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GUIs From 1984 to the Present

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the gooey-all-over-the-place dept.

263

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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Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898676)

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?

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898692)

Risc OS screenshots would have showed how far behind Microsoft were too...

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (2, Interesting)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898728)

Anyone else noticed the linked-to "blog" has no other content besides this and is one day old?

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (1)

crayz (1056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898775)

And is of course full of Google adwords... probably made a pretty penny getting this link posted

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (3, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (1)

Handlarn (911194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898756)

Yeah, smart job on posting thumbnail-sized pictures. How are you supposed to get anything from those pictures when you can't even see the buttons because there aren't such a thing as 1/10th of a pixel?

Re:Obligatory disgruntled sarcastic comment (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898830)

Oh yeah, and where is the fucking Amiga desktop screenshot assholes?

Exactly. Or Xerox?

Better timeline (5, Informative)

zubernerd (518077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898684)

Man, must be a slowwwww news day...
Here is a link to a better timeline:

http://toastytech.com/guis/guitimeline.html [toastytech.com] Toasty Tech has some spiffy screenshots of various GUIs.
Ah, the memories...

Re:Better timeline (5, Informative)

alerante (781942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898848)

The GUIdebook [guidebookgallery.org] also has tables showing the progression of specific interface elements (for example, icons [guidebookgallery.org] ).

Re:Better timeline GUIedbook, Mod up (1)

zubernerd (518077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898921)

Mod up the parent (alerante), I forgot about that site. Thanks. It's pretty datailed.

Re:Better timeline (0)

cheezus_es_lard (557559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898874)

Slashdotted already. What a travesty. Lots of bored geeks on Sundays, I guess...

Re:Better timeline (1)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898923)

Mac OS XP [mediahump.com]
Arabicness [mediahump.com] Don't you love Unicode?!
Arabic Windows XP [mediahump.com] I bet a lot of people don't know that everything is reversed on right-left XP's, like Arabic. This includes the back and forward button on IE, the back is forward and the forward is back ( back). More Mac OS XP [mediahump.com] Having a Mac theme, after using OS X for a bit, makes me rely on Windows more. It seriously makes Windows seem more reliable then it is. I really have no serious problems with it, but when you think of how much configuring you can do, and there isn't that much on Mac OS X (in the GUI section), it seems extremely complicated after all.

Re:Better timeline (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898985)

too bad of the glaring typo on page 4.. "Lunix"?

OS/2 (4, Informative)

reporter (666905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899037)

The link at Toasty Tech [toastytech.com] is much better than the original link [blogspot.com] . The original link seems to be focused on the GUIs of operating systems (OSes) targeted at consumers, but the Toasty-Tech link presents the GUIs for all major OSes.

The original link notably omits OS/2.

Whereas Windows 3.1 was a cooperatively multitasked OS, OS/2 was a pre-emptively multitasked OS just like UNIX. OS/2 was rock solid. In opinion, it had only 2 problems. It was released just slightly ahead of its time: OS/2 needed, at least, an 80486 to be adequately fast even though most consumers were running computers that had an 80386, an 80286, or even an 8088.

The second problem was that IBM did not give it away for free. Windows 3.1 was, in general, inferior to OS/2 although Windows 3.1 was perfectly matched to the underpowered processors at the time. Windows 3.1 often crashed. Even when Windows did not crash, it often froze when an application neglected to cooperatively relinquish the processor. Windows 3.1 main advantage was that it had the Microsoft name on it. If IBM had open-sourced OS/2 or given it away for free, then IBM could have wrestled the entire OS market from Microsoft. Most consumers would have chosen a free, rock-solid OS over a more expensive, crappy OS. Being free is important since most consumers are cheapskates.

Also, Windows 3.1 was actually based on the core code on which IBM and Microsoft had collaborated. After they terminated the joint project, IBM continued development on the core code and turned it into OS/2. Meanwhile Microsoft gutted the parts (e.g., preemptive multitasking) that, in its opinion, the consumer would not value and morphed the result into Windows 3.1.

When you look at the APIs for both OS/2 and Windows 3.1, you can see the common heritage of both products. More than half of the APIs have identical or nearly identical names and arguments.

