 GHz P4 machine with WinXP using it’s Alt-Tab with application preview from the WinXP PowerToys. Here you get genuine full screen feedback in absolute real time! No need to to redraw windows or anything like you do when switching desktops in an XFree86 based desktop. Just point to a different place in display memory. Zap.
Resource hungry? Maybe a little, but you gain so much speed by having them.
From what I’ve heard, Screen Dragging will be back in later versions of OS4. Just imagine beautifully hardware accelerated Screen Dragging on a high-end AmigaOne. Oh my. 🙂
Fortunately, if the applications are properly designed, you can have all you applications on the first screen, if you like.
So do I have to guess that someone on the Amiga OS team is color-blind and that these are the only colors they CAN see?
I keep my desktop mostly gray so that when I’m in photoShop or Illustrator nothings interfearing with my color perception, but not puke grayish.
Can we get some BRIGHT grays and colors (and icons)?
Wow. I was starting to think I was the onlyone who knew what betamax was/is. When ever I use that as an example, or refer to it, no one has a clue as to what I am talking about.
I’ve used an Amiga for video editing a few times. For a machine of it’s age, it’s amazing.
On the Amiga (and most OS’s) you can change the colors/icons
to anything you want. Please give it a rest.
Its sooooooooooo ugly.
The last I checked, Amiga OS’ GUI is extremely customizable, and the last I checked in Amiga forums on the screenshot, they pretty much like this one. It is not like you are forced to use the GUI when you get an Amiga, changing it is (well, I think) a no-brainer.
The last batch of screenshots didn’t make me very excited, but in the past week, they seem to have added more of the necessary spit and polish. It all seems to work together now, instead of looking like a half-arsed hack.
Still, I must object to the GlowIcons. I didn’t like them in the first place (I’m a NewIcons man, you see ;-), but they look particularly bad on a truecolour screen, with all that dithering. If they don’t ditch GlowIcons, they should at least remove the dithering, since it shouldn’t be necessary now. There were some really nice alternative GlowIcons in the Contrib drawer on the OS 3.9 CD, they could serve as an example.
Mind you, since I would replace the icons in any case, they’re not a big point for me, but they do somewhat hamper the default design. As for the GUI elements, they look like a careful adaption of the old ones, and it feels like something I could work with without tiring.
If I have one complaint, it’s the scroll gadgets in the WB windows. They’ve always been an integral part of the window border, not a floating element as in these screenshots, and the old way actually looks better. Or at least I think so.
– Consistent Toolbars,
I actually think that the new application.library is a step in this direction. The inclusion of, and standardisation on, modern toolkits will also make the GUI more unified again.
– Consistent Dialogs,
Still, this is often a problem with the application programmers. A lot ignore the style guide, some don’t even know that there is one.
– Trash Screens in favor to Window only,
Actually, you’ll be very hard pressed to find even a semi-modern which will only work on its own screen. The only example I can think of is Betascan, which is a GUI disaster (using its private, very odd toolkit). Oh, and possibly PerfectPaint as well, but paint programs usually run much better on their own screen in any case.
– No mixture of ReqTools, ASL, GatTools, MUI,
Agreed. Well, ReqTools has never been officially sanctioned, is abandoned since almost a decade and probably entirely unused today.
ASL is the standard for requesters, nothing else. All modern programs use ASL, and they should do that. A standard file selector is the least one can expect of a WIMP OS, and ASL is in no way a bad file requester.
While GadTools can’t be thrown out, it’s AFAIK unused by all OS utilities, and should preferably be wrapped onto a more modern toolkit.
As for MUI, I think that he biggest mistake made by Haage & Partner on OS 3.5, and now repeated by Hyperion on OS 4, was the use of the less-popular ClassAct instead of MUI. MorphOS got it right, and I’d rather see ClassAct left behind with the nineties.
As it stands, however, ClassAct is the official toolkit, with MUI bundled along so that any usueful programs may be run.
– Heavy enchancements of the graphicelements,
That’s what they did in these screenshots, you see.
– Use of standard libraries such as png, gif, jpeg, tiff etc. like other OS’s use (QNX, BeOS, all GNU systems)
Could you please clarify? The Amiga has one of the cleanest library systems of all systems. Graphics files are handled by datatypes, however, and this is one thing which few others systems have. I really dont understand what you mean, though. What is a “png standard library”, and how is it used?
OK so no greys.
“older Mac OS UI”
Nevermind, more greys?
If you don’t like screens then don’t use them. With Amiga applications you can often chose to use a seperate screen (full screen view) or just use a Window on the Desktop.
Using the Colonization screenshot as an example I believe it’s not hard to imagine some would like to use this software on a seperate screen. Its 1993 low resolution graphics result into a small Window on a high resolution desktop (too small for me and thus I would have configurated this game to open it’s won screen instead).
Just imagine that the graphics industry moved ahead faster than it did during the last decade and 4096×3072 becomes the standard desktop resolution. On smaller monitors Colonization would probably be near unusable! Photos, artwork and software which don’t scale properly will look like tumbnails ot the layout may be severely ruined! Screens support is a simple and powerful solution to all of this.
The reason why this grey theme was chosen has to do with the appearance of classic AmigaOS applications and will with this design continue to offer a consistent appearance in combination with such older software titles.
