This makes me feel old. I look at those desktops (particularly the Windows 95 one) and think they look clean and neat, with few distractions. I also know that they ran speedily on rubbish hardware.
After ditching my BBC B (I was poor), I remember using Win 3.1 on a 386SX with 4MB RAM that someone had thrown out and installing software to take over program manager and make it look like Win95 because my machine wasn't powerful enough to run Windows 95... How a second-hand 486DX was a revelation. 16MB of RAM! Unfathomable! What could use so MUCH RAM????
I also remember faffing with config.sys etc. to unload mouse drivers so I could run games that moaned about himem.sys in DOS. And telling every game that I really did have an Adlib sound card and a SoundBlaster 16. I really didn't. It was a £7.50 soundcard I bought from a boy at school (who now works at Amazon and has software patents, well done to him! He was really clever, wrote games, played piano like a pro too. Nice guy).
Then the upgrades to Win95, 98 (oooh Web desktop!), installing RedHat 5.2 (no, not RHEL 5.2), reading PC Plus and any magazine that mentioned Linux in an effort to learn more (dialup was expensive), and to make my abysmal VESA graphics card run X, then running FVWM, KDE1 (looked like CDE, how reassuring), GNOME1 (it's squishy), KDE2, 3.5 (perfection, everything was configurable) then going back to GNOME2 (it was simple), then abandoning it all after GNOME3 and KDE4 (hmmm a cashew) and going to OSX. All the Linux desktops I used in tandem with Windows XP and 7 to "keep my hand in" both markets.
I also dabbled with BeOS; it was really really fast. Upon examination in recent years, the development API for it was really simple too. Pity the wxWidgets wrapper for it was shut down.
It's amazing what having rubbish hardware will make you investigate.
How I miss Netscape, the feeling of discovering something new in computers that made you go "wow" (IE4 and DHTML), or the feeling of "this is really great and USEFUL" instead of "this is really pretty", the joy of getting X to run, or learning a new Linux command whilst stuck in the CLI, getting VNC to work, doing X-window forwarding. I miss the lack of Internet, the fact that knowledge of systems came through hard work and patience, through reading and waiting for the next month's magazine that I bought with my paper-round money. I truly am an old fart.
Really? You miss that special "concrete gray and primary blue" feel?
I think I used every MS operating system starting with DOS, and I miss exactly none of the "historic" interfaces. To the extent I get annoyed when institutional IT departments force you to use the "classic" theme on modern windows boxes ("It's faster!" - no, it isn't to any human perceptible degree, and I appreciate not having to stare at beige rectangles all day).
I think engineers have a lot of nostalgia for this old stuff, but it's misplaced - interface design has moved foward in huge strides in the last decades, learning from mistakes. We've given up excessive skeumorphism, but we've kept improvements in design, layout, graphics, and perhaps most importantly we've learned that you need someone with serious visual and UX design skills to make an interface.
Take as an example the calling apps in Android. It'll show contacts, with name, an avatar, maybe a phone number. Which of these are clickable? Which of these will result in the phone making a call, and which will result into going into looking at the contact? How do I send an SMS rather than call? How do I edit it? How do I get a call history? Every time I use it I click on things without being sure what will happen and I am always surprised at what happens.
Such as, you have to keep making new versions of things so that nobody clones your old stuff and takes some of your market share, and you kinda want to do everything in a new way so that cloning all those versions gets harder - and you know that users will be forced to upgrade whether they like it or not, or else they won't be able to interoperate with those who upgraded unwittingly, and/or those for whom you actually made the upgrade worthwhile.
Or you have so many people on your team and you need them to do something to justify the size of that team.
Or because you took over a project and you need to show how much should be done here and how great it is that you took over.
Or because you want to work around someone's UI patents, and maybe file your own while you're at it so that new competitors are forced to invent yet another kind of UI.
All of them
> Which will result in the phone making a call
In the calling screen, each one. In the contacts screen, none.
> and which will result into going into looking at the contact?
In the calling screen, the three dots. In the contacts screen, each one.
