back to article GitHub given Windows 9x's awesome and so very modern look

How many baby boomers does it take to set up GitHub? Just one – but you've got to make it look like a 1990s Windows build. That seems to be the reasoning behind "GitHub Windows Edition", billed as “a user style which transforms GitHub's pages into [a] GUI resembling Windows 9x” in a browser window. Vulture South can't decide …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want! I've been in software long enough to have written software for Windows 3.1. I actually appreciate the cleanliness of that, despite the old look, I find that very easy on the eyes compared to a lot of web 3.0 stuff.

    GitLab next please!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Web 3.0 look

      The current 'fad' for oodles of vertical white space is really frustrating especially when most of us are using letter box shaped screens (eg 16:9 ratio). MS is just one of the culprits here and are not alone in this. This plague is spreading.

      The need to have to keep scrolling up and down forms is frustrating for the average user and time consuming and IMHO destroys any residual 'ease of use' left. At a time when companies are being encouraged to produce documentation that is clear, consise and easy for mere mortals to understand why are many of those same companies going in the opposite direction when it comes to online?

      As for flyover panels (as on this site). Ugh. They are IMHO, a real PITA and just get in the way of doing stuff.

      YMMV...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Web 3.0 look

        The current 'fad' for oodles of vertical white space is really frustrating

        Could it that is because safe spaces are Matrix-waiting-room-style utterly, completely white inside, and reproducing this on webpages makes modern users feel, well, safe.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Web 3.0 look

          "makes modern users feel, well, safe."

          no, just those who _INVENTED_ this hideous 2D FLATSO look, the same ones who use "modern" like a pejorative when telling the rest of us that we're "luddites" for preferring the superior 3D skeuomorphic look.

          so the 'safe spaces' are for the insecure AUTHORS of that [insert profanity here]. Because, it was "their turn". Because the people who invented 3D skeuomorphic are *OLD* now. Because, "change for the sake of change". Because, "change is ALWAYS better" [even when it's obviously NOT]. Because, you can't be a patent troll with obvious "prior art" (right, Apple?). And so on.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Web 3.0 look

            "Ah, it stinks, it sucks / it's anthropologically unjust

            Oh, but the takings are up by a third,.. "

        2. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

          Re: Web 3.0 look

          The watchers, watching the key line with composite authority. #snakesandladdersinventedbyanindianfella

      2. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Web 3.0 look

        The current 'fad' for oodles of vertical white space is really frustrating especially when most of us are using letter box shaped screens

        Yes, but mobile screens are usually portrait. Remember, "mobile first" is the current development fad. Mobile first, desktop worst.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: "mobile first"

          But gosh, weren't all you clever young things supposed to use CSS to make the content work properly with whatever consumer platform the readers wanted to use?

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: "mobile first"

            The clever young things do exactly that. Unfortunately, they don't work in "design".

          2. Updraft102 Silver badge

            A

            But gosh, weren't all you clever young things supposed to use CSS to make the content work properly with whatever consumer platform the readers wanted to use?

            There's a lot of wiggle room within the word "properly." For someone who never used a desktop PC or laptop with a decent UI, Windows 10 in the state it's in probably seems pretty good.

            Maybe the problem was that none of the clever young things actually had a desktop with which to test the responsive design. It seems that any testing was probably limited to starting the desktop UI and shrugging the shoulders while saying, "Looks okay to me, I guess." Testing complete, QA stamp of approval given!

          3. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: "mobile first"

            Anyone else remember WAP?

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Web 3.0 look

          "Mobile first, desktop worst."

          Even when Windows no longer runs on mobile. (It's almost as though MS are just getting petty revenge on us for not buying Windows phones.)

        3. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Web 3.0 look

          Yes, but mobile screens are usually portrait. Remember, "mobile first" is the current development fad. Mobile first, desktop worst.

          That made a little more sense (but only a little) when MS was still trying to use their desktop monopoly to gain a foothold in the mobile market. Now that they've given up on mobile, it's rather pointless to pursue "mobile first" when they have a desktop monopoly and no mobile presence. At least before it seemed like a rational thing to do, even if it was a major long shot. Now... I just don't know. What motivates MS now? Stubbornness and unwillingness to admit they were wrong?

      3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Web 3.0 look

        As for flyover panels (as on this site).

        uBlock Origin, right click, block element.

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper

      I've been in software long enough to have written software for Windows 3.1.

