Discussion:
[Link Posting] Learning From Terminals to Design the Future of User Interfaces
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Rich
2018-08-03 20:05:00 UTC
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<URL:https://brandur.org/interfaces>
I was recently called out on Twitter for claiming that Electron-based
Slack, with three teams configured, regularly takes 30+ seconds to load.
They claimed that I was either committing gross hyperbole, or the victim
of some localized problem. I responded by sending over a video of me
opening Slack and loading each of my teams in succession. It was 45
seconds long. My claim is that this sort of loading time isn't unusual
at all. It's just that we're all used to it.
This is a video of me waiting for Slack configured with three teams to
fully load. It's 45 seconds long.
Modern applications and interfaces frustrate me. In today's world every
one of us has the awesome power of the greatest computers in human
history in our pockets and at our desks. The computational capacity at
our finger tips would have been unimaginable even to the most audacious
thinkers of thirty years ago.
These powerful devices should be propelling our workflows forward with
us gangly humans left barely able to keep up, and yet, almost without
exception we wait for our computers instead of the other way around.
We're conditioned ourselves to think that waiting 30+ seconds for an app
to load, or interrupting our workflow to watch a half second animations
a thousand times a day, are perfectly normal.
...
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-08-03 23:45:02 UTC
Permalink
As far am I'm concerned, there is lots of software with a GUI that
is simple, fast, and uncomplicated. Much of it can be built for
Windows, Linux and Mac (perhaps with minor modification, not
requiring a new UI). People just don't use it!

The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should be
plainly obvious. I think the only real reason for their adoption
is the general ignorance and lazyness of users.
--
__ __
#_ < |\| |< _#
Supermarine Spitfire
2018-08-04 08:19:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
As far am I'm concerned, there is lots of software with a GUI that
is simple, fast, and uncomplicated. Much of it can be built for
Windows, Linux and Mac (perhaps with minor modification, not
requiring a new UI). People just don't use it!
The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should be
plainly obvious. I think the only real reason for their adoption
is the general ignorance and lazyness of users.
I think it's also down to laziness on the part of developers. They are
still chasing after the 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' paradigm, several
decades after Java was supposed to do just that.

The official Trello app for Mac is a re-badged version of Paws for
Trello (which they acquired) which in turn is mostly a wrapper around
the website. Now, I have nothing against Trello, it is a great tool for
visual organisation and planning. But there's a reason why there are so
many browser plug-ins and user scripts out there aimed at it, primarily
focused on making Trello work better. All of that is inaccessible to an
Electron 'app'.
--
-Spitfire
Andreas Eder
2018-08-04 08:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should be
plainly obvious. I think the only real reason for their adoption
is the general ignorance and lazyness of users.
I think, the real reason is, that MS Windows did not have a network
transparent GUI like X11.

'Andreas
Ivan Shmakov
2018-08-04 08:57:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andreas Eder
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should
be plainly obvious.
I'm somewhat unsure. For instance, will it really be efficient
for every Web user to run their own copy of a Web search engine?
Post by Andreas Eder
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
I think the only real reason for their adoption is the general
ignorance and laziness of users.
I think, the real reason is, that MS Windows did not have a network
transparent GUI like X11.
The current (HTML, SVG, CSS, JavaScript) stack seems a reasonably
decent network-transparent UI system, not dissimilar to NeWS.

So, it might've taken a while to implement, but otherwise it's
right there. And there're as well some tangible benefits (such
as being available in non-GUI flavors and user CSS) of it being
higher level than X11.
--
FSF associate member #7257 http://am-1.org/~ivan/
Computer Nerd Kev
2018-08-05 01:19:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ivan Shmakov
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should
be plainly obvious.
I'm somewhat unsure. For instance, will it really be efficient
for every Web user to run their own copy of a Web search engine?
My key point is the interface (admittedly I added that word just
before posting after I realised the same factor that you're
suggesting). I don't run my own search engine, but I do run
my own search engine interface, in a partial sort of way. Open
my facourite web browser, press Ctrl-S, type a search query, and
press enter - you've made a search using local interface software.

