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Would you want RISCOS5X-XP?

By Chris Williams. Published: 14th Mar 2003, 22:55:14 | Permalink | Printable

Fusing RISC OS 5, Windows XP and Mac OS X on your desktop [Updated 17:04 15/3/2003]

While RISC OS is often praised for the user friendliness and logical layout of the desktop that we're all very familiar with, owing to the flexibility of the RISC OS window manager, a significant number of users strive continually to make their desktops look pretty and attractive to further enhance their RISC OS experience (hello, advert copy writer career calling). Think of it this way, if you're going to use a computer system all day, it should at least be aesthetic, right?

Here's someone who agrees with us; drobe.co.uk reader Peter Spence emailed us today with his personal take on the new RISC OS 5 iconset, as release on the Castle Iyonix machines. Whilst it's against drobe.co.uk house rules to cut'n'paste emails verbatim, we'll ignore this for (just this) once as it's Friday and Peter's email is in itself an article:


"I was reading an article on the latest foundation disc by Richard Hallas, describing how Castle rung him up and asked him "to design a new set of icons for RISC OS 5, which would be able to modernise the look of the system". In the article he said "a new look for the RISC OS desktop which appeared modern and professional (and could stand comparison with other modern systems like Windows XP and Mac OS X)".

He went on basically saying how WinXP and MacOS X were an influence in his design, so when I looked at the picture of RISC OS 5, I was slightly disapointed. He'd done a good job with the file type icons, but the GUI didn't look much improved. So with a Art college afternoon I looked at the 2 pictures of XP and MacOS X (provided in the article) and I did a paint over on the RISCOS 5 picture (included both for comparasion).

So here it is: RISCOS 5XP-X

Oh what could have been."




So here's a capture of a normal RISC OS 5 desktop:


Full image (544KB)


And now what Peter would have prefered, a mix of XP, MacOS X and RISC OS:


Full image (317KB)


Thanks Pete, that's good work - how about a released full iconset? We particularly like the drop shadows on the iconbar text, the tweaked toolsprites and you may have not noticed this but also the drobe.co.uk backdrop displayed proudly in the background. Peter also appears, in our eyes, to have taken the RISC OS 5 iconset's subdued rugged grey texture and put a brushed metal spin on it. Opinion may be divided over whether the new RISC OS 5 iconset is a visual leap forward or instead a backward bound but we're not going to lose any sleep over it. And if you're after that WinXP or Mac OS look now, look no further than here (Dave Watson's WinXP theme) and here (Rich Goodwin's MacOS X theme).

Update
Dave "Spriteman" Watson's just thrown us the url to his rather nice Clear desktop toolsprites (at the moment the download url is broken, it's actually here). Winter may have passed but you can certainly keep that white, gentle icey blue, crisp feel on your desktop.


Previous: Stepping into RISC OS dead tree style
Next: Iconbar: Anything you can do I can do better

Discussion

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Title bar is nice, as is the texture and the drop shadows, but the scrollbars don't fit the overall look. The icons are quite nice though. Good overall.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 15/3/03 12:18AM
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Can't help noticing those icons look incredibly similar to Amiga OS 3.9/4.0! ----------- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 15/3/03 12:21AM
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Dropped shadows make the text harder to read. The toolbar icons have no divisions so reduce efficiency. The scrollbar arrows just look daft. The monitor icon looks like a toaster, as does the harddrive icon.

OS X has completely discarded icons in its toolbar, they're probably not cool enough, instead you have to memorise what different coloured blobs mean.

The iconbar texture is ok.

The icons in XP are terrible. Grey blob instead of a nice simple 2D Speaker icon for the volume control. Blue blob for the IE small icon. Light blue/grey blob for the My Computer small icon, some kind of tiny box for a harddisc icon, and floppy/cd icons have the tiny box and a tiny floppy/cd icon for some reason.