If the common ancestor of both products were called "Homo Erectus", then OS/2 is Cro-Magnon man, and Windows 3.1 is the chimp that preceded Homo Erectus.

They missed the most memorable (3, Funny)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898689)

And just where is the blue screen of death [firestream.net]

Re:They missed the most memorable (5, Funny)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898872)

And just where is the blue screen of death


They are all in the same gallery as the Kernel Panic screens, the Apple System Bomb Messages, and the OSX Spontaneous Restart Screenshots.

Re:They missed the most memorable (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898978)

Thanks! I've never seen an OS X kernel panic or "Spontaneous Restart" in five years, so I was wanting to go to that site and check it out.

Re:They missed the most memorable (1)

neus (968572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899055)

Well i never saw a BSOD since Windows 2000; just because you don't see them doesn't mean they don't exist!
Just like trolls i guess ...

Note to moderators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899066)

The parent post is a known Microsoft shill and Apple-hater. OS X doesn't "spontaneously restart." However, Windows XP does by default when it hits a BSOD.

Elsewhere in the comments, you will notice that the parent poster actually attempts to argue that OS X has no better graphics options than Windows XP. Clearly unaware of the vector-based Quartz and its technologies dating back to Display Postscript in NeXTStep, TheNetAvenger actually believes GDI+ is on the level of Quartz and that Vista is creating some new paradigm just because Microsoft is desperately trying to catch up to Quartz/Quartz 2D Extreme by squeezing out WPF in Vista sometime in 2007.

The ignorance is amusing and laughable, but please don't encourage his behavior with "Funny" upmods. These kind of MSDN-subscribing fanboys always pop into Apple discussions now and then, trying desperately to defend the sinking ship of Windows technologies--technologies so bloated and complex that Windows' own developers refer to it as "broken" and "overly complicated." Hell, let's not even get into the Win32 scatter attack that Vista is still vulnerable to, given that it's still based on the same old single-user APIs developed in the 80s for the original Windows 1.0.

So as Apple continues to leapfrog Microsoft's obsolete technologies, expect more FUD from these MSDN agents, especially in discussions on Slashdot where Microsoft employees will mod them up. In their world, Windows XP's graphics are on the same level as Quartz. Not only is it the most hilarious claim ever heard in comparisons between the two operating systems, but it illustrates the level of misinformation Microsoft's marketing brochures have unleashed upon hapless individuals still running the six-year-old Windows XP, waiting fervently for a minor update sometime next year that will barely give them some level of feature parity with OS X Tiger from April of 2005.

Well then (0, Troll)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898691)

OSX 10.1 looks better than Vista!

It sure does. (1, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898772)

And Old Navy clothing looks better than Carthart and Dickies.

Re:Well then (2, Interesting)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898910)

OSX 10.1 looks better than Vista!

I so wish I didn't have an NDA...

Truly to say that the Graphic Engine in OSX and Vista are the same shows a complete lack of understanding. OSX graphics = WindowsXP with GDI+. The only exception is the Offscreen Bitmap Compose that OSX uses.

Vista has a full round trip Vector based Composer than does things OSX couldn't dream of like real, from Vector acceleration techniques (round trip) to GPU sharing and GPU RAM virtualization, stuff that has pushed NVidia and ATI to rethink the multi-tasking and Memory aspects of the GPU market. Yet MS is pulling this off with the current generation of Video cards.

That is why I can run Halo, WoW, SWG, and Half-Life ALL on screen at once and not lose framerates in any of the games. I can even Flip 3D them, and they run in that view without any FPS loss. (See normally, each of these applicaitons would want 'full' access to the GPU and the GPU's RAM.)

I know it is cool to compare OSX to Vista, but really, we need to get everyone educated, if not, then people with see the technology in OSX as 'good enough' and we won't get Apple to move into the next generation of Video Composers and Rendering.

When I say that OSX is WindowsXP/GDI+ with only the addition of a Bitmap Composer, I am being serious. OSX has no further graphic abilities than WindowsXP, where Vista has new engine and also a new paradigm for Video Cards and GPUs as well.

Re:Well then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899008)

where Vista has new engine and also a new paradigm for Video Cards and GPUs as well.

