Whilst browsing through the Haiku forum, whether back when I first joined the forum or today, I have noticed threads such as “GUI Concept”, various ones on UI redesign, and most resulting in long discussions or sometimes, to put it plainly, sometimes leading to debate or argument. And really, after reading through quite a bit of posts and threads, I thought I would try to unify this down to two different sides (and some variations in between) that seem to be shown throughout:
A. Keep it classic and simple
This view seems to adhere to the core of Haiku OS, and it calls for a simple Deskbar and BeOS window management design, keeping with the same appearance, such as in the UI controls and icons, and more importantly, the same principles and style, even in the code. This idea calls to keep things consistent, compatible, and to be a gentle continuation of the Be legacy.
B. Make it modern and/or follow trends
This view calls for “UI redesign”, with things such as translucency, new ways of working with apps and workspaces, and having an overall different feel than Haiku currently has today, and thus, is the opposite viewpoint of the previous. This view also seems to be held by individuals who are trying Haiku from other systems for the first time, such as from Gnu/Linux, or younger users that want a more “modern” UI simply to follow the “trend”. (But this summary of View B, of course, is just my opinion, and may not reflect everyone who has this view.)
My opinion: Balance
Personally, for those interested in my opinion, I respect View A due to its merits, and wouldn’t want it to change, because Haiku is unique as a desktop environment and operating system with its classic look and feel. But I personally adhere to View B if I, or anyone else, were to fork or make changes, as the UI paradigm is moving forward and evolving daily in all software (with the exception of Windows; hopefully, 10 may repair the clear duality that was in 8.x). At the same time, too much freedom leads to anarchy and I’m honestly afraid that Haiku would split off in too many directions, it’d become like the world of Gnu/Linux distributions with a “flavor of the week” mentality, and would thereby lose its strength.
I guess I’m tired of seeing the various different threads that debate this, when there needs to be unity, and not division. But is this summation of the two views about right? Again, I’m hoping to discuss this, so hopefully everyone can say something peacefully – but I do not in any way want to start any flame wars! Thanks, all.