The alternative of course is to load the search engine's search
webpage, click/tab onto the search box, then back to the typing
and enter pressing. But now you first have to wait for the page
to load, and for all the rubbish that you don't use to load with
it, and for things to change at the whim of the search engine's
developers.

Thinking about it. Ideally the next stage would be to have the search
results sent back in a compressed custom binary format, complete
with metadata, to allow manual sorting in a custom local interface
chosen by the user. Highlight domains that you've bookmarked pages
from before, sort by page last modified date (well that would have
worked better in the past), filter out pages with lots of scripts,
show links with certain combinations of the search keywords at the
top. Does the page have file download links? Select pages with lots
of external links on them, or without. Highlight multiple results
and save them all to bookmarks for later viewing with one action.

Sorry, I'm getting excited. A common search result exchange format
combined with browser plug-ins and stand-alone applications to run
locally would actually have real potential. Google probably
wouldn't like it much though...
--
__ __
#_ < |\| |< _#
Supermarine Spitfire
2018-08-05 06:42:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
Post by Ivan Shmakov
Post by Computer Nerd Kev
The fact that a software interface running via the web will be
less efficient than software running on the local machine should
be plainly obvious.
I'm somewhat unsure. For instance, will it really be efficient
for every Web user to run their own copy of a Web search engine?
My key point is the interface (admittedly I added that word just
before posting after I realised the same factor that you're
suggesting). I don't run my own search engine, but I do run
my own search engine interface, in a partial sort of way. Open
my facourite web browser, press Ctrl-S, type a search query, and
press enter - you've made a search using local interface software.
The alternative of course is to load the search engine's search
webpage, click/tab onto the search box, then back to the typing
and enter pressing. But now you first have to wait for the page
to load, and for all the rubbish that you don't use to load with
it, and for things to change at the whim of the search engine's
developers.
Thinking about it. Ideally the next stage would be to have the search
results sent back in a compressed custom binary format, complete
with metadata, to allow manual sorting in a custom local interface
chosen by the user. Highlight domains that you've bookmarked pages
from before, sort by page last modified date (well that would have
worked better in the past), filter out pages with lots of scripts,
show links with certain combinations of the search keywords at the
top. Does the page have file download links? Select pages with lots
of external links on them, or without. Highlight multiple results
and save them all to bookmarks for later viewing with one action.
Sorry, I'm getting excited. A common search result exchange format
combined with browser plug-ins and stand-alone applications to run
locally would actually have real potential. Google probably
wouldn't like it much though...
There are desktop search tools out there that can do a lot of what you
describe above. Off the top of my head, Copernicus (for Windows),
DevonAGENT (for Mac).
--
-Spitfire
Ant
2018-08-04 14:29:52 UTC
Permalink
Ditto.
Post by Rich
####################################################################
# ATTENTION: This post is a reference to a website. The poster of #
# this Usenet article is not the author of the referenced website. #
####################################################################
<URL:https://brandur.org/interfaces>
I was recently called out on Twitter for claiming that Electron-based
Slack, with three teams configured, regularly takes 30+ seconds to load.
They claimed that I was either committing gross hyperbole, or the victim
of some localized problem. I responded by sending over a video of me
opening Slack and loading each of my teams in succession. It was 45
seconds long. My claim is that this sort of loading time isn't unusual
at all. It's just that we're all used to it.
This is a video of me waiting for Slack configured with three teams to
fully load. It's 45 seconds long.
Modern applications and interfaces frustrate me. In today's world every
one of us has the awesome power of the greatest computers in human
history in our pockets and at our desks. The computational capacity at
our finger tips would have been unimaginable even to the most audacious
thinkers of thirty years ago.
These powerful devices should be propelling our workflows forward with
us gangly humans left barely able to keep up, and yet, almost without
exception we wait for our computers instead of the other way around.
We're conditioned ourselves to think that waiting 30+ seconds for an app
to load, or interrupting our workflow to watch a half second animations
a thousand times a day, are perfectly normal.
...
--
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