      My first post-mainframe code was a Win 3.11 client/server development and I agree that the simplicity of the interfaces we designed then, driven by the limitations of the available resources, has an appeal that goes beyond mere nostalgia. When there are no distractions you can focus on how best to help the user best satisfy their needs.

      Of course, I would never admit to having wasted hours playing with the GUI after years of staring at a green screen when I was set loose with a PC rather than a terminal. I would, however, state that returning to a green screen and the mainframe after many years of GUI-ing was like slipping between cool cotton sheets once more - refreshing and relaxing in equal parts.

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Did the matron bring you your cocoa?

        As you went down for your daytime nap at LaZy Acres retirement home.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Did the matron bring you your cocoa?

          Did someone say Matron?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfKE7I-UtlA

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6t_NOebuhk

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: Did the matron bring you your cocoa?

            * * * * *, would upvote again

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      for Win-10-nic, too?

      Can I have this 3D skeuomorphic look for Win-10-nic too? PRETTY PLEASE?

      3D skeuomorphic is what made Windows 3.0 a SUCCESS back in the day. Prior to that, there was only 2D FLATSO Windows 2.x and Windows 386. They were boring and sucky-looking.

      So is the 'win 9x' look for GitHub *evil*? Maybe. *genius* ? Probably. Crowning moment of *awesome*? Most definitely (even if all it does is MAKE A POINT)!

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: I actually appreciate the cleanliness of that

      Can we have it on Win10 and PROPERLY done on as a Mate Theme on Linux Mint (some are nearly right)?

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I actually appreciate the cleanliness of that

        I want my motif skin!

  2. getHandle

    UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

    It'll never catch on! What's wrong with coloured rectangles and no clue what's a button, label or anything else??

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

      "What's wrong with coloured rectangles"

      Other shapes are available for additional confusion.

      And don't also forget the lack of state information to tell you that this control has been clicked or is currently inactive.

    2. stucs201

      Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

      *Coloured* rectangles? That's going too far. Make them the same colour, its going to be far to confusing if the user can tell where one control ends and another starts.

      1. fobobob

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        Rectangles? Are you nuts? Just have the text floating there, in the same color, size, and face as all the other text on the page. Or possibly even grey it out so it will stand out (and totally not look disabled)

        1. GnuTzu Bronze badge
          Trollface

          Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

          O.K. I can see where this is going. Let's run out and patent the totally blank screen before MS/Apple/Google does. That way we can sell expensive monitors with billions of pixels that wont even need to be powered or connect to anything.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        "Make them the same colour, ..."

        You wuss. Pandering to users, that is. Make 'em fully transparent.

      3. nematoad Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        " Make them the same colour, its going to be far to confusing if the user can tell where one control ends and another starts."

        Ah, you must have been playing EVE Online. There everything is either white or pale grey. You can't see a bloody thing and have to rely on muscle memory to work out where the controls should be. It drives me mad and all I got when I mentioned this to CCP was that it was an attempt at "unifying" the look. The result is cold, impossible to read and a complete disaster, just as you have described.

      4. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        Make them the same colour

        It's not infinitely improbable:

        Every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you’ve done it

    3. Sceptic Tank
      Windows

      Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

      My own pet hate: scrollbars where one cannot tell if it's the shaft or the drag handle. A bit of visual eye-candy made all the difference. The worst is the vertical scrollbar in VS2017 that has all manner of additional clutter added to it

      1. I am the liquor

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        At least the VS team had some sort of good reason for switching to non-standard scroll bars - to display useful stuff like the locations of changed lines, compile errors, breakpoints etc. Worse is applications that use non-standard scroll bars for no reason at all: yes, MS Office team, I'm looking at you.

        For extra fun in recent Visual Studio versions, go into options, Text Editor > All Languages > Scroll Bars, and select "Use map mode for vertical scroll bar".

      2. Terje
        Go

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        I do have to say that while I agree in general that keeping controls clean is a good thing I do love the markings on the scrollbar in VS.

      3. Orv Silver badge

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        I really dislike the now-you-see-it, now-you-don't scrollbars on modern browsers, too. In many cases they seem to only be triggered by scroll wheel movement. Flicking the scroll wheel repeatedly to get to the top or bottom of a page isn't really my idea of good UX. Not to mention that the lack of a visible scrollbar robs me of any sense of how far down the page I am.

        1. GnuTzu Bronze badge

          Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

          "Flicking the scroll wheel repeatedly..."

          Am I the only one who gets a sore finger using the scroll wheel too much?

