This kind of mouse cursors make sense when the user has already pressed the required keys for Stack&Tile. But they shouldn’t be used while moving the cursor around without those keys pressed. So, in terms of discoverability, it’s still not enough. The Apple approach with the Trackpad seems to me a good compromise solution for a feature like this.
Good day @Munchausen,
Quick Tour is a nice “app” that, in my opinion, is targeted to new users with “less knowledge” of the OS inner organs, mainly “regular” users.
As far as I know, most people using Haiku are “special” users, who are not afraid of breaking the system and reinstall, or tinkering around, move things from here to there, modify this or that setting, even in the Terminal.
As of today, I don’t see Haiku entering “mass market” of computers, and that means that preparing the Quick Tour along the development makes sense, as “differences” can be pointed out in the Quick Tour for the “newbies” when they start using Haiku, and the Quick Tour evolves as Haiku evolves.
Other than that, hardware support is important, though is hard to implement without proper access to HW information. I desisted using Haiku on a Sony Vaio VGN 13 inch laptop because two reasons, first, is a work machine (on Haiku VGA out did not work, and so did not Samba), second, time. Reporting tickets takes time, and this is a “very” old laptop that needs replacement, only runs when plugged, so I presumed it was a waste of time to generate tickets for a laptop that can’t be bought nowadays, and that I would be replacing sometime in the future… Never know.
Regarding the Title bars… different users have different ideas, different desktop environments use different approaches, so it is nearly impossible to please everyone. I like thin Titlebars on desktop/laptop, thicker on tablet (touch devices). For me, Haiku’s title bar makes sense with the stack&tile workflow, which is particularly well used in Haiku and MS is trying to implement in Windows now.
We could argue if the Titlebar could be used for more than just set a title there and closing buttons, Gnome changed the Titlebar into a Headerbar, with hamburger menu, buttons for different actions, title, search…, which makes header bar to use lots of space, which is good for touch devices, so you can hit the buttons with a finger, not so convenient when on a desktop/laptop. I presume they thought that as bigger and higher resolution displays are becoming cheaper, it does not matter so much to “waste” that space on desktop and would ease the usage of touch devices. I rather have “two” interface modes, thin and thick, so when using desktop/laptop can use the thin, when using touch devices could use the thick.
I presume this also depends on the kind of apps you use, dev, art, office, scientific… We could talk hours about this … and the conclusion would be “different users want different things from computers”
Debate is good, whatsoever.
Better would be doing it the FOX-ToolKit way. Don’t use a tool-tip but moving over a widget shows the help-text in the status bar immediately. So if you look for something you can just run the mouse over the buttons quickly to find the one you are looking for without waiting for a tool-tip timeout to happen. Also does not cover widgets underneath.
On Mate Desktop (in Linux) if you grab something cursor changes into fist with little arrow (and if you release mouse button, item will be moved), and if you after grabbing item hold ‘alt’ button instead arrow appear ‘?’, in this case after releasing mouse button you getting menu of accessible actions. And if you hold ‘control’ instead little arrow appears ‘+’ (copy item), and if you hold ‘control+shift’ (instead arrow appears something like ‘∞’) now you can make link of that item.
Back in the BeOS time, we had the option to switch to Window, MacOS or Amiga style title bars, with would dissipate objections like these in reviews or new users. I must say, however, that while it was fun to have those options, I always found that the BeOS yellow tab was my preferred title bar style. And now, with the stack and tile feature, it’s even more compelling.
But we are talking about Stack&Tile here, there is no system-wide toolbar where we could do this!
Worse than that, stacking (and hopefully soon, tiling too) is now part of the API and some apps rely on it being available (NetSurf and Koder, and I hope to see more in the future). Which is why we stopped providing these extra decorators (we have the Mac and Windows one available in the sources), until someone makes them support stacking and tiling in some form.
The videos shouldn’t replace text and images of course. They should just be available as an extra, regardless of if you happen to hate videos or not. Choice is good.
I want to stress once more that we don’t have to overreact to some dunce that’s used to write for a website that reviews gazillions of Linux distros. He’s not the target audience, so nothing to get upset about.
Yes, though haiku may have “special users” it is aimed at general desktop usage, so some people might need a quick intro to some features peculiar to haiku when they start using it. The quick tour seems a good solution, though it would be nice if features could be discovered more intuitively (without needing the quick tour).
Agree 100%; exactly why I focused on this and not on hardware support. Not exactly a low hanging fruit but can be addressed more easily than “make all the hardware work”
First things first: is there a justifiable need to consider changes and what is a possible need based on, how broad and numerous are the indicators for the changes, etc. Please no change for the sake of change (as in: I want to get my hands dirty on it, just for fun or experience).