Write down 100 times: Icons are not photographs.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 15/3/03 12:37AM
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I would love to see a new sprite format with a proper alpha channel, so we can have icons with transparent backgrounds that anti-alias properly to things below them. Alternatively, special PNG icons could be placed inside compatible applications and filer/pinboard/iconbar patches could render the new icons. Of course, these apps would supply normal sprite icons too. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/3/03 12:37AM
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mav: Write down 100 times: We don't care. We're not robots. We like pretty.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/3/03 1:16AM
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I think subtle shadows (like the shadows under the iconbar text, not the titlebar text) can look really nice and not spoil readability. In many cases it can really make something important stand out. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/3/03 1:24AM
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I'm wondering whether it was possible to adapt something like this [link] for RISC OS. Anybody? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userclerfayt on 15/3/03 1:34AM
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Not without significant changes to the window manager and other modules to include things like irregular borders on windows, icons with real alpha channels (see above) and code to render the drop shadows. It'd slow things down terribly, but I suppose it could always be turned off. If the Iyonix/ViewFinder could accelerate some of the drawing then that'd help too. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/3/03 1:40AM
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I somehow expected that. :-( On the other hand, I'd just like to see how it'd look even if not all of that alpha channel and drop shadow stuff is included ("Milk Lite" :-). But even such a light version would take lots of time, wouldn't it?

 is a RISC OS Userclerfayt on 15/3/03 1:45AM
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Don't forget that Select 3 allows developers to change the way icons are rendered by the RISC OS window manager. The example iconborder client module allows you to change the colour of the buttons and icons, apply graduated fills and roundness and other things.

This isn't purely an advert for Select, just showing that work is being done on things like this.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/3/03 1:49AM
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Yes, I'm really looking forward to Select 3! :oD I think icons similar to the RISC OS default ones with simple rounded corners would look great! -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 15/3/03 2:11AM
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well i like them (apart from the scroll bars - which do look a bit stupid!)

Tim Firmager

 is a RISC OS Usertim_firmager on 15/3/03 8:51AM
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Do people really care SO much about this stuff? Surely the functioning of the GUI is MUCH more important, and whilst IMHO the RISC OS GUI is vastly superior to any other, it is not perfect, and I would rather see effort going into improving say - 'document saving' or 'information retrieval'

Neil

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 15/3/03 10:38AM
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Why does the "redesign" use the original's PostScript icon for both monitor and hard disc?

Personally, I hate textured window and iconbar backgrounds, and always turn them off. What would be nice would be a crisp set of window furniture. In all the themes I've played with, and in the two examples given, it just looks lumpy.

Mike

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 15/3/03 10:56AM
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Re: Mac OS X and having to memorise what different coloured blobs mean

I totally agree with mavhc on this one. I have real difficulty with traffic lights for this reason too. I've lost count of the number of points I've racked up on my licence for dangerous driving.

-- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 15/3/03 1:37PM
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Re: Mac OS X and having to memorise what different coloured blobs mean

Indeed Mavhc - remembering what the three lights mean (well, two if you accept that red is danger and thus easy to remember as close) has pushed me back years in my PhD studies. It's just so much brain space!

But wait, let's look at the riscos window widgets. I spy an X there, again a kind of danger symbol, which I'd guess ot be close, but off the top of my head I have no idea what the rest of the widgets mean. Looking at the new iconsets I'd hazard a guess that the third one is iconise. Beyond that, I guess I'd have to use it to work them out.

So what magically means that pictographs in the icon bar makes them better colours?

TBH, I think the only ones that generally are easy to understand without use are prolly the Windows ones.

-- Dougal

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 15/3/03 2:06PM
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The MacOS X ones aren't easy for colour blind people, either.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 15/3/03 2:20PM
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I think people do care a great deal about what RISCOS looks like, and rightly so. Judging by the range of opinions I'd say its time for improvement.

Some good ideas and crictisms which I agree with were made, on the lack of clarity on window widgets, scrollbars (Erm...I just plain forgot), etc. However I must point out this isn't a carefully planned 'redesign', but a just a quick afternoon paint over (which explains me pasting the laser printer for the hd and moniter).

I guess the point I was trying to make is that RISCOS can look a whole lot better with not a great deal of effort. Ok so having drop shadows on fonts was a just done for effect, but the rest is pretty much possible.

 is a RISC OS UserPlugwash on 15/3/03 3:10PM
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To be fair, the std. risc os tool sprites do represent their actions quite well once you know what they are (iconize aside). On Mac OS simmilar icons appear when you hover over the coloured blobs.

