[openbeos] Re: scheduler/reminder

  • From: Scott Mansfield <thephantom@xxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2003 12:01:08 -0700

On Sunday, Sep 21, 2003, at 10:10 America/Los_Angeles, Simon Taylor wrote:

    If you don't, users will get confused! A balance MUST be found
usability and availability.
    For a CLI geek that you are, I not surprised you think that way.
I bet
you love dot files! :-) Users don't!

I certainly agree with that Adi. One of the major problems with all software products, but especially OSS ones, is "feature creep". Have you seen the default context menu in the latest tracker - it just keeps growing and growing. I for one would love to see the view options taken out of that (how often are they really used? They already have an entry on the "Window" menu, and keyboard shortcuts!!)

There are certain things only of interest to a minority in any OS -
they should not be given the same precidence as more common options -
that just ends up confusing the user.

I totally agree with the both of you.

Not trying to sound like a MS basher here...

One of the most shining examples of interface obfuscation can be found in Windows. For example, there are generally several ways to get at things and carry out tasks. Keyboard shortcut (often more than one per 'ctrl-this', 'alt-that', 'shift-ctrl-something-else'), mousing, or via a contextual menu of some sort. The age-old "there are twenty different ways to do things!" has been a common gripe about windows for a long time.

Second, let's pick on Word for this one. In its default configuration a lot of the useful menu options are hidden by default unless one selects "Advanced Menus" from a dialog sheet buried three-odd levels deep without a clear path to get to these so-called "advanced properties." Don't even get me started on the toolbars.

Finally, have you seen the newest-n-greatest feature of Longhorn (http://www.winsupersite.com/)? It's called the "sidebar." It eats up even more precious screen real-estate, it is always present, and it does *everything*: plays movies, holds shortcuts (in addition to the ones in the start menu and on the desktop), has a clock (in addition to the one in the taskbar), shows static pictures and slide shows, has a search feature (in addition to the one in the start menu and the one in explorer and the one that you get when you right click), takes certain options out of the start menu and places said options in the sidebar thereby further diluting the start menu's role, et cetera. That, my friends, is confusion and obfuscation in the extreme.


I hope so. Nowt wrong with having decent scripting support though. Windows is hardly "Geek Friendly" - but you can write VBScript if you so desire.

VBScript == Outlook virus writing tool. ;-) Sorry, couldn't resist.

Is reproducibility cast to the four winds?
WTF?  Do you run 'jam' and parse its output from a GUI app during
course as an OBOS developer?  A script has the potential of being
easily digestible and maintainable in a clear-text kind of way.
"Lazy" programmers don't survive long in the field before they're
called to task and subsequently terminated; M$ employees

Hey! That's what I don't like about some people. You say something, and then one comes and digest all meanings of that phrase.

Calm down a bit. Just a suggestion, don't bite my head off! ;-)

I think I was the target of Adi's ire. The paragraph I wrote is a bit abrasive.

The beauty of discussion is that people pick holes in what you said,
and then you reply and put them straight.

Well put! :-)


What I was trying to say originally is that I feel we should not try to decide what's best for our customers and by inheritance constrain them into "our" way of doing things. Adi (and please don't take this personally friend) seemed to think that only "lazy" programmers used the command line, at least that's the impression I got reading Adi's writings. I wanted to offer Adi possibly others my perspective as an embedded systems and device driver developer (which I don't consider "lazy" at all) that the CLI can be a very useful and powerful tool, and still has it's place in personal computing universe alongside the GUI. I truly believe that these two elements are complimentary, not exclusive.

At the same time I really appreciate Adi's perspective. I'll be the first to admit that as a low-level developer I'm often working through tunnel vision because of the degree of focus required for this kind of work. Reading Adi's writings and ideas it's refreshing to see a bigger picture.


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