Yesterday we reported on NBOR's Blackspace/Dyoun followed Assosiated Press' reports. Blackspace is a new way of doing things in computing. The free NBOR player was made available for download last night and it included a number of pre-recorded demos of what Blackspace can do. Based on these demos, here is what we think about the product.
"segusoLand is a program for GNU/linux that enables users to specify actions in a very uniform and intuitive way. Some people would call segusoLand a "desktop environment", some a "file manager", some a "start menu"... it is difficult to classify it because it is quite innovative. The big innovation of segusoLand is called "intelligent option narrowing". You won't find it anywhere else" says its author Maurizio Colucci. Check the application here and some screenshots here. Make sure you read the other pages too as they provide a lot of information as to what segusoLand really is and what it does.
A few hundred thousand lines of computer code could revolutionise the way people interact with computers, say its unlikely inventor and his backers. Denny Jaeger, a musician and composer who spent the past decade developing the software, will unveil it January 15, when people will be able to download a scaled-down version for free. The public can then decide whether Jaeger is a trailblazing whiz - or a grandiose flop.
Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) are a new concept to many who now have the task of doing everything it takes to develop a VoiceXML application. This (old but interesting) article describes the difference between the VUI and the long-familiar GUI.
" I am talking about the architecture, problems that can not be solved without incompatibilities or at least a lot of work. A ‘modern GUI-based OS’ is, for me, a OS that does not require a user to know or use a command line tool, even for rare system-administration tasks. That does not mean that it should be impossible to work with the command line and a text editor, but the command line must not be the only way to do an administration task." Read the article at KDEdevelopers.org.
DesktopX is a program that lets you design your own desktop by adding "objects" that can do pretty much anything you might imagine for it. Version 2.0 has just been released and it's a radical re-design that has focused on improving the functionality, performance, and memory use of it. If you don't have DesktopX, you can download it on its own here or get it as part of Object Desktop.
"An inductive, or task-based, user interface is one that is based on "tasks" rather than applications (as in OS X) or documents (as in Windows 95/Office 95, sort of; Microsoft backed off of this concept pretty quickly as the benefits of a task-oriented UI became more obvious). Here's an example. Let's say you want to print a digital photo." Read the article at WinSuperSite.
"To be truly free in the 21st century, we have to ignore the flashy graphics and really get inside our computers" says the Guardian, while Slashdot runs a story titled: "Tangible Interfaces for Computers".
Skinning does not really receive the appreciation it deserves. After posting my comparison article about LiteStep and Talisman, I was astonished to (still) hear people say that skinning and theming is useless. They literally said:
Amy Reynolds offers her perspective on the current state of skinning (or thememing as it is also called) one's operating system. As a professional user interface designer, Amy has concerns that the very existance of themes and skins does a dis-service to an operating system or platform. Amy also offers her insight for a hotly debated topic that has been making the rounds on the KDE mailing list which asks, "How configurable should the KDE desktop be?" She characteristically says "I applaud Gnome for having taken the high rode in this case."
It is not fashionable nowadays to speak of the merits of the command line, in an age where things like streaming video and Aqua are an integral part of our daily life. However, I do not think that typed-in commands must necessarily be consigned to the dustbin of computer history. Of course, I am not suggesting that we all drop X and Windows and pretend like we are living in the early eighties. The command line interface still has much to offer us, and many of its benefits simply cannot physically be emulated or even replaced by graphical ones.
Advanced skinning, individualized desktops, animated icons, shiny colors and flashy windows: which alternative shell (for Windows) is the best?
Garrett LeSage published some screenshots of the recent redhat-artwork/Bluecurve updates. In other art news, new version of the Gnome Themes Extras is released. Wasp, especially, is very nice.
After over a year of work, we're almost ready with DesktopX 2. We even have a public beta of it now here. Here is a Windows media video with DesktopX 2 in action. I've also written an article for the OSNews readers about DesktopX 2.
Hay Young, a researcher at the Center for Media Arts at City University of Hong Kong, believes computing should be a full contact sport. Elsewhere, this article describes work being done at MIT on Multi-Domain Sketch Recognition software. The technology allows users to draw basic shapes, and then applies rules to determine what objects the shapes represent and how these objects should behave.
X-bit labs published a story regarding ATI being profitable and managing to raise its gross-margins and revenues substantially. The Radeon 9600 sold so well that the company can't even fulfil the demand.
Have you ever been frustrated by the presence of the various progress bars on your otherwise beautiful desktop? As it happens there are many tasks that take more than a couple of seconds to complete even on a fast computer, regardless of the platform used.
A few months ago I was designing the UI of Sequel OS. I am not part of the project anymore, but I kept developing the UI in my free time, just when I was feeling a bit creative. Yesterday, in my Gnome 2 article I mentioned that it would be nice if Gnome/GTK+ adopt a new default theme. So, here is my proposal for the project, mockups seen for the first time in public... Update: One more mockup I just (quickly) created just to show to some readers that the theme is clean when used in a normal app. Update2: Vote for the poll inside. Update3: Download the Gnome window manager theme here.
The 10-year history of Object Desktop. It's about 50 pages long and has lots of screenshots and also neat insights and OS history and how skinning grew more important over the years.
One old Sawfish theme I always admired is "Friday". I liked its concept of having its window manager buttons shaped after the purpose they served (the Min button was a triangle looking down, and the max button a triangle looking up). I modified the theme to my liking (undoubtly it could still be done better by a pro graphics person) and here is its mockup. Update: An alternative design, possibly much better.