I don’t think it’s a question of change for change’s sake really. The question is very specific: how can you make stack and tile more intuitive to a new user?
As a long time Haiku user, stack and tile are so useful to me that other OSs feel very backwards in comparison, but it took me a while to actually try it out when stack and tile first got merged because I couldn’t remember the shortcuts every time and the feature isn’t very discoverable. There are a few other really useful shortcuts in haiku that are equally tricky.
Sailfish OS (and some other software) solve this with an interactive tutorial that actually says to the user, “touch here”, “press x and y”, “drag this on top of that” etc, and the user goes through the steps to complete the tutorial. The quick guide is another option, or there are other good suggestions here. Perhaps tooltips could appear with instructions for the first few times you drag a window?
Whatever the issue, it ought to at least be flagged to users with a quick tour, because reviews saying that Haiku is counter intuitive or inefficient have an impact on uptake by readers, as will users who get that impression when they try out Haiku. To me Haiku fits the desktop paradigm so logically compared to other solutions that it is a real shame when a newbie gets the opposite impression, especially when they then tell others. I haven’t seen a review yet that says anything on the lines of “Haiku has this amazing window stacking ability and the database filing system is a revelation, those are some really killer features” or anything to that effect. Literally no reviewer seems to know about some of Haiku’s really stand out features. So I’d say it should be a priority to address that certainly before the next release if not sooner.
Shouldn’t there be a guard though something like isStackAndTileEnabled() ?
Koder and Netsurf use S&T but they still should work without it… right?
Good day @victordomingos,
I agree. In fact, I would like the stack&tile feature to be more widespread across Haiku. I miss the tiling features of XFCE/Mate on Haiku though. So with a bigger use of stack&tile and the 1/4th, 1/2 tiling, that would be great for, at least, “my desired workflow”…
No, they shouldn’t. This would be a nightmare for developers, for people writing documentation, and it would restrict the feature to a gadget so applications couldn’t rely on it. It would be like having a isMouseAvailable and isKeyboardAvailable to make sure the user has appropriate input devices. This is a feature of Haiku and applications can make use of it.
They are not features, they are low level building blocks for applications to have great features. Without a mail client, media player, contact app, etc making use of it, the feature is useless. Who is really going to use Tracker Find window to look for the phone number of a friend? It is way too cumbersome to select the filetype, then the atrtibute you want to search, and finally press “search” to get the result. A contact app with a list of all contacts and a filter by name would make more sense.
I completely disagree with the first bit (they are not features) wrt stack and tile. It would be nicer if it was better integrated with applications, but it already works brilliantly on its own. I don’t open tabs in terminal, I stack the windows. Sure it would be a lot more obvious to the user if all apps would stack windows instead of tabbing, but being able to stack and tile windows of different applications is important too and useful already.
And no reviewer noticed the feature yet as far as I am aware. Which is a shame because working like that is awesome
I agree though that better app integration is at least part of the solution.
That’s quite an overstatement but of course your point is valid… however, the window decorators really only interfere with stacking right not tiling, all the old window decorators shouldn’t have a problem with tiling, and if stacking isn’t available just open the window normally or optionally tile it instead.
The problem now is that it is restrictive in the opposite direction, the old decorators should be added back and they can be fixed as time allows, removing things like that just means it gets forgotten and bitrots away.
If I recall correctly, the Mac (and probably Windows) decorator not only doesn’t support Stack, but actually causes AppServer crashes if you try to stack. I’d like to bring the old ones back, but they SHOULD support Stack and MUST NOT causes crashes.
(The “should” becomes a “must” if we agree not to argue with the assertion that Stack & Tile is a core feature which MUST be supported by all Haiku software; in that case, the old decorators will have to sacrifice some authenicity to allow stacking. I, however, would probably accept a third-party package which merely doesn’t crash.)
[ Capitalisation used per RFC 2119. (-: ]
The alternative is they get left out and never updated … which has been the case since S&T was implemented. Ideally the crashes could have been fixed ages ago if they weren’t dumped from the images… and stacking could have been added by someone annoyed that it didn’t work on those yet!
If you experience some crashes please open a ticket, as I know they don’t support S&T but they don’t crash.
BeDecorator had this problem but is fixed now https://dev.haiku-os.org/ticket/13119
Excellent. I’ll have to update and retest all three (Be, Mac, Win), as it seems I don’t recall correctly, and I didn’t notice Be decorator got fixed.