Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:04 UTC
Windows So, I've been using the Windows 8 Release Preview since it came out, almost exclusively (except for work, since I'm obviously not going to rely on unfinished and untested software for that). I already knew I could get into Metro on my 11.6" ZenBook, but on my 24" desktop, things aren't looking as rosy. Here's an illustrated guide of the most pressing issues I run into, and five suggestions to address them. Instead of just complaining, let's get constructive.
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RE[3]: Comment by gmlongo
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by gmlongo"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Of course it's Metro's fault. Virtually no website uses that much width because it makes no sense to do so - a simple limitation of the human brain in that reading lines that are too long causes us to lose focus, making reading that much harder. This is basic psychology.

That's why sites tend to not flow beyond a certain width.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo
by gmlongo on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:36 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by gmlongo"
gmlongo Member since:
2005-07-07

That is only because you have a browser in the left pane. That could be any application, many of which make excellent use of the full width.

Yes, I agree, that 80/20 is limiting and additional customizable splits would be beneficial, but that does not change the fact that your graphics with the "wasted space" comments are incorrectly attributing that to Metro. Because, even with other splits, many of them would still have "wasted space" because the website was explicitly coded as such.

In any case, their usage data obviously indicates that most people focus on their main task to the exclusion of other windows. And that aligns with the real world usage patterns I have seen as well.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by gmlongo
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:39 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Because, even with other splits, many of them would still have "wasted space" because the website was explicitly coded as such.


This is decidedly untrue. Most websites would lose ALL their whitespace when presented in, say, a 50/50 split.

It's a moot point you're making, though - it's still Metro's fault for not being designed for the real web, but instead, for some non-existing fairytale web.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo
by Yanni Depp on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:40 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by gmlongo"
Yanni Depp Member since:
2010-02-17

Thom's right here. I have a tri-monitor setup: a 27" iMac with two 20" monitors attached. You wouldn't want a site to fill screens that size: they become difficult to read. For maximum readability, lines of text should have a certain length and have certain spacing. Text running all the way across a 27" monitor wouldn't work.*

As a result, I never have windows maximised. I tile them so I can see multiple things at once. This approach is useful for developers, designers and content creators. We're going to have problems with Metro's window management. Well, most will: I won't since I use OS X. Having two sites in an 80/20 split makes little sense for tiling web pages. Having two apps (web browser and text editor, or two web browsers) in a 50/50 split makes a lot of sense.

* of course, you can have multiple columns or blocks taking up the full 1920x1080 (or higher), dynamically moved and positioned using responsive layouts, but that brings its own set of challenges.

Edited 2012-06-03 22:44 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[5]: Comment by gmlongo
by gmlongo on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:52 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo"
gmlongo Member since:
2005-07-07

Websites are not fixed width solely because wide screens detract from readability, but because they need to reach as wide an audience as possible; therefore, they need to be readable on as many screens and resolutions as possible.

In any case, this has nothing to do with Metro...which was my original point. Put almost any other app (besides a browser) in the left pane, and the content will be used to its fullest.

And yes, as a software engineer, I understand the need for multiple windows and customization options. But in Windows 8, the desktop still exists, so....

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by gmlongo
by Morgan on Sun 3rd Jun 2012 22:56 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Having two sites in an 80/20 split makes little sense for tiling web pages. Having two apps (web browser and text editor, or two web browsers) in a 50/50 split makes a lot of sense.


I agree wholeheartedly, and I feel that Aero Snap was one of the best additions to Windows since the shift to NTFS. A simple flick to the left with one window and flick to the right with another gives you a perfect 50/50 split. For those of us with 16:9 monitors, it means two complete web pages can be seen side by side. For web developers doing a compatibility check visually between browser versions, this is ideal. I've used it myself at the part time job with Notepad++ full of HTML or CSS on the left, and the web browser on the right. Make a change on the left, hit Ctrl+S, hit F5 on the right and there's no need for cumbersome app switching. It's a workflow-centric wet dream.

I'm also happy to see that some *nix desktop environments have begun to copy Aero Snap and other similar features. Why Microsoft wanted to take a huge leap backwards with fullscreen-only browsing in Metro is beyond comprehension.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Comment by gmlongo
by MacTO on Mon 4th Jun 2012 01:25 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

of course, you can have multiple columns or blocks taking up the full 1920x1080 (or higher), dynamically moved and positioned using responsive layouts, but that brings its own set of challenges.


Even multiple columns isn't a good solution. It works in print because it is paginated and you can easily view the whole column. (Even newspapers tend to limit the length of columns.) Multiple columns on a web page would force the reader to scroll down then up then down again.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo
by moondevil on Mon 4th Jun 2012 06:53 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by gmlongo"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Sorry Tom, but this is the same issue on my 21' Monitor running Windows 7/Linux.

Should we blame them as well for the amount of white space?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by gmlongo
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 4th Jun 2012 07:16 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by gmlongo"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You are forced to fullscreen in Windows 7?

Reply Parent Score: 4