The BeOS Rebellion

Well, I am not much of a historian when it comes to computers. I do study history though, but of the Middle East in college. This is the thing though. There used to be a very nice operating system back in the 2000s called BeOS.
I got to download the iso image (about 50 MB) and installed it on an old Compaq computer and booted it with a diskette. This small operating system had many bugs but it was at the same time very capable. I really enjoyed playing with it.
The system was then not too popular and PALM bought it. That was the end of it as a free operating system and then other projects came out of it, like HAIKU and Zeta. Just imitations of the original system but this time based on Linux.

One of the things that impressed me the most about this system was its revolutionary System Menu. Unlike Windows, it was located at the top right of the screen. It was not a panel styled menu, it was rather like a box that expanded and contracted depending on the applications that you were running. If you right-clicked it, then you would be able to get the actual menu with all the applications installed on your computer.

Once KDE 4 came out and the right top corner was adorned with the plasma widget menu, I was immediately brought back to the way BeOS handled the system menu.

Now, my idea is, what if the OpenSuSE rebellion treated this menu like BeOS? Here is some results.

Now, you may wonder why? But I have noticed that as a user I spend a lot of time on the right side of the screen. I am right handed, scroll bars are on the right, add tabs button is on the right; close, minimize and maximize buttons are on the right. So it seems very useful to me not to have to go across the whole screen down to the bottom left in order to launch my applications.

Like it?


Update Version of System Settings

I am sorry that I wasn't able to present something very solid. I worked on Illustrator as well as Inkscape to come up with this mockup. But here is a version that I worked on. I think it looks better. Enjoy!.


Rebellion Treatment for KDE System Settings

Hey you all revolutionaries of the OpenSUSE Desktop. I have been working hard to bring you my latest creation. This time I thought that it would be nice to work out some of the settings that you find on the KDE System Settings. This mockups are far from perfect but take into account the idea of a horizontal bar for each of the main items and also the touches of green and grays. I especially like the dark background for the window background and the green rim around the buttons.

I hope you like it and send me comments.

(correction, I just realized that the highlighted buttons on top of this concept do not correspond to the section displayed below. This is just something I did after a long time and I forgot about this detail in the end)


The Music - Strength In Numbers

Hey ya'll, I was listening to one of my favorite bands the other day and thought that these 2 songs are just what we need to get pumped for our OpenSUSE Revolution. Enjoy!

Strength in Numbers

And the other one


Use Customized Gnome-Do

One of the interesting things that I recently discovered was the power of Gnome-Do as a launcher. I can't stop using it. It is simple and fast. I also added the folder search functionality and it indexes my files so that I can type their names and they pop on the menu.

The only thing about this launcher that I think could change is a set of simple tools. One would be the functionality to add a selected program to a Favorite Menu or the bottom panel as a launcher. I say this because it is very common for me to be looking for a program that in certain instances would be faster launching if such application was always visible somewhere on the screen. So, for this mockup I put 2 icons below the Miro Icon but probably one is enough.

Another thing that I want gnome-do to do is not only to show you 1 application at a time but that as you type, that you can see more applications and if you don't want to keep typing because the application you want is on the screen, then select it with arrow keys or your mouse pointer. You save time by typing less.
This idea would be part of the OpenSUSE desktop Revolution. A SUSE customized Gnome-Do launcher.


Simple File Manager

Hi, here is an idea of a file manager. It needs work but I think that the main ideas are explicit. I took after conceptual work done for Nautilus and applied color and ideas about it.

Notice the bottom menu for access to often used folders. I added a gray band and a pair of arrows. The arrows will be able to raise or lower the folders menu. That way, it will be easier to focus the users' view to the files and folders they are working with and nothing else. A simple approach.

The icons are part of the elementary collection but I only placed them there, not because they are the best for suse, but because they were simple enough as a folder drawing concept. But I am sure that people have other ideas for SUSE and can create simple folders with a good balance of color. Enjoy and leave me some ideas.


Welcome to the Revolution

OpenSUSE is a great distribution. For years, it has shown great community power and great configuration tools for the desktop. Unlike other linux flavors, OpenSUSE has not entirely relied on the coding of desktop managers, such as KDE, to take command of the desktop. However, in my opinion, Suse has forgotten what it is like to style its distribution to the teeth. I still remember, for example, when the logo used for launching OpenOffice was a stunning picture of a gecko. When I used it, it felt so stylish and different. It was daring and out of the ordinary.

Most of these styling decisions were used on KDE 3.x, but with the advent of KDE 4 and the new approach to desktop usage, OpenSUSE has not been able to stand out on its own as a strong and solid. KDE 4 has become a standard and suse has relied too much on KDE's design team and has lost most of its power to stand out as its own brand.

In the latest milestone released by the OpenSUSE team, the only thing that stands out to me as purely OpenSUSE styling was the wallpaper, and to my opinion, not a good one. The menu bar at the bottom is just like any other menu bar out there. The style used is the default Oxygen style used by any other KDE based distro. The Oxygen style is a great style but it is not flexible. The button sizes, colors and other elements are somewhat locked and can't be changed. Unfortunately, styles like Domino for KDE 3.x were not ported to the latest KDE 4 and no changes could be made to the default style in similar ways that it was done with the Domino style.

I remember when Nuno Pinheiro showed me the mockups for the upcoming Oxygen style and I was stunned. But working with mockups and coding those mockups are not always best friends. In the end, the OpenSUSE KDE desktop has become a mere mirror of any other unbranded KDE desktop.

Now that Novell is up for sale, it is even more important for the OpenSUSE community to stay strong and attact attention to it so that it does not die as a world class operating system. My suggestion to do this is to deeply re-style the Desktop. Start with a formatted file manager (and great ideas about these programs are out there in the web), from there, SUSE needs to create a brand new window style. Stop cloning the Oxygen style. Stop conforming to what the KDE team offers (though great it may be) and be yourself SUSE.

SUSE needs to reclaim the desktop based on simple things such as having a great and daring color palette for the desktop. If you notice, the opensuse default wallpaper is green, and yet the highlighted items on the file manager is blue, as well as the oxygen style icons. Suse, loses its branding fairly quickly once KDE 4 is used.

The OpenSUSE revolution starts now! I will be posting ideas on how to restyle SUSE from the ground up and if you as a reader are interested in what I do, join me. Join me now and SUSE will look the way that it should, so that users learn to recognize us.