You completely forgot about the most important Vista video-related feature--its baked-in support for Digital Restrictions Management.

~~~

Re:Well then (5, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899030)

Truly to say that the Graphic Engine in OSX and Vista are the same shows a complete lack of understanding. OSX graphics = WindowsXP with GDI+. The only exception is the Offscreen Bitmap Compose that OSX uses.


100% wrong. OS X uses a technology called Quartz, which is a totally different world above Windows XP's GDI+. It's vector-based and resolution-independent, and has been since its introduction six years ago. The same instructions used to draw to a printer are used to draw to the screen.

Vista has a full round trip Vector based Composer than does things OSX couldn't dream of like real, from Vector acceleration techniques (round trip) to GPU sharing and GPU RAM virtualization, stuff that has pushed NVidia and ATI to rethink the multi-tasking and Memory aspects of the GPU market. Yet MS is pulling this off with the current generation of Video cards.


Quartz is a vector-based layer, and Quartz 2D Extreme in Tiger/Leopard accelerates all GUI drawing operations via the GPU.

When I say that OSX is WindowsXP/GDI+ with only the addition of a Bitmap Composer, I am being serious.


No, you're being ignorant. Quartz is not Windows XP/GDI+ with "only the addition of a Bitmap Composer." You seem to know little about the Quartz Compositor layer in OS X.

OSX has no further graphic abilities than WindowsXP


Wow, so all those anti-aliased Quartz vector operations I've been doing are available in Windows XP? I can print the contents of any view to a printer automatically like I can with Quartz?

Please put down the MSDN marketing brochure before posting.

Re:Well then (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899039)

Dude, it's not so much what you have, it's how you use it. Sure, both XP and OSX already have their DirectX and OpenGL respectively. But at the end of the day, even XP start button has jagged edges. With all the thousands of engineers Billy Gates doesn't know how to draw a straight line. As for full-round trip vector based composer - do you mean something like this?

http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/coreanimation. html [apple.com]

Re:Well then (1)

MSFanBoi2 (930319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898918)

Maybe if you are blind, a bit dumb and not so intelligent.

Interesting, but... (4, Insightful)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898696)

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...

Re:Interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898723)

Perhaps to show some desktops are highly customizable? And others aren't. Yes, that was a snarky way of commenting how far behind the curve the desktops from the world's largest software company are year after year.

Re:Interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898785)

I just posted the above comment and, now having seen this, stand corrected. Surely the likes of this will never be matched again:

http://toastytech.com/guis/bob.html [toastytech.com]

Re:Interesting, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898917)

yeah. i lol'd at the KDE entry, lookin like a mascara wearin, anti conformin, angsty goth kid.

Some corrections. (5, Informative)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898697)

The picture shown for System 5 is not a Mac system, rather it's a version of the Apple IIGS desktop.

The picture labelled as System 6 is a version of System 7, not System 6.

Re:Some corrections. (2, Funny)

Indras (515472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898801)

And the picture for Mac System 7 clearly says "7.5.3" in the screenshot (while 7.5 is supposed to be a couple pictures down).

Another excellent source for this bit of history (2, Informative)

Zzyzygy (189883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898698)

Another good site to look at for GUI history is Nathan Whitehorn's "GUI Gallery" here: The GUI Gallery [toastytech.com] . I like it because Nathan is actively developing it. He actually loads and runs these various environments before writing about them.

Either that, or that boy has way too much time on his hands :-)

-Scott

Re:Another excellent source for this bit of histor (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898791)

It's Nathan Lineback. You had me questioning my sanity for a moment there.

Cool (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898819)

The Work In Progress [toastytech.com] window is a kind of task manager that shows which programs are running, which programs have finished running and shows any console output that the program may have generated.


Am I the only one who things that storing console output would still be a useful feature? It would make batch processing jobs a great deal easier.

Re:Another excellent source for this bit of histor (1)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899062)

"...Xfree86 has been started and has launched the FVWM95 window manager..."

  Bah! I remember that! Wow, when I first tried Linux and didn't know what the hell was going on and that virtual desktop confused teh hell out of me.

Why KDE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898699)

Bah, desktops are for wusses, all hail fluxbox!

Re:Why KDE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898769)

Desktop Environments vs Window Managers...

Re:Why KDE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898808)

