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Amigaworld.net News   Amigaworld.net News : Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
   posted by MikeB on 17-Jun-2003 17:37:55 (3208 reads)
AmigaWorld has interviewed Matthew Kille, the founder of the software company Zeoneo and also the designer of the default AmigaOS4 graphical user-interface. His company developes both for AmigaOS4 and the AmigaDE.
    

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PulsatingQuasar 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 18:43:17
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 550
From: The Netherlands, Europe

I think your doing a great job Matthew so continue with the good work you're doing. Also I would like to thank Massimo for integrating VisualPrefs into OS 4.

There are allways people that don't like it and usually they also quite frequently roam forums to give their opinion. But then, people that visit forums and express frequently their opinions are a small percentage of the overall crowd.

I can't wait to get AmigaOS 4 on my brand new AmigaOne-XE G3 800 Mhz( which I do have since a few days).
If I look at how fast Debian runs on it and the fact that the GUI's on Linux are pretty slow, AmigaOS 4 is going to make a killing.


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Hondo 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 18:53:54
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 10-Apr-2003
Posts: 1347
From: Denmark

Well spoken words from a guy who seems to know what UI design is all about.

Looks like Simoami's brilliant design (especially the top bar) will not make it inte the default stuff. But if I was in charge of the UI, I would do whatever it took to get some sort of implementation of the recent designs shown here at Aworld.

I just loooooooooove those great designs (especially Simoami's) Man I would love the whole world to say....woooooow when OS4 hits the outside world. After all....we will probably draw some attention


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HMK 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 20:04:47
#3 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 17-Mar-2003
Posts: 246
From: Denmark

It would be nice, and save a lot of work if skinning could be interchangable between OS4 and AmigaDE, if they used the same description to build skins.

Of course it depends on the device AmigaDE is run on (display sizes and such), but it could help crossplatform consistency.

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Rebel 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 22:42:33
#4 ]
Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 71
From: Oxfordshire, uk

Excellent interview (thanks MikeB)

I find myself agreeing strongly with much of Matthews comments, and particluarly his answer to question 2, about the lack of consistancy on the Amiga GUI standards today.

I've read a bit about GUI design, and such, as this has always interested me. I was glad to see someone with a strong background in this area (as well as talented artistically) was involved, and was impressed by the amount of research Matt has put into this effort.

I'm sure the UI of OS4 and beyond is in very good hands
.

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Rebel 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 22:50:17
#5 ]
Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 71
From: Oxfordshire, uk

Quote:

I just loooooooooove those great designs (especially Simoami's) Man I would love the whole world to say....woooooow when OS4 hits the outside world. After all....we will probably draw some attention

Yeah I love Simoami's stuff too, but hey...one step at a time.

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gnarly 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 17-Jun-2003 23:45:52
#6 ]
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Joined: 16-Mar-2003
Posts: 742
From: Cheltenham, UK

I have but one question. Will the version of MUI supplied with/as part of AOS4 use the present default MUI look, or will it be customised so the apps look just like any other native AOS4 app?

Olly.


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SimoAmi 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 0:34:57
#7 ]
Member
Joined: 8-Jun-2003
Posts: 12
From: Queens, New York

Well, first I would like to say that I'm also impressed by Matthew's background. The way he discusses some issues shows that he is expert in his field.

Some issues however:

Quote:

I'm afraid, however, that what can be produced in a paint program with little more than a few clicks of the mouse, a few special effects and a bit of imagination, doesn't translate into an actual working product particularly well.
As I have already described above, there is a world of difference between picturing a design and actually programming and using it.


Well, I think it is obvious that programming and gfx design are completely different fields.

However, the idea behind design concepts is not "drawing". Drawing is just a secondary step to illustrate those concepts or thoughts you brainstorm to come up with. If I can use a metaphore, I would say the architect designs the structure and appearance of a house. Then a company is hired to implement the ideas that the architect came up with.

I agree that static pictures are limited when it comes to showing certain features. (You probably noticed that we made few animated gifs and an interactive demo in flash).

Designing concepts is tough and requires research, thinking and more mental effort.
Programming is more like a physical work. That's why they associate it to "Implementation" in a Modelling process for instance, while designing is a crucial phase of the latter.

Quote:

Backwards compatibility is the biggest problem. Even a question as harmless as "how will this work on a display with 256 or less colours?" can ruin even the simplest of designs.


constraints like the color depth should not necessarily make you decide to eliminate certain ideas. Instead, one should think of how they can be implemented without compromising with certain aspects.

Let's give a small example, soft shadows require a large color depth mode to draw correctly. Instead of eliminating the effect, the system can just decide if there is enough bits to display a larger palette that can hold the shade of shadows. (Of course there are different techniques in "programming" shadows).

Quote:

Likewise I have seen concept images that use the subtlest of graphical special effects all over the place; making them look very pretty but without regard for the impact such a feature would have on the performance of the interface in the real world, assuming it could be implemented in the first place.


I wonder if one can compare the performance of two systems given they don't perform the same number of tasks. That is, I could code a small basic os kernel, with limited features and say it's fast and more performant that windows or MacOSX!

Note: By the previous arguments, I just intend to reduce certain attempts of making some people's work look of less importance.

Thanks to Mike for preparing the interview.
Thanks to Matthew for the great work and for answering to the questions.

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ShadesOfGrey 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 0:52:26
#8 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2003
Posts: 290
From: Unknown

@gnarly

IIRC, some one in the Hyperion camp said that MUI in OS 4, by default, would be made to look as much like the rest of OS 4 as possible... I just wish I could remember exactly who said that and where.