> How do I send an SMS rather than a call?
Click the text balloon icon (in the detail view)
> How do I edit it?
Click the edit icon (in the detail view)
> How do I get a call history?
Scroll down a bit (in the detail view).
Have you actually used the thing you're complaining about?
But see, that's exactly the problem. In your answer to his comment (to which he asked plenty of questions almost facetiously to prove a point), you showed off all the inconsistencies. The actions taken by the symbols are different depending on the context.
Why? I should know what clicking will do BEFORE I do it. I shouldn't have to have used it before.
While many engineers have a lot of nostalgia for old stuff, much of it is not displaced. Interfaces got a lot better, for those people who are not completely acquainted with computers. But power users, such as many engineers, still use terminals and other tools that while less intuitive, are much more powerful.
Yes. I also miss being able to do everything with a keyboard shortcut. This is a much-overlooked feature of the Windows UI that I think is not given enough credit.
I did it all in Windows - from 3.1 to NT3 to NT4 to XP - and I learned to hate hate the Windows OS and registries and so on ...
But I always liked the UI and given the choice between the Mac UI (not the OS) and ... say ... NT4 or XP ... I would choose Windows as the UI.
(FWIW, I do prefer a minimal ratpoison/ion UI over all of them)
Admittedly, ctrl+shift+f2 to get into the menu bar is a bit clunky, but you can change that to something simpler.
But in Windows you could really do everything with the keyboard, tabbing between controls, pressing shift-tab to go back. Oddly they went overboard in Windows 7 (or Vista?) and made the headers of list views in Explorer tabbable-to, which greatly slowed down Windows-E, tab tab tab tab to get to the pane on the right. F4 for the address bar, F2 to rename etc. etc. all good fun
Windows's UI has changed little in two decades, and some of the changes have actually made things worse.
Windows 95 was the first and the last Windows version where Microsoft poured millions into making a super-accessible, usable and intuitive user interface based on actual user studies, and it showed.
Windows 98 brought totally-not-product-bundling "web integration" to try and convince the US Government that Internet Explorer was a feature, not a product. This is where the scourge of Active Desktop, HTML Help, the bloated 98+ shell and other things came from. The change in Windows Explorer paradigm might have been good, but it was also a "web integration" change and Microsoft's own research from 95 showed that the 95 model was the most intuitive, so I doubt the change would have helped usability.
ME/2000 (the desktop was the same) changed very little UI-wise. They gave things a nicer coat of paint, though.
XP added the Luna theme and a second column to the start menu. Vista made everything glossy and added search to the start menu. 7 reorganised the taskbar. These were improvements overall.
Windows 8 came along and added an entirely new desktop environment and very poorly connected it to the existing one, creating a frankenstein UI.
Windows 10 now fixes a little of the Windows 8 mess, but it's still a mess. There's several different popup menu styles. There's multiple scroll bar styles.
MMC has different icons to Windows Explorer. Different parts of the tree view in Windows Explorer have different icons for other parts of it.
Nothing matches. It's a mess.
If you elect to not use the Aero interface, it'll then attempt to mimic the Aero interface entirely in software using GDI+. This is indeed far slower, as the command to draw a series of lines and bevels obviously means more CPU calls than a single "draw grey rectangle" command. The interface is not drawn using precached bitmaps, but is done by software commands. More complicated drawing = more CPU = slower
Windows gives the option to turn off effects like shadows and transparency, window contents whilst dragging etc. in "performance" options in Control Panel, as these would mean more CPU calls (there's more drawing going on). If it wasn't faster, why would it be under "performance"?
But as you state, to a human perceptible degree it may not be noticed. I find that opening Windows Explorer on Windows XP is a far faster drawing experience than opening it on Windows 7, where it needs to fade into view and then redraw the tree on the left, the pane on the right, the toolbar with gradients (gradients are not free!), the "places" tree above the tree on the left (how confusing), and the giant blue panel that sits at the bottom to draw a picture of a computer in addition to the status bar.
File Manager on Windows 3.1 was really fast by comparison.
