Some thoughts about the gui

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qkmbr22
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Some thoughts about the gui

Post by qkmbr22 » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:21 am

I just recently discovered this project when i was googling for a windows compatible operating system. I use Fedora and i figured if you could run windows apps with wine on linux, they should make a whole os based on something like wine. So i found this.

I really like the idea of making an open-source windows compatible os, because many people don't switch to linux because they mainly rely on windows applications. But ReactOS, in my oppinion, resembles windows too much. I really dislike the windows desktop and interface and i think a promising project like ReactOS deserves some originality in its gui. The SymphonyOS project is a great example. They didn't use GNOME, KDE, or XFCE; instead they focused on a completely different idea of a desktop environment and made the Mezzo Desktop. I don't think that its necessarily what ReactOS should have, but i think its interface shouldn't be modeled after windows. Or at least, eventually, the user should have a choice of different desktops to use with their ReactOS system, so that they could use the windows layout, if they wanted.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts. I'm really looking forward to seeing what this project will develop into.

Z98
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Post by Z98 » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:47 am

Theoretically, once ReactOS is more developed, any desktop environment ported over to Windows would be able to run on ROS, so it would be up to the user to decide if they want to go through the effort of installing said ports.

GreyGhost
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Post by GreyGhost » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:14 am

once ReactOS becomes compatible enough....... u willl be free to use your favourite shelll......
and welcome to ReactOS

Switchboy
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Post by Switchboy » Sat Jul 01, 2006 12:27 pm

Before you start redesigning everything lets think about uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is a regular guy and he has a computer. He knows how to make a word document and how to use the internet. He doesn't care about what software he runs as long as he can work with it.
One day his cousin comes by to fix his PC. He suggest to install react OS because it is free and so much faster then Windows. The next time our uncle bob start his PC he sees a desktop he is familiar with. He can use "word" (open office) and he can use the internet. Because the GUI is like windows. He can start right away with no learnin curve at all! He will see how much faster his computer became and will advise his friends and relatives to intall react OS.

Now what would happen if the guis isn't like windows at all?
Uncle Bob doesn't know how to start word and how to browse the internet. He will call his cousin and tell him he wants windows back. And he will tell his friends and relatives that ROS sucks.

This is why it is important that the default GUI looks like windows.

qkmbr22
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Post by qkmbr22 » Sat Jul 01, 2006 8:16 pm

Well, the windows interface should definitely be one of the options, because its true that for most computer users it is the only interface they've ever worked with. Although I really doubt that Uncle Bob will go through the trouble of installing ReactOS to make his computer a little faster, if the only thing he uses it for is word processing and web browsing. And while Uncle Bob may prefer a windows interface, i don't think that he is the target market here. I think that most people switching to ReactOS, once its in a solid state, will be more experienced computer users, capable of figuring out how to start a web browser even if the interface doesn't necessarily have a microsoft start menu. That's just my oppinion though. Personally, I would switch to ReactOS because it makes me feel good not to use microsoft products. That's why I switched to linux. But if i can use all my favourite windows apps, games, and drivers on an open-source system, I might use that as well. I kinda see ReactOS vs. Windows as Firefox vs. IE. But maybe that's wrong.

So about porting other desktops to ReactOS, how would that work? what kinds of desktop alternatives are out there? I mean, I know of Object Desktop by Stardock, but that costs 50 bucks... and as far as i know, the open source environments like KDE and GNOME don't really work with windows (correct me if i'm wrong?)

And if anybody is interested, I have some ideas for an interface that would be different from windows, but still very easy to figure out, even for someone like uncle Bob. Maybe i'll sketch a draft and post it here sometime.

Mrkaras
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Post by Mrkaras » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:32 am

Reactos needs to be windows compatable, not just with hardware and software but with the human user. now if somebody is using any version of windows 95 or later you can issue one set of instructions to do something and they wil farily well match regardless of the version of windows, only a few small changes in most cases. Reactos should also fit this description, as well as winxp would fit a win95 description at least.

Matthias
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Post by Matthias » Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:31 pm

This "users are idiots and are confused by different GUIs" attitude is a disease. People like "uncle bob" aren't going to switch to ReactOS anyway, because, as Switchboy said, they really don't care what Software they're running. If ReactOS is the same as Windows, nobody will bother to switch to ReactOS.
And those who say that Windows 95 has the same UI as Windows XP have probably never used Windows 95.

Z98
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Post by Z98 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:55 pm

You're forgetting that companies want to spend the minimum amount of effort possible in software transitions, especially if it's something as big as an OS shift. The more similar ReactOS is to Windows both GUI wise and software compatibility wise, the less headaches for corporations or even small businesses.