Desktop enviroments are for wusses Vs I don't use one...

Why KDE (which is relatively new) over Motif or CDE (which have been around for years)?

Gnome (1)

Heidistein (593051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898706)

Verry nice gallery to see, look at the difference between MS and apple too see that apple was far further developed earlier... But I miss gnome!! :)

Re:Gnome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898730)

Yeah, I was going to comment on how GNOME was missing, then I realized they included Microsoft Windows, so all you need to do is add five years to the Windows releases and you have the corresponding GNOME release!

Re:Gnome (0)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898754)

I miss Amiga and Geoworks.

Re:Gnome (2)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898856)

Once you go XFCE, you never go back...

Re:Gnome (2, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898981)

I went back to KDE after about half an hour ;)

that's not Macintosh System 5... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898726)

It's GS/OS on an Apple IIGS. What a noob. :)

xerox workstation (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898729)

funny, the very first apple GUI looks just like Xerox workstation. Anyone remembers those? With Xerox network protocol (was it XNS?).

Re:xerox workstation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898885)

XNS was the protocol that IPX/SPX morphed into.

Ahh the good old days of Netware servers. :) And spyware didn't exist. Yet.

microsoft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898733)

The 'O' in the MS logo from 1985 kinda looks like a goatse..

"GUIs"??? (4, Insightful)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898738)

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?

Re:"GUIs"??? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898767)

And what's more GEM is a PC GUI too, has been since the beginning. Plus it's still under active development (check the desktop build date on this image [dosius.ath.cx] , for example).

-uso.

Re:"GUIs"??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898858)

> And what's more GEM is a PC GUI too, has been since the beginning.
> Plus it's still under active development (check the desktop build date on this image, for example).

Wow, it looks like the graphic style has been under "active stagnation" for 20 years!

Yeah baby!!!!

What? No Amiga GUIs? (4, Interesting)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898740)

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.

Re:What? No Amiga GUIs? (3, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898952)

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.

GNome, Window Maker and other leaders. (3, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898986)

All should show up pre 1999. They look just as good as Windows 98 did and were widely deployed and easy to get. They might also have included a screen shot of TWM to show how things progressed.
  • TWM, 1987 [wikipedia.org]
  • FVWM, 1993 [wikipedia.org] (Enlightenment puts it at 1992)
  • Next Step publishes Open Step [wikipedia.org] which is quickly followed by
  • AfterStep, Window Maker and others much nicer than Windows 95. Most are still available and usable with the latest and greatest free software.
  • Enlightenment, released 1996 [sourceforge.net] , still a leader.
  • Gnome used Enlightenment until they moved to Sawfish. The history has just begun

Of course, everyone should see the first web browser from 1990 [w3.org] (actually a screen shot from 1993, but much the same) running on a Next.

It might be hard to dig up screenshots all of desktops, but not much harder than the ones they found. It's nice to see someone including KDE in the line up so people can see a little of what they have been missing, like Virtual desktops, since the early 90's.

My desktop snapshot collection (5, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898742)


1994:

> ls -a .profile

1997:

~ ls -a .profile .sh_history

1998:
tardis ~ ls -a .profile .sh_history .bash_profile

2001:
[kll@apocalypse] ls -a .profile .sh_history .gnurc

2004:
[kll@helios] ssh apocalypse hostname
apocalypse

2006:
[kll@xm-fc5-001] ssh localhost
password:

Virtual Machine - FC5 - Image 001
Be nice!

Crap (2)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898743)

Small pictures, no captions, HUGE omissions, screenshots of OSes not even out yet... why was this posted again?

Re:Crap (1)

trash eighty (457611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898870)

to gain the blog's author a load of ad revenue?

Re:Crap (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898888)

Advertisement traffic whoring

Hard comparison (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898747)

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.

Not exactly in depth (3, Insightful)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898753)

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:~$

Re:Not exactly in depth (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898811)

Noooo :)

Before you were born:
$_

Now:

root@localhost:~$_


All in bright colors, syntax highlighting, autocomplete and autocorrect, and whatnot.

Sure it "could have been" done before. But only now it is actually in use.

DESQview? (3, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898758)

They forgot DESQview, the preferred environment for running your BBS software

