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When 16 is > 16 million
https://forum.osdev.org/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=30806
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Author:  Elttob [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  When 16 is > 16 million

Hio! This is my first post on here, but I thought I wouldn't make it an awkward "hello" thread.

Right now I'm working on my first operating system with help from some people I know. When I first told them I was using a sixteen colour palette (more specifically the CGA palette: Wikipedia) they said something along these lines:

"We have way more colours and processing power now, so why use sixteen colours?"

The answer; simplicity and beauty.

I don't know if I'm the only one that thinks this, but I find that limitations breed creativity and force you to focus on conveying information you need rather than the details that you don't need. It's also easier to do for a new operating system project, instead of getting dragged down by how the interface looks you can spend more time polishing the insides and adding more functionality. We all wish to have the prettiest operating system that everyone loves, but you need something that works first before considering which font to use for your interface, what colour is the background etc.

In short, you don't need sixteen million seven hundred and seventy seven thousand two hundred and sixteen colours to create a good-looking operating system. I made this fairly quickly in paint.net (fonts, icons and all) and it doesn't look half as bad as you may imagine:

Image

Though sixteen million colours are great (nice blur effects, gradients etc) that many colours is not required.

Just thought I'd share this and get a second opinion on it. Anyone agree/disagree?

Author:  Brendan [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Hi,

Elttob wrote:
Though sixteen million colours are great (nice blur effects, gradients etc) that many colours is not required.

Just thought I'd share this and get a second opinion on it. Anyone agree/disagree?


I really like that "grainy white paper" window background, and the photo of the polar bear in its natural habitat at the bottom left corner of the window is really cute. I also think the picture of the ocean's waves for the background image gives the OS a peaceful/tranquil feeling. 8)


Cheers,

Brendan

Author:  BrightLight [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Although it is definitely possible to create something good-looking using that little colors, I personally wouldn't do that. You're limiting yourself to obsolete (ancient?) technology with no real benefit of it.
Of course, it's your project and we all do this just for fun, so if you're happy with it, go right ahead.

Author:  Boris [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Quote:
God said 640x480 16 color graphics is a covenant like circumcision. Children will do offerings. Think of 16 colors like the Simpson's cartoons. In the
future, even if one GPU were universal, we would keep 640x480 16 color and not use GPU acceleration. Graphics operations should be transparent, not hidden in
a GPU.


+1 internets for whoever find the reference :-)

Author:  Elttob [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Thanks for the replies. Feedback is awesome \o/

I totally get your point about the advantages of 16M colours, but I think I wasn't quite as clear as I should have been. I'm talking more about the advantages of sticking to a simp!e ui when you start a new OS dev project. Obviously not required but what I would personal!y recommend.

However everyone has their own style of course for doing things. I'm simply making some attempt to explain how I choose to work and why I choose to work like that :p

Author:  simeonz [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Skeuomorphic designs are forced on workstations as collateral damage IMO.

Looking at that screenshot, there is contrast, contours and distinctive colors. I say - for professional use, less is more. Or I may be just nostalgic.

The background image may be necessary for therapeutic reasons. But it could be shown in a special screen that is not visible when there are other overlapping windows. (Something like the start screen on Windows 8.) If beveling and translucency makes sense it can be added in select places as well.

Author:  brunexgeek [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Well, I probably wouldn't use 16 colors, but nice results could be achieved with 16 bpp. Anyone wanting to reduce memory consumption could use it and still have a "high" quality output.

simeonz wrote:
Looking at that screenshot, there is contrast, contours and distinctive colors. I say - for professional use, less is more.
I could say the same thing about Haiku OS GUI

simeonz wrote:
Or I may be just nostalgic...
Well, I still like the Windows 3.11 GUI :o

Author:  Schol-R-LEA [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Boris wrote:
Quote:
God said 640x480 16 color graphics is a covenant like circumcision. Children will do offerings. Think of 16 colors like the Simpson's cartoons. In the
future, even if one GPU were universal, we would keep 640x480 16 color and not use GPU acceleration. Graphics operations should be transparent, not hidden in
a GPU.


