Haiku GUI - just mucking around

It’s a bit rough, blatantly rips off other OS but it’s not really finished. Let me know what you think.


I didn’t do the icons btw - they’re a mix of famfamfam and kde crystal icons.


Looks pretty sweet. I’d like the arrows to be on the left side. Less distance for the mouse to travel typically. (I presume they are for navigation, IE up a folder). I can’t get the hang of vista, since it is missing the ‘up’ button. The shadows are pretty, but probably need some a compositing desktop to function, and 3D acceleration? It’s still retains the cleanness of the Be look. Nice. :slight_smile:

I actually like it very much, except the icons (which doesn’t matter since we have our own). The Deskbar is beautiful, and the Tracker concept seems pretty good. It’s bright, modern - and the best part, it’s still BeOS/Haiku. The tabs are maybe a tad overdone, but all in all it’s pretty and simple as it should be.

WOW, i love it. This should be R2 :slight_smile:

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

I too think it’s important to retain at least some of the original design concepts from BeOS. Those crazy yellow window titles are part of what made BeOS unique and distinguishable from all the other OSes out there.

Anyway, I hope to post some revised designs soon.


I like it too, pretty nice. I especially like the Tracker top bar which shows the directory location and allows for quick jumping to parent directories. I think the arrows are fine on the right. The window tabs are nicely updated but retain the BeOS look (which I think we all want to retain.)

I would be curious to see how the current Haiku icons would fit in with that look though. Justin, I guess you think the “shiny” icons from famfamfam and KDE crystal are more appropriate for this look?

With the exception of the shadows and curved window corners I think this look could be achieved now. But I don’t think we’ll see work to update the GUI until R2.

It’s very good, really, I want this to see in Haiku :wink:

[quote=leavengood]I like it too, pretty nice. I especially like the Tracker top bar which shows the directory location and allows for quick jumping to parent directories.

Me too.
I hope Haiku will look as good as this in the future.

It is VERY nice. I do however have one reservation, and that’s the icons. Just as the yellow tabs are synonymous with BeOS/Haiku so are the 3D-perspective icons. Personally I don’t think that either should be sacrificed.

I like the concept and the work done but I don’t like personnaly the ‘glass’ effect, it catches too much my attention and can’t focus well on the real things, plus the fact that every todays’ OS theme is trying to implement shiny incons and glass effect, it will make Haiku look juste like any other OS however the actual look&feel has been always the original footprint of Be/Haiku. I think that is no need to change to look&feel, but adding this kind of enhancements will bring it up to another level of usability.

Anyway, I appreciate your work and your efforts for the best OS ever and sorry for my english.

I agree - I really want to try something other than the apple/shiny thing - but it’s actually really difficult to come up with an alternative that doesn’t look aged.

If you look at past UI look-n-feel, you’ll notice they have all made the same ‘trend’ progressions. Windows 3.1, Mac OS and BeOS all used that standard looking semi-3D flat beveled look… If you look at those same OSes today, you’ll notice they’re all using the current trend - the glassy/shiny look.

All the other looks (e.g. Gnome, KDE themes) are variations between the 3D bevel and glass looks.

I think it’s important that Haiku evolves and improves on the original BeOS looks - just like Windows and OSX have evolved from their predecessors.

Anyway, I’ve after reading a few of the comments I’ve put together another mock. This time I’ve taken out the rounded corners and drop-shadows (thus reducing the rendering demands of the windowing system). Also looking at other visual controls like group-boxes, text inputs and buttons.

Check it out and let me know what you think:

Btw - do we have an official set of icons?


This new mockup reminds me WAY TOO much of a Linux clone.

The positive things:

  • The tabs look quite good, but perhaps a bit “outdated”.
  • its “tidy”

The negative:

  • The deskbar
  • the whole UI reminds me of linux

The first mockup was WAY better.

This is ofcouse MY opinion.

Some thoughts (imho of course):

  1. Shadows below windows is too wide and dark. If we keep in mind, that object should look naturally, shadow should be smaller and more transparent.
  2. NavBar (Home | Volume > Haiku > Users and so on) have one little problem: “Home” button and navigation chain of buttons looks as one object. It’s not good.
  3. Icons, glassy backgrounds under buttons, tabs and menu buttons looks MacOSX-stylish. Now i’m on PM G5 and I love this computer, but I don’t want to see mac elements in Haiku GUI

P.S. sorry, my english is very bad.

Roger, Platon - thanks for your comments! I agree 100%, so - let the designs evolve!

I’ve been sick and on holiday (luckily not at the same time) over the past few weeks, so haven’t had much time to work on UI designs. But I have something to post.

Rather than design too many elements in one hit (as I did in my previous posts), I thought I’d try post some screens showing just a few concepts.

So here goes: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2zz12ch&s=2

In this screen I’ve just got a simple Tracker window listing application icons. It demonstrates the following:

  • Window
  • Scrollbar component
  • Tracker directory navigation concept (back, forward, up)
  • Toolbar component (buttons, splitter, menu)
  • Application menu component
  • Statusbar component

The look-n-feel is moving away from the shiny (and somewhat sickening OS X look) but subtle gradients remain. Excuse the poor font anti-aliasing - Fireworks always seems to let me down there.

So, not much to look at, but there are a few things here for those interested to think about:

  • Is the loss of the BeOS style yellow-tab a big deal? Is the distinctive yellow window title adequate to keep the identity?
  • Are the window shadows too subtle/too big? Maybe this should be something the user can customise?
  • Are the double up/down scrollbar buttons a must-have feature (i’ve shown single scroll buttons)? Again, user preference?
  • Is the look modern? ‘Unique-enough’?
  • How well does it fit with the Haiku icon-style?