Re:DESQview? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898851)

They forgot DESQview, the preferred environment for running your BBS software

IIRC DESQview was controlled via the keyboard - while it was a windowing enviroment, it wasn't really a GUI.

nice, nice, but where is X,, BeOs, Os2 (1)

dindi (78034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898759)

Would be interesting to see os2, beos, and maybe even pda screens, X (xfree and others) side by side as well :)

but nice anyway ..

slashdot appearance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898763)

Where's the timeline for Slashdot appearanced? I've already forgot the previous style.

It goes to show you.... (1)

dduardo (592868) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898765)

If you stick a monochrome screen on a modern computer you'll basically have an 80's desktop.

Question: Why does it feel like everything "new" in software is a rewrite of stuff that has already been done in UNIX?

Re:It goes to show you.... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898926)

Question: Why does it feel like everything "new" in software is a rewrite of stuff that has already been done in UNIX?

Because it is. Unix did it, but in a way that regular people couldn't figure out. It's still being re-written, except this time, it's being done in a much more useable way. The DVD is a re-write of VHS. The both do the same thing, but DVD does it better. Same thing.

It goes to show you....Youth. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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"?

This is always fun (3, Informative)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898766)

I really enjoy this sort of stuff, here is an article discussing the history of the GUI from the very begining:

http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/gui.ars [arstechnica.com]

Error: GS OS is not System 5 (1)

techmuse (160085) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898774)

The web site has a significant error. They present the Mac-like GUI for The Apple II GS as System 5, which it is not.

gnome! (1)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898777)

where's gnome you insensitive clod ?!!1

What, no DOSSHELL? (1)

srothroc (733160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898780)

I remember the days when I played the Space Quest and King's Quest series; the days when the hardest part of using a computer for me was remembering the esoteric string of letters that would let me into the mouse-driven directory/file view: DOSSHELL. I mean, as primitive as it might have been, it's still very easy to see in it the precursor of today's Window's Explorer with the Folder Explorer Bar enabled -- especially with 20/20 hindsight.

It's a bit disappointing not to see it listed there -- I would have thought it an integral part in Microsoft's GUI development. I mean, come on, it even let you change the colors! Primitive theming!

Good Enough (3, Insightful)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898796)

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.

Re:Good Enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898826)

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.

Just like the TTY?

Re:Good Enough (1)

DumbSwede (521261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898958)

That would have been covered by the "without some vastly improved display sytstem" qualifier.
Though it isn't so much the display holding things back now, but the input interfaces.
Precise, cheap, unencumbering 3D entry that easily tracks all your hand, finger and arm motions, or reliable, speaker independent, speech recognition would bring about a new round of change.

Re:Good Enough (1)

White Shade (57215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899036)

I would tend to agree with you..

It actually seems to me that the macintosh gui remained stagnant and pretty horrifically uninspired for a number of years, whereas windows changed a lot and got to its 95ish style pretty quick.

things did change pretty quickly though after that; apple completely blew away the competition whereas windows stayed the same for three or four version (95, 98, 2k)... now it seems like vista may have caught up again a bit. hard to say though..

Fa1lzorsD! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898812)

your own 7owel in one Here but now on an endeavour OpenBSD leader Theo

Re:Fa1lzorsD! (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898934)

Is that supposed to make sense?

Windows ME? (4, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898821)

What, no mention of Windows ME?
It's almost as if someone doesn't want to acknowledge it ever existed.

Re:Windows ME? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898884)

Ah, sorry, just realized anyone capable of capturing a screenshot would not be caught dead running it.

Oops (1)

Cygfrydd (957180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898824)

The Mac System 5 screenshoot appears to actually be an Apple IIGS... not System 5 at all. :-(

Apple copies Microsoft.... (4, Funny)

GoulDuck (626950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898825)

If these screenshots are corret, we now have proff that Apple copied Microsofts idea about using colors!

No GEOS (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898839)

Where's GEOS?

Apple and MS implementation (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898845)

