Haiku UI Mockup


I really like this mockup. It still has the BeOS spirit, but offers a nice and updated derivative.


@Humdinger: The best way to move to another workspace is to drag to the edge of the current workspace towards the next one. No careful aiming, no hard programming, just switch to the adjacent workspace when the mouse reaches an edge. Moving using CTRL+ALT+ArrowKey when a window is focused is a good one. Dragging windows to a replicant, no so spiffy.

I don’t like gestures all that much (except for the [right mouse hold] + [left mouse click] navigation in Opera). It’s hard to program, ugly, and having configurable corners would conflict with any future gestures we would want to do.


I like it – very modern, still I think we should also keep a “classic” look for those that appreciate nostalgia.


BTW, there’s also a thread on this thread on the mailing list:

I had this back when still using compiz in Ubuntu. I often accidentally changed workspaces this way. Quite disorienting and annoying.

Well, it’d be a feature of the Workspaces applet that wouldn’t hurt anyone not wanting to use it and would help everyone else.

Well, yeah. Naturally you can’t assign the same gesture for different things… Keep I mind that we are the masters of Haiku’s API. Gestures wouldn’t be an afterthought that’s here in one distro and not in another.

And I can’t see how gestures are inherently ugly. Can you elaborate on your concerns?
As long as gestures are not the only means for a function (think motorically challenged people) and, in the best case, there’s also keyboard control, I don’t see what’s wrong with it. Plus, touch screens could be used increasingly in the future, which would make gestures even more desirable.


“Right-clicking on a tab to send the window to the back is probably the number one feature I miss in other OS. Don’t touch that right-click behaviour! :)”

what about middle click instead? because it is very important to have a context menu to be consistent with the rest of the OS. In KDE it is really easy to move an app to another workspace from the context menu…you don’t need to drag a window to a tiny sliver in the workspace app.
There are arguments for maximize as well as zoom. If we had maximize, we don’t need another button. It would also be another option on the context menu.


[quote=RandomInsano]I dislike the bread-crumb approach because I can’t navigate to hidden folders with them.

First of all, why do you need to visit hidden folders so often?
Ideally a system should be elegant enough to cope without hidden stuff. Hidden folders are typically used to hide cruft from the end user, and hidden stuff is typically used from within applications’ UI. (Remeber navigating to c:\windows and seeing “You shouldn’t see stuff here”?)

However in real world developers and other tech staff often need to tackle with the cruft and I understand your problem. But things can be done nicely as well. For example in the Windows world there’s a nice piece of software called Explorer Breadcrumbs which also provides a nice editable path.


Humdinger wrote: “Well, yeah. Naturally you can’t assign the same gesture for different things… Keep I mind that we are the masters of Haiku’s API. Gestures wouldn’t be an afterthought that’s here in one distro and not in another.”

Gestures. lots of Opera users love them and it’s also a popular firefox extension. Why not push this idea into the OS so that every app can benefit from it? Otherwise, every app will come up with their own way of doing it and it could be a big mess.

Indeed, there are a lot of things found in specific apps that make sense as universal features such as spellchecking, Office Clipboard or the way firefox saves all your windows so you can go back to them after you restart the computer.


My experience with gestures comes from a game by the name of Black and White and also a certain Firefox extension.

In Black and White there were all sorts of different things you needed gestures to do, and for this they had all sorts of odd ones (draw a star, swirl, box) so that they were not confused for standard movement many were rather grand or complex.

In the case of All-in-one gestures, there is a lot of up-down-left-right configuring for gestures. To add a page as a bookmark for example you must move “Down, Right, Down, Left, Up” which to be fair is one of the longer ones. The average is about 3. I’d rather just push some [alt]+[key] combination since my left hand is always on the keyboard like one of them fast twitch gamers! Hoo ha!

As far as OS ubiquity (being everywhere-ness) of gestures, it’s true that it would be better to unify everything and have a kit, but how many applications out there actually use gestures? How many people even know what a gesture is? (Though dragging and dropping a file I suppose counts as a gesture).

Honestly, I just don’t like them. But with any functionality, if someone is out there willing to do it, they’re also willing to have an enable-disable checkbox, so my complaint isn’t really a big deal. I just feel there’s other frivolous things to invest time in. Spell-check would be the top of my list.

