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LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 5, 2013
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Shuttleworth: Unity on Wayland
Posted Nov 5, 2010 13:26 UTC (Fri) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
It depends on which button you clicked. I use XFCE without any animations and I'm never confused about what happens when I do things to windows.
I use network transparency all the time. Eye-candy is great for those who want it, I suppose, but please keep an escape-hatch for those of use who like network transparency.
Posted Nov 5, 2010 13:38 UTC (Fri) by Janne (guest, #40891)
Well, duh. But people don't always know which button does what. If the UI can guide them with animations and such, that's only a good thing. App-window that minimizes in to the button on the taskbar is a GOOD IDEA. If the window simply vanished, users can be left confused as to what happened. Even you. What if your aim was few pixels off, and you accidentally closed the windows instead of minimized it? With animations you would instantly know that you closed the windows, instead of minimized it.
And I kept on hearing comments about "technically minded people". You do know that those people are in the minority? Most people are NOT "technically minded", they just want to get their stuff done. And if they can get it done elegantly, all the better.
And I find these comments about "eye-candy that freezes the desktop" strange. I have all kinds of animations and the like on my Mac, and the UI does not freeze.
Posted Nov 5, 2010 15:14 UTC (Fri) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630)
But people don't always know which button does what.
A UI that doesn't make that clear is fundamentally broken and no amount of animation can fix that.
To be clear: If people want to implement fancy animations, that's fine. I don't care. Even make it the default if you like. But make it possible to switch them off because I do care if animations are forced on me.
Posted Nov 5, 2010 15:42 UTC (Fri) by tjc (subscriber, #137)
But people don't always know which button does what....
If the window simply vanished, users can be left confused as to what happened.
Well, maybe the first time they don't know what happened. But if someone clicks a button five times, and the same thing happens every time-- and they still don't know what's going on-- then they have issues that can't be addressed by the UI.
Everyone is confused from time to time, but it usually passes. There are very few people who live in a state of perpetual confusion, so why target a UI at some imaginary, gormless twit who doesn't even exist?
Posted Nov 6, 2010 10:22 UTC (Sat) by Janne (guest, #40891)
People are not computer-wizards. It might be obvious to you and me how and why computers work the way they do, but rest of the people have no idea. The computer should do everything in it's power to help the user. But every time something like that is attempted in Linux, we get whining about "dumbing down" the UI or something. Only in Linux, complexity is considered a good thing, and helping the user is considered a sign of stupidity.
End result is that Linux on the desktop is something that normal people do not want to use.
And sure, people will learn which button does what. But animations still help. When you have dozen apps in the taskbar, it's useful to have an animation that shows you which of those is the app you just minimized. Sure, you could visually scan the taskbar, but you must admit that animation is a lot faster way to do this.
And there are even studies about this. Researchers set up two functionally identical systems. The difference was that one system looked plain and basic, while the other has nice graphics ("useless eye-candy" as it's called in Linux-community). It was found that people were more productive on the system that looked better. People found the better-looking system more pleasant to use. And that in turn made them more productive. And happy users are a good thing.
Posted Nov 6, 2010 21:21 UTC (Sat) by orabidoo (guest, #6639)
Well duh right back. As I said above, I'm all for having such friendly animations on by default.
I'm just pointing out a good reason why a subset of users find them counterproductive, and pleading that every GUI should have an option to turn animations off. I don't mind if the knob is quite well hidden, like a gconfkey. Just let those of us who like to think ahead of the computer save that 0.10s of time, or feel like we did. Thanks.
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