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[Rant] How does the future look ?ANN.lu
Posted on 08-Nov-2002 23:27 GMT by Garth122 comments
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with the following lines i like to explain my worries and concerns to the companies and normal application developers. this text is written by someone outside of amiga that may like to buy such a system and use it for the future. hello reader, i was an amiga user and quit some years ago, switched to linux and use it today. i do development on linux, got used to open source and don't miss anything. in the past couple of weeks new amiga hardware got announced and made me get interested again. but i'm really worried in how companies will reach new customers or getting their old people back. on the following lines i want to state some of my personal experiences and opinions and hope that you understand my points.

let's start by comparing amigaos 3.9 with modern desktops like kde, gnome, beos, macos or qnx then i must say amigaos looks quite outdated and not innovative anymore. for example the icons look pixelized and ugly and the default programs are inconsistent by not following any serious human interface guides. some programs have strange icons on top of their window which should simulate a toolbar, some are using mui, some others the old gui and some are not really usable like the default calculator which only does some poor basic calculus and no science stuff. shell programs don't provide good informations about howto use them so people don't know what parameters they could enter. with the amithlon package there was also the picasso96 setup tool which looked horrible. big square ugly buttons on top and a blue background. the editor that came with amigaos has some ugly icons too. many applications don't provide any tooltips to signal their users what purpose the buttons have. even the default toolkit doesn't look attractive anymore. something that shouldn't be in a modern operating system that wants to get out of their little market niche. this is only a little example which can easily be extended, so please don't tie your feedback on these few aspects.

i really hope that the amigaos 4.0 or morphos team don't do the same mistakes by simply copying things from one system to another "hacking" around and make "patchwork". i hope they start to innovate things. stuff like tcp/ip v6, using new technologies etc. - only to name a few. the community really needs some new innovations. something they could say "wow that's it". a future for amiga can only be reached, by getting back old users and getting new customers. now you need to offer these people a reason why they should decide to switch back to a little niche community without professional applications, questionable future.

- how do you plan to make the new systems attractive for old users and for new possible customers ?
- how do you want to get these people when there are professional applications missing ?
- how do you want to compete with the open source community that offers a lot of powerful programs including the sources ?

a criteria for me to buy your hardware would basically depend on this.

- why should i pay amigacalc if i can use openoffice for free on linux ?
- why should i pay for amigasql if i can use postgresql or mysql for free on linux ?

not to mention that these projects are developed by many people on their free time. a lot of programs offered in the open source community can easily compete with commercial programs and some of them are setting new standards already.

on many amiga related mailinglists and newsforums i heard complaining people that got upset because the few remaining amiga companies don't provide any support for their software and i fear that if i gonna buy some amiga programs again that the development and support ends one day, maybe faster than i thought.

i saw that many people who still belive in amiga understood this situation and started to port open source programs to morphos (maybe soon on amigaos) which i call a good direction. on the long run this guarantees a long lifecycle for these programs because you can always continue working on it again and make it better. you don't need to fear that your beloved program dies one day.

i think we all should not just change the system, we should also take compromises between a good mixture of open source and commercialism. this is the only way to get users and that is one possible future for the amiga otherwise you will have a hard time competing with a big open source settled community better software vs. little community with commercial not so professional programs. i hope we all gonna learn and respect this one day and i see a good future for amiga like system, no matter which as long as people understand this and right now it looks cool with all the amazing ports.

i would be pleased to get some serious feedback from other people's opinion about what they think, how they see the future and how we could do our best to get it up again. please no immature replies.

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