Of course the looks can be customized (and some alternative themes will be available) as can be seen within earlier screenshots. People should see this design as a bridge between old and new. When a new default theme is introduced the current design will of course stay available to those prefering the old-style interface. Such as for instance many AmigaOS users who may have grown very attached to this greyish look when it was introduced in 1990.
Is that all anyone ever thinks about? Does it look pretty? Can I get some hot fantasy geek to hit on me with my cooling interface? Its not pastel enough! I want more “light” grey tones! Why can’t we just make the whole intereface in variable hues of mango? I bet if we put a sexy interface on dos 5.0 or skinned win 3.11 everyone would just eat it up.
Doesn’t anyone care about the underlying OS? How are things scheduled? Is a realtime OS? How good is the OS framework? Is the system extensible? Can the user control how the system is configured easily?
Humans are visual beings. Get used to it.
“From Todays point of view the Screens should all be trashed into dust and normal Window should be used which looks more professional and are less resource hungry.”
The public screens system is the Amiga’s strongest point. It gives each program a clean, uncluttered display, with no stuff from other programs visible. It also allows you to have the menus attached to the top of the display (Fitt’s Law application), without the complaint that is heard about the Mac, that the menus keep changing in a confusing way.
I find running programs on the desktop or Finder screens a real limitation in the other OSes. It’s like living in a one-room apartment.
“Doesn’t anyone care about the underlying OS? How are things scheduled? Is a realtime OS? How good is the OS framework? Is the system extensible? Can the user control how the system is configured easily?”
It uses round-robin scheduling, with task priorities set between -256 and +256. Most tasks are set to a priority of 0.
It is not real-time, but user interface tasks are efficiently handled so the GUI is very responsive. There is probably work to do on quality-of-service issues, but the available media players seem to work smoothly.
The system is extremely scalable and extensible. It is highly modular (drivers are outside the kernel, for instance, and can be added or changed at any time). The standard data structure in the OS is the linked list, which means there are no arbitrary limits on for example how many fonts you can have.
It is pretty easy to configure, but you do need a bit of computer knowledge, like knowing the difference between IDE and SCSI. Just about everything can be changed if you know how. Common settings such as screen resolutions and depths are made easily on the fly (no need to reboot).
There is a good system of Install scripts, but in the case of a simple program you can often just unarchive it and drag the folder to wherever you want it. Install scripts are needed for programs that put libraries in Libs: or need custom fonts and so on.
Big weakness: not enough hardware drivers, especially for sound cards.
Reading through all these comments I only see that people obviously don’t want anything technical news in their OS. On the one hand they keep complaining that AmigaOS hasn’t seen any significant changes for ~8 years and on the otherhand some people still belive that what they have shouldnt be changed into some sort of Windows.
I hear why Windows, why Windows, why Windows ?
My question is: why Windows ?
There is no point of making AmigaOS 4.x look like Windows there is a point of making AmigaOS become modern. If you don’t want any changes then why are you all happy AmigaOS 3.x users by now and not still using the old Kickrom 1.2/1.3 and Workbench 1.2/1.3. The nice blue color, the shabby look of the old Icons and Desktop ? Simple answer, it was outdated, not attractive, doesn’t support anything special such as CD-Rom devices and so on, 2.x changed a lot and 3.x changed even more and 4.x will do more (even MorphOS changes). The point here is not just attracting to the remaining 3000 people on Amiga where 1000 bought Pegasos/MoprhOS, where 1000 bought AmigaONE (and the ticked for AmigaOS4.x) and the remaining 1000 ones who are not sure yet. The point is to attract other people as well. The shabby ‘Marmor’ effekts I see in these pictures are nothing really new. I used to have marmor backgrounds in my apps 10 years ago (what sort of innovation ?). People should get serious the customers need a computer to get work done. Work with todays requirements such AS (uml, cad, presentation, spreadsheet, documentation, email, webbrowser and various other things only to name some conceptual things). None of the applications on Amiga these days fit one gap or could compete with other things. The apps look sluggish, unattractive and unprofessional specially when they stuff 50×50 pixel ugly (uncustomizable) icons/pushbuttons on top of the window to simulate some sort of toolbar.
I mean changes actually happened a lot Hyperion rewrote a lot of parts from the Kernel/OS all the assembler parts got translated into C, modern concepts has been put into the Kernel as well, even some graphical enchancements got put into the Workbench but imo the initial reason to buy an OS is to please the customers and please them best.
How would you feel if you take your AmigaOS4.0 and your AmigaONE system, show up on CeBit or any other computer show, stuff your Amiga boxen next to some Macintosh boxen and see all your future customers to build themselves up at the Macintosh place ?
I don’t say that AmigaOS (or MorphOS) should drastically change, this probably would kill the philosophy of the OS but what’s wrong adapting interesting concepts from other OS vendors ?.
Toolbar, it’s just one API entry more in the GadTools/MUI library, if used – it would enchance the look of applications a lot (this is just one example).
I still bet my pants that the Icons on AmigaOS4.0 are as same inconsistent as they were on AmigaOS3.x. OldIcondata (2.x API), NewIconsdata (Icontypes) and 3.x Icondata (3.x API). I bet opening 20 icons delivered with AmigaOS4.x in the Iconeditor or looking at the Icontypes will show up that they are simply copied from one system to another without proper cleanup or improvement (ok I know there are tools on aminet who does this cleanup) but I expect this to come from the OS vendor already cleaned properly.
