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
Member since:

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)

Reply Score: 5

biteydog Member since:

At last a sensible comment.

I was getting a bit fed up with repetitions of the Gospel According to St. Bill

And the great Window spake thus

There shall be a great stripe at the bottom of thy screen, and from it shalt thou control thy universe.

And at the very left of this stripe shall be a button marked "Start". Shun imitations of the great button, shun the button that is marked with a Penguin, or the foot of a Gnome, for they are savage creatures and will rend thine Intellectual Properties asunder.

Shun the computer that bears the device of an Apple, for it is bitten, and bears the mark of the serpent.

Shun the computing engine that bears a Daemon (with a little toasting fork) as its sign, for obvious reasons.

Thou shalt sit down before no GUI but mine. There shall be Windows, a Start Menu, and lots of other stuff that shall confuse the unwary, and they shall fall into dark ways so they are unable to part with their money for a Genuine Advantage(tm).

Sorry folks - needed a good rant!

Reply Parent Score: 3