Haiku Menu Should Be Changed
I wonder if everyone would agree keeping the menu layout is in the best interest of Haiku?
BeOS we know as a system came and went, also KDE in their early version of the 1.x desktops had this style of menu and that came and went, so I wonder, why would people think this will be a success when it wasn't in the past?
This style of menu layout is very old school.
I've been into Unix/Linux 10 years, I consider myself to be pretty hardcore and I'm overwhelmed with this style of menu. I never liked it in KDE when they first tried and I can't say I like it now any better. For the experienced users, it makes us feel like we've stepped back in time 10 years.
Each to his own as they say, after all we do drive different cars as the saying goes, have different likes, but one truth does remain, systems are popular for a reason and if it was a popular menu style then it would of never died off in the Unix world. The Haiku team should really stop and realize KDE had been down this road before and changed, this is not to say everything now about KDE is for the better, but they changed for a reason, it didn't work.
Windows, OS X, along with Unix/Linux and their Gnome and KDE desktops are all popular for a reason and Haiku should really start considering this when going on with this project. Look at the major players out there and what do you see? The vast majority of users, inexperienced and experienced are typically running, Windows, OS X, Gnome/KDE styles of desktops and then XFce is starting to make it's way into this market.
As an IT Tech, when I work with inexperienced users wanting to explore alternatives, there is one question they all ask first, will it be harder to use?
The truth is, this menu style might not be harder to use, once you get use to it, but there are a few facts that do remain, it has a cluttered look and it makes the menu look overwhelming and intimidating to the inexperienced.
Also inexperienced or experienced, another fact remains, you'll hardly find a user that cares for clutter on a operating system, most people like things to be simple and efficent and the menu in Haiku does not give the appearance of efficiency at all.
The one word that can truly summarize this menu is that it's to 'BUSY' looking. People are not drawn to busy. No where in the world of technology will you see busy winning people over. Computers, cellphone/pda, mp3 players, etc., not one of these types of devices has won over the market of consumers with an approach, or layout to busy.
On the contrary, smart marketing departments know that in this day in age, busy is best kept to the lifestyles and work places of the consumers, not in the layout of their devices, to help them manage their busy life.
I truly hope that the Haiku team will ditch this menu style and instead make a more friendly file explorer layout for searching through the Home/System files and diretories.
Here is a screenshot of the menu I took while running Haiku in VirtualBox.
I think the Haiku team has something really great going here, but only time will tell.