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taltoris

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I recently saw the new matchbox interface being demoed, an although it looks reasonably functional, it also is ugly as sin. Of course you can skin it, change icons, but at the end of the day, it won't behave much differently.

Some people pointed out that since the pandora has a wide screen, then maybe the top task/window bar should run down the side to save valuable vertical real estate. It also looks like it will create some havoc with fullscreen mode. SDL does not always play nicely with changing window sizes, plus to take advantage of the extra space at the top of the screen, it could change aspect ratios in wierd ways. Now I have little experience coding this sort of stuff, but if I'm not mistaken, it looks like this stretch some stuff.

Enter my unrealistic, (maybe) neva' gonna happen design for what the UI could be:

desktop.png


Let me explain a few things about how this would work. First of all, the top-left pandora icon basically acts as a file-browser/launcher, and would always be running in the background. The application chosen on the left would spring into the main area. If it had a menu, that would be displayed on top. The right side will contain various applets like a dimmer, volume control, shutdown, and a full-screen button (not on the mockup). The bottom panel could be used to launch stuff or save file/web locations. Using some keyboard shortcut, the user will switch from desktop mode to full-screen mode, where the center pane would enlarge and take over the screen. The center panel would have to be the same aspect ratio as the pandora, which would eliminate any problems (if there are any, as I said, I'm no expert in this sort of stuff) there would be with fullscreen.

Advantages
  • Cooler looking
  • Keeps a consistent aspect ratio
  • Allows more background apps and better switching
Disadvantages?
  • A good amount of wasted space, when you aren't in full screen mode
  • May encourage too many background processes, slowing it down
  • Does not currently exist (Kind of like the Pandora itself, actually. ;) I kid.) May not be possible to implement in X.
I saw this today which inspired me to a degree. Please ignore the fact that I stole the icons.

Somebody, steal my idea and implement it.

{Edit: P.s. Don't worry, I know this won't make it onto the first version.}
 

mazza558

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Very possible with KDE4 and Plasma, but that may be too resource-intensive for the pandora for now.

How about something that goes like this:

-When you turn the Pandora on, you get these menus all showing, with a wallpaper or other info in the background.

-Launching an app autohides the interface, so you get true fullscreen for whatever app you're using

-Pressing a key brings the menu back, a bit like how the Xbox 360 works.
 

cb88

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which is why you would use enlightenment/EFL (which will run with as little as 100mhz and 16mb ram) for such an interface
but it is probably going to ship with Matchbox... most of the screenshots of it look bad...

but that is what the n800 uses and it looks quite nice so obviously (not to me at first :) ) ... matchbox can look decent


I belive this is an unreleased matchbox/maemo skin looks cool
https://garage.maemo.org/frs/download.php/2...ProgramMail.jpg


by defualt it looks more like this
http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/wr...-j690-dillo.png

http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/in-Action/wr...90-matchbox.png
 

wesbrown18

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cb88 said:
but that is what the n800 uses and it looks quite nice so obviously (not to me at first :) ) ... matchbox can look decent
Stop bitching, cb88.

Use the files that I've given you all, and make the theme you want. I've given you all the tools, all the apps you need to do so.

Heck, if I see a theme that looks nice and functional enough, it may make it into the Pandora default theme. So, guys, fire up your text editors.

Rather than create bitmaps of your desired theme, MAKE IT. :) Matchbox is amazingly versatile.
 
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PoisonedV

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taltoris said:
[/list]I saw this today which inspired me to a degree. Please ignore the fact that I stole the icons.


Awesome, they patented a bunch of general, obvious ideas that will now eliminate any innovation or advancement in that field if not by them or the highest bidder! High fucking five!

Erm, sorry. on the actual design, it's looks really nice, but there are alot of problems. using overlays and stuff like that seems very hard to do, also the icons and stuff cover up the (smaller) screen and it doesnt seem to work well with anything but stylus
also i agree with cb88 re: matchbox
 
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cb88

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how was that bitching? you need to reread my post

I merely stated ... that I think most of the screenshots of it make it look quite dated and that it gives the wrong first impression which I apparently have also done to you and I apologise for that

I'm not one to go back and delete posts either to make myself look better... if anyone wants to read what i said its still there flaws and all

on the point of the 3d beveled (I think it is anyway... hard to tell from these 2d renditions) GUI I think they waste a lot of screen space for no reason
 

nubie

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I would like to see the OP's idea in Matchbox, I wonder are there any examples for Matchbox that are similar to his picture: http://matchbox-project.org/screenshots.html

Maybe if he typed matchbox ui into Google he would have seen what matchbox is capable of: http://www.google.com/search?q=matchbox+ui

Looks darn good to me, get cracking and make that PNG a real UI ;) :)

QUOTE
I recently saw the new matchbox interface being demoed, an although it looks reasonably functional, it also is ugly as sin. Of course you can skin it, change icons, but at the end of the day, it won't behave much differently.

