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BeOS For Linux 309

Posted by Hemos
from the making-things-pretty dept.
Bob Gortician writes "The BlueOS guys have posted a few screenshots of their progress in porting the BeOS interface to Linux. Note that this is an intermediary step toward a BeOS clone OS. " I actually had a Be machine for a while, and played with it - nice OS, and well thought out, just a problem of very little applications for it.
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BeOS For Linux

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  • by Marx_Mrvelous (532372) on Friday March 01, 2002 @01:56PM (#3091902) Homepage
    I think BeOS was a nice experiment in OS interface implementation. I'm glad to see it's still around, in a sense.

    OT: Wow, no ads rock!
  • by BoxJockey (50760) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:02PM (#3091970)
    The developing of a BeOS clone via this route may yield atleast the se two main benefits:
    * Linux and other *nix's will gain another easy to use, mature, comprehensive GUI.
    * BeOS will gain from more exposure and may get new development.

    This is a great way to continue this great product.
  • Re:Fragmentation... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonynnous Coward (557984) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:03PM (#3091979)
    Except that Apple has demonstrated a tendency to threaten to sue any entity that dares even make skins that look like their "innovative" eye candy user interface.

    Sure, they might be the lesser of evils as far as usability goes, but I don't think any C&D letter wielding corporation deserves to have its products plugged by a bunch of Linux users.

  • Re:Fragmentation... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ptrourke (529610) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:06PM (#3092019) Homepage
    Mac OS X might be UNIX's best hope, but as it's not Linux, I don't see how you can say it's Linux's best hope, let alone that "It's Linux with the usability that Joe Sixpack can handle." Different license, different kernel architecture, different filesystem . . . That said, the more Unices or UNIX-likes there are, the more compatible everyone will be, and the better off we'll be. (Of course, the same could be said of Windows)
  • Re:Fragmentation... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cutriss (262920) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:08PM (#3092052) Homepage
    Well, I made that comment because while I'm totally offbase from a geek standpoint, for the average home user, Mac OS X presents them the closest semblance of a UNIX-like operating system they'll ever see. And more people out there in this decade have heard of Linux than UNIX (Again, we're talking about average schmoes)...so I think that X's popularity will further the interest in Linux (Even if it is based on BSD, which is another point entirely).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:17PM (#3092144)
    Was BeOS supposed to be a good user interface?

    Yes

    Then why wasn't it designed as a toolkit for X, or as an X alternative?

    See above.

    Was BeOS supposed to utilize SMP better by dividing applications into more threads?
    Then why wasn't it designed as an application framework?


    Out of interest, what do you think an Operating System is, if its not an "application framework"?

    Was BeOS supposed to have a revolutionary OS design?
    By still using file systems, giving no thought or insight to security, and a Unix-like model in a new OS, I don't think so.


    If it was a Unix-like model, why didn't they have any security? How do your organise your data if you have no filesystem? Hint: Even if you use some fancy relational database, you still need some way of otganising the data on the physical medium. In other words, a file system!

    What the hell were they thinking?

    What the hell are you smoking?
  • Licence? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Penrod Pooch (466103) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:24PM (#3092229)
    The FAQ says its not under the GPL. Then what licence is it under? Is it free software?
  • Re:Fragmentation... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:31PM (#3092312)
    Sorry, but I didn't spend the last year transitioning away from one closed source operating system (Windows) only to move to a different but equally closed source operating system (Mac OS X). Mac OS X may have a superior GUI, but its not like the KDE and GNOME folks are standing still, and I am not willing to give up my freedom for the small benefit to me personally that the totally closed Mac GUI brings. Note, I'm not averse to paying for software, as I always purchase my copy of Mandrake when I upgrade.
  • by dinivin (444905) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:36PM (#3092368)
    I think you need to read the FAQ. This article is about BlueOS, which is, at the moment, a GUI for linux running on top of X11.

    This article is not about OpenBeOS, which is the work in progress, rewriting bits and pieces of BeOS as open source, and aiming to use the NewOS kernel eventually.

    Dinivin
  • Re:Fragmentation... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by powerlinekid (442532) on Friday March 01, 2002 @02:38PM (#3092393)
    Ok #1) MacOS X is beautiful... but its also the Mach kernel with a BSD compatibility layer on it. Its definitly not linux and typical linux apps won't run on it without a little tweaking.

    #2) Have you played with the KD3 beta2 yet? Did it last night and its gorgeous... has some bugs left, but we're talking beta software here. I think if we fix up the config file mess (slackware people excluded, because they like them ;-)) and put kde3 on a machine, windows users should have no problem.

    On a side note, my two little brothers accidently logged into my linux box. One didn't know he wasn't in windows and was using it fine and the other knew he was in linux but liked it better. Just something to think about.
  • by Y-Crate (540566) on Friday March 01, 2002 @04:02PM (#3093245)
    You can create the most beautiful, well-thought-out and consistant UI for an OS, but if the individual apps are written with sloppy UIs, it all falls apart.

    The one problem I have with Linux is the fact that 90% of the GUI apps have simply idiotic user interfaces. I burst out laughing the first time I used Linuxconf. The dialog window that popped up the first time it ran had a "Quit" button instead of a "Close" button. That is a perfect example of the misleading, inconsistant and just difficult to use interfaces plague the platform. There needs to be some sort of effort put into implementing a consistant UI across all apps, or else all of this work will be for nothing.

