The Traditional GUI group is responsible for designing a windowing system that mimics the traditional GUIs in place today -- Windows 95, X Window, the Macintosh, etc . . .
-- IanDavis, 4 Nov 1997
Here's a place to start adding TraditionalGUIGroup subtopics:
(As of a couple hours from now, all documents lower than this on the tree will be named TGUIGBlah where blah is topic for organization and minimal confusion. Trad. GUI Group = TGUIG. Better ideas welcome.)
I think the TraditionalGUIGroup needs sub-levels, to focus on different aspects of our traditional GUI. My suggestion would be a group for every aspect, including groups for: icons, window handling (how to minimize/maximize/close/edit properties), color scheme (backgrounds, window coloring), fonts, components (buttons, scrollbars, text fields, what they look like, how they behave), taskbar-like component?, standardized shortcuts (Ctrl-C == copy, etc), etc.
I'm not sure how best to break it up, so maybe someone with more GUI experience has some ideas.
I do have a couple of ideas that just popped into my head, so I thought I'd jot them down here until we get more specific group headings:
-- MasonZhwiti (12/2/97)
I think at first we should find out who in this group has experience with each 'traditional' GUI, that way we can determine what we like and dislike about them (myself... I have a lot of exp with Win 3.x and Win 95, little with XWindows and no Mac exp.). Once that is done we will at least have a general idea of what we can do to improve them.
One thing that I HATE about Win 95, when you minimize something it goes to the taskbar (ok, this is fine)...but the only way to bring it back up is to move down there and click on it. I like one of the XWindows I once used, you just right clicked on the background and selected the 'running tasks' it opened to all the open applications, and you chose the one you wanted.
Isn't JPEG a registered format? If so we would have to get their permission to use it, I know that the Free Software Foundation (http://www.gnu.org) had some problems with that; so they don't use them on their web site or apps.
( A comment by MarkusPeter : GIF images have problems associated with them, not JPEG. The problem is, that the compression algorithm used by GIFs is patented )
--Wayne Pierce firstname.lastname@example.org (flame mail welcome...
I have experience on SGI's version of X (I believe it was called WindowMagic). The rest of the time I've used DOS, Win 3.1, Win95, and WinNT 4 (which is what I use all of the time now). I have used Macs a little when I was forced to in school (that's all they had). I only used SGI's X for about a year, but it had some nifty features (don't know if these are specific to SGI's version of X or not):
A couple things that annoy me about some GUIs:
I love the clock/sound control in the taskbar... to the point where it annoys me on any GUI that doesn't have it (at least the clock). This was very annoying on the SGI.
What does everyone think about the way shortcuts are represented? I mean, on Windows a shortcut is underlined. I believe SGI handles this differently (italicized? -- sort of hard to read). I always thought making the shortcut letter bold would be best. With some fonts it is hard to tell which character is underlined.
As for JPEG: isn't a problem -- it's GIF. The GNU project said they cannot use GIFs on their website because of "legal problems." This could pose a real problem, so we may want to investigate if it really is a legal problem, and if so, look more closely at JPEG and PNG.
Hi folks, I am new out here and so would like to contribute as much as possible to the GUI and experimental GUI for JOS. I have been into GUI design so far and also into desigining 'ERGONOMICAL GUI' for applications. Some one please reply back to me how do I get started. (email@example.com)
(MasonZhwiti moved Nagendra's text down here, since I didn't really think it was applicable to this page, least of all the top of the page which should be reserved for IanDavis' words and the breakdown of this group into subgroups ... IMHO. Note: Nagendra -- just jump right in!)
Yeah, PNG is good. I'm just concerned about the size... isn't it proportionately larger for small graphics? (Or is it large graphics... can't remember).
Also, GIF can be definitely be ugly, but I think we definitely will want animated icons and such in the standard gui, so the question is how do we do them? PNG doesn't support animations I don't think.
I agree about JPG... great for photos, not for icons and widgets.
We also might want to start coming up with ideas for the standard widgets we know will exist... button, scrollbar, textbox, etc....
