Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Nov 2006 13:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces The OLPC's interface is simply way too complicated. I just read through the human interface guidelines for the project; and by god, I got lost after only a few paragraphs. How are kids supposed to learn all this? Read on for my thoughts.
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Real commentary on the Sugar UI
by dcbw on Wed 29th Nov 2006 16:06 UTC
dcbw
Member since:
2006-08-31

As one of the main developers, there are a few things people are missing here...

1) The software nowhere near done; the thing doesn't ship until the middle of next year. What people are looking at is a development snapshot, not even alpha. There are many features (journal, much of the mesh and shared activity infrastructure) that doesn't exist yet or is in planning stages. The interface isn't anywhere near point of being refined enough to be shipped and suggestions/comments are still quite welcome.

2) The machine itself isn't final either; it has the FPGA for the CAFE (Camera and Flash Enabler) chip, the ASIC comes later. The plastic case isn't ruggedized yet, the Embedded Controller code that deals with battery charging, keyboard/touchpad control, etc is nowhere near final yet

3) The touchpad is a dual-mode touchpad. The center square is capacitive, and the _whole_ touchpad is resistive. It's dual-mode because you simply can't make a large capacitive touchpad because the SNR is too low. But the resitive part is usable by fingernails, sticks, styli, anything that's hard but not sharp so it won't score the surface. The point is to make drawing, sketching, and _writing_ your language be core to the experience.

4) there's a ton of performance work and memory reduction that's still going to be done, little work has yet gone into that yet but that's a focus of the next month.

5) It's _NOT_ using GNOME apps. In fact, we are trying to keep out many of the gnome libraries like bonobo, libgnomeui, etc, since they aren't that much use here. It DOES use GTK, cairo, and GLib as the basis, but that is certainly not GNOME. So complaints about stripping down GNOME are misplaced, because there is little to no GNOME being used (with the exception of rsvg and libwnck)

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