Hey, maybe if it’s done elegantly enough it could even win me over :slight_smile:

Now onto the breadcrumbs…

I use the address bar a heck of a lot. Whether it’s changing directories with Copy+Paste from a website, getting to my favorite folder without a mouse, or changing the directory in the terminal to point to whichever folder tracker has open (there’s a tracker add-on for that, but this feature is already built in!). I still use my keyboard a lot and use my mouse a little less. It all comes down to what feels natural to you, and for me it’s certainly having that bar of text always at the ready. It’s just something I can’t live without. I’ve tried.

How do you paste a folder path with breadcrumbs? I use [alt]+[v].


I think I need to try this Explorer Breadcrumbs thing :stuck_out_tongue:


Ah, so you’ve been traumatized by a bad example. :slight_smile:

I have to admit, that I don’t use gestures in other applications. Partly, because of what you say: You have to memorize arbitrarily set movements.
So, IMO, gestures of the OS must be kept to an absolute minimum (can’t do much against apps going overboard with a feature; “natural” selection will weed them out) and those that are implemented have to have a non-gesture alternative and have to come naturally.
By naturally I mean, for example “throwing” a window in the direction if an adjacent workspace or into a corner where it crumbles to minimization.
Or maybe also “rubbing” a wind against another to stick them together.
None of the “right-right-up-left-down-squiggle-move-left-right” routine to maximize a window…

As you’ve pointed out, the implementation has to be perfect or it won’t be used. Maybe the GUI could even learn the specifics of the user by going through a “fun training program” that would also serve as a tutorial for new users.

In any case, it’s an interesting topic that’s worth further investigation after R1 is out. Maybe our friends at Auckland University find it a worthwhile research project.

  • I like the mockup (Haiku R1 default theme could come from that).
    I didn’t say the previous just because You all said so…:wink:

  • if rounded corners bring no overhead or compromises in design (eg Windoze-like skinning…bah) then - I like them (a lot). I really do.

  • ircc BeOS R5 had no RMC on window borders, so nothing to lose.

  • button is faster then menu. Most used functions should be either buttons, corners, clicks or something like that…
    mouse gestures shouldn’t be the default way to do stuff (they are ‘invisible’ eg ‘0’ on intuitiveness and they are marginally used so they have no meme-base (eg traditions?)…)

  • all GUIs (so far) have shortcomings - mainly because they fall short in configurabilty.

  • more than two ways to do a same thing (simultaneously) gets confusing (eg moving window to another desktop from a)workspaces app, b) RMC-menu, c)keyboard shortcut, d) dragging across edge etc). Best is to have one method per input eg for example keyboard shortcut (‘I’m in hurry, I’ll use keyboard shortcut…’) and workspaces-app (‘I’m lazy, I use mouse right now…’)… And usually users use one method most of the time. User should have a way to choose these methods that she/he prefers. So defaults should be very conservative and sane but limits should be… well not there…

  • OS’ GUI should be easy on the eyes, uniform and distinct from content. These 3 are important… :wink:
    Because people have different sensitivity-levels there is usually way to change colors, contrast, width-height of objects etc (eg choose what’s easy on MY eyes…).
    Uniformity is needed so user knows in split-second what is this object and what to do with it.
    Distinct from content - well that’s obvious… (Well, why do 99,9% of OS’ use 3D-look in drawing windows, bars etc… 3D-objects are ‘real’ things to humans so we can manipulate them and we can that way easily separate them from the flatness of content (like on real desktop), eg real pen has depth and shadow so I know I can pick it up, real paper has shadow so I know I can pick it up and move it, text on the paper has no depth or shadow so I know it is fixed and I cant use my ‘hands’ to manipulate it.) What breaks this functionality often is inconsistencies in 3D presented by OS. I think for Haiku the window objects (including layers of shadows) should be rendered in ‘real’ 3D first, studied in detail and then converted to UI objects.

My ‘best way’ from around:

  • close from ‘x’ in right corner
  • minimize from ‘-’ or RMC on ‘x’
  • maximize and back from specific button ‘the square(s)’
  • RMC or MMC(actually not so good, scrollwheel click) on ‘the square(s)’ to maximize vertically or horizontally (and back)
  • workspaces (with tweaks) to move windows between workspaces
  • DMC on upper window border to roll up
  • sticky(all workspaces) and always-on-top set by choosing from RMC-menu from taskbar-object of the program
  • mouse, icons and window-like objects have shadows
  • applications menu opens on RMC on empty desktop area
  • RMC on desktop icon allows manipulation of icon and icons
  • ‘quicklaunch’ menu for most-used apps - RMC on right desktop border (try Windows app called RunIt, http://www.magister-lex.at/RUNit/)

I’m sorry but I think more is still coming… :confused:


good stuff! I will add that gestures are great but feedback is needed. I suggest a visual overlay which fades away.

