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!
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 …
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.
"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.
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!
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?
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.
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)!
" 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.
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
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".
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.
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.
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.
...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).
... 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.
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 :)
"...our generation will pass the torch to the millennials, who will say the same crap about us GenZ'ers."
As one of the last of the baby boomers, I remember the irony well--when I first realized this would be our fate. It seems genetic; no new generation can escape this. Just accept that you'll eventually have it thrown back in your face, and try to mitigate it as soon as you can, as that's the only way to minimize the em--bare--ass--ment of youthful ignorance and lack of foresight.
I don't see what's wrong with installing half of Linux. That means you are halfway there.
Although Linux has its .... share of problems: Major Linux Problems on the Desktop, 2018 edition. Won't anybody think of
the children of Linuxfixing stuff professionally?
Gits main problem is that no thought whatsoever was given to the users of it. Linus wrote it for Linus and he's just not like the other boys.
Any tool that takes months to learn how to use is a badly designed tool.
In fact, isn't this exactly why Linux has such a hard time on desktop? Written by nerds for nerds.
Any tool that takes months to learn how to use is a badly designed tool.
I don't think anyone would argue that git has the most consistent of interfaces but if it has taken you months to learn a dozen terminal commands maybe programming just isn't for you?
Confession: I can do basic stuff in GIT, but I admit I still don't understand all the graph-theory stuff needed to wrap my head around what's going on with branches and merges, or to untangle it when it all goes sideways.
I've had more luck with Mercurial, although I'm not really sure why. I've stuck with it in spite of fewer and fewer repositories supporting it. (I think it's down to just BitBucket now, and they've switched to using GIT by default.)
The last VCS I felt like I thoroughly understood was Subversion.
I learned in a few minutes how to use the git command line utility when a customer said "I want source files kept on github in a private repo".
1. 'git clone https://example.com/pathname' <-- get a copy of the repo
2. 'git pull' <-- grab the latest source
3. 'git push' <-- update with your latest stuff
4. 'git log' <-- list all of the commits (which you can then use github to look at if you need to)
that'll get you started. look the rest up on an 'as needed' basis. (that wasn't too long now was it?)
(thinking of the children, learning to use git)
I've used several now, and have to say that if one must use Google to find the trick on *this* specific GUI for making multiple desktops then right there is a fail (Mint devs, I'm looking at you) if only in the "new features and changes" section of the help. "What new features and changes section of the help?" you ask. Fail two.
"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"
That's almost every open-source application, ever, until a benefactor (Dell, IBM, Apple) comes in and starts pumping money and programmers to make it proper. As usual (withness OpenSSL) no such sponsor worries about the middleware. Maybe Microsoft can do it now.
"Windows 95, after all was written by far better developers."
than the ones that wrote Win-10-nic and Windows "Ape".
fixed it for ya! (You're welcome)
/me points out that what made the '95 developers BETTER was a *WILLINGNESS* to actually *LISTEN* to their customers, and a *TRUE* appreciation for Developers, Developers, Developers, Developers. Ah, those were the days I actually _LIKED_ Microsoft...
(not sure what icon to use, but 'former fanboi' might fit this one)
I actually prefer this version to the real version (assuming interactivity is the same as it was on a decently spec'ed box back in the day). Clean, easy to read, and obvious how to navigate -- about the exact opposite of Windows 10 or most modern Web stuff.
Anyone else think UX peaked back around 2000 or so and has degraded slowly since?
"I really really hate all this new fad for whitespace"
It is _EXTREMELY_ bad for the eyes. I force the 'white' color to be a tad yellow on my machine to limit the eyestrain from all of it. Incidentally, the background whiteness ALSO makes 'el Reg' hard to read [especially in the edit screen, where the font is now 50% smaller than it was when reading the posts]. At least El Reg has grey panels along the sides, which are a HELL of a lot less *OBNOXIOUS*.
