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Re: Objective-C 2.0 and other new features in Leopard

From: Riccardo
Subject: Re: Objective-C 2.0 and other new features in Leopard
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 23:15:12 +0100
User-agent: GNUMail (Version 1.2.0)


top posting is bad, but may I ask, did I write this? Almost. It is written 
stronger than I would have.

I may though add that themability is a good thing, it has many uses, last but 
not least to be able to make a single applicaiton look better in the rest of 
the environment if this is desired. Themes should be collected, made available.
Just don't change the default look, that one is the good one. But leave the 
freedom to the others.


On 2007-11-11 19:15:37 +0100 Dr Tomaž Slivnik <address@hidden> wrote:

>> As to the look, is there a reason why Camaelon still isn't part of  the 
>> standard GNUstep distribution?  Yes, the default look is clean,  but it's 
>> clean and very 80s.  Nesedah is clean and modern, and  Narcissus is even 
>> cleaner.  Using GNUstep apps without Camaelon  feels like stepping through 
>> a time warp.
> For what it's worth, I like the "very 80s" look. What's wrong with  the 80s 
> look?
> User interface is very hard to design well, and NeXT did an  excellent, and, 
> in my opinion, ever since unsurpassed, job. It is not  easy to tinker with a 
> good design and make it better.
> The NeXT look-and-feel is consistent and minimalist. The (i) simple,  (ii) 
> square (iii) gray (iv) static GUI elements remain subdued in the  background, 
> and do not compete with the user's own data for the  user's attention. The 
> design looks as if it was carefully designed by  a single brain who 
> understood the design from a holistic point of  view, had considered every 
> angle of it, and trimmed out all the fat.
> I contrast this with Apple's gummy, although similar considerations  apply to 
> other "modern" GUI designs which claim to be better.
> Apple's GUI is an inconsistent hodge-podge of elements and looks like  it was 
> put together by a series of disjointed patches contributed by  a battalion of 
> summer job trainees, each staying on the job for a  couple of months without 
> understanding properly the design he was  modifying and adding his own pet 
> idea of an improvement without  anyone ever thinking through its effect on 
> the overall design.
> Consider this:
>    - one kind of close button on regular windows, another kind of  close 
> button on Dashboard widgets, and other apps (e.g. VLC) use yet  other kinds 
> of windows with yet other kinds of close buttons; Java  applets, Flash 
> animations etc. seem to have yet their own).
>    - plasticky striped background on some aqua windows; brushed metal  on 
> others; and yet another "Leopard-style" background in iTunes and  other apps
>    - 3D, transparent, often bouncy user interface elements which  distract 
> the 
> user from what he's doing. Should the Mail program's  icon bounce 
> irritatingly when it's temporarily lost 'net connection  which will come back 
> in a minute on its own and distract me from  doing something more important 
> I'm doing at the time?
>    - one kind of spinning rainbow wheel in regular apps; seemingly  another 
> one in Carbon apps; etc.
>    - colourful, animated gummy close/maximize/minimize buttons and  scoll 
> bars. Do I want to focus on my work or on playing video games  with my 
> ray-traced 3D animated GUI?
>    - bloated: why is the maximize button there at all, for example?
>    - non-ergonomically designed: why are the minimize and close  buttons next 
> to each other?
> The input side is not much better:
>    - horrendous time dependencies in the GUI (which NeXT thankfully  lacks), 
> e.g.
>      - spring-loaded folders, fast-double-click-to-open/slow-double- 
> click-to-rename in Finder,
>      - time-dependent help balloons,
>      - etc.
> I can see advantages of themability - I'd certainly like to have it  on my 
> Apple. But only to make it look, feel, and work more like my NeXT.
> Themability also comes with some pitfalls:
> - it potentially makes the GUI design more complex, which means  buggier and 
> more time-consuming/expensive to develop;
> - there is a risk that, if not properly used, developers will develop  apps 
> which only work / only work well with a particular theme - and  possibly 
> different apps working well with different themes.
> I'd be more conservative in making claims we can so easily improve on  the 
> NeXT original design. I've looked at some of the themes offered  in 
> Camaeleon. They look interesting/OK. I personally prefer the NeXT  design.
> I think a theming engine is useful; but I'm not convinced it's such a  great 
> priority and I can see good reasons not to have it a part of  the standard 
> distribution (see pitfalls above).
> Tomaž
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