Hyperion is trying to bring the OS up to date, but the first step is AOS 4.0. This step was mainly supposed to bring the OS to new hardware and remove all dependancies on the old Amiga custom chips. I am already amazed at everything they included in the 4.0 release, which was never part of AOS before.
You simple cannot compare AOS4.0 to current top-of-the-line Operating Systems out there, since it simply is not there YET. This release also only targets existing Amiga Users and people who switched platforms because the hardware was too slow for them. AOS4 is an enormous boost to the OS for existing Amiga fans and brings new and faster hardware to them.
The OS should be up-to-date when version 5.0 is reached. By that time I’m pretty sure the graphics and the icon-system will be updated as well. For now it is important to get AOS4 out there to make sure people that already know their way around Amiga OS can start porting/writing new software to the platform.
Jeezus! I’m a graphic designer but not a decorating idiot. I’m not asking for the old Amiga zelots to come out and defend some color schemes which I find extremely user-unfriendly and that I could not work with.
I care very much about the underlying technology of my OS but at the same time, I HAVE TO USE IT for long periods of time and the GUI is just as important as the underlying engineering.
That said, you guys forced me to fire up PhotoShop:
See? Still all gray but not all the puke…
And thats why their not marketed towards you, or anyone that doesnt use Amigas. AmigaOS4 wont be marketed to people outside the Amiga market, except for those geeky people that may show interest.
By the time they want to market it towards the general public (a year or more) the OS (i hope) shall be much more pollished!
If that’s what you want then there’s no problem to change the colors to suit your prefered color scheme or substitute textures glyph sets, etc. There are just as many different individual tastes as there are individuals.
That’s why I have started an effort at AmigaWorld to try to move the user community for coming up with alternative GUI themes. 😎
Since I never had an Amiga – they were about $8,000 when I could get a 486 for about $2,000 – I never had the chance to see the interface colors. And I do understand the NEED for devlopers to keep the Amiga as an “in” thing to old users.
But even if you are trying to market this thing down the road in a year or so, you’ll have to be getting mindshare ASAP. My faux GUI did nothing that any of the screenshots posted over the past nine months couldn’t have done.
That is, just let us know in “stripped-down” terms, what is Amiga 4 all about. When the term “UGLY” kept coming up, no one in the community offered screenshots that weren’t ugly. They actually got uglier for a while.
It was like a thumbing of the nose to people: “It’s the Amiga look and live with it.”
Again, I don’t want an ugly, drab-colored and overly textured interface in front of me for ten hours-per-day. That is not a personal preference, that’s the end-user reality.
> they were about $8,000 when I could get a 486 for about
Wow, what kind of Amiga was that? During the 80s and early nineties Amigas were generally far cheaper than equivalently specced PCs. (Although one could argue that there wasn’t any PC equivalent at the time)
The time when Amigas became really expensive at times, was when C= bankrupted and i.e. professional video/graphics/multimedia/etc companies advetised in Amiga magazines to offer users more money for their machines than they originally paid for themselves! Also for example Disney quickly bought some 300 A4000s as spare parts, when the C= empire came to its end.
> But even if you are trying to market this thing down the
> road in a year or so, you’ll have to be getting
> mindshare ASAP.
That’s exactly the idea. Over one year or so massly produced cheaper motherboards are planned to be released and by that time Amiga and its many partners hope to have achieved critical mass to be attractive to ordinary consumers as well.
“See? Still all gray but not all the puke…”
That’s a nice colour scheme.
The screenshots being shown are a bit premature, IMO, as the details of the default look are not finished. That includes the exact colour scheme and some of the gadgets.
Give it another couple of weeks. There will be better screen grabs.
As for prices, the A3000 was quite expensive at around $3000, and so were the tower models.
I like the original colors just fine. I don’t like the touched up shot that Vic showed because the colors were too subdued. It was difficult to tell which items were active and which weren’t.
I keep reading OSNEWS articles that link to truly ugly AmigaOS screens and people mention it and it is mentioned that the OS is customizable and that these screens demonstrate that.
Now the screens linked to this article I find very attractive. I like the original 2.0+ color scheme. I like the icons and the gadgets. And I can change it if I like. But the point is to have reasonable defaults, and I think that these are reasonable and familiar.
I stopped using AmigaOS with version 2.04, though. One of my favorite aspects of the OS was commodities. Does the new OS have something similar?
Also, I never used data types much, but I like what I think I understand of them. Can anyone point me to a good explanation of how they work?
Another question: Is it possible to implement a system like commodities and datatypes on other systems?
“people in the US are more sensitive to marketing than the Europeans”
This is way too kind, the US is a nation of 98% sheep.
I dunno about us being the sheep… we american’s seem to get europe to go along with whatever we want (except the french).
“I stopped using AmigaOS with version 2.04, though. One of my favorite aspects of the OS was commodities. Does the new OS have something similar?”
Yes, all features are preserved and improved. Unfortunately you may also have missed Locales, which allows you to change the language of the system in a whim.