However, one thing you seem to be missing is that the position of the icons/blobs/whatever is just as important as what they look like. This also helps in the case of colour blind people.

-- Spriteman.

PS. I'm working on a nice, clean, stylish but simple toolset atm. I'll see if it develops into anything useful.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 15/3/03 3:11PM
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Is that the bold white one you let me peek at, Spriteman?

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/3/03 3:22PM
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Well guessed, drobe

[link] -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 15/3/03 5:02PM
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I get a file not found error when i try to download the theme. Cheers!

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 15/3/03 7:44PM
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Try:

[link]

I like it. It looks good! :)

-- Michael Drake (tlsa) www.smoothartist.com

 is a RISC OS Usertlsa on 15/3/03 8:01PM
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The grey theme is quite nice. White is a bit too bright.

-- Paul Stewart, Bletchley, Milton Keynes

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 15/3/03 8:11PM
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That link still doesn't work Michael (though I had assumed from what Spriteman was saying that it wasn't available for download anyway...) I'd like to try it out. I also like the grey theme pictured above... -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 15/3/03 8:21PM
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No, no, tlsa's link does work. Dave muffed the url in his webpage. It's clean.zip not clear.zip

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/3/03 8:46PM
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Toolsprites shouldn't stand out, grey is nice and neutral, doesn't distract your eyes from the thing that counts 99% of the time, what's inside the window.

The point about coloured blobs is anything that reduces speed of recognition is daft. Why can't they be different colours AND different shapes? Position is obviously a good one, as long as it stays constant...

Also hidden GUIs (where you need to stop on an icon and wait for a tooltip to pop up, as seen on numerous badly designed websites) are stupid.

I'm sure everyone who wants pretty things can be distracted by a talking paperclip, then we can work on interesting stuff like zooming using scrollbars.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 15/3/03 8:49PM
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That's us told then! -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 15/3/03 9:19PM
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*cough*troll*cough*don't feed*cough*

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 15/3/03 9:59PM
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You counter arguements are "We're not robots" and "troll"? Says a lot really

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 16/3/03 12:00PM
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Let's face it - you do drivel a lot. How can we tell the difference?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 16/3/03 12:52PM
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It's a sad day when you are at a party and get told that people are complaining about your website :-)

Anyway. It is fixed now. Enjoy -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 16/3/03 2:45PM
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Many thanks.

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 16/3/03 3:28PM
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nunfetishist: with your brain.

Anyway, back to the scrollbars for zooming thing. The concept is, as scrollbars represent the area you can see (on real GUIs anyway) why not make the ends draggable to adjust the zoom factor and position at once. Comments?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 16/3/03 4:04PM
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I hate giving you attention mav, it's almost as if I've acknowledged that you've made a worthwhile comment for a change. Zooming a non-image document or a dialog box is.. nasty and so is needing to click on a certain part of the scrollbar. Because that'll work on really small scroll handles, won't it?

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 16/3/03 5:07PM
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Why would you want to zoom a dialog box? It would only be used on things that are normally zoomed. Indeed the only problem is one of small scrollbars, but with cursor changing and optional modifier keys that's not a big deal.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 16/3/03 5:26PM
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mavhc: That's a good idea about the scroll bars; I'd not thought of that. Though it wouldn't be immediately obvious to newbies what was going on. I suppose you could switch it off. Such functionality would probably be useful in Draw, but then again, learning the keys for the zoom control isn't difficult either. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 16/3/03 6:02PM
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I think Peter's iconset it wicked. I think mavhc is totally missing the point about people who want to customise their desktops with new icons.

I realise that icons are meant to represent their purpose (and god did I hate having to learn about all this in HCI) but most people who customise the desktop already know what the icons do and, in the case of RISC OS, know where they are. The people who don't customise are generally the ones who don't like to mess and like things the way they are.

You've also completely contradicated yourself about good and bad GUIs specifically your ideas about zooming with a 'scroll bar'. The name sort of explains what it does - zooming is not scrolling mate - not in anybody's language. GUIs are not just about icons they're about ease of use and functionality and I think you'd find something like that would be far to alien to put a a general purpose GUI like Windows, RISC OS or Mac OS.

