Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Apr 2009 19:33 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces We've all seen the early demos of something called "BumpTop", a sort of 3D desktop where files are presented as 3D objects with physical properties. Recently, the project moved from concept to product with the release of BumpTop 1.0. The big question now is: are we dealing with the next big thing in desktop computing, or just a gimmick?
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all in good fun
by poundsmack on Thu 9th Apr 2009 20:03 UTC
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personally I love the thing. I am kind of a cluttered person and the way my brain works my orginization is different that what most would call "standard." My den/office/workspace is a total mess, but I know where everything is in it. Bumptop makes it feel a little bit more like a living environment and less like a desktop interface. Is it a juge productivity booster? no. But it is a refreshing change from the "same old thing" we see every day. I give it a 5 out of 5.

Reply Score: 2

Member since:

Are the web 3.0 generation going to care about the desktop? Ordering shortcuts and files on the "desktop" was a concern in a pre-web, pre-search era.

Even today if you can't find anything you just type something that gives context to what you are looking for, and either the web, or your desktop search or both retrieve it.

BumpTop looks great, but I just can't get enthused about a desktop anymore. Things have moved on. When you're on your iPhone/Android/Nokia you can be presented with the files you use at the location you currently are (work, home, clients office etc), you don't need a desktop you just get things intuitively.

You shouldn't have to rotate the 3D box, to find the files you were using last time on a wednesday at work at 3pm, your device should know that's your meeting, and that if you're at work, you want the financial updates...

Ah well what do I know, I never moved from emacs to graphical ides!

Reply Score: 5

1c3d0g Member since:

Ridiculous. You assume everyone wants to touch a keyboard. I know plenty of people who hate typing ANYTHING, especially if they have to search for their favorite app. These people love to point and click, not type their way around. This interface makes it even easier for them to use their PC.

Personally, I would jump in joy when the keyboard is dead and voice recognition is smart, accurate & fast enough for real-time input.

Reply Score: 2

Steve Jabs Member since:

Keyboards are going to be around for awhile. How else am I supposed to look at adult content when my wife/girlfriend/mother is in the other room and can hear me calling out my mature demands? ;)

Reply Score: 1

Gimmicy and cool at the same time
by rrife on Thu 9th Apr 2009 20:45 UTC
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I think the 3D desktop is kind of cheesy and at times it can get cluttered because of the overlapping text, but they do have some very innovative ways for organizing your desktop....perhaps they should license the methodologies to real OS makers (or have them just steal the ideas).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Thu 9th Apr 2009 21:53 UTC
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its a 3d version of an old but common desktop analogy that will die with the people who first used it to solve the graphical user interface problem

there are better paths to take

Reply Score: 5

by bandido55 on Thu 9th Apr 2009 22:05 UTC
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Let me see if i get this right. You have a mess on your desktop and you want to have the same ability on your desktop with piles of documents, sticky notes everywhere, etc. Wow, what a concept!! <sarcasm> This is dead on arrival or shortly afterwards

Reply Score: 2

by OSGuy on Thu 9th Apr 2009 22:15 UTC
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I installed it and tried it out. I have no comment on my experience as I only used it for 5 minutes. I need more time to try it out.

It would take time for one to get used to. This would make good with Apple's 3D desktop: sticking windows on the wall etc. I think there is another similar concept by Sun Microsystems. It would also play well with it.

Edited 2009-04-09 22:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Very neat desktop metaphore!!
by cmost on Thu 9th Apr 2009 22:22 UTC
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I think it looks really cool! Hey, Linux has Compiz and now the Windows folks have their BumpTop. I haven't tried it myself but from the demo video I could see myself using it and liking it. Perhaps they'll port this to Linux (and/or Mac) one day soon!!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by porcel
by porcel on Thu 9th Apr 2009 22:48 UTC
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I installed this and played with it for a bit.

I see no point to it. It encourages poor organization and actually rewards it and needs a very powerful computer as it runs super slow on my very decent machine.

I find KDE´s folder views on the desktop and the different desktop activities that you can create much more useful than this gimmick.

Reply Score: 2

Good Stuff
by weildish on Thu 9th Apr 2009 23:50 UTC
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I like it. I'm one of those people who has an organized mess, and I like it. I installed it on my netbook, and it surprisingly runs great-- I had expected it to be much slower on my netbook given the specifications on the download page. It made the fan run faster, but still didn't affect performance as much as I expected it to. I'm excited to try it on my much more powerful desktop. I'm not sure that I'd keep it forever, though-- it may be one of those techie fads I sometimes go through where I'm quite excited about it for a few weeks after installation, but then it gets old and I find I turn it off to save resources for other things. The traditional desktop idea seems more productive and efficient.

I noticed on the download page that there's a voting section essentially asking how many people want a Mac or Linux version. Go vote if you want it ported.

Edit: typo.

Edited 2009-04-09 23:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Not paying for it.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 9th Apr 2009 23:56 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
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I've paid too much for beta esque software that isn't open, doesn't completely work, is a performance hog, and becomes abandonware shortly after I get used to it. Something as critical as a desktop Gui, I'd like to have available on all of my computers and know that it will always be available. So, I guess in that sense I wouldn't mind if it was integrated into windows, or the Mac. But I'd prefer to just apt-get it on Linux, when ever I was installing a new desktop. Its not really even about the money so much as it is the availability.

Reply Score: 1

actually doing something useful?
by jessta on Fri 10th Apr 2009 00:45 UTC
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When ever I see video demos of a new 'awesome' user interface thing(BumpTop, Compiz, that minority report UI, Microsoft's Surface) they are never videos of someone actually doing something useful with them(except maybe resizing an image, but how often does one manually resize an image?).

