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GUIs From 1984 to the Present 263

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gooey-all-over-the-place dept.
alewar writes "This nice gallery shows the evolution in the appearance of Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and KDE through the years, from the first version to the last available. Not technical, but still interesting to recall some memories from the good old days."
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GUIs From 1984 to the Present

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  • by suso (153703) * on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:34PM (#15898676) Homepage Journal
    There is only one thing I like more than desktop screenshot timelines, and that is when image links that are 320x240 pixel size take me to an image that is 400x300 pixels in size when I click on it.

    Oh yeah, and where is the fucking Amiga desktop screenshot assholes?
  • by FlipmodePlaya (719010) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:38PM (#15898696) Journal
    A lot of the screenshots show highly customized desktops (look at the KDE 3.5 shot), which makes a comparison difficult. They're also all in low-resoultion JPEG format, which seems an odd choice...
  • "GUIs"??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:45PM (#15898738) Homepage Journal
    An inclusive statement like that should include GUIs from the early 60s (SKETCHPAD) through the Englebart demo through Xerox Star, GEOS on the C64, the Amiga Workbench, Atari GEM, etc... Why only show the PC and Mac?
  • Hard comparison (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:47PM (#15898747) Homepage
    when comes to KDE at least. Since with enough effort, KDE can look like any of those. Not a Gnome user myself, but some screenshots of it would have been nice for comparison at least.
  • by also-rr (980579) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:49PM (#15898753) Homepage
    And a bit odd in it's selections. It shows Vista (not yet released) but it doesn't show Compiz (under KDE), which is here today and puts Linux well over the top in terms of eye candy.

    I might add that there is a distinct lack of console love as well. I demand equal treatment for bash! Show me the ~$

    Before you were born:
    root@localhost:~$

    After you are dead:
    root@localhost:~$
  • DESQview? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:50PM (#15898758) Journal
    They forgot DESQview, the preferred environment for running your BBS software
  • Good Enough (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @01:59PM (#15898796) Journal
    Maybe it's just me, but the look of GUIs seemed to devolve from the initial Mac 1984 system 1 version, until about 1995. The look just got uglier and more cluttered, and color when it was introduced had no real aesthetic, this was probably due in part to display limitations. In 1995 both Mac and Windows finally arrive at reasonably attractive, colorful, and functional versions. KDE sets the bar a little higher in 1998 then stagnates, Mac catches up with X 10.5 and Windows should catch up with Vista.

    Rail against GUIs if you must, but without some vastly improved display system they have converged a stable solution that will probably stay mostly unchanged much like QWERTY typewriters, not because there isn't anything better possible, but because they are good enough, and are what everyone knows.
  • "Nice" Gallery? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Predictor (647746) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:15PM (#15898850)
    The author of this blurb terms this gallery "nice", and the author of the Web page itself titles it " The Evolution of Desktops". Huh? At best, it is a collection of Windows and Macintosh screenshots. What's missing? The XEROX object-oriented (old sense) GUI, any version of GEM, TopView, X-Windows, Lisa, the Mach interface, the various commercial non-X-Windows UNIX interfaces and whatever the Amiga used.
  • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:18PM (#15898859) Homepage

    Looking at those 20 year old GUIs always makes me sad, since it shows how basically nothing has changed since then. We got more colors, higher resolutions and a few more mouse buttons, but the basic user interaction is still very much the same as back then and still flawed in many ways. For example no mainstream GUI today manages to properly merge the power of the command line with the ease of use of a mouse driven interface, instead both act side by side, where the most 'integration' you get is lausy copy&paste support of filenames from GUI to CLI, however not the other way around. But thats really just the tip of the iceberg, computer interfaces could do so much more, but most of them don't even try. Don't get me wrong, some transparency, drop shadows and other effects can help, but they are really just polishing of something that is broken at a much deeper level.

    As another drastic example of the lack of GUI progress one can look at this NeXTSTEP presentation [google.de] from 1992, even today that video still shows plenty of features which a normal Linux or Windows still can't compete with and with MacOSX it doesn't really look that much better, while it is actually based on NeXTSTEP, it has allocated a whole bunch of cruft from old MacOS, which doesn't really make the overall experince all that good.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:39PM (#15898939)
    "Question: Why does it feel like everything "new" in software is a rewrite of stuff that has already been done in UNIX?"

    Since when is VMS, "UNIX"?
  • by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:42PM (#15898952) Homepage Journal

    It would have been nice to see some pics of the Amiga GUIs, year by year to show how much nicer they were at the time compared to Apple's and Microsoft's.

    And NeXTstep. The NeXTstep GUI circa 1992 looked a great deal like Mac OS X circa 2001 -- it was amazingly better than its contemporaries.

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @02:50PM (#15898979)

    Did you enjoy it or not?

    I personally couldn't care less why the blog was created, nor do I particularly care if people are posting things just to make money. I judge articles based on whether or not I enjoyed them and that's it.*

    * Acknowledging, of course, that some sites go so overboard with the 500 page articles (composed of 200 total words) filled with ads that even if it might be the greatest article ever I don't read it.

  • by maynard (3337) <j...maynard...gelinas@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @03:11PM (#15899068) Journal
    "For example no mainstream GUI today manages to properly merge the power of the command line with the ease of use of a mouse driven interface, instead both act side by side,[...]"

    How would you do this? A GUI is intended to provide simplicity by limiting choice to only those options relevant within a given context. Further, it uses visual metaphor to classify objects and data. CLIs use symbolic representation and grammar to organize files and actions, and as such are closer to reading, writing, and speech than a visual interpretation of system state. It's the difference between looking at a graph vs. a table of numbers - both portray the same information, but require different regions of the brain to interpret. Perhaps the problem you lament is not the computer interface, but limitations and differences between how people manipulate visual compared to manipulating the system with symbols and words. These are two distict areas in the brain - why should they work alike?
  • by extra the woos (601736) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @03:27PM (#15899119)
    The cool thing about all this is that any one of us that was familiar with one desktop could definately sit down at any of the other desktops, even from 20yrs ago (or 20yr ago if we somehow got into a time machine and came to today), and be perfectly comfortable.

    The basic premises of all these UIs is the same. This leads me to believe that in another 20yrs we will still be using the same folder/file idea that we have today. This is, I think, a good thing. It means that our damn grandkids won't be able to make fun of us for not being able to use the computer! But we can still tell them to get off our damn lawns!
  • by Ant P. (974313) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @03:44PM (#15899185) Homepage
    Considering there's other sites that cover the same topic, and do it a million times better... no, I didn't.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @04:08PM (#15899280) Homepage Journal
    Or even OS/9 (CoCo2/CoCo3), or GEOS (for C64/C128)?

    These kids today... They think personnal computers started with the Macintosh, the IBM PC and.... hum... Linux, which is younger than anything else on the market ATM, AFAIK.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday August 13, 2006 @06:10PM (#15899677) Journal
    But the desktop wasn't Linux (Linux is just the kernel) They showed KDE, which I like, but Gnome is pretty much the default install for most Linux distributions, and does look different. Yes, there are many other Linux desktop's that don't have the mindshare to include, but to be remotely complete, it should have shown Gnome, Amiga, Zerox, to just name a few.
  • by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Sunday August 13, 2006 @10:37PM (#15900475) Journal
    There was Enlightenment, that sucker WAS SEXY!

    Still one of the sexiest in existence, people with 2 button mice suffered and they never really fixed that but it's a pretty pretty baby.

    It's also one of the smallest and quickest GUI's around.

    Wish it shipped standard :(

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