Mar 29, 2010

USB and SD card adapter for iPad

iPad Camera Connection Kit finally surfaces for pre-order, still absurdly overpriced -- Engadget

Quote of the day: "Of course, one could easily argue that the iPad should have native support for both of these widely used formats without forcing users to lug around two extra peripherals, but if that were the case, this thing just wouldn't be an Apple, now would it?" .. so true :D

My Silverlight & WPF Timeline Control Patch

I just submitted a patch to the very nice timeline control. This patch allows to update the events from code. My first patch was way more complex, but after a few changes/suggestions from the timeline developers I got it down to one method.

That's just why I as a developer love Open Source Software. If a feature isn't there I can do something about it. With a closed lib I wouldn't be able to use this nice looking timeline. So this saved me time and trouble and furthermore improved the look of the application. Very nice :)

Mar 25, 2010

Ubuntu Reads File Sizes Differently

Comments to Ubuntu 10.04 Reads File Sizes Differently - Overbenny’s Blog

this is in my opinion one of the nice changes in the upcoming Ubuntu release. Finally a unit policy that will be integrated into all default applications from now on. It will cause some confusion for sure but well, the old (non existing) system can only be described as confusing. So it can't get worse in that direction anyway :) ...

Mar 13, 2010

Summary of Ubuntu and the new theme

As I wrote before in this blog. Opinions on the (wrong) new position of the window buttons in the new Ubuntu theme getting more. Here a summary of a few of the very good points copied from YokoZar's Writings Blog.
  • Because the window title isn’t centered, the window controls being placed directly in front of it put it in a weird indented position
  • The “slightly off left” location is inconsistent with Nautilus, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, Empathy, and every other tabbed program we have, which have close buttons for their tabs on the right.
  • The left position is inconsistent with Windows, previous versions of Ubuntu, and even OSX – users have to relearn decades of muscle memory.
  • Users who interact with both Windows and Ubuntu machines (or migrate from Windows) will have a much harder time than they did before.
  • The buttons are too close to the file and edit menus, making catastrophic misclicks much more likely.  Closing something on accident should be as rare as possible.
  • Even without misclicking, a user will have to take more time to use the window control and avoid a misclick.  This is an example of Fitt’s Law.
  • The close position is also inconsistent with the power button in upper right.  Currently, “close it down” is something you can always do from the upper right anywhere in the system: within a tab, within a window, and even for the whole computer.  The new window controls break that entirely.
  • The new position leaves a lot of empty, wasted space in the upper right of most windows.  While strictly speaking the amount of unused space is the same, it looks much worse when it’s all clustered together.  When the controls are on the right, the extra space can function as a buffer for the potentially destructive window controls.
  • Similarly, the upper left of most windows now becomes much more crowded, creating a rather unpleasing contrast to the relatively empty upper right.
  • In previous Ubuntus you could close windows on the left if you really wanted, by expanding the small circle menu that’s now gone entirely.  File->Quit is also an option, which is now very close to the close box.
  • Gnome upstream has them on the right, causing consistency and developmental problems when we deviate.  This is particularly jarring with the adoption of future projects like Gnome shell and Gnome 3, which will change again how we interact with window controls.
  • The current implementation breaks themes not designed for the new button order (which is currently every theme we ship, so even changing the theme back doesn’t help)
  • A day before User Interface freeze of a long term support release is the worst possible time to suddenly spring this on everyone without explanation.
  • It is very difficult to change them back as we don’t have any UI tool for doing this (the current method is manually editing gconf keys)
  • The new position doesn’t actually do anything beneficial.
there are a few very good reasons in there for not placing the buttons on the left side. In my opinion the strongest points are:
  • "wong position for importance" (as noted in my own post)
  • "weird indented position" as its in front of the window title
  • "buttons to close to menu bar" (more on the menu bar problem likely in an other post)
  • "inconsistency" with themes (most/every theme shipped right now), tab close buttons, shutdown button, document close buttons (all on the right)
  • "crowded corner" the upper left is now full of things, upper right is empty.
  • "new position isn't beneficial"
And what others also already noted. The best UI still has the Chrome/Chromium browser especially with its way of using the title bar as well as the menu bar. Best design I've seen so far.

