A Modern Operating System

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MadWolf
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by MadWolf »

hi
i have been using windows for a long time and i find the MS Ribbon"/tool-bar to be rubbish i have been using the NT4 / 9X ui for a long time and thats what i like

alexei
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by alexei »

Aape,

First of all, there is a very good word for "non-geek"/"average user" who "will choose the system that looks the best". We call them idiots. Idiots are preferred target for marketing because they are majority and easy to fool.
I hidhly dobt ReactOS should look at them as its typical users. Let MS attract them. They are of no use to ROS anyway :)
Overall, you sound like you are going to open business on selling ROS.

Said all that, I would agree that ROS GUI should be good in terms of usability, but customization in GUI usually brings inconsistency which significantly decreases general usability. I mean you can't do anything on any PC, but yours.

In my opinion the whole concept of the OS providing applications with graphical primitives is wrong. I mean, there is no reason Win32 to be the part of the OS, but not standalone GUI library. Of course, MS did it to avoid competition.

Separation of win32 would allow me to have "Win32 Lightweight Classic" for free and Aape write and sell his own "Win32 Attractive for Idiots".

Regardless of what was said above, ROS may choose to provide OS control functions via web interface instead of traditional GUI.
For example, Oracle administration had GUI till version 9. In version 10 they switched to web interface.
Win32 will still be available to applications, but ROS itself would not use it, providing all administartive interfaces via embedded web server. MS did it in its MinWin, see http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/sanderbe ... inwin.aspx
I like this: "Microsoft will try long and hard to protect its crown jewels from becoming 'infrastructure' for other Operating Systems."

hto
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Post by hto »

That's very arrogant to call 'idiots' non-technical people who simply do not understand / care about OS internals. Be more polite!

GoBusto
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by GoBusto »

alexei wrote:Idiots are preferred target for marketing because they are majority and easy to fool.
I hidhly dobt ReactOS should look at them as its typical users. Let MS attract them. They are of no use to ROS anyway :)
Majority of users.

No use to ROS.

I'm seeing a contradiction here.

alexei
Posts: 137
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by alexei »

That's very arrogant to call 'idiots' non-technical people who simply do not understand / care about OS internals. Be more polite!
By the context of my reply I was obviously referred people who judge things by how attractive they look. My apologies to everybody else.
Majority of users.
No use to ROS.
I'm seeing a contradiction here.
From a business perspective, you usually have to find you market niche, target it, get known/popular/funded then expand your business.
From non-commertial freeware perspective, you really don't care about majority till your community becomes strong enough to desire world domination :) As I see, for now and in the (near?) future ROS project may expect help and support only from those to whom computer is the main/only work/hobby tool.

Aape
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by Aape »

alexei wrote:By the context of my reply I was obviously referred people who judge things by how attractive they look. My apologies to everybody else.
You mean the majority of human beings? It's this kind of elitist attitude of "Non-geeks are idiots, and idiots aren't allowed to use our stuff!" that holds Open Source back, and probably will forever.

Think about this from the perspective of the average user. They don't care about Free-libre Software. They don't care about being able to access the Source Code. The only advantage of Open Source they care about is that it's free. Instead of spending 500 bucks to upgrade their computer, why not take a look at this ReactOS thing they've been hearing about?

The somewhat technical (web fluent, but not fully computer fluent. This seems to be what the "average computer user" is morphing into) will find out about ROS in 2 ways:

1. They'll stumble upon the website, see the cool screenshots, and proceed to try it out. If they see the screenshots and it looks like Windows 1.0 after the floppy disk burned in hell for a few years, they won't even make the attempt. Note this also works both ways: If they see the cool screenshots and download it, then find out it's an unstable piece of garbage that none of their stuff works with, they won't bother.

2. A friend will tell them about it, maybe even give them a CD. See 1.

Now, if you're trying to say it's a bad idea to care about appearance so much that nothing matters, then I fully agree (see 1), but it appears to me that you're more taking the "Real men use Lynx! Firefox is for pussies!" approach. This strange idea that seems to be afflicting the OSS community like a cancer, that if something is easy to use (which falls under "appearance" in many cases. Which is easier? Click the shiny button, or chant cryptic commands?) it must be evil.
From a business perspective, you usually have to find you market niche, target it, get known/popular/funded then expand your business.
From non-commertial freeware perspective, you really don't care about majority till your community becomes strong enough to desire world domination :) As I see, for now and in the (near?) future ROS project may expect help and support only from those to whom computer is the main/only work/hobby tool.
Wait a minute. Is this the old "You get what you pay for!" argument I'm reading here, if only worded differently? Since we aren't actively trying to make a profit by getting more users to buy our software, the users don't matter?

