Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jun 2007 13:44 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Federkiel writes: "People working with Apple computers are used to a very consistent user experience. For a large part this stems from the fact that the Lisa type of GUI does not have the fight between MDI and SDI. The question simply never arises, because the Lisa type of GUI does not offer the choice to create either of both; it's something different all along. I usually think of it as 'MDI on steroids unified with a window manager'. It virtually includes all benefits of a SDI and and the benefits of an MDI." Read on for how I feel about this age-old discussion.
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RE[6]: I hate the ribbon...
by lproven on Tue 26th Jun 2007 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I hate the ribbon..."
Member since:

A good detailed reply!

Yes, our visual /field/ is wider than it is tall; I certainly wouldn't deny that. But then again, my monitors are side-by-side, not stacked. I have actually tried it, when pushed for space, and whereas it's better than nothing, it's not ideal.

You seem to be contending that horizontal toolbars and so forth are somehow more ergonomic than vertical ones, and frankly, I doubt that.

/Currently/, yes, L-R (and a few R-L) writing systems significantly predominate over T-B or B-T, but that's cultural, it's not an emergent phenomenon of the human visual system. Go back 1Ky or 2Ky, I think you might find things were very different. If you want an efficient ergonomic writing system, you need boustrephodon! (But it has other drawbacks).

Multiple screens over one are helpful if you use >1 app at once; you can have 1 app maximised per screen with no manual window positioning at all. Multiple real desktops beats multiple virtual desktops and they are very widely used. I think the ideal might be 3 portrait displays, but I am not willing to pay that much.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[7]: I hate the ribbon...
by Obscurus on Tue 26th Jun 2007 22:17 in reply to "RE[6]: I hate the ribbon..."
Obscurus Member since:

The other thing you have to consider is that widescreen monitors are considerably cheaper to manufacture, (due largely to the way the raw componenets are manufactured and supplied - when you cut sheets of glass etc for the LCD, you get more sheets if you use an aspect ratio of about 16:9). 19" widescreens are dirt cheap, cheaper than most 17" 4:3 monitors (technically, you get more pixels on a typical 17" 4:3 monitor, but most people perceive the widescreen as larger, even thought the vertical aspect is smaller).

I dislike clutter on my desktop, and I would ideally prefer a single 30" ultra high res widescreen monitor over multiple smaller monitors.

I would prefer a tiling application manager over traditional windows & menu bars etc, but there are no tiling WMs that I am aware of that are sufficiently mature or polished for everyday use ;)

Another app that I enjoy using, even though initially I found quite intimidating, is Blender. For the novice user, it is probably the least intuitive and discoverable interface ever invented, but once you have gotten over the ridiculously steep learning curve, it becomes one of the most efficient and powerful ways of interacting with the software around.

Actually as far as menus go, what are your views on the way iTunes on Windows handles the menu? (it sticks it in the actual window bar itself, so that if you maximise the window, you effectively have a Mac style menu bar).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: I hate the ribbon...
by lproven on Tue 26th Jun 2007 22:44 in reply to "RE[7]: I hate the ribbon..."
lproven Member since:

I enjoy large monitors myself, but in actual practice, I find multiple smaller ones a lot more productive. And they're much cheaper, which doesn't hurt.

A friend of mine wrote a piece on how they're better for you, here:,3605,1022647,00.htm...

But I must admit that most people who I know who used to be multihead evangelists have now gone over to one big TFT. The desk space argument seems powerful. Doesn't to me; I need them a certain distance away, so the space in front remains relatively constant. But anyway.

Yes, of course, there are UIs which are much more efficient for experts than a simple WIMP with pulldown menus. That's not the point; the point is that the WIMP with pulldowns is one of the most discoverable, beginner-friendly UIs yet developed. We are /all/ beginners at one time and most computer users remain so all their life.

I vaguely dislike the win iTunes GUI, 'cos it's not very Windows-like. It's usable, though.

But then, I detest all applications with "skins" and "themes". I want my UI to be uniform, thanks; that was one of the original core concepts of the WIMP GUI itself and I think it was a valuable one. Now the market droids, who are, axiomatically, stupid and don't understand, have gotten to it and nobbled it.

Whereas on the FOSS side of the fence, a lot of the graphic design appears to be done by 16y old boys with the sophisticated aesthetic sensibilities of a budgerigar on LSD.

Reply Parent Score: 1