+1 internets for whoever find the reference :-)


Careful there, Terry Davis is banninated in this forum for a reason (that reason being that he isn't a very nice person, but...).

OK, so I was going to mention TempleOS myself, until I saw that you had already done so. And to be fair, he does some pretty interesting things with that palette, and with the other limitations he says the Supreme Being decreed.

Author:  Muazzam [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Schol-R-LEA wrote:
that reason being that he isn't a very nice person, but...

You probably know that he is a diagnosed schizophrenic?

Author:  Schol-R-LEA [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Muazzam wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
that reason being that he isn't a very nice person, but...

You probably know that he is a diagnosed schizophrenic?


No, but I am hardly surprised to hear it. It did seem obvious, but I wasn't aware that he had an official diagnosis; I can only imagine what it took to get him in to the psychiatrist's office, unless it was either court ordered or a 5150 (that is, he was arrested for dangerous irrational behavior in public - '5150' is the radio code used in many police depts for a person in a violent psychotic episode - and forcibly taken for evaluation).

However, while it may be what caused him to act out like a cranky 13-year-old who just learned a new curse word, his psychosis was not in and of itself the reason he was banned - otherwise, none of us would be here :). I wasn't here at the time, but my understanding is that he basically was abusive toward anyone who disagreed with him, as well as having a habit of jumping into literally every thread he could find to tell people about his Divinely-inspired work, and inform us all that anyone working on any other OS was the pawn of the Devil.

Author:  matt11235 [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Muazzam wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
that reason being that he isn't a very nice person, but...

You probably know that he is a diagnosed schizophrenic?


No, but I am hardly surprised to hear it. It did seem obvious, but I wasn't aware that he had an official diagnosis; I can only imagine what it took to get him in to the psychiatrist's office, unless it was either court ordered or a 5150 (that is, he was arrested for dangerous irrational behavior in public - '5150' is the radio code used in many police depts for a person in a violent psychotic episode - and forcibly taken for evaluation).

However, while it may be what caused him to act out like a cranky 13-year-old who just learned a new curse word, his psychosis was not in and of itself the reason he was banned - otherwise, none of us would be here :). I wasn't here at the time, but my understanding is that he basically was abusive toward anyone who disagreed with him, as well as having a habit of jumping into literally every thread he could find to tell people about his Divinely-inspired work, and inform us all that anyone working on any other OS was the pawn of the Devil.


Sorry if this is a little off topic but I don't believe that Terry created TempleOS to be a replacement for your current operating system. Instead it's just supposed to be a pure/quiet place where you can play cute little games.

Author:  Schol-R-LEA [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

zenzizenzicube wrote:
Sorry if this is a little off topic but I don't believe that Terry created TempleOS to be a replacement for your current operating system. Instead it's just supposed to be a pure/quiet place where you can play cute little games.


As I say, I wasn't here at the time (it was during one of my extended hiatuses) and I can't seem to find the old posts on the subject, but it is my understanding that he came in here flinging invective and demanding everyone else stop what they were doing because the one and only true operating system was now here. Perhaps someone who knows better can weigh in on the reasons he was banned.

Author:  Brendan [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Hi,

zenzizenzicube wrote:
Sorry if this is a little off topic but I don't believe that Terry created TempleOS to be a replacement for your current operating system. Instead it's just supposed to be a pure/quiet place where you can play cute little games.


Once upon a time (around the 1980s I guess) there were all kinds of home computers (e.g. BBC micro, Commodore 64, etc) that encouraged the user to write software by providing simple to use programming languages (e.g. a dialect of BASIC built directly in the firmware) and full documentation. This created a generation of people that grew up with the idea that it's easy for a child without any programming experience or training to write their own software, and that this can be both fun and rewarding. Sadly this all died and programming became something more like "spend tens of thousand of $$ in university fees to learn enough to figure out what "a = b + c" actually does in the presence of modern malicious obfuscation (function overloading, generics, etc)" where the majority of the fun was replaced by the pain of unnecessary complexity and/or the mind-numbing boredom of gluing together libraries (to avoid the pain of unnecessary complexity). :roll:

At least part of the idea behind TempleOS was "nostalgia" - a desire to create an environment where programming is fun again. Occasionally, I wonder if all of us (who put up with it) are "less sane" than Terry (who successfully escaped the from what programming has become). 8)

Schol-R-LEA wrote:
As I say, I wasn't here at the time (it was during one of my extended hiatuses) and I can't seem to find the old posts on the subject, but it is my understanding that he came in here flinging invective and demanding everyone else stop what they were doing because the one and only true operating system was now here. Perhaps someone who knows better can weigh in on the reasons he was banned.