EDIT: Actually, on OSX I am left with "whitewashed concrete grey" with "primary pre-school colour" red orange and green. Full circle really!
From Vista onwards, GDI draw calls are executed on the GPU on a per-window basis, then the individual windows are also composited together on the GPU.
That said, it's entirely possible that this policy persisted after it no longer made sense.
I also loved the workstation-y, crisp UI that would let me drag a window with its contents around the screen. My computer wasn't even all that powerful by the standards of the time.
I honestly had a server running Windows 2000 untill about 4 years ago. In that time, it was only really rebooted for system updates. It's sitting in my spare room.
During my training, I worked - for a couple of months - on a web application where the test/development environment ran on a Sun machine running Solaris 8, and eventually I install Cygwin/X on my desktop (which ran, can you dig it, Windows 2000!) to start a CDE session and work from there. That grey/pink look somehow looked both butt-ugly and incredibly stylish. ;-)
I think most of the UI on the Mac is really pretty and tasteful with it's low-key grayscale icons, but not very functional. The icons tell you nothing; I'd rather have simple english words. I have to use iTunes to put (lots of) files on an iPhone, and it's a ridiculous chore involving lots of clicks and dismissing pointless dialog boxes.
As the population gets better at navigating UIs, UIs have become increasingly silly and even perverse to compensate. (Or rather, because they can.) XCode, for instance, has some ridiculously hidden features. Without google you could never get the thing to work.
Gmail is also guilty of this crime, although at least you can configure it to use text labels. No, I don't want to learn your particular abstract iconography just so I can read my frickin' mail.
And don't get me started on the unholy abominations that are the new iPhone Music and Podcast interface workflows. Wtf.
Apple has such vast lockin and momentum that they can make bad UI decisions and probably suffer no consequences.
At least it was easy to read. Nowadays I often can't really focus on UIs because of lacking contrasts.
While now everything looks more "nice" the usability (as in how easy it is for the eyes to focus/find something) often is worse than it was some time ago.
MS uses it as the default on server systems because it is faster and IT departments are often forced to make the best of aging hardware, and sometimes turning off the effects can, in combination with a lot of other little tweaks, contribute that little bit needed to make a system useful for another budget period.
Compared to aluminium-gray-and-no-blue OS X? I don't think mainstream UIs have much to boast about in terms of the evolution of colour palettes.
Likewise, you can't put OSX and win95 next to each other and say "they're both grey, therefore they are basically the same" because that's obviously rubbish - the shading, layout, spacing, and shapes of osx are much more pleasing because they benefit from years of refinement by people who are visual designers rather than engineers.
Most hand-held plastic devices of the 80s/90s were hair-cell finish, emulating the texture of leather. Engineers knew that smooth plastic will scratch and show scratches. Also the hair-cell feels better to hold.
Think of a Motorola pager for instance.
Hair-cell is kind of a micro-concrete.
They also look like someone tried to come up with their own ideas. Everything today is flat, sketchy, inexpressive and boring.
> How I miss Netscape, the feeling of discovering something new in computers that made you go "wow" (IE4 and DHTML), or the feeling of "this is really great and USEFUL" instead of "this is really pretty", the joy of getting X to run, or learning a new Linux command whilst stuck in the CLI, getting VNC to work, doing X-window forwarding. I miss the lack of Internet, the fact that knowledge of systems came through hard work and patience, through reading and waiting for the next month's magazine that I bought with my paper-round money. I truly am an old fart.
I sometimes find myself thinking the same, but I guess it's the slow pace that allowed me to fixate that knowledge that I miss. We made a lot of these discoveries by piecing together various puzzles. It forced us to think what happens "underneath".
Nowadays, when everything is a "how to X" Google search away, you need a little discipline to keep thinking, instead of blindly following instructions.
I think you mean "the joy of having X finally running". The actual "getting it to run" part was pretty much the polar opposite of joy.
Are you kidding? It was nightmare to do anything on Windows 98. There were so many things that could result in "dead" state and only solution was to restart and not to mention those frequent BSOD. There was a reason why we were advised that we should save our work often because the whole thing was so damn unreliable.
