ANN: Global freeware laptop diary tool in REV
wjm at wjm.org
Sat Jun 17 19:55:13 CDT 2006
Mark Schonewille wrote,
> for researchers, the interface is the least important thing. Researchers
> want to collect data and don't have time to be bothered by something
> silly like an interface. (Even though as a software developers and
> researcher, I know that good interfaces help collecting accurate data).
It's *all* about the interface. From your mind to your hands to the computer
to your eyes and back to the mind. This is what software is about. How you
organize things, how you present them, how you manipulate them. The objects,
the nomenclature, the schema. It's what separates a dayplanner from post-it
notes, and a Palm device from Windows CE.
The bit about researchers not caring about interface is incorrect and naive
at best. Look at "polls" that carefully engineer the ordering and wording of
questions to "push" people in one direction or another. The mere act of
observation/measurement changes the thing being observed/measured. Isn't
that the *point* of this stack? To record -- and thus make you aware of --
what you are thinking/doing? In a "revolutionary" new interface paradigm
that is supposed to make it easier to sort out the chaos of your life????
> Also, my impression is that one needs to look just a little bit further
> than the interface. The idea behind it is very nice and it might help
> people change their lives.
Sure, I can encourage the "idea" of a comprehensive tool to manage one's
life. I don't see anything about this application that helps me do that.
It's not like there is a brilliant metaphor that just needs a little bit of
"prettying up" work, a slight adjustment to the user interface, or a few bug
reports to file. There's just no "there" there!
> Maybe you and everyone else on this list remember that Kresten asked you
> for your opinions. Have you told Kresten how bad the interface really is
> in your view?
My post is my honest opinion. If your true opinion is that this is great
software that you plan to use daily to improve your life, then great. [I
personally don't see how that's possible.] If you think there should be more
applications just like it, then I really disagree.
The hyperbole and grandiosity in the announcement post and web site is
simply *way over the top* not to counter with the straight-dope. Global?
Localized? Cutting through race and economic barriers? Open-Source?
Strategic importance to Rev? A new species of application?
If it's been going on for so many years and with so much help from so many
sources then it's a shame no one has told the author(s) it's simply going in
the wrong direction [to be kind], or that fundamental issues have to be
completely reconsidered. For example: unlabeled, inscrutable proto-glyphs
that are tossed all over the screen like so much rice at a wedding. Core
concept. Bad idea. If there is a "core concept" that will dramatically
enhance life, I don't see it.
The true researcher wouldn't get offended; they would simply take these
posts as a data point, and recalibrate.
> Dear Garrett and Bill,
Garrett was 32,768 times gentler and courteous in his reply and doesn't
deserve to be lumped in with cruel, joy-killing scoundrels like me.
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