Why is Konfabulator "Pretty?"

Bill Marriott wjm at wjm.org
Wed Dec 7 03:36:41 EST 2005


Richard,

Even for so-called "HIG-compliant" applications, Rev is behind the times.

Look at the menus in Microsoft Office 2003. That is the current state of the 
art. Look how Visual Basic Express creates menus that look exactly like 
those. Rev does not. Rev cannot directly support even icons in menus, which 
has been around many years. Look at the *process* of creating menus in VBE. 
Compare with the process in RunRev. Menus have come a long way in the last 
several years.

Consider draggable, dockable tool bars. These have been a mainstay of 
Windows applications for more than five years now. Rev does not have even a 
rudimentary toolbar facility.

True grid controls. Tree controls. Popup balloons. Notification tray. 
Flow-layout panels. Hyperlinks in text. Calendar popups. Property grids. 
Status strips. Web browser control. All hallmarks of modern "HIG" apps 
absent in Rev.

> But do I feel a focus on widget/gadget appearances is a make-or-break for 
> RunRev Ltd?  Nope.

I never said that. It's 1/15th of the things Rev needs to do. And as I 
explained above, it's not just about "widgets." Look at Axialis 
IconWorkshop. This is a "full application" not a "widget" -- such a look and 
feel is not easy to create in Rev.

> This stretches the definition of "contemporary".  If you mean 
> widget/gadget-style apps, that's a specific thing.  But if you mean apps 
> that substantially conform to the current Human Interface Guidelines 
> published for each OS, that's pretty much in the can right now.

Honestly, it's not "in the can." Text controls -- and extremely important 
element of "HIG" applications --  are far short of robust in Rev. You could 
not use them for composing an email or blog entry, for example. There are 
just too many issues with performance, clipboard support, visual 
"artifacts," and formattiing limitations. Even text selection gets weird.

The script editor itself is a good example of this. If I paste in text from 
anywhere outside Rev (Notepad, my email reader) it begins to behave very 
strangely. The auto-colorization starts to break down. Line widths get 
messy. I get bits and pieces of characters all over the field. Sometimes the 
clipboard works, sometimes it doesn't.

Standard buttons -- the mainstay of any "HIG" app -- are not quite exactly 
the way they appear in a standard Windows app. The font is different and the 
text is slightly higher than it should be. I don't have a Macintosh so I 
can't say -- do you get "gel" buttons? Are "tabbed controls" presented the 
way they are on built-for-OS X apps?

I know that on Linux, Rev looks REALLY ancient. It doesn't support any 
modern KDE interface look and feel. Try running a Rev-authored application 
under Linspire. The contrast is shocking.

>> I stated my opinion, I provided more than enough detail on it,
>> and if RunRev would like to have me bring the campaign I've
>> outlined to market, they have my email address.
>
> If they do, have you built more of these than Scott Rossi?

Marketing campaign, not widget development. I'm not an advanced programmer 
or artist; I often use Revolution when FileMaker or Excel can't get the job 
done, or when I need to create a standalone app for something. Things like 
that. But I *am* a pretty good marketer, and I could certainly put together 
a successful marketing campaign, if I had the budget to hire a couple 
Rossi's.

> I'm 100% supportive of everything you've said, except the notion that it's 
> the only way RunRev can be successful.

I never said that either. "The only way" and "make or break" are extreme 
exaggerations of my actual points, just as it is to say that I'm advocating 
Rev become a widget factory. It's easier to criticize those statements than 
it is to discount my actual argument. Modern look-and-feel is undeniably one 
of Revolution's weaknesses. Improving this is one component of several 
things Rev should do to be successful and attract the next generation of 
developers.

Bill 






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