Did you know that AmigaOS never comes in an English, German, French or Danish or whatever version? It’s because all those languages are packed into the OS. You don’t need to buy a specific language version of AmigaOS like you do with most other OS’es.
@ Bayerwerke & Vincent
LOL, sorry if you felt in anyway offended. It’s just a theory though.
> One of my favorite aspects of the OS was commodities.
> Does the new OS have something similar?
For the people not knowing what commodities actually are, they are mostly handy 3rd party utilities which allow new OS functionality to be added, when activited. Commodities can normally easily be activated or de-activated by clicking on its icon or if you would like this functionaliy to be active immediately after bootup you can drop the icon into the sys:wbstartup drawer.
Commodities can be screen blankers, allow keys or mouse button to be assigned to preset tasks, change Window behaviours (like double clicking windows to move to front, or move to front when mouse pointer is on top of the Window, etc), etc.
To answer your question, yes AmigaOS4 will still support nearly all OS2.x and 3.x functionaties plus a whole lot new ones.
> Also, I never used data types much, but I like what I
> think I understand of them.
The Data types concept was pretty ingenious for its time. A datatype tells a program how to handle various data, for example a gif.datatype tells the program how to display gif pictures (or i.e. PNG, JPEG, video/sound/documents/etc). The datatypes.library allows additional data types to be defined and added by third parties. Any application program can use datatypes.library, and will then automatically gain access to future formats.
So this means that for example a paint program which was developed before the PNG format was introduced can handle the PNG format (when a PNG datatypes becomes available from a third party) without the original programmer ever knowing about it.
Both are IMO great examples for why AmigaOS is so extremely modular, flexable and transparent.
AmigaOS had/has lots of cool features and there are also lots of opportunities for improvement.
On Locales: I think that 2.04 had locales, but being uni-lingual I never used it.
On Datatypes: Is there a website that explains how they work from a development point of view? That is, how to use the library and/or how to create a datatype? I’m not a developer, but I am interested in the technology. I also wonder if something similar might be implemented with a MIME types database pointing to the appropriate datatype handlers.
Ah, I know that I need to buy Amiga Forever! CD…
Also with regards to locales, doesn’t MacOS (at least pre OS X) keep strings in the resource fork so that they are easily localized? My little bit of study of the Win32 API also shows that strings can be kept in Windows resources even though those are compiled into the application.
If I ever learn enough to write my own OS, I’ll certainly be stealing a lot of ideas from AmigaOS, BeOS, and MacOS. There might even be an idea or two in Windows, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Locales was first part of the OS since Workbench 2.1.
Locales does not only work on the OS itself, all programs since start 90th make use of Locales … If the programmer for example makes the english version, You could translate it yourself.
That is one of the greatest things happening to an OS, and only AmigaOS has it (since 1992) :o)
While most semi-modern OSes have a locale-like system, it is almost never put to use. Windows is said to have a similar system, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a program make use of it. Every multi-lingual program on Windows is delivered as one binary per language. Meanwhile, an Amiga program comes bundled with all the available languages as Catalogues (the localisation files). One binary, with the correct language chosen automatically.
On the Mac, locale resources are usually kept within the resource fork, along with a lot of other things like graphics elements. However, editing the resource fork isn’t that easy (ResEdit ;-), and I’m not certain that I’ve ever seen a multilingual Mac program, though I usually don’t spend that much time downloading Mac software.
On the Atari, resource (.RSC) files are used in a manner similar to the Mac, though as actual files, since TOS doesn’t have the fancy forked filesystem of MacOS. In the Atari’s case, RSC files are used in much the same way as Catalogues on the Amiga, supplying several language versions with each program.
What’s nice about the Locale system is that it is actually used, and not ignored as on other platforms, and that it is easily edited with a multitude of Catalogue editors. I translated a program from Danish just last week, using CatEdit. This usually involves a hex editor on most other platforms, I’m afraid. 😉
I think you’ll find sufficient documentation of the Datatypes system on the Amiga Developer CD. I don’t think a MIME filetype database will do it, depends on what you mean by such a contraption. If you’ve got the appropriate Datatype installed, you can open its format, without maintaining any database of any kind. You just open it.
If you were to do something like it on UNIX, you could attempt something like (in the case of picture.datatype, which is the super-datatype to which JFIF.datatype and PNG.datatype would bind) patching the OS’s file opening function to first call the “file” command, which would identify the file, and then consult a database for an appropriate NetPBM program to convert it into PBM, and then into the native format of the application. You wouldn’t know what the native format of the app is, though, unless you maintain a very sizable database. You’ll have to implement a real Datatypes system first, and then convince all programmers to make use of it. You might actually manage to do that, since programmers are lazy bastards and would appreciate leaving the format parsing routines to someone else. 😉
> – Consistent Toolbars,
> – Consistent Dialogs,
> – No mixture of ReqTools, ASL, GatTools, MUI,
Gadtools is deprecated; Reaction is the new offical GUI toolkit. MUI is a 3rd party alternative. Yes, this does mean that you have more than one sort of GUI object sometimes for the same thing, which creates inconsistency, but no more than you get on Windows (the way that different programs sometimes have different interfaces, including toolbars; the different types of dialogs, particularly file dialogs; different GUI objects, eg, for text viewers/boxes).
