130XE, on Tue May 8, 2012 9:42 PM, said:
GUI is another demo of possibilities of our beloved Atari. Nothing more.
I tend to think this has been true of many GUIs written so far for the A8. The reason is less to do with graphical performance, and more to do with a total lack of quality GUI applications. The GUIs - as we've discussed elsewhere in this thread - have often been front-ends presenting a desktop metaphor, for the purpose of launching legacy applications. The technicalities of fitting large applications and memory pools into bankswitched memory have hitherto been confounding. The result is that unless the system loads quickly, gets the job done as fast as using the DOS prompt, and is something you want to see every time you boot the machine, it has only novelty value.
Personally I yearn for a Mac-like interface on the A8 and I intend to perform my file management tasks with the new GUI's file manager when it's done. I love desktop icons, and I can't wait to start developing applications within a GUI framework. It's a case of personal preference. I think the many people following this thread do not have unreasonable expectations, and however fast the finished system turns out to be, one will always be aware that it's running on a 1.79Mhz 8-bit machine.
A GUI is a visual experience as much as anything else, hence the great importance we're placing on meticulous design and presentation. Proportional fonts are NICE. The desktop in the demos is something I can live with every time I switch on the machine. But I can only repeat myself about application support: in the first instance, a quality file manager and text editor will be vital to the success of the system. We've seen file managers of varying degress of quality in other GUIs, but no "killer app" springs to mind.
The text-based interface is something I want to develop further, but the graphical version is ten times more exciting for me. The freedom of working outside of text cells cannot be overstated.
At the end of the day, people will use the system or they won't. People will develop for it, or they won't. If they don't, I'll be using it and developing for it for my own amusement, and the finished project will stand for what it is. But rest assured there will be a finished product. A demo is something which looks nice but can't be used for a practical purpose. This will be usable for pratical purposes. Make no mistake about it. I'm not in the business of writing demos for the sake of demos, and I wouldn't spend 16 months working on a project I'm not going to finish.
No offense taken, of course: you're entitled to your opinion just like anyone else. I know there's at least one other big player around here who shares your views.