Haiku Gui concept 'Parallel Menu View'

This is the first in a series of Haiku GUI designs that I plan on doing.

This is what I call the ‘Parallel Menu View’

The menu, instead of opening like the old traditional menu (as seen in OS’s like WIN95) has an updated look. The menu opens smoothly to the left. Once a subfolder is selected (in this example I chose the Applications folder) another menu smoothly opens again to the left. The Icons seen in the Parallel Menu are just a few, and scrolling up and down lets users access all Application launchers. Once cursor hovers over icons, arrows at the top and bottom would appear to indicate that there are more icons available to choose from.

There would be a Settings program that would allow the user to shrink the icon size to fit more Icons on the second menu, add content to first menu, tweak font size. However the background color of menu would stay at a constant to ensure that the Haiku design was kept at it’s standard.

There is a lot of space in the first parallel menu, but folders can be added and of course once selected would open up the second parallel menu thus displaying the contents.

Tell me what you think. This is based on the new folder display from Mac OS X Lion. But the design I used really stays true to Haiku and it really doesn’t take away from the classic “Haiku-look” very much.

This I have to agree with 100%, I have an idea of a major improvement ( In my mind at-least ) to Tracker. When I have enough skill I will write a prototype Tracker to prove the basic idea to the developers. Then if they like it I assume they will GUIDE me to rewrite it to meet their coding standards.

Until then unless I find an out & out error, I will keep my mouth shut on how the developers should improve Haiku.

What up-date look? Big Icons?

To me I see a waste of desk space without any gain.

Sorry if I come across as hostile, but change for the sake of change looks like a waste of time to me. How does this IMPROVE the use of Haiku? What am I missing?

Look el.tigre, everybody needs a hobby, But just so you know, the Haiku devs completely ignore photoshopped “UI designs” posted here. I’ve been seeing it happen for years. Not a single one has been implemented.

Implement it in CODE and invite people to try it out. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.

[quote=Michel]But just so you know, the Haiku devs completely ignore photoshopped “UI designs” posted here. I’ve been seeing it happen for years. Not a single one has been implemented.

Implement it in CODE and invite people to try it out. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.[/quote]

I don’t agree with this assessment. The fact that no mockups have yet been implemented may just mean that the proposed changes didn’t appeal to the devs. This thread’s suggestion probably included…

But in general, if someone comes along that can make the case for a GUI design, he doesn’t have to be able to code it. Of course that means that someone else has to be convinced by the idea to implement it. It follows that you better make sure to sell your idea as good as you can. If the idea is actually awesome, it’ll get noticed.
A mockup alone doesn’t cut it, though. Besides looking good, the idea has to also significantly improve usability. IMO usability is even more important. Case in point: Stack & Tile. The concept is great, usability is OK too, but the GUI (highlighting, missing indication of s&t’ed windows) isn’t quite there yet. Nevertheless it’s already part of Haiku.


It’s a nice change but I’m always left feeling why do menus and presentation have to happen in squares and rectangles? Before you jump to the opposite conclusion of circles, I guess I would like to see something that mimics my brain.

GUIs are written primarily by left brain thinkers who like the top down rectangular approach of organizing information. As a right brain thinker, I don’t work like that at all. I’m working on something that would arrange information for right brain thinkers, or the creative types, if you wish. It would more organic, rounders and especially will need some sort of AI, whether basic or more complicated.

BeOS attracted me early on because I liked its display of information but it was still a cryptic arrangement of sub-folders and yet another system I had to learn. We need to think of how users want to view their desktops and not how we think it would look the best, I guess.

Thanks for this great work, Nicolas

Thanks for the tips, and I will definitely keep it in mind when I’m working.

My comment about the first ‘reviews’ of my design, it was not really meant as something that would make an improvement… windows and how the user interacts with them is already implemented in Haiku. my design was just an idea for a way of accessing the menu, a different way of viewing the Haiku Menu. Drop down menus have been used since like Windows 95, and I was just trying to create a new way of viewing the folders and options in the Haiku Menu. Don’t worry users, my ideas are not to be implemented they are just ideas.

And 33Nick, I’d really like to see some of your work. Sounds like your ‘right-brained’ philosophy might be a breath of fresh air! Please post pics!

sorry, this this is one I just don’t like.

Thats the problem with every OS made, and mostly Windows
They all makes changes, just to make changes

If its not broken, dont fix it
Make it as basic as possible, and let someone else make a mod, or an updated tracker, etc
I want a working menu, not something to look at, talk about, say weeee, look at that, etc

The basic OS, should be lean, small, and fast, with nothing extra at all
I turn my computer on to work, not to look at BIG icons on the menu

And LINUX itself, is a lesson, on how not to do something
its FREE, and still cant get 10% of the people in the world to use it
Ive tried every version out there, and I’ll still take Windows 95 over them all

BeOS was simple, and beautiful. Haiku should strive to stay the same

Sorry, but this is just pointless! The huge icons, limiting the visible menu entries to ten and removing the text… what problem where you trying to solve? Sorry to be so harsh, but before you work on the next one you should probably ask yourself that question: What exactly is the problem and what would be a better solution? Don’t just open Photoshop and move some stuff around, that’s a waste of time.

I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Apple’s new ‘Launchpad’ view of apps. This is a similar idea. A light scrolling menu that holds launchers to apps. It’s just another fun way to view your application folder and for that matter any folder in the haiku menu. It’s just a ‘birds-eye-view’

It’s my version of launchpad for Haiku. I’ve found launchpad to be a very fast and easy way to access my apps.


Hi Guys,
i think this is not the best way.

Haiku need simply and the desing are too.

What this meaning?

  1. Colors
  2. Icons
  3. Windows
  4. alerts
  5. Notifications
  6. Configure and Settings
  7. Preferences

Look into this an brainstorm now, what can we make better and nicer but not the same as a Mac ore Window ore else.

The focus are on usability and not of the wow effect.
Haiku has some good stuff and we need this a littel but smoother.
Android 4.0 have a simply new Desing, now we can see this works :slight_smile:

PS: I need and like a OS how can work with that and not a OS for my entertaiment.


Consistancy is a mark of Haiku. Keeping it simple will make or break us on the marketing side.

I like the pop-over effect visually, and I think that larger icons do help when browsing apps. However, there are a few problems with it:

  1. Slightly longer to navigate through menus due to increased distance between them (although that’s not too big a problem)
  2. App names aren’t shown, which can make it harder to find the one you need
  3. No search functionality. Most next-gen linux shells allow the user to launch apps only using the keyboard by searching, and it’s a real time saver. Such functionality would be useful in Haiku.
  4. Overflow problems are similar to the ones which plague the current menu system. If a user has lots of apps, it can take a long time to reach apps which are lower down as they have to scroll through the menu. Plus, it makes the apps ‘moving targets’, as there is no consistent place a user can click to open them.

I definitely think that Haiku should use larger icons in the system (as those can help users find an app quicker, and we have a cool vector format that supports that). However, keeping them in a list doesn’t solve the problems of the traditional approach. Using paged grids is (in my opinion) a better option as a user can keep track of them spatially, and they are easier to browse. In fact, I prefer simply opening the apps folder directly in the tracker and using a large icon view. Furthermore using a fixed size grid can help reduce mouse movement and help open apps faster.