I’m not sure what you mean by a mixture of Reqtools and ASL with Gadtools/MUI. As for Reqtools versus ASL, I didn’t think that Reqtools was part of AmigaOS, but rather a 3rd party toolkit? (If I were to write my own set of dialogs for Windows, can we start saying that Windows is inconsistent?) ASL is the official library for file requesters (and it does them a lot more consistently than those in Windows).
> – Use of standard libraries such as png, gif, jpeg, tiff
> etc. like other OS’s use (QNX, BeOS, all GNU systems)
The Amiga has had the datatypes system for over ten years now (since 3.1). Is there a standard way yet to load anything other than BMP images in Windows? (I’d be pleased to know if there is.. so far I’m relying on 3rd party libraries such as FreeImage for my programs).
My first computer was an Amiga 500, but Amiga is almost dead, and honestly, I see it more as a hobby project, rather than something with substance…
“My first computer was an Amiga 500, but Amiga is almost dead, and honestly, I see it more as a hobby project, rather than something with substance…”
It _was_ almost dead, but it is definitely coming back to life. If your concept of “an Amiga” is the A500, you will hardly recognise a current Amiga.
That said, there is a lot still to be done before you can sell an Amiga to the general public in competition with a Mac. For the time being, it is for those who know the platform and can tolerate the gaps (no Java, etc).
> Use of standard libraries such as png, gif, jpeg, tiff
> etc. like other OS’s use (QNX, BeOS, all GNU systems)
You have to be kidding me! How can anyone promote this stupid and obviously wrong way of using codecs?
Why would you want to modify and recompile all your programs whenever a new format is released? Sure, you can wait a couple of years and hope that the authors of the programs you’re using would adapt their programs to this new image library. As if they would.
And what if you want to use your own, e.g. highly specialized, image format? Or the format that your odd TV snapshot capture card produces? Even if you make a “libmyoddimg”, how do you convince the authors of all your programs to adapt them to this libmyoddimg? Even if the source code is available it’s not a small task to do the necessary changes yourself.
NO! The obvious thing to do is to abstract away the format and have a “libimage” that supports codecs as plugins. Then all programs load and save images using this libimage. So if you then want to use your own image format you just have to make the codec and immediately all programs will support it without anyone having to recompile anything. This is the right way to do it, and this is how it’s done on the Amiga.
Just thought it might be interesting to those who haven’t seen earlier incarnations of AmigaOS’ GUI and how it relates to the OS4 GUI, why the colors are the way they are, and such.
Images taken from Workbench Nostalgia website. Each image demonstrates a visible change in the GUI:
AmigaOS1.3 specifically designed for the Commodore A2024 monitor (1987):
There are many more images on the site as well as information on each an every AmigaOS version that exists. Entertaining read. 🙂
Have fun. 🙂
“but no more than you get on Windows (the way that different programs sometimes have different interfaces”
Yeah that’s a standard excuse. First people complain that AmigaOS should’nt become like Windows and then with the next sentence they excuse the different GUI systems with ‘but Windows has different GUI aspects as well so we can do it the same’.
“You have to be kidding me! How can anyone promote this stupid and obviously wrong way of using codecs”
It’s not about kidding or doing it the different way which may gain speed or something. It’s more about getting Standards on the System. The times where people ‘hacked’ around on the System to release something ‘fast’ are over. You need to understand that the System and the computer aera continously changes and moves forward. Things like IFF or HAM are used rarely these days and the only System I can still think about using this is the Amiga. These days standards such as PNG, JPG, TIFF, GIF are used and if you want to port applications from other Systems to yours such as Mozilla for example then you obviously need these libraries. Maybe not the same libraries but libraries that provide the same API and stuff. These are things that people like you and others should start nailing into their head because it’s the only way to go. Amiga is in no position anymore to declare new standards because no one will care and probably no one will notice because the Amiga is to unimportant these days. Look I came from the Amiga that was the System I was used to for many years and where I also programmed for many years. But I luckely switched early enough to learn the advantages from other computer Systems as well and I think these systems provide a lot of great ideas that can easily be adapted by Amiga.
By the way you may have not noticed but AmigaOS and MorphOS already started to emigrate ideas from other Systems such as AA fonts and other ideas. It’s as Mike Bouma said earlier AmigaOS 4.0 is the first step towards a better OS they first moved it to a new Architecture and with 5.0 it will offer many new ideas. These ideas are necessary. If you are not happy with them then who cares, it’s important that other people get pleased with these ideas. If it does’nt fit one person then it probably fits hunderts of other people.
Same valid arguments can be said about MorphOS.
Yes, and in fact one can improve upon the Amiga’s quite limited range for both services. BeOS, for example, expanded and improved the datatyping concept quite handily.
> It’s more about getting Standards on the System.
Who would benefit from my program using libpng, libtiff, libjpeg, libgif and all the other libXXX, instead of e.g. kimgio? No one. It would just be much harder for me, and less flexible for the users.
Or do you mean that all systems should have an implementation of libpng10-0, libpng12-0, libpng2, libpng3, libtiff, libjpeg, libgif, libvorbis, libwmf, libogg, libnetpbm, etc.? Sure, if they are needed, why not? Just make your jpeg plugin and make a libjpeg wrapper around it. Or if you’re lazy, which most programmers seem to be, you could just port libjpeg and then make your plugin as a wrapper around that.