Windows 2000, however, was the pinnacle of MS Operating Systems. It has been downhill ever since.
But having worked on a Win32 application for two years, I am glad I will never again have to touch that pile of poo.
At the time it was created, Win32 might have been a nice API, given the underpowered machines it was designed to run on. But compared to building GUIs on a POSIX-ish system using Gtk+, it was an incredible pain.
I can understand why many Windows developers were so happy to embrace .Net; one might like it or dislike it, but it is a huge improvement on Win32. (As for MFC/AFX, I only had the most fleeting contact with it, so I cannot say for sure.)
I have done some MFC and did not enjoy it, despite similarities in my mind to wxWidgets. I see C++ jobs here in the UK want MFC experience, which saddens me as it means that desktop development for Windows in C++ is either MFC or Borland's rotting VCL.
I can really see why C# and .Net took off in the face of that.
This is all true, but those are problems with the OS, not the UI. The OS was terrible. The UI (NT4/XP/w2k) was pretty decent.
I feel like these days Windows has the opposite problem as you describe. The kernel is OK but explorer.exe sucks at copying directories.
And the hardware that BeBox was running: two PowerPC 603e's. This was not the powerful PowerPC of the era, it was the crummy, low-cost one. They ran at a measly 66MHz. BeOS could drive those things like nothing else, though, it was amazing.
I plan to get my 486SX put back together; here's hoping it works. It has 8MB of RAM. (And an SB16... and a radio card... and I recently came upon an ISA ethernet card which hopefully works.....) :D
I remember the first time I enabled Web view in '98 and discovered View Source in my desktop menu. I closed Notepad very quickly. lol
I'm looking forward to building CDE and running it, FWIW. Hopefully I can get it working on something appropriately old! :P
BeOS et. al. FTW. I hope to seriously play around with it sometime soon.
The reason I commented was because I've historically had terrible hardware too :P but it's made me realize how much old/unoptimized/inefficient hardware is so badly needed by developers today... new computers are like new cars, strong, silent types, not like the old noisy tech of old where you could get a visceral idea of what you were doing by sensing the system lag - like on my old 800MHz Duron I was using earlier this year, the mouse cursor could lag four different ways and I knew what each one meant (disk I/O, swapping to death, CPU usage by one process, or CPU usage by many processes). On this note, Netflix' new internal Flux monitoring system is interesting, it provides an "unconscious-compatible" view of data in the same vein.
And yeah, I saw the Netscape screenshots. The scrollbars look really cool IMO.
You might like to look into http://xpra.org, it's sort of VNC + "wow". :P
What else is there...
You might like to have a look at http://vmwaros.blogspot.com
Haxial KDX might be a fun (pointless :P) thing to chase...
Hm, I can't think of anything else. The x86 assembler in bash that was on here last fortnight comes to mind, but nothing else is coming to mind right now...
This is not consistent with my memory of the time.
Applied to Windows and Linux both, with the bonus on Linux that X11 couldn't even move windows around the screen without all kinds of artifacts and stuttering.
Then again, you can't even fit a single browser tab with Gmail open in the RAM they ran on, so you gotta cut them some slack.
However, BeOS was practically miraculous and suffered few or none of those problems on the same hardware. That it didn't survive the OS wars is proof that we are not in the Best Timeline.
The only thing 'disappointing' in this is you didn't/didn't mention countless attempts to get E(nlightenment) running. After an overnight compile, of course!
lmao. I so badly wanted to check it out, but couldn't for the longest time because it was such a pita to deal with.
Years later I finally got it installed successfully and found it wasn't as snazzy as I had hoped sigh.
Oh well, such fond memories of old skool linux :)
I still remember that day of someone on IRC boasting about running multiple instances of Netscape in addition to IRC. I was like.. wow! such luxuries! Maybe next year I can upgrade my cpu/ram to get to the multi browser instance club
I admire him a lot. From some discussion with him and what I've read, I have the feeling that he is in a constant battle with much of the world to try to get them to free all software. I really can't say for certain whether he is really going too far, but his dedication and courage go far beyond what most people are capable of. Even if you disagree with him, it's difficult not to admire him for that.