Maybe these interfaces have a way of actually being useful, but if the people who created them can't show me how best to use them I don't imagine I'll figure it out myself.

I've never been able to work out how to use the 'Acme' text editor from plan9, using it is ridiculously slow so I'm probably using it wrong, but nobody can explain how I could use it better.

- Jesse McNelis

Reply Score: 6

Tuishimi Member since:

I was thinking the exact same thing. Just how DOES it improve your workflow/organization? How are people USING it?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Beachchairs
by Beachchairs on Fri 10th Apr 2009 02:49 UTC
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When ever I see video demos of a new 'awesome' user interface thing(BumpTop, Compiz, that minority report UI, Microsoft's Surface) they are never videos of someone actually doing something useful with them(except maybe resizing an image, but how often does one manually resize an image?).

I agree!

I actually think that new interfaces are designed solely to provide cool demonstrations on resizing an image. That's all they ever show off, so that must be all they are good for. Like MS's new touch display thing. I have only seem them use it to resize a photo, so I can image that it can't be good for much else.

Reply Score: 1

Didn't work for me...
by JacobMunoz on Fri 10th Apr 2009 19:03 UTC
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Just installed it...

...doesn't run on my laptop.

For the record, I use bbLean (BlackBox for Windows) which may have something to do with it - but really shouldn't.

And also for the record, bbLean gives you everything you need to stay 'organized' with virtual desktops, 'pin'able folder drop-downs, window shading, hotkey shortcuts, and 'all but the kitchen sink' worth of add-ons.

For me, Linux is way ahead of everyone in the 3d desktop world (Macs included). I hear Windows 7 will be able to boast similar abilities, but performance wise - I've found compiz to run smoother than OSX, and certainly doesn't require expensive hardware (my box was hand-assembled for $320).

I've wasted hours of my life minimizing and restoring windows just to watch the animations, but it's about as '3D' as I feel comfortable with. It's 3D when you need it to be (switching apps), but not really otherwise - which is easier on the eyes and mind. But once you're actually dealing with 3D objects I think the human brain becomes too distracted to actually focus and concentrate on the data you're looking at. Most of us have stupid knick-knacks on our physical desk that already distract us, so now we're going to have 'virtual crap' on our 3d 'desk' as well. Just wait, I guarantee people will start making the 3d equivalent of iPhone crapplications that are of little value to anyone but those that have too much time on their hands.

But I'm not saying it isn't fun, just not very useful till we can increase our brain's clockspeed and throughput.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Didn't work for me...
by jason_ff on Sat 11th Apr 2009 17:13 UTC in reply to "Didn't work for me..."
jason_ff Member since:

I'm kind of with you, in some respects. But I don't really think a 3D desktop is the way to go. It just seems like it's adding more work (because now some "targets" are at an angle and therefor harder to click).

Things like Mac OS X "3D Dock" or things like Compiz cube rotation aren't really what I'd call true 3D, but that's OK because they work fairly well. I don't want my desktop to work like a First Person Shooter... too much work to use it.

I'm fairly happy with Exposé.

Reply Score: 1

sweet... but ultimately worthless.
by mrnagrom on Sat 11th Apr 2009 17:00 UTC
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So now we can take the "desktop" metephor and make is more prone to logicless .. i'm perfectly happy on os x with my desktop disabled... i use spotlight for everything, if i want to find all pdf's i type pdf into it. i think meta tag groups would be more useful...

bumptop is a gimmick.. it's just taking the current system and adding usless features.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Hae-Yu
by Hae-Yu on Mon 13th Apr 2009 17:29 UTC
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I think this falls on the gimmick side, along with most of the alt 3D UIs I've tried. I don't see anything that adds to my workflow in it, but it appears relatively stable.

The only alt-UI I ever saw with any potential was The Brain. To do any dev work or system maintenance, you still had to duck in and out of it too much for it to be truly immersive, though.

As far as the MS Surface mentions, I think it can be useful for many situations. Not just resizing photos, but useful to enhance a lot of touchscreen workflow scenarios - tablets, ATMs, menu ordering, remote controls, AV controllers, video gaming machines (I live in Vegas, they're everywhere), any kind of kiosk-type device,... Most of these are forced into a sequential flow due to the UI limitation, but this can be opened up with multi-touch. Remember, the desktop isn't the only environment these things are used in.

Unfortunately, Bumptop's is and it doesn't do that well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Hae-Yu
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 14th Apr 2009 05:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by Hae-Yu"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Most of these are forced into a sequential flow due to the UI limitation, but this can be opened up with multi-touch.

Multi-touch isn't the only way to do non sequential flows in interfaces. And I would argue, not the best interface for gaming machines where the majority of the users are not young. But, what do I know, I only designed the interface on one video poker machine

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Hae-Yu
by Hae-Yu on Tue 14th Apr 2009 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Hae-Yu"
Hae-Yu Member since:

That's why I said "most" and not all.

I think multi-touch, like 3D, would be an enhancement, in the same way judicious 3D has usefully enhanced the desktop vs using 3D as the driving context, such as this bumptop. Multi-touch isn't the only way to do non-sequential flow, but it is a valid tool, if used wisely.

I understand the complete context of your user environment - bar mounted units have drinks, ashtrays cigarette ashes, and/ or food trays set on them. People sit, possibly stand or dance, on them. You wouldn't want a stray touch to ruin a users' game.

However, I just wouldn't rule it out for every possible touch screen game that might come out (gambling or video gaming) and say it will never be useful based on a single context.

Reply Score: 1