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15 September, 1999 4.19pm pdt
Sneak Preview Of New BeOS Interface
Whistle at Work

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Be, Inc. today released "Whistle", what it is calling a sneak preview of massive new interface changes coming in the next BeOS release (codename: Maui). Accroding to company officials, Be hopes to be the first to offer a completely "immersive cartoon environment".

Whistle is a clever program that takes all mouse and keyboard input and transforms it into a soundscape straight out of a Warner Brothers cartoon. The result is a user experience filled with dramatic piano sweeps, ominous booms and a cacophony of sound effects. In other words, even normally boring computer tasks such as composing spreadsheets now evoke a sensations of fun and pleasant mayhem.

"Our current target userbase was practically raised on the genius of cartoon artists such as Carl Stalling, Tex Avery and others," said Be, Inc. EVP of Sales and Marketing Roy Graham. "By emulating this environment at the operating system level we provide an attractive and familiar environment to millions of potential users."

"After a day of working at Be I often feel like several anvils have fallen onto my head," said Whistle creator Doug Fulton. "Exploring how I could share that feeling with others was the basis of the Whistle project."

Whistle also features cartoonish "pigtail" sliders, which will be standard interface elements in the next release.

"We're basically ripping out everything down to the bare bones and rebuilding the entire graphical user interface as if we were trapped inside a cartoon," said Tim Martin, human interface overlord at Be, Inc. "Sliders, windows, radio buttons and even the process of working with programs and files will follow a new set of cartoon logic guides."

No screenshots were available at press time, but reports of massive giggling from Be's QA department were widespread.


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