functional versus beauty
“It looks like Gnome is being developed by a fascist frontend for whom the constant excuse for not doing anything is not” it’s too hard to do, “but” it might confuse the user. “
Back when the internet was still expensive
XXI century confidently strides across the planet. Holivars break out not only in the Gaza Strip, but also on forums, in comments, telegram channels. About 50 years ago, people thought that FIDO was the best system for communicating with people around the world: fast and … well, relatively reliable. But what a thrill it was – five minutes t (k) -mail tortures the modem and pumps out the archives “eh”, the parmatosser puts everything in its place, and in the final you launch your favorite naked grandfather … Quietly, GoldEd is the editor mail, just. Launch – and you are connected to the world! You can communicate with millions of people around the world … in text format. Yes, no hyperlinks, pictures, cool interfaces for you. There is not even a mouse, everything is on the keyboard.
No, no, the Internet was already there at that time. In some places on these Internet there were even pictures, of course – for adults. The website pages were so simple. that now for a similar craft at school, in the first grade they would have put 2. But, having a modem and a time-consuming schedule, there was no particular choice. Remember the famous “just not disconnect, not disconnect …”? Yes, the interface was the simplest …
It’s not like that today! Would we know that today processors in watches will be many times more productive than in those years? Dreamed, of course. We thought that boring NC or, later, windows 95, Far, and indeed everything on the computer would become a little cooler. The way we were drawn in films – with cool displays, awesome interfaces, space-futuristic … Yes, we dreamed.
And what did we get in the end, and is it so cool – to have a super technological interface, insanely beautiful and incredibly sophisticated, or is it better simpler, but convenient? Let’s watch!
We all remember old games, old programs with warmth. Yes, now the graphics of some SuperSonic, SuperMario or Arcanoid are in no way comparable to modern games. More powerful hardware – more possibilities! However, developers had to be content with small, not only to save resources, but also for other reasons.
First of all, this is the imperfection of programming languages. Yes, and compilers no, no, but produced surprises. First of all, it was much more difficult to write code in those days. The developers did not have all these syntactic sugars, cool versions of the language … And, to be honest, there were not many programming languages. It was easy and easy to accidentally shoot off the left operator symbol. Based on this logic, fewer unnecessary bells and whistles – less chance of cramming unnecessary bugs. We fought for functionality, not design coolness.
Even in MS Word, people tried to memorize and use key bindings – it was much faster to work with formatting that way. As a result, we had a two-dimensional interface, without any animations, decorations, beautiful shadows. Was the software worse for that? Well no. The software was cool for those times. He strictly performed the tasks for which he was designed.
The eye, of course, wanted something more, and the world saw Windows 98 (a little more fun than Windows 95), followed by Windows ME with beautiful icons and fade animations in the menus.
Into the new century – with a new window
Yes, the linoleum was cool. The blue screen appeared a little less often, the system required a little more resources, but everything was beautiful, there were not so many “difficult” tasks at that time, therefore, it really was akin to laying linoleum on an old wooden floor.
But has the new design brought any breakthrough features to the software world? No. As the OS was affected by Win95.Chih, it remained the same. The eye was happy only for the first couple of weeks. Then you got used to the system, and you only got pleasure when friends came to you and admired “Oh, you have linoleum, it’s cool!”
Next came Windows 2000, with the WinME interface, which proved the stability of Windows. Everyone really liked it – a stable working system, it’s really cool!
And it’s time for WinXP. It looked like a breakthrough in those days. Cool, beautiful, “not square” and “not gray”. In fact, everything is the same, but a little rounder and more colorful. But it became possible to replace the shell, and everyone began to install AstonShell 2 together. The design became even crazier, but the youth craving for “beauty” was haunted. By adding beauty, the developers have reduced the stability. “Blue” was not the rarest guest of the system.
Meanwhile, in evil Mordor
At the same time, Linux already had an answer for Microsoft. The coolest possibilities for changing the design, any window designs, sites for supporting the kde-look and gnome-look themes (made as a blueprint, of course, for which they are a huge plus!). It was possible to change the system at least every day. Move window control buttons, move the window menu to the top menu bar (EMNIP, was available only in KDE, and was more stable than it worked), imitated the style of Windows (called Redmond), Macintosh (later osX). And in general, it had a bunch of “outfits” of its own.
However, in fact it remained the same good old KDE / Gnome design, with repainted widgets. Although, the eye could be pleased more often – with the advent of new topics.
Years passed, OS versions changed, tasks changed. But most of all I remembered the design of Gnome 2, with simplicity, speed of work, customization options specifically for convenience, not beauty. But the most important thing is that a GTK application required several times less resources than a Qt application.
However, everything changed after the release of Gnome 3. The developers decided to radically change the approach to the environment, and instead of continuing the line “a bit like Apple” they blinded some squalor imitating two Apple concepts, but completely eliminating all the others. So, the full-screen Lounchpad appeared, and I had to leave for Cinnamon. And then completely, on KDE.
But, in any case, you must agree – after Windows, these are really cool interfaces!
Several years ago, when your humble servant was working in the Middle Kingdom, or rather, in the very electronic heart of the world (well, more precisely, the heart of the world’s electronics), my laptop suddenly died. It was necessary to urgently find a replacement, since the work did not allow waiting. And, after weighing all the pros and cons, I put my arms around the Macbook Pro.
And then my worldview turned upside down. Simple, local, but insanely beautiful and elaborate to the smallest detail design, with well-developed interaction, with excellent pairing with gestures …
The first two hours I was panting and trying to cope with everything unusual. And in the end I broke it! I broke my habits. Everything that I loved and valued for many years became uncomfortable for me. Starting from the layout, and ending with moving between windows. You get used to the fact that you have several screens open and you move between them in one fell swoop. At the same time, the system does not slow down, does not glitch, and everything is always at hand.
Friends, this is not an Apple ad at all (at least they didn’t pay me). I truly believe that Apple technology is very, very expensive. But it’s like a Porsche 911, McLaren GT, or Lamborghini Aventador. You can afford it – you will get pleasure (but, here too, there are disappointments). You can’t – alas, for you there are themes that imitate the style, but do not provide the convenience of the interface.
Look at the work of any professional designer, layout designer. A person who works in a similar field is simply forced to use a huge number of hotkeys. This is the hidden part of the interface provided by the software to speed up your work and add convenience. Scrolling through the menus will never give you the same speed as a keyboard shortcut. This is also a part of the interface, hidden from our eyes.
… in Windows 10, we saw a simple flat design. The developers tried to load it with excesses as little as possible. In the end, it turned out bearable.
Using computer technology, we notice the beauty of design only in the first hours of interaction with the interface. Sometimes it seems to us that it will be more convenient for us to change everything for ourselves. The desire to tune is especially keen when your experience is still not far from the very beginning. Those who have come a long way rejoice that the system is working stably and learn to interact with it. The conclusion is simple – beauty is not always as important as functionality and stability.
But after all, everyone wants cool icons and menus like in makosi, so come on, blow on [kde,gnome]-look.org and pull something fresher! 🙂
Thank you for your attention, all the best! -kuazaar-