> You need to understand that the System and the computer
> aera continously changes and moves forward.
Yes, and therefore you don’t go around and chain yourself to the floor by using a stupid codec system like twenty different libXXX. Instead you use some sensible system like kimgio or GStreamer. (There is nothing preventing those systems from using e.g. libpng, but that is of course irrelevant.)
The approach of using lots of different libXXX instead of some unifying “libimage” is kept alive only by mass stupidity. It is, however, inevitable that the situation will change. Now lots of subsystems have developed their own “libimage” system. There’s kimgio that KDE programs use, there’s javax.iomageio that java programs use, etc. There are many systems like this for video and audio, too. E.g., you don’t have to recompile Windows Media Player whenever a new codec is released.
> These are things that people like you and others should
> start nailing into their head because it’s the only way
> to go.
Uh… having a standard unifying interface for all bitmap images is the only way to go, and if some 80s unix programmers haven’t figured out this obvious fact then why should I care? (Programmers are really supposed to be experts on making abstractions like this, and those who fail this simple task shouldn’t really be programmers.)
> Amiga is in no position anymore to declare new standards
I didn’t say it was. Did you even read what I wrote? I’m not saying that all OSes should use the Amiga datatype system. I’m saying that it is a much, much better approach to use a single image interface than to use a bunch of libXXX.
> these systems provide a lot of great ideas
This might be true, but having lots of different libXXX instead of a standar unified interface sure isn’t one of them.
> AmigaOS and MorphOS already started to emigrate ideas
> from other Systems such as AA fonts
I’m all for AA fonts as long as it’s done properly. The recently shown screenshots of AOS4 hints that its implementation is quite bad. It’s even worse than the MS implementation. When will people learn that AA doesn’t mean “just make it all so blurry that you can’t see the pixels anymore”. You should respect the pixel boundaries so that if you draw a black horizontal line that is one pixel wide it should remain one pixel wide, not become two grey lines. I.e., only the jagged parts should be antialiased, and the AA should be very local, keeping it from becoming too blurry. (Having everything blurry makes it hard for the eyes since they will continuously, and unsuccessfully, try to adjust the focus.)
I’m beginning to wonder if my failure to comprehend Galaxy’s talk about image format libraries and IFF ILBM stems from the fact that Galaxy left the format in the 2.x days…
We use JPEG, PNG and all that every day on the Amiga, all day long, and even in programs which were conceived without express support for any particular format, or even before the format was developed.
“I didn’t say it was. Did you even read what I wrote?”
Yes! and to make it sure, you make no sense at all. All you do is nailing around on the libXXX files and obviously they are in no way different to what’s inside your libs: dir. with other words it’s the same shit. You are one of those people I met often on the Amiga System where I decide 5 mins later that talking to them is simply a waste of time.
“just make it all so blurry that you can’t see the pixels anymore”
But that’s what it means Aliasing means to blur the corners. I think you should work up what you have been missing for the past 10 years, starting from normal networking over to modern GUI desing and then continue with glossary, algorythms and other interesting things. I think you are still behind your good old Amiga System, never peeked over the borders to other Systems, wirh slighly less programming experience and now trying to have a normal intellectual conversation with someone who mostly worked his butt up on the Amiga and other Systems. I don’t call myself knowing all but I don’t limit my sights on the Amiga-plate I look over it and see the horizon. The Amiga System is definately a good one and a lot of us people who use MacOS, Linux, BSD and even Windows are those who formerly supported the Amiga the programs, the skills we learned during all the years of education on the Amiga we now put into these Operating Systems. We broke the barrier and continued. Even if some concepts could be done better it doesn’t change the fact that these concepts and implementations are there and being used.
This is not just about libXXX, png, tiff, iff and so on. I trapped myself again debatting with someone who don’t understand the elementary bottom points of what I wanted to say. Sum up the things I have written so far.
– Modern concepts,
– Consistent Dialogs,
– Standards from other Systems (the point of png and so on,
libz and more.)
– Enchance the system to become attractive to todays needs
Once again, Galaxy, what exactly do you find disappointing about the Amiga’s support for foreign file formats? IMHO it’s unsurpassed.
As for your other arguments, I did address them a few pages ago. But you really need to be a little clearer.
Toolbars, for example. A lot of Amiga programs do have toolbars. They did back in the eighties, it’s not a new concept, is it?
Consistent dialogues? Is there anything in particular you’re thinking of? Is it ReqTools vs. ASL? In that case, the war is over, since a long time ago. ReqTools is deader than Linux 1.0.
If you don’t find it worthwhile talking to Amiga users, it probably stems from the fact that there 1) is a time gap between their and your Amiga experience, and 2) you’re not expressing yourself clearly enough. All your complaint could be risen about any other OS as well, since they’re so brief and general, they could be interpreted as just about anything.