He also tends not to view websites like HN, GitHub, etc.,
at least as of a few years ago. I'm not sure if it is
because he is still in text mode all the time
at least for vim, there's a nice plugin  for reading HN. most probably there would be something for his emacs/org-mode as well.
He has some sort of bot that he emails links to and it sends the source (or plaintext?) back to him for reading.
(At least it was like that a couple of years ago)
I never got to the point of having a bot fetch web pages for me, but I can see it as an extension of what I had set up. For someone who travels as much as Stallman, I think it's a very efficient way to browse and email when internet connections are either spotty or not to be trusted.
1. I refer to the multitude of binary blobs required to make anything work these days. Lamentable.
The fact that you needed to make your own kernel and configure a lot of things on your own made me learn a lot about Linux and GNU. Much more than debian or redhat. There is great value in that I think.
I don’t know how to make a screenshot, because I normally use my computer in text-mode."
I just started playing an old mp3 file on my new-ish MacBook and was surprised that it was using 15% CPU...before I realized that it was actually loading it from the cloud storage that holds my 7000 song/50gb music library for next to no cost (it dropped to 1% CPU moments later after it had buffered)–never mind having subscription access to essentially all the world's music.
That got replaced with a actual 166mhz Pentium MMX. That one had no problem playing MP3s along with the regular work. Same with the next machine that was a Celeron overclocked to 400mhz.
I could only imagine how I would waste dual 500mhz processors at that time!
This is a great reminder (to me) that, even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes, technology really does change so damn fast.
Playing mods and xms was alright, unless they were complicated. Encoding MP3s was another thing altogether - I was wowed when a schoolmate had a dual CPU machine that ENCODED faster than it ripped CDs. I could only dream of such a thing - encoding was far far far slower than reading the data from the CD in the first place.
It was a lovely little machine that I set up to dual-boot Linux. If it had had mobile networking it would have been fantastic.
There were software for Windows that could play MP3s at reduced quality. I don't know if I had any counterpart of that for Linux at the time...
I've then replaced CPU with one of the AMD upgrade processor (perhaps 486DX 100MHz equivalent or better, I don't quite remember the detail as it was a long time ago), and that's when I could start playing MP3s.
I remember it took some time before I could play MP3s--for about a year I was stuck playing MP2s instead.
(Full disclosure: I write PHP on a daily basis, and reject the opinion that it should be avoided for various reasons, but I recognise the stereotype (that it's not a very 'good' language) enough to derive humour from it - consider it sort of self-deprecating)
My current position is that HHVM's existence means that PHP is a serious contender and kicking it out the window is probably not the greatest of ideas.
The fact that it doesn't have good console interaction support out of the box kind of killed it for me though.
Once my computer setup's stable (this 1024x768 laptop screen isn't that great for dev work :p) I'm going to be looking at some other languages.
I don't mind PHP overall, and since it's so widespread if I want a small script that'll almost certainly run "in most places" I'm likely to turn to PHP. (To continue the console argument, though, it's entirely possible that php[-cli] might not be installed, only the Apache module, which is annoying.) Similarly, if I was to build a major "community-oriented" project which I wanted to succeed... I might actually write it in PHP because it's such a simple language to work with and learn (at least it was in my case).
My personal goal is to keep it a "minority" language, though. Going forward, if I write for my own purposes I want to try and use other things, and if I had to use PHP internally somewhere I wouldn't be that impressed. :p
> since it's so widespread if I want a small script that'll almost certainly run "in most places" I'm likely to turn to PHP
I'm curious about this though—isn't sh literally required by the POSIX standard? How is PHP more ubiquitous than sh? I certainly don't have PHP installed.