The main reason this is incorrect is because the users DO matter. An OSS project lives off of its users, not the other way around. Developers contribute to a project because they want to see their code get used, not collect dust on a repository somewhere. If you stop caring about your users, and your users leave, then your developers will drop off like flies. And when the developers are gone, the project is dead.

The secondary reason is Open Source isn't something for sweaty nerds who live in their parent's basements anymore. Well, maybe ROS is, but if things go "according to plan" then it won't be forever. Governments and large corporations build their very infrastructure on open source these days. If there's a problem, we can't just say "You get what you pay for!" anymore.

hto
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Post by hto »

This strange idea that seems to be afflicting the OSS community like a cancer […]
That's more because of a lack of developers.

Aape is absolutely right.

MadWolf
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by MadWolf »

hi

A Modern Operating System can not be judged by the interfase but what the Operating System can do for the user what ever the power of the users computer if you have most of the system resources going to the ui then you do not have enough system resources for the softwhere that you need to run

hto
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Post by hto »

It should be configurable, so people can decide for themselves, how much the buttons must shine, if they want to see any buttons at all. :)

Aape
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by Aape »

MadWolf wrote:hi

A Modern Operating System can not be judged by the interfase but what the Operating System can do for the user what ever the power of the users computer if you have most of the system resources going to the ui then you do not have enough system resources for the softwhere that you need to run
This post really sounds like a troll who believes the Slashdot FUD of "Vista's shiny effects stole all mah megahurtz!", but I 'll respond to it anyway. Did you even read my post? My post isn't about having CPU-sucking trash like wobbly windows and an AI engine that automagically picks a color scheme based on a brain scan. It's about how important it is to keep up with the times. If we want ROS to see any kind of success, it can't be the dinosaur that it is now (And yes, I understand the technical reasons behind that for the time being!) Others will argue that we shouldn't want ROS to be used by anyone other than hobbyists, but that's a different rant for a different day.

Note also that even though my post mostly deals with the GUI, it also applies to, well, everything else! This gives me another thing to rant about: How come every OS we're using today is over 30 years old? Windows NT, while having VAX influences, is still based on DOS principles down at its core. Linux and BSD both have their own rich history of POSIX (Please, BSD fanboys, don't start.) I know the whole dangers of the new-and-unwashed rather than the old-tried-and-true, but this still bothers me. Computing has changed over the years, a lot! Why are we still holding onto "standards" designed for a period that's barely even still relevant? I just feel like we're missing out on a lot here. How would the internet look today if Flash (Don't start), Javascript (Also don't start, it's done more good than harm), Tables, and CSS never entered the field? With every webpage just black-on-white text? I know I'm probably comparing apples-to-oranges (inb4 "Userspace libraries!"), but still.

Z98
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by Z98 »

Don't confuse the NT kernel with the Win32 subsystem. NT by itself has nothing to do with DOS and inherited no part of its design from it. There are a few things that might look like DOS, but that's usually stuff layered on top of the actual NT kernel. Win32 on the other hand was originally built on top of DOS.

Anyways, simple answer is backwards compatibility. If you're needing to provide some kind of interface to run older applications, this increases the size of the system and likely requires some hacks in order to incorporate things that were never meant to be done on a particular system or design. This more often then not will also include some kind of performance hit, case in point, OSX's Rosetta system, I think it's called. Anyone who had the, pleasure of trying to use Adobe CS before there was a native x86 binary can attest to that. And for all its elegance of design, BeOS failed simply because the players in the industry were already entrenched at that point. And we are not yet at the point where computers are good enough to compensate for that performance hit. Oh, and be sure to blame Intel for being smart back in the day. While everyone else got lazy with taking advantage of ever smaller manufacturing processes, Intel surged ahead.