Have a good one :)

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 16/3/03 8:44PM
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I'm just happy that the icons are easy to change meaning that I can take whatever the lastest "fashion" in icons is and revert it back to the way I prefer things to look.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 16/3/03 9:10PM
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1. I never said anything about people customising their desktops. I specifically mentioned the default icons in XP and OSX. Customise all you want, but change it back before you want me to fix it.

2. It's a bar that represents the section of the page you can see, it's called a scrollbar because that's the only thing you can do with it. Once it can do more than one thing we should change its name, call it the XP-Bar or something.

What's easier than adjusting the zoom by adjusting the widget that represents the amount of the page you can see?

I'm suprised they didn't mention this in HCI class really.

As for the alien concept, everything about WIMPs we've learnt, I doubt windows/mac users would intuitively understand drag'n'drop saving. Of course half their scrollbars are still broken in that they don't resize and thus only indicate the position not the area.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 16/3/03 9:29PM
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jonix: A scroll bar does not model anything in the real world so who says it should only ever be used for scrolling? What mavhc says about the scroll bars is a good idea in principle, but it goes against the established scroll bar convention and would probably serve only to confuse people. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 16/3/03 10:27PM
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Sorry, the last comment was directed to "iamnotamused". -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 16/3/03 10:32PM
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The standard RISCOS icons (like the ones in RISCOS 4 and Select) are really nice.

Specifically, Ilike them because of ×consistency× that is there is:

° Colour scheme

° Perspective (BeOS seemed to have this right - icons were drawn at the same kind of 'angle' - in RISCOSthey are drawn as if you are looking from 'front on view' consistently. If you look at the Windows icons, the perspective is different for different icons, which seems very untidy…

° Style: the 'control panel' icons have the same kind of style, and the document icons have the same kind of style etc…

And also they are just nice and small and cute and look professionally designed.

Anyway... what might be nice for Select 4 or something is SVGicons - big and scalable. That zoom in the iconbar when they are hovered over.

And also has anyone seen the Zsnake effect from BeOS? (Do a Google) That might be nice.

And also how about making the cursor look nicer, like having a drop shadow under it, like certain versions of Windows?

Also:I'm not sure I understand properly about this 'scrolling/zooming' concept - is it possible to make a mock-up drawing or something? But it sounds nice anyway…

 is a RISC OS Usermiddot on 16/3/03 10:32PM
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if zsnake is the tree menu thing shown here [link] then we've had it on RISC OS for ages. !Director does it best.

Even Windows 98 and later have it: [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 16/3/03 11:42PM
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mavhc wrote:

"OS X has completely discarded icons in its toolbar, they're probably not cool enough, instead you have to memorise what different coloured blobs mean."

g0tai writes:

You are *wrong*. Look again. a cross (close), a - sign (minimise) and a plus sign (maximise) are there, part of the iconset, and _are_ used.

Regards,

Ian Hawkins (mac user too).

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 16/3/03 11:57PM
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[link] shows 2 versions, I assume you're referring to the "Graphite window treatment". Hardly a paragon of good GUI design, too similar. All on the same side too, so easy to hit the wrong one, as in Win95 and later.

It seems like everyone nowadays has 43 people in the "make it look cool" department, and a guy who works on making it good who comes in for 2hrs on friday, if he's not busy.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 17/3/03 12:27AM
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hello i'm mavhc, you are all idiots.

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 17/3/03 2:53AM
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mav> No, I do *not* mean the graphite window treatment. Default OS X has the 'x-+' icons inside each button, all it requires is a mouseover to show them.

And there's a differene between whinging about another OS, and actually using it. I suggest you spend a year actually using OS X to learn how it works.

-- Ian Hawkins

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 17/3/03 8:47AM
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g0: fat chance, that would involve effort.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 17/3/03 9:02AM
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Hiding button use under a mouseover is not intuitive.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 17/3/03 9:06AM
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Yes, I'm sure it doesnt encourage people to 'move your mouse over here to see what it does', or to explore what things do.

-- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 17/3/03 9:08AM
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mavhc: I think the 'ZSnake' effect middot was talking about is not the menus themselves, but the zig-zaggy path effect connecting all the selected menu items.

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 17/3/03 9:14AM
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Sorry about bad wrapping - my fault.