A "small script" might not necessarily be very simple - it might only have 5-10 lines, but those lines might involve parsing HTML, connecting to a remote host somewhere, running a one-time listening server, nontrivially processing a set of files... any number of different tasks.
sh is good for job execution, piping and redirection, and task management, and it launches processes like sed, grep, and awk to handle text processing. Beyond that, simple, one-time HTML parsing can be done with sed and grep, but it doesn't work very well (and I'd never use it in production), I can't really easily connect to a server without netcat or socat (or, in a pinch, bash's exec operator, which is slow in practice - I wrote an IRC bot in bash, its CPU usage skyrocketed easily), or for more complex tasks involving HTTP requests, curl or wget.
It's ultimately impossible to know whether someone has Python, Perl, Tcl, Haskell, Ruby, Node.js, or even PHP installed, and able to run console scripts... but only a language like one of these comes with a base library competent enough to include functionality to achieve all the goals I noted above.
Staying fashionable is more difficult.
Also amused to see the Jerkcity comic open in Jordan Hubbard's screenshot.
In fact, having smart alignment would be great even with monospace fonts. I work in emacs and it's frustrating when the editor decides to 'fix' your own spacing because the editor-mode doesn't have a very intelligent layout system...
The "smart" magic you are looking for is called "tabs".
So please dont talk about serious developer font , its highly offending to all the work.
I've been using it since around 2003 or 2004...
Except I don't use the tiling stuff. I like to live in a kind of retro future. My laptop has a retina display that I mostly use for full screen black xterms with a font about the size to fit 80 characters.
There was no need for hardware support because windows were not buffered, they repainted itself when the system told them to do it.
Great book, btw.
Well, then there's CmdrTaco's desktop :3
Thanks for reminding me that I'm getting old.
RTCW is also fun on singleplayer mode.. and it runs natively on GNU/Linux.
Here's the screengrab http://share.veb.nz/1UD8UE6 in case you guys don't see it... I think it's awesome. I want it! Definitely gonna update my 404 pages, heh.
(And thanks - now the Sburb loading theme is stuck in my head again!)
I spend the bulk of 1993-2003 or so staring at text windows made up almost exclusively of the X11 "9x15" font. It's really not bad at all, and occasionally I still fire up an xterm in that just for kicks.
Note also that a lot of what you're identifying as "antialiasing" is simple pixel size. You could certainly generate a nicely-filtered font with a pixel height on 15 on modern systems, but on most displays it would be unreadably small. Typical programmers are working with fonts with literally twice the resolution these days.
It would be nice to do this again on modern systems.
My father only used Archimedes machines, so when we first got a Windows PC in ~1996 we both spent ages trying to make the text look nice — we assumed we had to find a setting somewhere.
I couldn't find a good screenshot of an older system, so I made one . The desktop font isn't anti-aliased, only the fonts in applications. I've used the included (in ROM) !Draw to write text, successive lines are offset by one pixel to the right. Also shown is the configuration dialogue, and the interactive help for it.
I recall trying to get actual unix on a PC, back around '94 or '95. I actually contacted the local Sun rep, and it was cumbersome and expensive. I gave up.
Sun Rep: Well, give me an idea of what kind of work you're doing and we'll make sure we can get you set up with the right workstation.
Me: How much is a sparcstation 10 without any accessories?
 I gave configuration details - everything needed to ship me exactly the machine I wanted.
I'm quite surprised to see it.
Some anti-Microsoft types (about 15 or 20 years ago) were outraged after it was pointed out that (according to the headers of the posts) Ritchie's posts to the 9fans mailing list were being sent from Microsoft Outlook.
Maybe the lesson here is that people who accomplish a lot tend to be pragmatic?
Your point is?
This inspired me to dig up an old screenshot from the same time:
Most likely this was on a Red Hat desktop I was running (before the enterprise switch). Man, I really miss running WindowMaker…
I compiled a pile of scripts on top of wget, curl, httrack, ImageMagick and customized a Firefox build to allow for easy scraping from the most common bulletin scripts in use at the time.
As the project's sole aim was pure nostalgia and server hosting and bandwidth were quite expensive back then I quickly put it to rest after no more than an year I think. Now I'm kinda sorry for not leaving at least the scraping to go on for longer, I'm pretty sure the forums queue was cut short of at least a couple hundred potential targets and god knows how many desktops.
