Losing the amateur.

Alex Rice alex at mindlube.com
Sun Nov 2 03:33:05 EST 2003

On Nov 2, 2003, at 12:34 AM, Ryno Swart wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I am just a bit disappointed.

Hang in there- Rev is worth the learning curve :-) More response 

> To Scott Rossi:
> I was and am dead keen to download Scott's Ouija stack (I love your 
> more personal work, Scott), but I ran into a few problems.
> First, the stack appears to require Rev version 2.1, and would not 
> even download to my version 2.0.1. Couldn't these stacks be saved to, 
> for example, version 1?

The stack format has not changed (ever?) I believe. Maybe not since 
metacard earlier versions. But maybe Scott uses *features* that are new 
in 2.1? Just guessing- Scott can answer of course.

> To the RunRev team:
> Apart from Scott's stack, what on earth would an amateur want version 
> 2.1 for? It is 30 day time-limited, and only professionals can afford 
> it.

$75 for the "Express" version is not prohibitive even for amateurs, 
unless they are only looking for free software.

> At least with the older versions I can still do my simple fun efforts 
> within the 10 line script limits. Of course, by making new stacks 
> inaccessible to these earlier versions, you can slowly get rid of the 
> deadwood like me.

2.0 and 2.1 have major improvements in the IDE user interface, 
especially the properties inspector. It's simplified and less 
intimidating than the Rev 1.1.1 user interface. Rev 1.1.1 is kind of 
opaque when you first sit down and look at it, in my experience.

> Eventually I downloaded 2.1. Took me about 3 hours on a 56k modem, 
> plus, I had to try 3 times (my own problem, living in South Africa, I 
> suppose). The trouble is that Stuffit does not recognise the File 
> "revolution.sit" and cannot open it. The message reads: "The file 
> 'revolution .sit' does not appear to be compressed or encoded. etc." 
> So, double disappointment.

What version of Mac OS are you running? If OS X (judging from your mail 
headers), then you should download the OS X distribution, which is a 
DMG file, not a SIT file.  revolutionosx.dmg is the filename. DMG is a 
Disk Image, and will open up with Disk Copy.app.

It sounds as if the Stuffit file was corrupted during download. I just 
downloaded revolution.sit and it uncompresses fine w/ Stuffit Expander.

> So I am feeling somewhat lost. That is OK. But if it not your actual 
> intention to lose people like myself, some rethinking is required. How 
> are you going to reach the ten-year old geniuses? And the over 
> 50-artists who are only looking for a way of expressing themselves in 
> the greatest new medium the world has see, multimedia?

I'm sure it's not Runrev's intent to lose *any* users.  Some folks have 
posted about a desire for a more intuitive/spartan IDE more like 
metacard or hypercard, where one can just dive in and start learning.

I can't really add to that - because I'm relatively new to the xtalk 
environments. But I can quote one of my favorite books :-)

"Instructive interfaces are user interfaces that, through clever 
construction and design, are inherently self-teaching. Instructive 
interfaces rely on intrinsic characteristics rather than external help 
or prompting to show the user how to use them. Instructive interfaces 
are +Intuitable, +Explorable and +Consistent." Constantine & Lockwood, 
Software for Use.

That is the holy grail of usability.

Alex Rice <alex at mindlube.com> | Mindlube Software | 

what a waste of thumbs that are opposable
to make machines that are disposable  -Ani DiFranco

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