Sep 282019
 

It is quite possible I have commented on this before now, but I felt like a rant and I’m too lazy to search through the old posts to see if I’ve ranting on this subject before.

Windows, Icons, Mouse Pointer … or the gooey. Icons are an integral part of the gooey experience. Or so we are led to believe.

But really aren’t they just a little bit shit?

And I should clarify, I am not talking about file icons – pictures of folders (although given the lack of physical folders these days, a bucket might be more appropriate), and pictures of the kind of contents to be expected within files. Although I’m sure there’s a rant to be had with filesystem browser icons, and I do think they can be a bit silly, this rant isn’t about those.

It’s about those silly little icons in the toolbar of an application … or similar ‘functional icons’ which when activated perform some function. All it takes to misinterpret the icons is lacking the perspective of the icon designer, and then they take on a whole new meaning.

For example, the browser I am using to write this has a bunch of icons just below a strange “V” symbol (because it’s uncool to use a sensible word-based button like “Menu”).

The next stupid icon is an arrow in a circle – obviously intended to indicate a function to rotate the web page (although it’s actually to reload the web page), the left and right arrows are obviously a way to navigate between tabs, and there’s a cloud icon; no idea on what that one does.

In ‘normal’ applications there is of course the classic floppy disk icon, which just about everyone has attacked because it is just such an obvious target. Who uses floppies these days? And how many people under the age of twenty actually know what a floppy is anyway?

And my DAP has an icon that looks like two snakes getting friendly – no idea what that is supposed to represent although I believe it has something to do with “shuffle”.

We have a perfectly adequate way to communicate; one which we spend years learning how to use. It’s called writing.

What’s wrong with writing? Well there are two problems :-

  1. There isn’t much in the way of space inside of an icon to get too wordy.
  2. Words have to be translated which can get expensive.

When you come down to it, pictorial icons are just a half-arsed solution to save money.

Tower Stonework
Sep 082018
 

Having used Linux for well over 20 years (yes it is that old), and Unix before that, I’m often puzzled by how scary some people seem to find Linux. Why should it be scary? It’s just a computer – you’re the human in charge of it.

Yes There Are Gooeys

(graphical user interfaces – GUIs – gooeys)

Yes there is plenty of software with a graphical user interface – I use plenty on a daily basis including a standard web browser, an email client, a password manager, an office package.

On a slightly less frequent basis there are many more that I use. Indeed providing that you accept the use of alternatives, you can find Linux software to do just about anything.

But Don’t Ignore The Command-Line

Yes, Linux has a command-line, and for those of us familiar with it, it can be very powerful. And there is no harm in learning how to use the command-line just to the point where you can follow instructions on how to “get something done” there.

Because if I have a fix for some niggle that you are having, it is easier and less error-prone to pass instructions for a command-line incantation than instructions for a gooey (and yes I have done both).

The Birds

WP2FB Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close