April 10, 2010

Amazing piano performace

Tool or A Perfect Circle fan? You should watch Adam Monroe’s live cover of Lateralus. Apart from the Fibonacci sequence near the beginning, his playing of two different time signatures starting at 4:15 is amazing.

posted by Andrew

April 7, 2010

The line between Fanboyism and Astroturfing

I’ve been debating this for a few weeks now, and Faruk, I’m giving up on your blog.

Taking a step back to look at the computer industry as it was, prior to the iPad launch, we see three real platforms of significance: […]

I can’t read this over-eager fanboy dribble any more.

posted by Andrew

April 5, 2010


The messages that follow John Foliot’s email (thread) are the kind that make me rage. Is it blind advocacy of complexity? Lack of technical understanding? Unstated Devil’s advocacy?

Glad I’m not the only one seeing this, btw. It’s not that we’ve too many cooks in the kitchen, but that the cleaning staff have somehow gotten involved.

posted by Andrew

April 2, 2010

I wish…

…that browsers would stop playing this stupid zero-sum game of stripping out all the UI. Opera 10.51, you’re ugly. It’s as if a programmer dragged a browser component into a blank form and compiled. The Opera button is practically invisible, and no, that’s not a good thing.

Someone drag these innovative UI designers away from the prime real-estate of your apps before they hurt somebody. The problem with your generalisations — in the case of Firefox, oh, no one uses the History menu so we’ll hide the View, Edit, Tools, Help, Bookmarks and File menus as well — is that you start catering to the ‘dumb’ audience, who would be better off learning a little complexity in the long term. This is why it’s zero-sum.

What makes this whole thing so bizarre is that these optimisations are focussed on saving small amounts of screen space on desktops where the monitors are increasingly large and high-res. Mobile != iPhone != Netbook != Desktop. Don’t apply the same set of real-estate rules to the desktop as the iPhone — they’re a totally different environment, and any user who expects the app to be exactly the same is unrealistic. The Fennec team understood this, the Opera Mobile team understood this, but the desktop UI designers seem amazed and dazzled by the idea of saving 5px of vertical space on a monitor that averages 768px tall.

The essential juggling game here is balancing the exposure of features with initial visual complexity. If you’re a long term user (>6 months) of an app, how much visual attention do you pay to an area of the app you don’t use? I would think the majority of people gloss over the details, just like I don’t visually recognise the History menu when going for Tools. Does History get the way? No. Would I care if it’s removed? Probably not. Should you nuke the entire menu bar to solve the problem of one word being there that I already don’t notice? Err…

Leave my menus alone, stop removing my bookmarks toolbars, and get off my lawn.

posted by Andrew