Mar 12, 2010

Dendemann - Stumpf ist Trumpf 3.0

Recently I'm a bit addicted to this song & video. So great :)

Dendemann - Stumpf ist Trumpf 3.0

Dendemann | MySpace Musikvideos

Ich hätte sicher noch ne scharmante Idee, für ne Parodie, auf en verdammtes Klischee.
Ich könnt labern wenn ich wollt, voll so intelligent, immer Zeitlos doch niemals hinter dem Trend.
Und dann hätt ich sicher noch, en mörder Zitat aus nem wichtigen Buch das ich hörbar nicht mag,
doch ich würde immer Platz lassen zwichen den Zeilen, für die nachhaltigkeit, mit dem erfrischenden Style.

And the video, sooo MacGyver! :)

Mar 10, 2010

Rethinking the UI Paradigm of IDE

Code Bubbles Project: Rethinking the User Interface Paradigm of Integrated Development Environments

WOW! ... that looks fantastic. I need to try that sometime. Looks like it's a lot more productive than the current system. Very good idea..

Mar 9, 2010


ignore the code: Patents

and again, Patents suck hard .. -.-

Unity3D 3.0 Development Platform

Unity Technologies Unveils Third Generation of Its Powerful Development Platform

uhh ... I like that! ... just add some linux support to it and I'm totally for that platform :). Hope I am able to try something with that soon ...

Mar 8, 2010

New theme in Ubuntu 10.04

This post will mostly be about one thing I dislike about the new Ubuntu theme. So first in short what I like about it. I like the general direction its going, the style, the ideas behind it. I hope it continues that way. Also I can see how this theme can very well evolve into a Gnome Shell theme later. I think it will look great.

Now on to the more fun part. The thing I dislike on whats currently there. I'm referring here to the screenshots found on the official Ubuntu site at the moment:

As a lot of other people already wrote, what I dislike the most is the new style and position of the window buttons. Most people take the most obvious route of claiming that the position is plainly wrong. They are on the top-left corner just like in MacOS. I think this is the wrong position, as Mac has it wrong but I can see why Mac is not going to change that. MacOS has a lot of beautiful things and a very good design, but thats one of the areas where they are wrong. Ubuntu's design makes the buttons even worse than Mac.

The wrong position is not my major complain. I used a Mac a couple of times. I'm not used to it and will not claim that I am. I only use them rarely, as I think most users do. That's why I don't care too much about the position, I just think its wrong because they are now on the most prominent and important spot on a window. And this is just wrong for their importance.

In my opinion this is one point where Windows got it completely right. The most important things on a window are the window Icon and the title. This should be on top and left. The buttons to control window states aren't as important. They are even less important than the window content. So positioning them up there is just wrong. Windows has them there rightfully. The title of a window usually isn't as long and that corner would just be empty wasted space most of the time. So putting these buttons there is a good, space saving thing.

Mac is wrong for the same reasons. But they applied some very good design to them so they doesn't stand out too much.

Now Ubuntu does one to me even more bizarre thing. They make these buttons stand out way too much. It even distracts from the window content so much that I notice it anytime I look at a window. In my opinion they can even let the buttons be on the left if they think that improves anything. But they should definitely change the highlighting of these buttons. If the theme stays as distracting as it is now I have to change the border style. I just find it too distracting from the rest.

This could be fixed by removing that ugly "container" border for these buttons. It is of no real use and removes edges from the design which is always a very good thing. Also they should only color the buttons as you hover them. Right now it just makes them too important. The same is true for the Scrollbars I see on these screenshots. Way to highlighted for an unimportant thing as a Scrollbar. They stand out too much compared to the rest.

Also they didn't fix the flawed window border from the old theme. It's still way to small to be usable for resizing the window. The new Windows theme makes this beautifully. There are a few Gnome themes which do this as well. As long as the window is not maximized there is a thick border so the border is easily dragable. As soon as the window is maximized it disappears. But I think that may still change as the theme doesn't look finished right now. At least I hope they still fix a few things till the release of Ubuntu 10.04.

Mar 3, 2010

Ogg objections | Hardwarebug

Ogg objections | Hardwarebug

good read. I already wondered about the OGG format.

Apple is always fun to watch ..

Steve Jobs, last week:
We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it.

Steve Jobs, 1996:
...Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

I guess its good to see Apple taking steps against Android. That means Apple already fears Android. And I think they have any right to fear Android as it is where the iPhone will never be able to go to. Open, Featurefull, Simple ... I really like that I can do and use what I want on my phone. It feels so powerful and so open and ready for any task. The iPhone is nothing compared to that, just a nice looking feature phone. I don't even know why they call it smartphone, don't see anything smart there.

oh and btw. Patents suck hard ..