Anyway - that’s the kind of stuff I’m thinking about. Feel free to let me know your thoughts.

I’m not sure where I’m headed with the designs, but if they get to the point where they have some potential, I’ll send them into the Haiku design gurus on the mailing list and get their opinion.


Hey Justin,

Thanks for the update and thanks in general for doing this, I think getting new people with new ideas is always a good thing.

One quick note is I agree that your second mock-up definitely has a Linux feel to it. But I almost wonder if it is possible to NOT look like Linux because both QT and GTK have many themes. So I think the focus should be on creating the best, most usable GUI without too much concern for how unique it looks. Though if you can create something unique without going to odd-ball, that is great too.

Now in regards to your new mock-up, one little nitpick is the “Haiku/BeOS blue” for the desktop is hex 336698 not 006699 which is what you used here. In the grand scheme I suppose you don’t need to match exactly, but using that color will definitely remind people of BeOS and Haiku since that is the default desktop color.

To answer your questions:

  • Yes I think the loss of the tab is a big deal. It is more than the look, the tabs are actually useful because you can slide them around and build a poor man’s tabbed interface with several windows. But I also think it is important that it also instantly reminds people of BeOS. I do like how the title bar looks though, just shrink it back down to a tab :wink:
  • The shadow on the menu does seem too big to me. But I think it is a good idea to have shadows as it helps things stand out.
  • The scrollbar double arrows have pretty much been dropped from Haiku, as have any options for scrollbars that used to be in BeOS. They were deemed superfluous, though I personally don’t totally agree with that.
  • The look seems pretty modern though uniqueness is hard to say because of all the Linux themes out there.
  • I think this fits in better with the icons than shinier themes. If I were to classify the look of the Haiku icons, I would say “crisp”, with the bold outlines, gradients and shadows. If your interface could somehow build off of that I think it would fit in well with the icons. For example window and menu shadows should be smaller and crisper, as if they were caused by closer more direct light. Also interface elements should have outlines to mimic the icons, though solid black or bold is a bit too obnoxious. To get an idea of what I mean, the default Ubuntu theme, Human, has outlines on the scrollbars and menus that I have always thought has a crisp look (especially the scrollbars), which fits in well with our icons.

Some general comments:

I think the scrollbars are a bit too wide, though maybe it could be argued they are easier to “grab” being wider. But my gut reaction is they are too wide. I also think there isn’t enough difference between the scrollbar “thumb” and the background behind it. It almost looks washed out, and as I said above the icons are crisp, so interface elements should be too.

I don’t really like the round Tracker navigation buttons. Again they aren’t crisp enough and round buttons seem dated to me.

I like where you are going with the menu, but it seems a bit off. The way the outline is drawn it sort of looks like you were trying to have round corners, but not quite. I think the gradient on the selected menu is pretty good. The gradient on the menu bar background is definitely better than the “shiny” two tone look, as far as fitting in with the icons.

Anyhow, keep up the good work. Writing this has inspired me to do my own mock-ups in the future.

What about a textured look instead of a shiny one. I don’t see how it could be made to look good, but it might be worth a shot.


I’m always check the new mockups, and i’m very happy if i found a new artwork.

Some comments:
-I like the “icons” in the menu. I hope, i can found this in the R1.
-The rounded corners looks good for me :slight_smile:
-But yes, the scrollbar is too wide, and the menu is too high. We lose lot of space with this.
-I WANT tabs!! :wink:
-Please use the default Haiku/BeOS background and interface colors, because it looks like washed out. Hard to identify the interface elements. I think, the windows with a small border looks better.
-For me the rounded Tracker buttons is not problem, but i better like the original BeOS tracker buttons.
-I like the small dots in the left bottom corner (for resize) in the original Tracker, maybe You can put some…

Then (my oppinion):
-Smaller interface elements

Thank You, Justin! Have a nice Day for You!

(Sorry for my bad english :slight_smile:

Hmm, if there was one reason I loved the BeOS GUI; it’s because of the simplicity - it wasn’t obsessed with bevels or excessive visual cues (that’s how I saw it):



Windows 98:

So in modern times we have to come up with a compelling GUI that challenges Aero and Aqua…
The reason I find the second one to be unix’ish is because of the white-in-blue look of the selected menu button…

OT, if we finalize a modern GUI for BeOS let’s name it BreadCrust :stuck_out_tongue: (cuz the yellow crispy look of R5 reminds me of toast, and because in oriental games generally Water < Air < Earth < Fire; Crisp is Earth + Fire)

Thank you for taking up this task - I believe that the current Haiku look is just terrible :slight_smile:

I think we must save the BeOS interface concepts, they give us an identity; but we can take a bit of modern computers’ power to draw them better (we already have better icons).
This can be quite a problem with the current Haiku drawing engine, I think it should get some improvement even for R1 - things like the Z-order of views, or non-rectangular views.

The question is: should we go for a modern look like Vista or OSX and sacrifice some usability, or save the usability with an older look?
Maybe we can have a slider in the Look Preferences where you can set the sharpness of the shades…

I used to like the QNX 6 look - everything is clear and sharp while having gradients - but I feel it outdated now. Also the “Modern” interface from Mozilla SeaMonkey. We can easily make something like those.

I agree with you on the simplicity part. My biggest problem with Linux environments is the enormous waste of space on the screen. Some are better than others, but GNOME fills just about every window with large toolbars and huge buttons, its ridiculous.

In my opinion OS X is a noble effort at reducing excess while maintaining a visually appealing environment. Vista’s use of transparency is nice as well, even though it has no practical purpose.

It might safe to assert the world of modern computing requires that substance goes hand in hand with style.

But, I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes with my take on things.