Process Explorer

Process Explorer, or what ever its called
The Alpha came with it living in the task bar
I would like to bring up a few reasons why I dont like it

Number 1, thats one ugly icon, and 1 weird way of working
Number 2, the average user does not know how to stop it from auto running
Number 3, when you do figure out how to stop it from working, your taking a chance editing that file

The number one problem with Windows, it gave to many knowledgeable people ways to start programs, that the average user did not know how to stop. In other words, some creep adds a program start to the registry, and joe computer user, cuss’s and swears for the next year of his life, until he figures out how to remove it. Not to mention all the virus makers that took advantage of registry auto running programs

Some day, the boot script file has to be removed, and its settings moved into the kernel, or someplace else evil people cant get to it, in the meantime, I can see lots of people trying to edit the bootscript file, and crashing their systems. And some day, hackers playing with it on purpose

But right now, I guess my complaint is, that I dont like the program, and have to remove it from every computer I set up to show Haiku to. Because every one of them ask what the icon is, and why when they try to use it, they dont understand it, or how it works
Dont get me wrong, its a great program, I have a ton of respect for it. But it really does have an ugly Icon and weird way of using it. So I only use it, when I need it, really need it

Its so great to see the birth of a new OS, and remake of the best OS ever made
I have carried the Alpha CD with me, on my body, for 5 days sense it came out. Showing it to anyone and everyone that would let me. The first thing most of them have noticed, is the lonely Icon that doesn’t seem to do anything

We sell 50 computers or more, a day here where I work, and once Haiku is working a little better, I plan on asking for permission to load Haiku on bare bones, or full systems, for people to try
Maybe start selling the CD here, if the distribution idea’s go that way
I really hope we can see R1 soon
But it worries me that people will be confused about apps asking to live in the task bar etc
It seems more and more applications bring up a box before starting, asking if they should live in the task bar. Kind of reminds me of Vista, did you want to do that ? are you sure you wanted to do that ? Are you sure you meant to say yes to that last question, about wanting to do that, etc etc etc

Most newcomers to Haiku must understand that Haiku is different from other Operating Systems they have used in the past. Although the goal of creating a really intuitive and easy to use OS is a noble goal, sometimes you need to be aware of what’s happening under the hood to really understand and appretiate the system. It is worth the effort to familiarise yourself with how the system works, because at the end of the day, you will be more productive and have a more enjoyable experience.

There is a lot of history behind BeOS (Haiku’s spiritual ancestor). Process Controller is inspired by the old BeBox Blinkenlights (or whatever the thing is called), which were a set of LED’s indicating real time CPU usage. Back in the mid 90’s, this was an amazing thing, since it showed you exactly when your CPU was busy. It’s like a REV meter in your car. Process Controller goes the extra step of allowing the user to adjust the priorities of any application, as well as terminating misbehaving applications.

A lot of BeOS old timers (which are the majority of Haiku users at this point in time) will vigorously defend the inclusion of Process Controller. It is an important piece of BeOS history, and holds a special place in our hearts. It’s actually amazingly useful.

Besides what Zenja said:
Remember this is an alpha release, targeted foremost at developers. For R1, I’m totally with you not to install it to the Deskbar by default (though still included as applet).

I can’t understand what’s ugly about it’s “icon” in the tray. A bargraph for each CPU, one for memory. How could you go fancy for that?

Removing it could not be easier: left or right click on it and uncheck the “Live in Deskbar” mark. I’m not sure what file you try to edit.
I’m with you however, things that live in the Deskbar’s tray should provide an option to remove themselves again.


I assume tsteve was talking about the Bootscript, which automatically starts Process Controller at every boot, and if you remove it in your current session it comes back when you reboot (unless you edit the Bootscript.)

I personally think Process Controller (PC) is great, eminently useful and impressive in demos. I also don’t see how the icon is so ugly, assuming you mean the icon in the deskbar tray (though the application icon for PC is also not ugly.)

But I agree that normal users should not necessarily have to edit the Bootscript to stop something like PC running if they don’t want it. So I would suggest moving the starting of PC to the boot launch directory (though a script would be needed instead of a link to start it in the deskbar.) Of course the boot launch directory is pretty new and even though it is in the User Guide not everyone will read that. So this may not be the perfect solution either.