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 17/3/03 9:15AM
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I can agree with mavhc on his point about icons that require user assistance in finding out what they are (ie tooltips) or in the case you made gOtai, the symbol that shows up when you move over the button.

You have to admit that if that's the standard look and feel that comes with the GUI - it's pretty confusing from the start. At least with RISC OS/Windows the icons have some (sometimes a little obsure) reference to what they do rather than being plain coloured blobs.

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 17/3/03 9:42AM
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On the subject of the zooming function, I think it'd be a much better idea to have an icon (like a small spyglass) at the bottom right hand corner of the window next to the adjust size icon.

By clicking and dragging on that the user could zoom the document in/out without having to fiddle with widgets at the end. Plus the icon can be made optional on windows and looks a whole lot more user friendly than either trying to find a suitable name for a multi-function scrollbar or worrying people about where they're clicking. Oh - and there is the adantage that when you've re-sized the window you don't have to move the mouse far to zoom into it :)

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 17/3/03 9:53AM
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Sorry, the first sentence of the second paragraph should have read:

By clicking and dragging on that the user could zoom the document in/out without having to fiddle with widgets at the end of the scrollbar.

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 17/3/03 9:55AM
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But how would you drag it? Left/right for zoom in/out, or up/down? Or click/drag Select to zoom in, Adjust to zoom out? And when you start adding extra features, such as a click to open a zoom dialogue box, or to initiate a zoom dragbox, you're looking at something that should be on a button bar, not part of the window furniture.

I've seen applications that let you see the mouse wheel for zooming in and out, centering on the mouse pointer. Quite nifty and accurate for zooming in on a particular detail.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 17/3/03 11:05AM
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Clicking and dragging in either a positive (up/right) to zoom in and negative (down/left) to zoom out. It's not a difficult thing to do and I've seen it done before (not as part of a GUI but in scaling graphics manually).

The idea of using a the scroll-wheel is fine, but not all RISC OS users have access to them. Also, many RISC OS users are quite comfortable with drag-and-drop - don't know how well it'd go down on other OSes though.

I don't feel that dialog boxes should be over-used as part of the global workings of a GUI. They're fine within the realms of user applications but I wouldn't want them popping up all over the screen every time I wanted to zoom into several windows. Let's face it, most of them look butt-ugly and get really annoying (having to move them around, close them, etc.)

 is a RISC OS Useriamnotamused on 17/3/03 11:28AM
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It burns my eyes.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 17/3/03 11:43AM
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Icons are Icons, and I have to say I don't like these, and the new window borders just scream icky XP so I'll stick with my current set.

As long as it's functional who needs glittz apart from the marketing department :)

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 17/3/03 12:38PM
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I like the simplicity of the RISC OS 3 icons. Sticking to a few main colours makes the desktop more consistent. Same rules as when painting your living room - a maximum of three complimentary colours.

Just make the RO3 icons all hi-res and antialiased and I'll be happy. :)

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 17/3/03 1:11PM
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Zooming a la Impression Publisher would be fun. A feasible option would be: Ctrl over window, drag away from centre to zoom in, towards centre to zoom out (ie: where you're clicking remains under the mouse, but gets bigger)

G0tai: having to hover over an icon is not intuitive, as you can't figure out what they do without interaction (intuitive: capable of knowing without deduction or reasoning).

RISC OS 2/3 icons no longer accurately describe their purpose as they used to (that cream box doesn't look like a HD, as it's representing an external HD in a case).

RISC OS 4 icons are near enough (they're a cross between the old style RO 3 iconset and the Phoebe iconset, so it's fairly obvious what everything is again as everyone's seen a tower case)

And if it bothers anyone that much, why not just stick your preferred iconset on a floppy with an obeyfile and take it with you?

FYI: I redesign icons from old proggies to make them fit in with RO4, and I add masks (grey boxes behind icons look naff with a blue iconbar) I occasionally change theme, but I've got used to my self designed one, which I'll put up when I remember.

And the reason I first changed my icons? So people wouldn't instantly say "Eurgh" when I turned on my computer (o: -- jymbob. (llama)

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 17/3/03 1:31PM
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Regarding zooming around documents. Why not have a small trackerball on the keyboard. This ball could be used to simply scroll in any direction the current window?

That way you can paint into a window and by using your other hand you can easily adjust the visible area of the window without having to distract yourself by moving the mouse.