Yeah, I just hate it when my UI is functional :wacko:

:lol: :lol:



PoisonedV said:
taltoris said:
[/list]I saw this today which inspired me to a degree. Please ignore the fact that I stole the icons.


Awesome, they patented a bunch of general, obvious ideas that will now eliminate any innovation or advancement in that field if not by them or the highest bidder! High fucking five!

Erm, sorry. on the actual design, it's looks really nice, but there are alot of problems. using overlays and stuff like that seems very hard to do, also the icons and stuff cover up the (smaller) screen and it doesnt seem to work well with anything but stylus
also i agree with cb88 re: matchbox


I wonder if they can patent a 3D desktop, as I was using a commercial one at least 5 years ago.

Edit: I love the idea, I just want to see the hardware. I have made 3-4 of my own VR/Stereoscopic viewing rigs for the PC (I play video games in full color 3 dimensions), and the ability to finally use an OS in 3D would be a real breakthrough. Sadly Me2 (Vista) doesn't seem to be pushing any 3D display technology, and its 3D desktop is piss poor in comparison to Linux. Although standard distros didn't support multi-screen (per eye) 3D last I checked, which would make the whole thing very immersive.

If Apple can ship autostereo displays with a 3D OS and some kind of Wiimote (iMote? iMouse?) then they will flat out revolutionize the PC world.
 
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Zarneth

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Very shiny... I actually thought of the mac patent when I saw it too. :p

Remember the screen will be VERY small, don't want to waste any space.

You could do something vaguely similar in a snap to do with existing software, Such as the XFCE Panel, though there's likely something lighter out there.

Say, Task switcher icons on the left bar, Shortcut icons on the right. Active program takes up the rest of the screen. Simple as can be. :)

The file menu will of course be at the top automatically like this if a program has one.
Perhaps put the power and a config button in the bottom left under the tasks. I doubt people will have that many tasks open.
And bind something like the menu key to bring up both bars on top of any full screen app.
 

CandidStan

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Zarneth said:
Very shiny... I actually thought of the mac patent when I saw it too. :p

Remember the screen will be VERY small, don't want to waste any space.

You could do something vaguely similar in a snap to do with existing software, Such as the XFCE Panel, though there's likely something lighter out there.

Say, Task switcher icons on the left bar, Shortcut icons on the right. Active program takes up the rest of the screen. Simple as can be. :)

The file menu will of course be at the top automatically like this if a program has one.
Perhaps put the power and a config button in the bottom left under the tasks. I doubt people will have that many tasks open.
And bind something like the menu key to bring up both bars on top of any full screen app.
I don't know what you definition of VERY small is, but the Pandora has the best aspect ratio of all the three big players. (DS/PSP/GP2X)
 
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Zarneth

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CandidStan said:
I don't know what you definition of VERY small is, but the Pandora has the best aspect ratio of all the three big players. (DS/PSP/GP2X)
Make your browser window about 800x480 and try using it for a while. Maybe even turn up the font size while you're at it too. Then you might realise how valuable every bit of screen space is. The pixels on the Pandora screen will be far smaller and more dense than those on a DS/PSP/GP2X or standard computer LCD.

Remember the Pandora will be able to do and run most things a full sized computer running linux can do, particularly now it has 256mb ram.

And as others have stated many old games run at 640x480, which won't leave room for things above and below, but will on either side.
 
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mali

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For playing games, the screen section might be enough, but for apps like browser and others, I think there is too little real estate. The wide screen on handhelds has got a reason, the reason is to not need to zoom out too much if you want it good looking, because it becomes hard to read. I would personally get rid of the right and bottom bar. But then it would just look like Maemo. A really innovative concept would be to have a switchable menu. Think about Starcraft, where semi-transparent panels slide in from all sides. Sorry for the off topic, your idea looks good none the less :)
 

Klepto

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Looks better than most concept UIs I've seen. You could probably get something like this working using a highly configured FVWM and some well chosen programs.
 

lardman

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QUOTE
Enter my unrealistic, (maybe) neva' gonna happen design for what the UI could be:


Just as long as the side/top/bottom bars all slide out of view when not being used (obviously with transparency when they are displayed) and then slide back into view when the edge of the screen has been clicked. Looks nice anyway :)
 

taltoris

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Maybe I should clarify a few things.