But in general I don’t think the Bootscript will be going away anytime soon. It is a simple and fairly clean way to start up the system and all the standard services and applications needed at boot up. Anything made to replace it would probably be more complicated like the Unix init system or the Mac OS X launchd. Trying to move it into the kernel is not a good solution either and the reality is that most people want a way to automatically start things at bootup and right now the Bootscript, UserBootscript and launch boot directory is how we do that.

Process Controller is actually a Replicant. Replicants are slightly different from normal BeOS applications because they can embed their views into other applications views - in this case, Process Controller attaches its view to the Deskbar application. Without looking at the actual code, I believe that Deskbar (and Tracker) keep track of which Replicants were attached, hence they will always be shown when you restart the system. You need to disable the replicant to remove Process Controller.
PS. I’m not on a Haiku box at the moment, I’m relying on my memory.

Hi and thanks, and I agree with everything everyone said
But I dont think people that know Be / Haiku cant always grasp the perspective of a new user

By ugly, I mean, its weird, I know that doesnt help much
In other words, its just 2 bars, which is fine, but not very friendly
Its missing something like a menu or start button, or something
Sorry, its hard to put into words, I love the app, its just the small icon for using it that seems weird

As for the bootscript, I guarantee, it will be used for evil someday
Someone will write to it, and make it start something no one wants
A startup folder really needs to be used

If a beginner edits it, they may easily stop a server or needed program from running
And then be locked out, when the OS does not load right on the next boot

The programming like syntax is confusing to most people
And Haiku is going after the desktop, right ?

The kernel should have the directory layout and needed program locations hard coded into it
I cant see a reason for it needing to be told where deskbar is located
Not once its ready for prime time anyway

People will learn quickly, where the startup folder is, and how to look at it to see what icons are there, simple rule, if there is a icon, its starting something
IF Haiku came with 8 icons already there, and now you see 20, it means allot of extra programs are being started

Most people will never understand the funny symbols and lines in the bootscript
Even windows made config.sys and autoexec.bat, simple to read

Anyway. I dont mean to complain, seeing Haiku running is great
I just dont want to see it misused by an evil few
And I’ll bet, bootscript will be the first file to be used against itself

I really don’t understand why users would freak out over Process Controller on haiku, yet be perfectly fine with Windows Task Manager. I mean Process Controller has one bar for memory usage, and one bar each per CPU for their usage; The performance tab of the Windows Task Manager has one graph showing memory usage, and graph each per CPU for their usage. Windows Task Manager also creates a icon on the Task Bar showing collective CPU usage.

I think Process Controller fits nicely in the gap between Windows Task Manager and Microsoft Process Explorer.

I love process explorer myself, but definately don’t think it should be enabled by default in production releases. CPU monitors and the like tend to wake the CPU from C3/4 several times a second, leading to a considerable drop in battery life for portables.

As for replicants, I’m working on one right now but am unfamiliar with how deskbar deals with them. There needs to be an easier way to delete them. Right now, the only real way to get rid of them for certain is to delete the shelf’s data from /boot/home/config. It seems like there should be a way to a) list & delete replicants and b) start tracker & deskbar without them (akin to holding Shift on Windows startup). I can definitely see this becoming a problem since a nefarious replicant would be hard to spot, and a buggy one can keep Tracker from starting.

Startup programs should be confined to one location IMHO. It’s far more convenient when you want to add/remove something and it keeps programs from hiding. A bootscript probably isn’t the answer since it mixes critical system startup with optional programs. It’s also a point of failure that should probably be eventually removed for simplicity’s sake (oops, looks like the encoding got changed, your system is now unbootable and the reason isn’t at all obvious, even if you examine the bootscript).

Well, it’s tru that PC is being started via Bootscript. It may not be such a good idea, however.

Bootscript shoudl be used to bring the system up, not to configure the workspace. For the latter purpose there are launch directory in ~/config/boot as well as UserBootscript. Since PC requires parameters to automatically live in Deskbar why not launch it from within Userbootscript of via separate sript in ~/config/boot/launch?

I personally would suggest using the last method for anything that does not require being in bootscript as it is much more intuitive to user: don’t want feature X run automatically, go ahead and remove respective link or script from ~/congif/boot/launch. In this way novice users are less likely to break the system if they only wish to modify their UI preference.

Since multi-user is still long way from now, I’d strongly suggest considering moving everything out of Bootscript that is not absolutely required to be there.

“There needs to be an easier way to delete them. Right now, the only real way to get rid of them for certain is to delete the shelf’s data from /boot/home/config.”