Anyways, I've scoured for my old server backups and lo and behold, here are 2362 pure shots of geeky nostalgia:
(Do some of them almost look square, or maybe rotated 4:3?)
One reason I am now going to start screenshting things from now on and archiving them :)
But, it shows the Mozilla logo before I finally moved to Firefox. I think this would have been around 2001 or 2002. I don't know how I was so happy with a 640x480 screen.
Info about faces in Plan 9: http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/Adding_your_face/index... doesn't seem to load but is cached is http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CkBURro...
Database of faces/picons: http://www.cs.indiana.edu/pub/faces/picons/
Other than that, jumping a little ahead --I remember getting Windows XP in late 2001, early 2002. Everything looked so nice and shiny - it may have been the last time I was so unbelievably impressed with Windows. I'm not sure why I liked it so much - either because the UI (at the time) looked gorgeous, or because I was in second grade.
Realistically, it was the latter.
I've started using screen again for long-running processes so i can detach and reattach later.
By 2002 I was certainly running a graphical desktop. Can't say I remember which. Never really got into Windows outside of gaming. I was most likely using Windowmaker.
also... woah, old iTunes
Sadly the same could not be sad about mainstream Linux environments (GNOME3, Unity etc.) or Windows 8/10. Windows 10 you can to some extent.
Only compared to Windows 7 or Vista maybe. Definitely no compared to, NT4/Me/2000/XP from back then.
> Sadly the same could not be sad about mainstream Linux environments
I'm still wondering what the Unity/Gnome/KDE devs smoke. From what I've gathered from Gnome users, the only way to make it bearable is by ripping out half its functionality and replacing it with (Gnome-specific) extensions. That can't be the way forward, can it?
(Although non-mainstream Linux desktops are an exception, too: Openbox e.g. didn't change too much over the last five or so years I've been using it, but it's so vastly configurable that my configuration has massively evolved over the years, and I figure it's similar for most of its users.)
As best i can tell, they want to create something like a hybrid of OSX and Windows. OSX up front, and Windows in the back (to be comfortable to all those MSCEs around the corporate and government offices).
I am always "sudo apt-get install i3" and "git clone dotfiles" away from a configured tiling window manager if that's what I'm after.
Then Panther (10.3) came along, and Finder went "Look at me, I'm your filing cabinet!" Eeeeeh, ok I guess? That's when it started to feel tacky and overused for me. Maybe because I only ever had one iTunes window, but the message of "You have 4 filing cabinets open on your desk" is a little bit weird.
As far as iTunes in general goes, I wish it'd go back to being a simpler MP3 player. They've got so much stuff in it (iOS device sync, music store, internet radio, Apple Music, podcasts, iTunes U, whatever else I've forgotten).
All the different layouts, the way the playlist sidebar appears and disappears, the multiple navigation schemes sharing one bar (pick source on the left, sometimes an icon and sometimes hidden in a dropdown, change view layout in the center) doesn't work well. Just the other day I switched modes and then was thinking "Wait, where did the list of recently added items go?" I found it in the albums layout by clicking through random stuff until I got the one I wanted, but I feel like if an MP3 player makes me hunt for something then the interface has failed me. The iTunes version screenshotted here never had hunting.
Family members have asked me "Where did X go?" on more than one occasion after the redesign, and I can't answer is quickly as I'd like anymore...
It really does do too much these days. It handles backups for your phone, your iPad, plays videos, plays music, handles playlists, acts as a shop etc. etc. etc.
Combined with the fact that buttons on iOS no longer look like buttons and text and hints are being replaced by cryptic symbols, and everything is flat so you don't know what is text and what responds to behaviour, I think user interaction has suffered and things aren't as discoverable as they once were, in general. Not just iTunes.
I have an iPod Touch and I wanted to listen to Beats One in iTunes. I had to go to Google to figure out where it is. Hint: it isn't part of internet radio.
Plus he's got what, a slightly dodgey font going on? That's hardly ostentatious.