The problem is the level of blue in the white light. Blue light depletes the orange pigment in the macula which leads to macular degeneration. It's also why bluish flourescent lights are *HORRIBLE* for your eyes. It's why staring at a computer screen all day causes eye strain [try the 'yellowing' trick like I've done, you'll notice the difference].
You'll see white on black better than black on white. But all of the @#$%^'ing "Modern" (*spit*) web design is BASS ACKWARDS. and 2D FLATSO. It's "anti-reader-friendly". Or maybe "reader hostile".
(and 'soft white' lights, slightly pinkish, are easier on the eyes, just like white on black text. Hey, let's make this an "accessibility" issue, start a major *STINK* over it, and *FORCE* web designers to make it all "old eyes accessible" - heh)
"Hey, let's make this an "accessibility" issue, start a major *STINK* over it, and *FORCE* web designers to make it all "old eyes accessible" - heh"
Given that most web designers seem not to have heard of "mobile phones" as a form factor, I doubt that concern over "old eyes" will get any traction, unless you can find a lawyer to back you up. And I feel rather uncomfortable with encouraging the idea of "UI design by lawyer".
Because if the web UI gets too functionally efficient you won't linger on the site and notice an ad. Also they need to keep going backwards in usability in order to keep giving you a reason to upgrade. Ever noticed how the functions you really need and use the most are always buried in the 'Advanced' sub-window. This has never improved.
> Anyone else think UX peaked back around 2000 or so and has degraded slowly since?
Some things improved, some degraded. Window title and border were best in Win98-Win2000 (clean and small), controls looked nice from WinXP to Win7 (slightly rounded, soft colors), main menu was best in Win10 (it's actually fully in control of the user, though admittedly true folder hierarchy like in WinXP would be nice), icons were best in Win2000 (I love perfect pixel art), control panel was best in Win98 (abundant modal dialogs, but consistent and everything in one place), some long awaited features like multiple desktops were added only in Win10...
Over the years, Windows became an inconsistent abomination with weird UX, but I can't really say that there was one perfect version. Every version was good and bad in its own way.
Well I remember using win 3.11 - and I'm impressed someone went to the bother with the theme, but to me the old grey look reminds me of the early 2000's and frequent theme breakdowns.
Last time I had one of those was first time I tried out Snaps and the app was so sandboxed it couldn't pick up the ui theme.
I'm not a fan of flat either. To me the height of ui is some of those old KDE 4 Bespin themes.
You know it used to be developed by people who knew what they were doing. Adding to that were empiric experiments to find out how well the users could use it.
Also back then they had decent font rendering. Unlike todays mushy vector fonts with "anti aliasing", they had vector fonts with embedded bitmaps for common sizes. So in the likely case you used it in a standard size, you got crisp black on white bitmap characters, lovingly hand crafted to look good.
I've worked in I.T. since before Windows 3.1 and fondly remember the interfaces - simple but great when it came to getting the job done.
I now work in web application development and like others have said, am appalled by how user interfaces are dreamt up by "marketing" teams who have absolutely no idea what usability is.
I recently had an eye test and the optometrist was running some software that looked like it was from the early 90s. He spent a while telling me, that despite its old appearance, all of the grey backgrounds actually helped reduce strain on your eyes. His explanation was longer than I can post here, but obviously this is when software was made by people who understood basics of user interaction, rather than something that looks good on a Linkedin screenshot post.
I have been using gray backgrounds since the days when Windows UIs were built around utility rather than some designer's foolish idea of what's pretty (with no concern about usability or function). The white backgrounds were bad enough on CRTs, but when LCDs came along, it got even worse.
It used to be easy to change the UI colors in Windows, but since 8.1 (when the optional classic theme was no more), having a background that doesn't give you snow blindness means hacking the system to make it stop blocking non-MS approved themes, or using one of the supremely ugly (and ironically named, given the circumstance) high contrast themes.
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