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herewegoagain 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 1:46:47
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2003
Posts: 3270
From: Charlotte, NC

Nice interview! Well worth the read. So it sounds like we could see some of these "user themes" in the contributions drawer after all. That would be great.

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Bodie 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 1:48:54
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 9-Jan-2003
Posts: 1438
From: Azjol-Nerub

A PhD thesis in progress...

busy, busy, busy!!!

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ssolie 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 2:06:33
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2745
From: Alberta, Canada

@SimoAmi
Quote:
Designing concepts is tough and requires research, thinking and more mental effort. Programming is more like a physical work. That's why they associate it to "Implementation" in a Modelling process for instance, while designing is a crucial phase of the latter.


This may be a bit off topic but...

Personally, I think "they" are wrong and there are a lot of other software designers feeling the same way these days. Check out XP to see what I mean. At work, for example, we have the title "Designer" and there are no "Programmers."

Food for thought.


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redfox 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 3:44:56
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 1709
From: Canada

This was a very interesting interview.

I have also found this thread and other threads regarding changes to the "default" look to be most interesting.

Thanks,
redfox

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ikir 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 8:45:55
#13 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

A very interesting interview


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MikeB 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 10:09:40
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 3-Mar-2003
Posts: 6487
From: Europe

Who believes himself or herself to be competent enough to lead the GUI theme design efforts? Who has what it takes to get the most out of the current limitations of the AmigaOS framework?

I gather that SimoAmi simply has too little time to spare to co-ordinate this. We need someone who is enthusiastic about the platform, is visually/graphically talented and visioned with regard to GUI designs and has some spare hobby time to invest and enjoys doing so!

If you feel you can handle this and suit you, write me: mike@amigaworld.net

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MetalJoe 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 10:33:59
#15 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 464
From: Bucks UK

Great interview - good to read that it's not all about flashy gadgets and pretty colours, but proper research into how we interact with the UI.


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SlimJim 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 18-Jun-2003 11:17:36
#16 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 693
From: Uppsala, Sweden

@MikeB

I envision i order to simplify theme creation according to the guidelines of the AOS4 (i.e. "realistic" themes not going beyond features actually implemented) perhaps there
should be a set of "template" images: "Screen shot" images
displaying a standard window, a screen border, the gadgets
that can be changed and so on. And as such, perhaps only
the outlines of said components in black and white (marked
in different colours where colours can be changed by
the preferences).

I can only foresee that these "themes" will be nothing more
than pre-set preferences files using a set of colour settings
and/or textures (and maybe gadget images like in MUI, I
don't know). Presenting "standard" picture templates of the
interface outline would allow people not only to make
suggestions easier but also make different themes easier to
compare (it's always a little misrepresentative when a
mock-up/screenshot includes a browser window with a
flashy image on it for example).
.
SlimJim

PS: Oh, and - good interview! DS.

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Mountain_Myst 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 19-Jun-2003 0:07:27
#17 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2003
Posts: 112
From: Unknown

Quote:
Will the version of MUI supplied with/as part of AOS4 use the present default MUI look, or will it be customised


I know something better.
Burn It!!!
Mui Sucks!

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trgse 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 19-Jun-2003 8:41:46
#18 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 11-Mar-2003
Posts: 315
From: tellus

I agree that MUI sucks big time,
badly programmed with lousy input/output handing
and some extremly poor visual confirmation handling
(coupled to the I/O handling, of course).

brrrr.... hope MUI dies real soon now.
(I sincerly hope that no OS 4.x parts will use MUI)


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gnarly 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 19-Jun-2003 14:42:48
#19 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 16-Mar-2003
Posts: 742
From: Cheltenham, UK

Quote:
I know something better.
Burn It!!!
Mui Sucks!
Dont be silly, loads of incredibly good and useful software uses MUI so we cant get rid of it. Besides, MUI is the GUI API on MOS and AROS (through Zune) so I think we'll be using it for a little while yet.

Secondly, I gather that from a developers point of view its a lot easier to use than GadTools or Reaction - ie it does a lot of the work for you, saves time and is generally nicer to code for than the alternatives.

What concerns me is whether or not the version supplied with OS4 will be styled to match native Gadtools/Reaction software.

Otherwise AOS4 simply won't get that consistent look that is so important.

The fact that a piece of software uses MUI, Reaction, classact, Gadtools or whatever else should be completely transparent to the end user (except for that extra icon that Mui programs have in the window bar).

In fact, to the end user it shouldnt matter in the slightest what GUI toolkit is used. Thats for the developer, not the end user to decide and it shouldn't make any difference at all to the user experience.


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Alkemyst 
Re: Interview with Matthew Kille - AmigaOS 4.0 GUI Design
Posted on 19-Jun-2003 21:51:29
#20 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 1-Mar-2003
Posts: 266
From: Unknown

Quote:
Dont be silly, loads of incredibly good and useful software uses MUI so we cant get rid of it. Besides, MUI is the GUI API on MOS and AROS (through Zune) so I think we'll be using it for a little while yet.


MUI does suck.

Just because good programs have used MUI that does not make MUI good.

Just as good Software made for Windows does not make Windows its self a good OS.

MUI is unstable wich is its self can be the sole result of a good program crashing.

MUI have many classes that do nearly the exact same thing as other classing wich is a waste.


There is also lot of guessing when you open a programs own MUI setting to know wich classes it uses because it will list all the classes in the lister no matter if uses it or not, so you waste time changing stuff in a class only to hit test & see that it changed nothing in the program,it would be nice when your in MUI settings mode for you to be able to hold the pointer over the programs gui & a popup tells you what class it is & what element it is.

Then when you nearly finished changing things MUI decides to crash.


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