Perhaps with 3 buttons next to the Ball you could do :

Button 1 - Zoom in/out Button 2 - Horizontal scroll Button 3 - Vertical scroll

Once you have this extra trackerball in every keyboard you wouldn't need scrollbars in GUIs as perhaps they would be redundant?

A company I worked for a few years ago tried this with RISC OS and it really made a positive difference.

Maybe some hardware programmer could develop a driver to do this for a modern trackerball?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 18/3/03 2:56PM
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If I'm painting in a window with my mouse I don't want to reach for the keyboard to adjust the window scroll when I can do this easily with the adjust button.

If you use MouseAxess, it's even easier because you just hold down the menu button on the mouse and drag the scroll area around from any part of the document window.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 18/3/03 4:07PM
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Can't really see the point of that zsnake effect then, just more fancy rubbish.

Zooming using the mousewheel is good for small zooms, but I find using the scrollwheel too much is bad for my finger, mouse panning is usually better (click, get compass thing, move mouse). Dragging the scrollbar ends means only dragging 1 screenfull max. The only problem I can see is if you want to zoom in centred, having to drag one end of the scrollbar then the other would be silly, maybe a modifier+drag on the scrollbar would zoom it centred on the centre/click position.

The problem with the ROS4/Phoebe drive icons is they look too similar, a floppy disc would be better for the floppy drive, cd for cd drive, generic box for harddrive I suppose.

Mouse panning works as well as I imagine a trackerball would. You'd still need scrollbars so you could tell how much of the document was on screen.

I tried using MouseAxess once, but it thought I wanted to menu-drag a window when I wanted to click menu and move the mouse to the menu option I wanted very fast. I couldn't see any way to turn off specific features so it was removed.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 20/3/03 10:36PM
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This desktop look is very nice. It incorporates the softer look of XP, with the classic RISC OS GUI interface. The monitor/HD icons are a bit weird, they remind me of a laser printer. And I agree with the others who say the scrollbars look wrong - they need to be redesigned. The windows blend into the background a bit much too; they could do with a better outline. Other than that, very good.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 24/3/03 6:40AM
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Regarding the window zoom debate

I think QUATERMASS is on the right track. Design a new mouse which incorporates a trackball or wheel, which you may scroll and/or zoom (similar to the MS-mouse Scroll Wheel). Then your hand never leaves the mouse. It could be a small trackball which pushes down to zoom in, and a small button nearby, which will zoom out.

I think the whole zooming idea is good, but it needs some designing. Please excuse me if the mouse idea has already been mentioned/produced.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 24/3/03 6:55AM
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Personally, I don't see that anything has bettered the RISC OS 2 desktop.

I'd have been quite happy to stick with that look and feel. I suppose if we must have a 3D look, the RISC 3 version is ok.

I don't really thing that changes in the desktop appearance since RISC OS 3 have added anything of any importance.

The functionality of RISC OS 4 or 5 with the look and feel of RISC OS 2 or 3 would be the ideal.

 is a RISC OS UserDJackson on 25/3/03 7:43PM
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Need to get rid of the scrolling iconbar though, it's so slow. And the click on iconbar moves it to the back thing in ROS4 is horrible. Whole iconbar could do with a replacement, but it's tricky to fool apps into thinking it hasn't changed. I tend to scale the iconbar icons by 50% Xways: [link] notice the harddrives, floppy are also thinner, and the TBAFS text below the TBAFS icon's been removed (thanks to it being a toolbox app, toolbox programs are much more user configurable). Long icon text is bad, takes up too much space, and anyone who just puts their appname below it will be shot.

Making all the icons in Configure in ROS4 into jigsaw pieces was stupid, less visable differences for icons that are only avilable in 1 app, the configure app, it's rather obvious that they're for configuring stuff.

Regarding zooming, what about modifier+scrollwheel zooms in/out, centred on the current mouse position? No need for ever more scrollwheels. Maybe we should just support 2 mice one to move/scroll, one to pan/zoom.

Acorns had scrollmice before everyone else anyway, just they were twist joysticks, bitstick anyone?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 25/3/03 11:31PM
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meh

 is a RISC OS UserMrChimpy on 27/3/03 10:37PM
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