It's not just the initial cost that is considered, but also the support cost that a company or group has to shell out if they have lots of users. And frankly, a lot of people that'd be interested in ReactOS would be interested in it because it is the same as Windows. This is especially true for larger organizations. And then there are the people who like free software and ReactOS provides a way to get a Windows environment on more computers without any (at the moment) legal hassle.

qkmbr22
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Post by qkmbr22 » Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:44 am

getting a windows environment on even more computers is in my oppinion ridiculous, because windows is already on like 90% of computers if not more. So obviously getting windows isn't really a problem for most people. Most users have windows because it came preinstalled on their computers, and then a few others either buy it or pirate it. Either way, the fact that windows is by far the most used OS shows that getting it is not a problem, whether its free or not. large corporations will not switch to ReactOS for the same reason most of them don't switch to linux, because they want to have commercial support, and open source software does not have that. So, personally i think the target market for ReactOS would be people who want to use windows apps, games, and drivers on a system that is not windows. Because most people already have windows. So if the core of the operating system is a lot like windows (since it has to be compatible with windows), the interface doesn't have to be. The interface could be a major selling point for ReactOS. If ReactOS just looks like windows, i wouldn't use it, because i already have windows, and i even installed window blinds so that it doesn't look that bad. An original look along with windows compatibility is what i think will make this os useful. Others have disagreed with my view, and that's fine, because some of the reasons for having a windows interface are valid, so i think that the user should have the choice. So for example, during the installation, the user should be able to choose between a windows-like interface or an original interface.

billyswong
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Post by billyswong » Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:48 am

If you don't like WindowsGUI, feel free to change it! The NT architecture allows you to replace the whole shell! However, why should your taste determine the default look of ReactOS? One day, you can install windows blind on ReactOS, or even SharpE. If you really hate the good old look, start another project, write a new shell and make your own distrubution! You don't have to bother ROS for just the interface.

Unless, of course, you find something new and useful which should add onto the default GUI.

qkmbr22
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Post by qkmbr22 » Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:10 am

@billyswong:

look man, this has nothing to do with my taste being the default layout of reactos. I just made a suggestion that it would be nice if reactos had a unique interface. But i also suggested that the user should have a choice. Since i'm not involved in the project, I cannot make reactos the way i want it. But i just made a suggestion to see if there are others who like the idea. You have your own oppinion and thats fine. it doesn't mean that you should get all defensive when i make a suggestion. Relax man.

and btw, thanks for mentioning SharpE, i've never heard of it before, but i checked it out, and i might try it with my windows partition.

pratik_mullick
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Might be boring from a first timer.......

Post by pratik_mullick » Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:12 am

Hi all! I just read about ReactOS while going through a Microsoft Windows article in Wikipedia, and I feel the concept is really worthwhile. I would suggest, like countless others maybe, that ReactOS should include newer GUI like high-resolution icons, a new start menu, like ICEWM. And the WIN9X look is pretty boring. Why dont we update the concept of Files and Folders into something like, say a cabinet, say for documents, that houses .rtf, .txt .doc and .pdf files only. No other files formats are included. These files will be grouped into folders with individual passwords. So the data being safe, and secure. Likewise, a jukebox to store .WAV, .MP3, .OGG files. It would put computing into the next level of user-friendliness.

My experience is from seeing my mom pouring over a windows manual for over two months before she got the hang of it. We need to make people realize that these arent just icons, but a Cabinet, or a Jukebox(an IPOD sounds also great....), and interact like real-life counterparts.

P.S. Sorry for the long post

Coviti
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Post by Coviti » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:56 pm

Okay, there are a few flaws in that logic. Why would we want a completely different file system than Windows? Think about Switchboy's Uncle Bob illustration. That file system would be confusing as heck, and would really limit a person's options. Like in Windows, any file should be able to go anywhere, regardless of it's format.

Also, ReactOS is not using a Win9X theme, this is the base Windows appearance. Now, when theming support is implemented sometime in the next few years, themes can be applied on top of this look to make it more attractive. A new Start Menu would be a horrible mess, just as the Windows Vista one has turned out to be. Users have gotten used to the Windows 95 style Start Menu, and changing it is both pointless and adds confusion.

However, I do think that including High-resolution icons would be a good idea, seeing as Microsoft has already done the same in Windows Vista, using a 256x256 High-color icon, and scaling it down to fit the sizes needed. The only problem with this would be that it takes more time, CPU cycles, and RAM to scale the icons down to the necessary size, and at this point in ReactOS development it is just not necessary. The focus for the next few years is going to be on getting ReactOS to run rather than simply look nice. The GUI comes after that.

crhylove
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Post by crhylove » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:45 am

Well, you could make SVG the default icon format, that wouldn't take too many CPU cycles, and then one size would fit all.

rhY

pratik_mullick
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Post by pratik_mullick » Fri Jul 07, 2006 1:18 pm

Yes, SVG would be a nice option, but PNG file format is most suited, since it takes less space than SVG... :D

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