I give up. I only see me wasting time explaining conceptual things to people involved to the Amiga. Maybe I should talk with something more involved inside AmigaOS or MorphOS development rather than on this list with people having limited sight for their Systems future and the conceptual requirements of a modern OS. Your question about what I find disappointing was addressed by me here too you obviously skipped them or didn’t understand them in this case you should have asked instead calling them ‘complaints’. You will understand in a couple of years what I meant if you or the developers continue ignoring these facts. A modern OS should be able to compete with nowadays standards, this includes eyecandy, applications, standards. None of them is inside AmigaOS. They have 10 years outdated eyecandy the same stuff I saw 10 years ago, no applications such as at least a working Webbroser ad their own written standards such as IFF and HAM that no one uses anymore but still got ported from old OS to the new one. There are no conceptual news. AmigaOS provides nothing that would impress me buying it. E.g. I don’t see the point paying $600-$800 for outdated Hardware and an OS which I can’t use to get work done which still looks like it’s still in timefreeze for 10 years and longer.
You know it’s like analphabetic people. Some people can’t read and write and never want to learn it because of whatever purposes (the Amiga community) and there are people who are analphabet but try hard to fix these issues to get forward and have a nice live (those who use a modern system).
I don’t quite understand you – the Eyecandy in OS4 is way ahead of a ten-year old OS like Win95 – you can tell that just by looking at the customisable gradients, textures etc. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s all there.
Finally, what do you mean about IFF and HAM? OS4 will support them, because the code is already there and there’s no need to remove it and loose some backwards compatibility. All the new standards like PNG are fully supported by datatypes – this might seem as if they’ve just been “tacked on”, but that’s how all modern Amiga programs access files like images – whether they’re HAM IFF or PNG.
Ok you should read this.
Maybe you understand now. But don’t skip ’em. Read them one by one and sum the results together. Forget IFF and HAM for a moment and try seeing the global aspect. If you still don’t understand then it’s ok I can’t force people to understand or share my views.
And please don’t repeat what others wrote already, that AmigaOS does support PNG, JPG and so on I am not sleeping behind the moon. I am well aware of these supports since I use AOS 3.9 here. It’s just not subject of what I wanted to explain.
I do actually understand a lot of the things you don’t like about the OS – I was only really commenting on a few specifics that you’d raised. IMO it can be offputting for users to have apps in two different UIs – hopefully most OS4 apps will only be based on the ReAction toolkit. And the lack of standard pieces like a toolbar is also annoying.
But OS4 was only ever meant to be a migration to PPC. In the progress, lots of new things have been added, but the functionality is still the same. That of course will change later – for instance the entire Workbench will be redone from scratch. I’d imagine that the screens will stay (many people find them useful) but many other little problems should go.
Of course, that doesn’t do anything about the problem of applications – hopefully if more people start to use the OS then ports of open-source projects like OpenOffice will be made, but a lot more than that is needed.
And please don’t repeat what others wrote already, that AmigaOS does support PNG, JPG and so on I am not sleeping behind the moon. I am well aware of these supports since I use AOS 3.9 here. It’s just not subject of what I wanted to explain.
So what exactly are you trying to explain? Please try to explain. Despite using computers for over ten years, and having a fair grasp of English, I just can’t seem to understand what you’re aiming for.
You mention IFF ILBM, without explaining why, and then say that it’s irrelevant. You say that you know that the Amiga supports PNG well, yet you say that it doesn’t. There is something you know, but which the rest of us don’t, and you’ll have to provide some clues.
Read the comment from alx. He exactly replied what I said various times. Strangely a bunch of other people whom I talked to pretty well understood me.
And no I don’t think I gonna repeat myself over and over again. What I wanted to say is written here. Try to figure out what I wrote it’s not that difficult.
Okay fair enough – I agree that AmigaOS should move towards more consistent interfaces. And this is the current plan – gadtools is now deprecated, Reaction is meant to replace it, and when the OS has a decent toolkit as standard, they’ll be less need for 3rd party applications such as MUI.
I’m still not sure what you say about libraries for images – Amigas can happily read all sorts of file formats, and there is a decent (though it could certainly be improved) standard way of doing this (ie, datatypes). You don’t have to use IFF or HAM at all these days. IIRC, Amiga browsers were able to view PNG files before Windows browsers got that feature, thanks to datatypes.
Do you mean that the Amiga should support a particular set of image libraries, or you have some particular method in mind for reading images? I am also confused as to what you mean here.
Ok I am quite happy that alx and you understand my points even if they seem to be explained a bit complicated. Now for the point of the libraries, indeed datatypes is one of the best implementations around no doubt and I wasn’t criticising it. I give you a good example:
Say you want to port OpenOffice or Mozilla (Amizilla) to AmigaOS or MorphOS one day. You know that Mozilla for example depends on libraries such as libjpg, libtiff, libmng, libpng, libz and so on. Mozilla works on a lot of plattforms such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, Macos (?) and so on this is because these libraries are used either they use the libraries as existing on your system or they use the ones bundeled with Mozilla. Same goes for OpenOffice and of course to guarantee that major existing applications are also available on AmigaOS and MorphOS you need to use them more or less sooner or later. Thus you need these libraries, you need to port them anyways regardless if you use them natively on your system or not. So it thus would be a good idea to implement these libraries natively with same API on AmigaOS and MorphOS (even if some people don’t like it) but it makes it easy to port other applications from other Systems to AmigaOS and MorphOS that’s what I meant with ‘Standards’.
Ok I hope that with these examples it’s a bit clearer to understand.