I am sure there will be many MS copied Apple, which in a way is true, and Apple copies others, which is true but is not as most people think, so I want to add this beforehand.

Having seen and used most of these interfaces, the driving force seems to be the hardware to run them and then an API to make them cheap enough to implement for consumer applications. System 1 was a basic GUI built run on a relatively simple hardware and in a small footprint. The innovation was in fact in the separate GPU, something that was not widely used. This allowed the complex graphics. The big software innovation was WYSIWYG. Despite what people say about Xerox, the concept existed, but the bundle did not. Furthermore, the problem MS had was that it had no control over the hardware, and therefor could a tight OS, much less an OS built with specialized processors that no one had, so MS Windows 1.0 was the best it could do for the given hardware.

Once the initial concept of the GUI was developed, and the methodology developed, the software itself became rather simple. Over time hardware has been the biggest constraint on MS. MS software must run on cheap hardware, so the OS has been necessarily inferior. For instance, it was 10 years before excel on the PC was as good as the Mac. Conversely, companies like SGI had much more powerful hardware to play with, so the X-Windows experience blew System 7, 8, 9, and everything else, out of the water.

It is unclear what vista is going to look like. Mac OS X has some incredible high quality hardware at the base, hardware the sells for at least 1K, so apple has fewer constraints that MS that has to run on $300 junk. This might explain the fork in MS Vista. The point is that the comparison between MS and Apple makes as much since as comparing Apple and SGI. No one has ever said that Apple should run like a SGI. Likewise, MS cannot really run an Apple, even if they both use x86. Mac OS is basically being optimized for Intel dual core chips, and how long until the GPC is going be standard dual core?

Of course, even though Apple is "closed", the documentation and developer tools always seem more open to me. I recall the old Apple MAC bookd and the details, and compare that to the third party MS development books, and all the asterisks warning the user that MS did not support use of the hook or API. It did not make the Mac and easier to develop with, and it still seems easier to throw something together on the PC, but that is only if one is willing to use questionable strategies.

Re:Apple and MS implementation (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898947)

> how long until the GPC is going be standard dual core?

Excuse my ignoramicousness, but what's GPC? Was the G a typo, or does that mean something else?

"Nice" Gallery? (2, Insightful)

Predictor (647746) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:"Nice" Gallery? (1)

hesiod (111176) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898955)

> whatever the Amiga used

Oh, like a dagger in the heart! :) Workbench was the graphical part of the Amiga system.

I too was disappointed by the incompleteness (and inaccuracy) of the page. Oh well...

Sad state of GUI development (5, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898859)

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.

Re:Sad state of GUI development (2, Funny)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898951)

You're so right! You want to know what else pisses me off? Cars. Cars still use the dated "Steering wheel/Accelerator/Brake" paradigm. Where's the originality!?

it's the damn womyn holding us back (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15898995)

they won't go joystick instead of steering wheel 'cause it's too penis like. Same way with computers. Pens would be such a better interface than mice, but the womyn keep holding us back with their anti-cock ways. Goddammit!

merging command line and gui (3, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899068)

"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?

Interesting.... (1)

_Griphin_ (676977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898900)

He fergot about Windows 2000?!?

Missing the really early ones.. (1)

The Creator (4611) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898906)

GUI 1.0 [tinyurl.com]

BOB? (5, Funny)

awesomo2001 (991790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898920)

You managed to forget Microsoft's BOB. What's your secret?

Too narrow (2, Informative)

ucblockhead (63650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15898940)

Where's Amiga? Where's Atari? Where's OS/2? Where's Gnome? Where's BeOS?

Incomplete and Inaccurate (1)

fairytale (995051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899014)

This represents maybe 1/100th of the timeline of the evolution of GUI's for desktop PC's. This person obviously never used anything more powerful than a Dell.

Some of the GUI's off the top of my head that were SIGNIFICANT advances during the 80s and 90s include:
* Tandy Deskmate (once the #1 computer seller in America)
* Apple IIgs interface (precursor to the Macintosh)
* Xerox
* OS/2
* Amiga

OK, but where is... (2, Informative)

silverdr (779097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899027)

... GEOS, GEM, The Amiga, The Atari ST and other very important GUIs of the era??! The title should rather be something else than what it is.

Where's GNOME? (3, Informative)

ABoerma (941672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899028)

...or NeXTSTEP, or Amiga, et cetera.
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