I don't really want to talk much about this (and don't really feel it's my place to discuss what is likely behaviour caused by someone's personal medical history); but I can assure you that initially Terry was quite rational.


Cheers,

Brendan

Author:  Schol-R-LEA [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Brendan wrote:
Once upon a time (around the 1980s I guess) there were all kinds of home computers [...] that encouraged the user to write software by providing simple to use programming languages [..] and full documentation. This created a generation of people that grew up with the idea that it's easy for a child without any programming experience or training to write their own software, and that this can be both fun and rewarding. Sadly this all died [snipped for brevity].

At least part of the idea behind TempleOS was "nostalgia" - a desire to create an environment where programming is fun again. Occasionally, I wonder if all of us (who put up with it) are "less sane" than Terry (who successfully escaped the from what programming has become). 8)


I wonder if that's part of SpectateSwamp's nuttiness is about, too (warning, NSFW, mostly in the replies to him - WTDWTF is a rather vicious forum). He endlessly extols the virtues of VB5, goto, gosub, and 'noodling' (deliberately writing spaghetti code with no design or even clear goals, just keep hacking until you get something interesting). The result of this on his Magnum Opus, Spectate Swamp Desktop Search, needs to be seen to be believed; I made a sincere attempt to machete my way through that jungle and only got to around line 800 (of 10200+) before giving up. Don't bother with the .Net version - it is the same code, just copypasta-ed to Visual Studio 2005 and then saved, error messages and all.

EDIT: In case you are curious, yes, he's still posting in some of those same threads which he started eight to ten years ago, having been hosted on three different forum platforms and through several changes of physical hosts.

To be fair, some otherwise sane individuals (e.g., David Brin) have expressed a longing to return to that, at least for the sake of teaching children programming. The problem is that 'professional' software development (and later, most FOSS) had already reached the point where ambition has exceeded capacity before then (they were talking about a 'software crisis' as early as 1970, if not earlier), and a whole generation of kids (such as myself) who grew up in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Apple ][s and Commodores jumped into coding with no idea of how deep over our heads we were getting.

Brendan wrote:
I don't really want to talk much about this (and don't really feel it's my place to discuss what is likely behaviour caused by someone's personal medical history); but I can assure you that initially Terry was quite rational.


OK, I didn't get that part. All I heard about was him calling people '<homosexual> <African-American> rapists' (expletives elided for obvious reasons) and such like in response to any and all criticism, which presumably came later.

Author:  Lukand [ Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: When 16 is > 16 million

Elttob wrote:
Hio! This is my first post on here, but I thought I wouldn't make it an awkward "hello" thread.

Right now I'm working on my first operating system with help from some people I know. When I first told them I was using a sixteen colour palette (more specifically the CGA palette: Wikipedia) they said something along these lines:

"We have way more colours and processing power now, so why use sixteen colours?"

The answer; simplicity and beauty.

I don't know if I'm the only one that thinks this, but I find that limitations breed creativity and force you to focus on conveying information you need rather than the details that you don't need. It's also easier to do for a new operating system project, instead of getting dragged down by how the interface looks you can spend more time polishing the insides and adding more functionality. We all wish to have the prettiest operating system that everyone loves, but you need something that works first before considering which font to use for your interface, what colour is the background etc.

In short, you don't need sixteen million seven hundred and seventy seven thousand two hundred and sixteen colours to create a good-looking operating system. I made this fairly quickly in paint.net (fonts, icons and all) and it doesn't look half as bad as you may imagine:

Image

Though sixteen million colours are great (nice blur effects, gradients etc) that many colours is not required.

Just thought I'd share this and get a second opinion on it. Anyone agree/disagree?

WOW! Where's the website or source code? That is amazing work!

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