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Mezzo UI

Cool Tech

November 13, 2005 09:50 PM PST

Well it has been a while since I blogged about alternate operating systems and UI. In fact I think I've been mostly silent on the topic since I started working on this little project.

Well my curiosity overcame me. Iíve been taking a look at the Mezzo UI Concept by Jason Spisak. After years of using basically every OS out there, he decided to see if he could design something easier to use. The Mezzo concept is what he came up with. It is aimed at the novice user, and looks to be about as easy to use as anything Iíve seen. The Greypaper is a good read (warning pdf file link). Some of his personal pet peeves are scrolling, nested menus, and the file manager type metaphor. There are a few little nits I have with his concept, but overall it does seem quite elegant.

There are at least two OS projects currently underway that are implementing this UI. JDistro has a Ďmezzoí mode. (JDistro is a pure Java based desktop). And Jasonís own project Symphony OS, operated with Ryan Quinn. Symphony is a Linux distro implementing the Mezzo UI. I donít see any reason someone couldnít implement a Mezzo shell on top of Windows Ė but I donít see any projects doing this yet.

It might be fun to play with Symphony to see if the UI concept holds up to the real world use test. Sometimes ideas that sound good in theory fall flat in practice. Alas, however, my curiosity is currently not strong enough to overcome my serious lack of time.

Some other Mezzo references:

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