          1. Orv Silver badge

            Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

            Am I the only one who gets a sore finger using the scroll wheel too much?

            I'm convinced it aggravates my carpel tunnel issues. The Apple 'magic mouse', where the scroll wheel is basically a miniature touchpad, is marginally better but that's undermined by the entire mouse being too thin to rest my palm on.

            1. Terje

              Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

              Then I would recommend the logitech mice with "free spinning" scroll wheel that I'm since a number of years totally addicted to and force me to keep using logitech mice, I have even goten a couple of additional proselytes at work.

              1. dbtx Bronze badge

                freewheel

                This 10+-year-old MX Revolution has that and what they call 'smart scroll' so the wheel switches between ratchet and free based on its speed, and the thresholds are configurable. It is the one and only thing in this world that I actually insist on using despite it having 'smart' in the name, and Logi discontinued it in favour of manual mode switching because apparently I was in the minority. Go figure. Middle-click on the wheel was a pain (actual tactile button is farther away from the fulcrum than the wheel is). So I rewired the search button just south of the wheel to perform that-- but in the other relatively new mouse, the search button's place has been taken over by a purely mechanical mode button. Of course I keep soldering random LiPos into the old one and it keeps working.

          2. Tom Paine Silver badge

            Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

            "I am convinced that mouse wheels were the cause of a pronounced weakness in my spinning finger." - misquoting Peter Tinniswood's Brigadier.

      4. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: UI elements that make it obvious what they do?

        Scrollbars that hide as invisible two-px wide strips you only notice if you painstakingly mouse around the UI watching to see if the cursor changes...

  3. Baudwalk

    It looks old fashioned and...

    ...quite frankly a bit ugly.

    But, at the same time much more easily navigated than the current everything-must-be-flat-and-indistinguishable design language.

    The "commits, branches, ..." bit needs to be tabs too, though.

    Personally, my idea of peak pretty AND functional desktop GUI design was one of the KDE 3.x themes (can't remember the name).

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It looks old fashioned and...

      Now that it's obvious what you can click on, it exposes yet another shortfall with the design - there are too many buttons, so they should be moved into menus.

      But at least you know what you're clicking on, which is an improvement.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: It looks old fashioned and...

      old fashioned = 'classic' or 'antique'. Sometimes 'retro'. Nearly always COOL!

      /me wants a steampunk laptop... running FreeBSD + Mate of course!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's madness, next they'll be replacing the ribbon with easy to use menus.

  5. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    sniff . . .

    I'm getting all teary and emotional.

    I'm off to moricons.dll and replace all my shortcuts with DOS icons.

  6. WibbleMe

    Oh god oh god...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now, if only Git could work under Windows...

    ... without requiring half Linux to be installed, it would be great.

    But, from a programmer perspective, Git is one of the worst application ever written - it's a "how to" about application should never be written mixing languages randomly, using the wrong tools (bash scripts, really???), and designing something for your immediate needs only, without being able to look at the big picture - look at how worktrees have to be retrofitted because the original designers didn't think someone could need to work on more than one branch at the same time.

    Management requires access to the server, and ACLs have to be managed somewhere else. Of course, all code has to be open source and everybody must be able to access everything, because that's what the bearded stinky guru said.

    C'mon - you used snapshots instead of deltas because disks are cheap now, and replace my local directory every time I switch branch? Often, I'm forced to think CVS worked better and was far more versatile. IT is going backwards, thanks to "millennials" who unluckily never really understood computers and programming.

    Windows 95, after all was written by far better developers.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Now, if only Git could work under Windows...

      1. git != github.

      2. Requiring "half of Linux to be installed" is a problem with the Windows port, not git itself.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Now, if only Git could work under Windows...

        I'd like to point out that git (the command line utility) works REALLY well with Cygwin. I recommend installing Cygwin (as well as git) on ANY windows system anyway, especially if you're a developer. yeah you can thank me later.

    2. Waseem Alkurdi

      Re: Now, if only Git could work under Windows...

      thanks to "millennials" who unluckily never really understood computers and programming.

      Ten (twenty?) years later, your generation will pass the torch to the millennials, who will say the same crap about us GenZ'ers.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Now, if only Git could work under Windows...

        As an ancient Gen X, (far cooler letter!) - programming training involved counting the bytes (singular at times), watching for mem-page boundaries and regular tea breaks when the compiler was set away. Don't get me started on I-O error checking routines :)

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