RaptorEmperor
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by RaptorEmperor »

When this project does become mature, I imagine that people will fork it to suit their needs, since that seems to be a force of nature for open-source projects. If I'm building a high-end gaming rig for my nephew, than what I'm going to need for an interface is going to be different than if I'm rebuilding my old AMD K6 for use as a file server or something. The issue is making sure they all stay inter-compatible and don't leave the public confused as to which distro they should use. Part of the issue with Linux is that there are so many distros that you can't tell the difference between them all, or which ones are worth downloading.

While I agree with keeping the Classic look as the base, for appealing to the broader market we should at least consider a fresher skin for ReactOS. It would be really nice to have some graphics design guys help the project. I've seen pretty skins for Linux before, so I know it isn't impossible for an open-source project such as ReactOS to look good as well. At the same time, the issue is that everyone has their own opinion as to how to skin ReactOS to make it more modern, so choosing a fresh skin could be tricky. In that case, perhaps we should create something not quite as flashy as Aero, but not so modest as Classic, with the all the sharp edges and cold grey windows.

If we did reach the stage where we had a "modern" GUI, or a selection of them, we could partially address the user needs issue at install, asking the user what skin they'd want (with Classic as the default), which Start menu they'd want (XP, Vista, or Classic), whether they'd like to use widgets, etc. The user could tell ReactOS how they'd want the desktop to look when they're done installing, and choose whether or not to install the other themes as well.

Hell, if you really wanted to you could take the user through a series of menus to establish their desktop settings at setup.

"ReactOS supports various skins, or desktop environments. To best suit your needs, ReactOS can arrange your desktop in different ways to feel more familiar to you. To start the process, please select your primary operating system(s).

//Here you have a series of check boxes.

-ReactOS (base configuration) //This would be current "modern" GUI, or ReactOS Classic if no "modern" ReactOS GUI is made.
-Windows 9x/WIndows NT/Windows 2000 //This would probably give the user the Classic ReactOS interface.
-Windows XP
-Windows Vista
-Windows 7
-Mac OS
-Gnome
-KDE
-Other (Select components individually)"

Then you send them to the next menu, which has different Start menu settings and skins selected based on their previous selections. This menu will give them the option of adding or deleting any skins or settings they want or don't want from a tree view menu. Once they have chosen those settings they want to install, the default settings for the system at first startup will be confirmed by the user. Any settings not installed then could be installed at a later date via download or reinserting the ReactOS disk.

Any skins and settings available at startup would have to be guaranteed to not break compatibility with WIndows. It wouldn't surprise me if someone did mod ReactOS someday and break compatibility (such as non-GUI command-line ReactOS), but if that's the case then the user can install it on their own time. We don't want any computing novices upset because they're getting strange error messages about Windows Explorer.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much... :)

hto
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Post by hto »

The issue is making sure they all stay inter-compatible and don't leave the public confused as to which distro they should use.
Maintaining a fork requires much effort, it's in maintainers interests to keep differences at minimum.

MadWolf
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by MadWolf »

hi
This post really sounds like a troll who believes the Slashdot FUD of "Vista's shiny effects stole all mah megahurtz!"
no

Smiley
Developer
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Re: A Modern Operating System

Post by Smiley »

Aape wrote:
MadWolf wrote:hi

A Modern Operating System can not be judged by the interfase but what the Operating System can do for the user what ever the power of the users computer if you have most of the system resources going to the ui then you do not have enough system resources for the softwhere that you need to run
This post really sounds like a troll who believes the Slashdot FUD of "Vista's shiny effects stole all mah megahurtz!", but I 'll respond to it anyway. Did you even read my post? My post isn't about having CPU-sucking trash like wobbly windows and an AI engine that automagically picks a color scheme based on a brain scan. It's about how important it is to keep up with the times. If we want ROS to see any kind of success, it can't be the dinosaur that it is now (And yes, I understand the technical reasons behind that for the time being!) Others will argue that we shouldn't want ROS to be used by anyone other than hobbyists, but that's a different rant for a different day.
What you say is true. However what Reactos needs right now ism't regular users but developers. In the fututure Reactos will surely have a really nice gui. A developer won't care about the gui but how stable the sytem is. If we make Reactos relly stable and compatible with many windows drivers Reactos will attract developers that will program the GUI and that will attract many users. If we focus in the gui now we will attract many users and create a very negative view on people about Reactos possibly hurting its future progress ( users will say that they tested Reactos once and it was rubbish). A last note: implementing properly themes will be one of the possible ideas fot google SoC.

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