Imho the iphone which i am using right now should be ripped off for pretty much everything Gui wise where it makes sense.


I left out important feature in my previous rant:

  • window snapping (in Windows I’m using app called DisplayFusion to do this task because it also gives me different wallpapers for my 2 monitors, but window snapping should be integrated in any decent desktop environment; theres also a app called allSnap that does a decent job.)

PS. BeOS R5 had one of the best UIs (if not THE best) in his time and IMHO even today when it comes to clarity, functionality, KISS -rule etc so I really hope that people who decide what is the Haiku R1 official look really dwell little into UI-design before they make their choice. Linuxae and all the teens skinning them is today nothing to take after. IMHO most Linuxae have crap UI-s and have to be heavily tweaked before they become usable. If You look at the desktop of full-day linux-user (who isn’t into UI-tweaking per se) then You’d most probably see none of the official or most ‘popular’ skins of that distribution. Usually there’s some heavily toned-down clear and crisp, even minimalistic UI theme. Most linux UI skins are crap made by amateurs and thats why there are so many of them around.

my 0,02€


I am calling for this UI to be implemented, Haiku’s Retro look is holding it back. (also a inbuilt package manager but thats a different issue) i am very willing to help make this reality but i cant do this alone…


Actually haiku has already implemented most of this … It does not yet have rounded windows but I believe this is a planned feature it may get pushed to R2 however

When you are getting things done the UI appearance matters little. However the Haiku UI has been recently updated with gradients and a generally smooth uncomplicated appearance that many people like. As features are added to Haiku the UI will change and improve to reflect those changes as long as they allow the system to remain lean and fast. I think that is the general sentiment of the developers and long time users besides you kind of get attached to a cool different UI like BeOS/Haiku’s after awhile.


i am more than happy to help out with the UI while you work on core stuff, if you need me im there. Also im not saying i dont like how Haiku looks heck BeOS is what got me into computing as a passion in the first place! you dont need to lose what makes the UI great, just update it with some nice new desktop effects (vector stuff, shadowing, rounding etc). i talk about haiku all the time to any one who i happen to be talking about computing with! (ok not that many) but when they say things like “id give it another year tops” or “whats the point of developing Haiku?! stick with linux!” it sadens me :frowning: please let me help prove the nay sayers wrong, and move the os into and beyond the 21st century!
P.S Sorry for that passionate outburst, HAIKU has become quite the hobby for me outside of my day to day OS


It’s OK, a lot of us are passionate about Haiku :slight_smile:

I think for now the UI of Haiku won’t be changing much. Given the capabilities of Haiku I think we are doing pretty well. Thinks like non-rectangular windows, shadows, and transparency will come eventually. But if we incorporate those things they will be done to improve the usability, and not just for looks. I like a cool looking system as much as anyone, but we must not forget our primary purpose is to help the user get things done.

In the meantime sabianadmin I think there are plenty of graphical and UI-related things you could do:

  1. Read the Icon Guidelines, learn how to use Icon-O-Matic and make some Haiku vector icons. We still need a few in Haiku itself, though I’m working on some of those at the moment (Touchpad preferences icon for example.) But even icons for the web-site which are in the Haiku style are useful.

  2. Use Haiku and suggest UI improvements for the system itself and for the included applications (not just looks but usability.) Any obvious bugs and even suggestions for improvement (enhancements) can be logged at the Haiku bug tracker.

  3. If you have ideas for a nice, simple, streamlined “Haiku style” web browser interface, I’m open to suggestions. I’m developing a new browser for Haiku that will use WebKit and I want it to be top notch. I like to fancy myself a good UI designer (and I’m getting ideas from other browsers of course), but I’m always open to suggestions. I’d especially enjoy looking at mock-ups.


I keep having the feeling that the scrollbar is lacking contrast so i edited your mockup a bit (i hope you don’t mind) to add that.

It’s not perfect, just for the idea.


That looks a lot better. Now, what would it look like if the the scroll arrows were filled in with black?


As you wish, also made some other little changes and added comments to those i already made before:

Have a better default Desktop Environment