What would BeOS look like now?

I am a computer science student at UofM, and i am familiar with BeOS (used it when i was a kid). Me and a group of friends asked ourselves, what would BeOS look like now, had it been successful? Or better yet, what would mac os x look like today, had it used BeOS as its base, instead of NextStep? We believe we have the answers, and have done a few interface designs. Our interface is centered around something called the “tabwheel” which is a hybrid of tracker and the mac os x dock. I will post some mockups we have done in photoshop to the forums.

…Which raises the question: If BeOS became “Mac OS X” and the NeXTSTEP operating system died a sad death, would a group of rabid NeXTSTEP fans spend the next 12 years working on an “OpenNeXTSTEP” operating system with the goal of achieving binary compatability with the original OS, one that causes people outside of the project to constantly COMPLAIN that the USER INTERFACE LOOKS TOO “1995”?? :open_mouth:

I’d probably use it. :slight_smile:

Honestly, I just don’t get why people think the GUI needs to be constantly reinvented. The NeXTSTEP/OSX dock seems to be functionally just a mashing together of Windows 95’s Taskbar and Start menu, which really don’t go that well together; it’s no easier for switching applications, and mashing it up with a launcher just means you wind up switching to a running application when you’d like to launch a new instance. (I won’t fault NeXTSTEP for that, as it came out way before Win95, but for OSX to copy a superceded idea years later is really just kind of silly.)

GUIs have been incrementally refined over the years to the point where they’re basically a done deal; I don’t think that reinventing this wheel just for novelty’s sake is going to be in any way helpful, and later Windows revisions show just how annoying it can get to be constantly changing things around just for the sake of change. Haiku’s GUI isn’t 100% to my taste, but it’s perfectly satisfactory and doesn’t need reinventing (a couple of tweaks, sure, but it’s fundamentally whole and sound.) Complaining that a satisfactory GUI looks like it originated at the time when GUIs reached a generally satisfactory state is like complaining that your refrigerator still essentially runs on 1950s technology :confused:

I don’t think that’s a good / bad sort of thing, but instead is a comparison of the difference between a window centric model (like in Windows 7) and an application centric model (as in Mac OS X). If I understand correctly, Haiku also uses an application centric model, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

I agree. The only reason I see for companies for Microsoft and Apple to continue to change the user interface is because GOSH DARN IT WE NEED TO SELL NEW COPIES OF OUR OPERATING SYSTEM! The GNOME 3 developers have no excuse. :wink:

Anyway, I think Haiku looks perfect the way it is, but I’m still interested in seeing the concepts designed by the OP. :slight_smile:

That’s a fair point, I guess (Haiku seems to strike something of a middle ground, but it’s more towards the application-centric model.) Still, it seems awkward to try and mix two unrelated functions into one tool like that.

Oh, don’t get me started…

Oh, yeah, didn’t mean to bag on the OP or anything; I was referring more to the general idea that Haiku’s GUI is “ew, dated.

UofM Michigan/Minnesota or ? Just curious. I live in Hartland, Michigan and am a current student at LCC. It’d be nice to meet other individuals interested in Haiku that are close by. Personally I think the BeOS Dano interface was the future of BeOS. Combining the standard Dano theme with Dockbert was a treat. It also allowed custom third party themes or “Decors”.

This reminds me of one of my favorite UI articles, about how CDE (Yes, CDE) is one of the best user interfaces every designed:


It pretty much says that it doesn’t distract you, stays out of your way, and behaves exactly how you would expect it to behave (no surprises). I think the Haiku user interface does very well in this regard. :slight_smile:

It could be Miami, at least down here in South Florida UofM means University of Miami. If so I too would like to meet other BeOS/Haiku people in my area.

That is probably pretty safe to say, and then on that point Zeta took it a bit further.

At this point Haiku has become its own thing, though I think we still would like to be the “BeOS of the future” obviously. Unfortunately given that we had to recreate BeOS we are behind what BeOS could have been now had its development continued.

As for the whole “Haiku looks dated” thing, most people who say that are just speaking of aesthetics. Usability-wise Haiku is pretty good, with just small tweaks needed here and there. Aesthetics are generally pretty easy to change, with the exception of crazy 3D affects present in some modern systems. My point being that people who judge Haiku just initially on looks are being as superficial as people who judge other people just on looks. Of course I do appreciate a nice looking system, and Haiku could use some modernizing tweaks here and there, but the core stuff is there. A preference window on OS X or Windows 7 doesn’t look amazingly better than one on Haiku.

Thanks for taking the time Ryan to respond in the forum. It’s here where the beginners start out and it means alot to have a lead developer chime in. personally I hope someday soon I can contribute as well :slight_smile:


CDE was awesome for sure… I used it on both VMS and Solaris and loved it endlessly. I hope OpenCDE can carry the great legacy forward.



Many times I thinking about BeOS. “What would BeOS looks like now?”. It is a very good question. I think BeOS would be on many computers now. And not only on PC/tablet, but on phones (ARM) too. Just remember: there was some IA devices what used BeOS more than 10 years before! And there was a “tablet” based on BeOS too: DT-325.

And just look at Haiku now: it is on the way to port it to another platform, other than x86. It can run from any media with/without install, it can uses many thing natively, it has a good browser, and many other cool thing.

“What would BeOS looks like now?” Maybe we shall ask JLG :slight_smile: and the ex BeOS developers. They had brilliant ideas many years before.

I think the GUI still would have tabbed style, of course with some improvements.

Currently I am not able to develop for Haiku, so I develop some applications for Windows (using .NET 2.0). For the developments I get many ideas from other OS’s. Some from BeOS, some from QNX and some from Windows. I have made a “demo” application (sorry, but only for Windows (need .NET 2.0)) what can download from here: http://www.d-rendszer.hu/NewTesztGUI.exe
I have some “good” GUI idea, what can implement in Haiku too. It would be fine. These are simple but useful ideas. For example, we can colapse the window, and we can move the tab and fix the window in place as well. There can be an indicator for topmost window and the glued window. This style has a context menu too on the tab and on the buttons. And I have some new idea for the controls also.

I hope somebody will be interested to my ideas.

Here are some screenshots (if somebody cannot cannot try the program):