Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Nov 2007 19:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the third article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part III today, we focus on the desk accessory, popularly known as the widget, applet, mini-app, gadget, or whatever the fashionable term is these days.
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Replicants
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 4th Nov 2007 22:41 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

In part III today, we focus on the desk accessory, popularly known as the widget, applet, mini-app, gadget, or whatever the fashionable term is these days.


I've always been partial to "Replicants" - but disappointed that no one ever wrote a complimentary program called "Decker" (which would be designed to kill replicants, of course).

Speaking of which...

did any user or programmer ever really use Replicants?


Programmers? Yes... Users? Not so much. I think that part of the "problem" was that it's generally more effective to use the workspace management tools in BeOS than the window management tools. At least, I've always found it easier to just switch to a blank workspace and open an app regularly, rather than shuffle windows out of the way to get at a desktop replicant.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Replicants
by JonathanBThompson on Mon 5th Nov 2007 00:33 in reply to "Replicants"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Having just bought an iMac with Leopard, I'm thinking that using replicants in the same sort of usage scenario as Apple has with Dashboard would help increase their attraction to users. Creating a Dashboard-type of setup in BeOS/Haiku actually would be rather simple to do, too.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Replicants
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 5th Nov 2007 10:56 in reply to "RE: Replicants"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Having just bought an iMac with Leopard, I'm thinking that using replicants in the same sort of usage scenario as Apple has with Dashboard would help increase their attraction to users. Creating a Dashboard-type of setup in BeOS/Haiku actually would be rather simple to do, too.


The problem I see here, JT, is that replicants are not coded in web-like languages [right?], making them the territory of people with programming experience, instead of all sorts of other people being able to code them too.

Edited 2007-11-05 11:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Replicants
by MamiyaOtaru on Mon 5th Nov 2007 14:02 in reply to "Replicants"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Ah DOS TSRs. There's at least one I still use today, to take screenshots of the game Privateer (running in DOSbox) as part of an ongoing effort to clone it. Amazing the hoops we jumped through.

I'm still not sure what I think of Dashboard and the like. Is the Dashboard calculator really more convenient than hitting the calculator key on my keyboard and having a regular (tiny) windowed app appear, one that I can switch to and from with the window manager's normal methods?

[iI've always been partial to "Replicants" - but disappointed that no one ever wrote a complimentary program called "Decker" (which would be designed to kill replicants, of course).[/i]

It's have to be called Deckard, but yes, that does seem like an obvious name for such a program. [OT]I'm trying to decide whether I can make it to Denver in time for a screening of the Final Cut.[/OT]

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Replicants
by Morin on Mon 5th Nov 2007 16:28 in reply to "RE: Replicants"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> I'm still not sure what I think of Dashboard and the like. Is the
> Dashboard calculator really more convenient than hitting the calculator
> key on my keyboard and having a regular (tiny) windowed app appear,
> one that I can switch to and from with the window manager's normal
> methods?

Certainly not, and the same could be said (in one way or the other) about all dashboard widgets. But then, you can re-arrange them on dashboard as you wish, but you won't rip out the keys on your keyboard and stick others in their place. (There was a keyboard announced which claimed to change it's keys on demand, with tiny OLED displays on each key, but so far it's vaporware).

Reply Parent Score: 2