I will check out the UserInterfaceIntroduction section if you check out the BrainStorms section for my idea on the 'JOS bot'.... :)
(WaynePierce copied the IRC Bot to the ExperimentalGUIGroup page 12/7/97)
I've heard of this, but never used it when I had access to a unix machine. There are quite a few programs available for NT (like pcAnywhere, which I use) that allow you to remotely access a computer's desktop, just as if you were sitting at the remote computer. I was blown away by it when I first used it. I'm not sure how pcAnywhere does it, but it seems like it just sends squares of bitmaps of whatever has changed onscreen. It seems like we could do something a little better with JOS. I definitely agree that we should consider this type of thing when creating the low level GUI. --MasonZhwiti
I don't mind the clock on the win95, but I don't need ANY of the icons on the SysTray, I used to have one but I got rid of it and all the icons on my SysTray are useless to me; it should be mandatory for them to be allowed to be turned off.
I got used to the Win95 taskbar after getting enough programs to make it entirely different (I can recommend a program called Microangelo Studio, can't remember where I got it...) the customization programs should be built in...
My biggest beef I have with Win95, that I can think of, is the Document menu, I don't use it I hate, I want to turn it off, but I can't. If Jos is going to tailor to every need possible, I can see a Document menu, but It should be able to be disabled, also when creating new File Types in Jos there should be a [x] is Document check box to say that a file type is or isn't going to be put in the Document menu. I better stop, I'm starting to hate my start menu more than usual.
As for the icon discussion, I think a new format would be best (.icon?) that could do animations, rollovers, etc...
I like the magic number look-up table idea, it could index the MIME, alot better then going by extension.
What font file format is going to be used in JOS, .ttf?
I think .ttf should definitely be supported (is that a standard? if so, where's the spec?). Any time we have the choice of supporting stuff that our windoze counterparts will be using a lot, I say we keep it. For example, the JOS equivalent of "Win95 Wordpad" should be able to read Word document files, RTF files, WordPerfect files, etc. Stuff like that will make future JOS users very happy. Sharing documents will be easier, and the font situation is no different.
As for the icons and the other stuff, I think I agree with you. :)
It's nice to be agreed with and I don't know how standard ttf is, it's one of those files that's the same except for two or three things that make it unreadable on different platforms. I have the spec it's long and confusing but I'm reading it and will make Javabean/ContentHandler support for it.
Which brings me to another rambling; JOS should support HotJava-style protocol/content handlers. What I find needs some discussion is writing files; content handlers don't support it, maybe we need a new type of content handler... Another thing needed is codec handlers...
I like the handling of other OS' fileformats, but I think we need our own fileformats (portable to other OS', of course) there aren't enough good portable file formats..
I scanned the overcomplex spec. of TrueType formats (have you ever heard of .ttc files? there-like multi-font files) and have to decided to start writing a content-handler/bean package and am going to post it after I get the abstract done...
If we split the JOS GUI into to conceptual layers, the "work" layer and the "visual" layer, it would be easy for someone to design a new look &feel for JOS without having to recode the entire GUI! (I know there's a name for this, but it eludes me as of current)
That'd be MVC (Model View Controller) ? See any decent write up on swing, or it's docs/api for an obtuse explanation that yields the beginnings of understanding. That said, realize that the whole bleeding OS is going to be that way. Any 'component' we decide upon (like a Tracker/taskbar widget) will be implemented as a interface, or a subclassable object. If we do it this way, then it will be easy to 'plug' in various versions of the same thing. Similarly, any JOS app is going to be broken up the same way, so that the different Shell implementations can talk to it, and it to them. We need to define this interface (or server) before we do anything else, or at least prototype it. This is what the Shell Group is for, so I'm going to pick up this thread over there now.
What does anyone think about porting the Gnome project to Java?
Gnome is the GNU desktop that's under development. Redhat and Debian will be using it as the desktop for their Linux distributions.
Plus: We could reuse much code and most documentation. Also many resource files.
Minus: Gnome uses the GTK+ toolkit so we would either 1) have to write bindings for the Java/Swing API and have the extra GTK+ library's code hanging around, or 2) clone Gnome using the Java API, instead of porting it.
The apps would be a straight port if he we kept the GTK+ toolkit (#1, above), but would require less code and run faster if we rewrote them for the Java (Swing) API (#2, above). I don't know which would be best.
With support from two major Linux distributors, Gnome may very well take off and it seems best to re-use rather than re-invent.
What does anyone else think?
InigoGonzalez January 11, 1999.
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