I’m afraid that I can’t really agree with you here. You can’t depend too much on ported apps, since they won’t take advantage of your own OS. And if you make such efforts to facilitate porting, you might actually strangle indigenous development. It also forces the Amiga to carry an unwanted legacy from other, lesser systems.
If a developer wants to port a program, he’s free to do so, but a port should be more than a straight recompile, and it should be taken for granted that it is the porter’s task to make the alien program to feel at home.
I know that you’ve said that the Amiga isn’t big enough to dictate standards by itself, but if Amiga standards aren’t adhered to even on the Amiga, the raison d’etre of the Amiga itself is diminished.
> “I didn’t say it was. Did you even read what I wrote?”
> Yes! and to make it sure, you make no sense at all.
Yes, I find it highly likely that you, as you say, didn’t understand what I wrote, considering your responses.
> All you do is nailing around on the libXXX files and
My original comment was about the libXXX files. It was not about anything else in the original message. That’s why I quoted only “Use of standard libraries such as png, gif, jpeg, tiff etc. like other OS’s use (QNX, BeOS, all GNU systems)”. I didn’t comment on any “general idea” or anything, and certainly not on any UI issues.
> obviously they are in no way different to what’s inside
> your libs: dir. with other words it’s the same shit.
Oh, but they are. The Amiga datatype system is like kimgio on KDE, which is not at all like having a bunch of libraries that you specifically have to link against.
> You are one of those people I met often on the Amiga
> System where I decide 5 mins later that talking to them
> is simply a waste of time.
I thought _exactly_ (almost word-to-word) the same thing about you.
> “just make it all so blurry that you can’t see the
> pixels anymore”
> But that’s what it means Aliasing means to blur the
Apparently you didn’t read the rest of my post. I didn’t say that AA wasn’t about bluring, now did I? What I said was that it’s not just about bluring.
Are you stupid or are you just jerking my chain?
> I think you should work up what you have been missing
> for the past 10 years, starting from normal networking
> over to modern GUI desing and then continue with
> glossary, algorythms and other interesting things.
Uh.. exactly what have I been missing? The last ten years I’ve spent studying, and working on, datastructures and algorithms, logic, operating system internals, networking, a dozen programming languages, robotics and AI, databases, etc.
I also study UI design, but that’s just been a hobby so far (which, in practice, means that I’ve taken a few courses and read a few books on the subject, but I don’t have extensive professional experience in UI design).
> I think you are still behind your good old Amiga System,
I currently don’t own an Amiga.
> never peeked over the borders to other Systems,
Now why would I be talking about internals of KDE if I’d never peeked at “other Systems”? And how would I even know what GStreamer is?
> wirh slighly less programming experience and
Slightly less than what? I’ve been programming for a living since -97.
“Slightly less than what? I’ve been programming for a living since -97.”
And here we come to the point, I left Amiga 1996 (this doesn’t mean that I stopped interesting myself or reading all sorts of stuff or playing with AmigaOS 3.9 on my A3k even today) and was one of these people who build up the Amiga scene amongst other people the time back when the first Amigas came out to be bought. I started programming Assembler since the first Assembler came out for Amiga so don’t underestimate my knowledge and skills. If you don’t know whom you dealing with then feel free to visit efnet and the #pdxconsole channel you can talk with the one or other person there and make sure they tell you who I am or was. Ok now back to business I was only explaining my points about what I think a modern System should be. If you don’t agree with it then be it that way. But there is no need to reply that rudely to other people specially if you don’t know whom you deal with.
And the rest of your brabbeling I simply ignored it’s wasting my time. Go visit an university and learn something about computer and economics science (which I did for various years) It opened various different points of views what IT and computer business really wants from a computersystem.
1) Learn to write in a way so normal people can read it.
2) Learn to write what other people writes.
3) That you learned “Assembler”* on an Amiga indicates nothing about your “knowledge and skill”. Accept that.
4) The one that acts rude are you. Grow up.
5) You should get your eyes checked as Marcus Sundman clearly wrote that he have studied (“The last ten years I’ve spent studying, and working on, datastructures and algorithms, logic, operating system internals, networking, a dozen programming languages, robotics and AI, databases, etc.”)
6) What is “brabbeling”? I guess (from this context) that is must mean something intelligent, informed and clearly formulated.
7) Again: grow up.
(* the correct name is assembly language – an assembler is the compiler for that language)
1) I started first explaining what a modern OS is it’s not my fault if Marcus don’t get the context while the others seem to have get it.
2) If I write the same stuff other people writes then it doesn’t make me any different or individual-
3) Having learned assembler (on how you nicely said assembly language) implies that you have learned something and as I wrote I was programming it since the first Assembler (the thing that you by mistake called a compiler) came out on the Amiga. Learning by doing and reading books was the thing during that time and after all these years I claim to reached good knowledge about Assembly, the Hardware, the System and global used Algorythms.
4) The one acting rude needs to get defined. I’m not responsible that after re-writing the same context for 5-10 times and the same people still don’t get what I have to say because they skipped all the writings become angry. They actually want to know from ME what I have to say and not vice versa that I want something from them.
5) Ok you got me by that, if this was true then he should know what a modern OS needs – but he doesn’t.
(* An Assembler is no compiler! Get your glossary right before starting to teach me.)