    On the Mac, and to a slightly lesser extend on Windows, almost every app is interacted with in the same way. A user knows what to expect when they start just about anything but a game. And while you can argue what paradigm is the best, the fact remains the consistancy is the key and Linux lacks not only that, but a core set of accepted design principles. You can argue this will somehow curtail your "freedom" or something all you want, but the fact remains it is a solution that offers much more promise than the embarassingly ameturisih one we currently have to suffer through.

    Badly designed user interfaces make Linux look bad. It's simple as that. When Linux looks bad, it's adoption rate is affected. How do people expect to combat the negative stereotypes of the platform if they are unwilling to band together to overcome the easiest to fix, yet most glaring problem with the OS? This isn't as much about asthetics of Linux apps as it is about the success of Linux itself.

    If you think "Oh, I just use the command line" or "Who cares, let them program it themselves" or "It's pretty, so what's the problem?" you are being ignorant of the demands and expectations of those you care attempting to bring over from Windows or wherever.

    Drop the elitism, drop the selfishness, just realize what needs to be done and understand the awful truth of the computing industry, one that seems lost on most Linux developers:

    Give them what they want, or they will go away.

    It's not about what you want, it's about what they want, how they want to work. Never forget that. You can't force-feed them every paradigm change and excuse for every bit of laziness on your part. You have to adapt to their needs and adapt quickly. You only get one chance to make a first impression and pissing them off by acting high and mighty about changing things to make their lives easier is not the way to do it. Many a promising platfom has died because of this, don't for a second think Linux is immune to the negative effects of the choices made by its proponents.

    People need to realize that ignoring this sort of thing forever will somehow fix the problem, or that we will slowly somehow overcome it. I don't think that meshes very well with reality. It's going to take a clear and consistant vision with a lot of effort on the part of the developers and users to overcome this impasse. And believe me, it is an impasse. The platform is currently reaching critical mass and a point where it decides where it wants to go, and what it wants to be. Sure, this is going to be unpopular, but I don't care, I'd rather get modded down to oblivion than let this go unsaid. Because it needs to be said, and it needs to be appreciated, if not neccesarily liked.
  • by be-fan (61476) on Friday March 01, 2002 @04:04PM (#3093269)
    You do know that Linux's thread model is pretty damn good itself. What was special about BeOS wasn't that it kernel, but the way it was designed. Take multithreading, for example. Linux probably handles apps with multiple threads just as well as BeOS, as long as you stick to 4 CPUs. Yet, multithreading is tons more useful on BeOS because people actually USE it. The thread-phobic UNIX developer community just doesn't take advantage of the responsiveness gains to be had through multithreading. Take Galeon for example. Where BeOS and Net+ were agressively multithreading, Galeon is agressively single-threaded. It seems like the developers did everything they could to make sure that while the browser was doing anything, the whole UI would freeze up. On my PII-300 MHz, surfing the web with dozens of windows open is no problem in BeOS or Windows 2000. Yet, with Linux/Galeon, it is torture because everything I open a complex page in a new tab, the rest of the galeon UI locks up for several seconds while the page renders. I think that this BlueOS project is the greatest thing ever. It takes what is great about Linux (the kernel and the hardware support) and merges it with what's great about BeOS (the UI and development model).
  • What linux do need is som sort of abstraction for the not-so-eperienced user. The GUI on linux is wery easy to learn and use but the new filestructure and all the apps can be hard to learn. If linux would get a distrobution that had most ususal setings assembled in one place and with abstraction and som widgets it would rock even for a newbie. Most ppl have problems installing network cards and other hardware issues so a common place with menus would help a lot. Even if the best way is to learn we have to accept the fact that most ppl takes their manual to their new stereo, car, moile or whatever and just toss it away. If ppl could buy a computer alredy installed with linux that would be a big difference. An OEM could configure the system to perfection so that the user never had to bother. The drivers issue is another thing that should be adressed. An esier way to install hardware could do much good. I dont think linux need a new interface because there are alredy perfect ones out there.
  • by Will Dyson (40138) on Friday March 01, 2002 @05:04PM (#3093856)
    This is my little bit of shameless self-promotion. I am the author of a (currently read-only) linux driver for the Be Filesystem [sourceforge.net].

    While I am not involved in the BlueOS project, I think my work is complementary to theirs. Eventually, it should be possible to boot from a BeFS volume, compile and run BeOS apps, and not know that it is the linux kernel underneath it all.

    Also worth a look is the OpenBeOS project [sourceforge.net], who have their own implementation of the Be Filesystem [sourceforge.net] (which is actually progressing faster than mine).

  • please to it right (Score:2, Interesting)

    by markj02 (544487) on Friday March 01, 2002 @06:07PM (#3094418)
    Change notification, file attributes, and similar functionality could be useful for Linux. But the BlueOS effort sounds to me like they are just going to do the minimal thing necessary to provide that functionality in a BeOS-style ("kernel_server"), let the rest of the Linux world be damned. I think that would be wasted effort: a BeOS layer on top of Linux will always be a fringe effort and it just will not take the world by storm.

    A better way of doing it is to think carefully of how one can provide that functionality in a way that is natural to a UNIX and Linux environment, and then build BeOS compatibility on top of that. With that, there is actually a chance that non-BeOS ports will start using the functionality as well.

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