First of all, I have nothing against Matchbox, as I haven't tried it. My laptop is down, so I can't experiment with Linux until its fixed. (BTW Wesbrown: Its vector, not bitmap. ;) )

Some people have pointed out that it tends to waste space, I think I would have to agree. I guess I intended this screen to be an intermediate step for people wanting to change apps/adjust volume/check email/whatever. After you've entered an app that you wish to stay in for awhile (like a browser or emulator), you would switch to fullscreen. Maybe another keystroke would pop-up the menus when in fullscreen; chances are you wouldn't need them. But remember, this space-wasting also has some other advantages. The larger buttons make it easier to click with the touchscreen.

Which brings me to another observation. I think it would work ok if you used the touchscreen, but trying to navigate this with the analog sticks could be tricky. Another thing that would have to be worked out, whether or not this is implemented, is this: If you open up an emulator, how can you move the cursor without the touchscreen? Can you?
 

efegea

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This reminds me these mockups I did about a year ago (or even more)

My idea was to use Matchbox and was inspired by the Sugar UI

(sorry the text is in spanish and the tooltip is the name of a song)
craiginatorwindowmanageki5.jpg
craiginatorwindowmanagemk0.png
 

taltoris

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A bit more explanation. This gui would not overlay on top of the full-screen window, The entire window would be resized to fit in the center. The reason I wanted to maintain the aspect ratio is in case you have to scale the contents of a window down (like a game, for example) and not have it looked stretched.
 

efegea

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taltoris said:
A bit more explanation. This gui would not overlay on top of the full-screen window, The entire window would be resized to fit in the center. The reason I wanted to maintain the aspect ratio is in case you have to scale the contents of a window down (like a game, for example) and not have it looked stretched.
Why do you want it to not overlay and instead resize the windows? I see a problem on apps that doesn't support resizing.
 
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OrR

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I don't think resizing apps is a good idea. Pretty much everything would benefit from getting the whole screen to work with. In my opinion, the UI should be an overlay brought up with the menu button.
What would make sense is that some gadgets are displayed permanently (but only if the user chooses this). Some people would probably want to keep an eye on the clock and battery at all times. These could simply be displayed on top of whatever is running at the moment. The placement of these gadgets would have to be highly configurable, though, because they might be just at the wrong place in some games/emulators.
One thing to keep in mind: Make the UI somewhat finger friendly! Yes, we do have lots of buttons but touching the screen can be a very fast and efficient way to interact. For this to work, buttons and menu choices have to be as big as possible, though! Making things quite big would be good for readability anyway because the pixel density in the Pandora's screen is HIGH.
 

taltoris

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Well, here's the reasoning behind my thinking. A transparent overlay works for gaming, but I don't think it'll work with other programs. You could end up with something like this:

desktop2.png


Not too good. You could just create a single panel on top or on the side (the currently design), but that "pushes" the window boundaries in weird directions. Here, you have the opposite problem, where it would work fine for windows that can be easily resized, like a browser or word processor, but it might create some havoc for coders who don't know how big to create a window for their bitmap games. For example, say you're planning on having a 20 px sidebar, but let the user decide whether to put it on the side or on the top. A coder wouldn't know whether to create a 780x480 window or a 800x460 window.

The best way seems to me, to have them create a 800x480 window, and then depending on the "mode" the user was in (desktop or fullscreen), the pandora would either resize the window (like a browser or word processor) or actually scale the contents of the window to fit (like a game).

That, is why I decided to do it this way. If the aspect ratio is kept constant, then if you do need to scale something, it doesn't look stretched. Does this all make sense? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 

mali

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Think about my Starcraft comment. Something semi-transparent, with solid parts. It could become a nice technical looking theme in the end. The only vid I found in the short time is a review of Starcraft on the Oqo.
Jump to 2:16 there starts the slide-in/slide-out menu.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZkvRGONl0k
You could create some solid frames, that hold the different icons or other items. Drop-down menus could have a milk glass like background for example.
 
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