Re: [Gimp-developer] GIMP UI quality opinion

On 12-02-17 0:57 , Aleksey Midenkov wrote:
On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 6:06 PM, Robert Krawitz<rlk alum mit edu>  wrote:
On Thu, 16 Feb 2012 16:07:51 +0400, Alexandre Prokoudine wrote:
On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM, Aleksey Midenkov wrote:
To Martin: even Save and Save as on toolbar saves one click. Not
saying about such repitive operations as Rotate, Resize, Auto levels
etc. Now trivial photo treatment is done with the whole lot of clicks!
I'm pretty sure their count can be reduced thrice with toolbars.
Generally, you're not doing those things more than once per image (well,
when downscaling a large image by a lot -- say, reducing a 100 megapixel
panorama to a web-size thumbnail -- I do it in multiple passes of no
more than 50% each, which seems to reduce jaggies and moire patterns).
Yes once per image, you right. But this doesn't change the point. The
click count from menu is at least twice, if from submenu then 3x. Also
such functions as 'Autolevel' is 3-4 clicks. When I have 10 photos I
need to process in some manner if I spend on one image 20 clicks, it
will be 200 clicks. From toolbar it would be, say, 70-90 clicks. And
please don't suggest me to write batch script (I know you have that in

Hi People,

Just to add another Slav by the name of Alex in the mix. I smell a conspiracy! :)

On a topic of counting mouse-clicks and slightly off topic considering GIMP UI, since it mentions 'kitchens'.

If anyone, anytime soon, happens to travel back in time. Please, find the guy or girl who started the mouse-click counting as a measure for 'quality' of user interfaces. Once you find him/her, please have them institutionalized. As a precedent. When you get back, I will give you a subscription to any dirty, non-dirty or cooking mag of your choice. For life.

Mouse-click counting is a nice heuristic tool ('heuristic' being just a fancy word for something that amounts to 'not even a guideline') with a history brimming with stupendous displays of misuse. It causes obsessive counting disorder, too. This obsession seems to be contagious, spreading out from the world of 'measure/manage/makebelieve' infecting hard working, nice, decent people everywhere.

For Alexei, and for myself, the other day I was counting the hits needed to hammer down a nail. About 6 hits per-nail on average! And not much of a nail it was. Inefficient hammer, inefficient nail, inefficient me? And the very keyboard I am typing on right now demands a stroke for each letter. Shouldn't it recognize my words almost automatically by now, somehow? Saddened by the inefficiency of the real world, I sat down to write; using good old ink pen and paper. Sure enough, I started counting the strokes! Too many strokes. Try playing a piano - minimum 3 keys pressed for a lousy chord. Take a walk... The steps! Running? Talking? Yikes!

Repetitive little actions here are a way to get the things done. Not the only way, mind you. Just a way. A means to an end. There are many ways to get those things done. Use glue instead of nails, dictate a letter, use a sampler instead of a piano, ride a bike...

There are many existing ways we can control a machine. There are also many open pathways we can explore to further the ways we control the machines (open source is a right setting for that, I think). Counting mouse-clicks and asserting that reducing mouse-clicking must be 'good', and that 'good' equals 'toolbars' is a mighy feat of jumping to a narrow conclusion. The mouse itself is an atavistic piece of 1-pixel pushing device. Ingenious device, but only a way to control a machine. At least those lucky enough to have both arms should be wondering every day: 'Why am I forced to push this 1 stinky pixel around when I have 2 arms and ~10 articulated fingers, a brain and motoric ability to support it? Can I have at least 2 mice, pretty please?' No, really, we should, and some do.

'Toolbars' are just a way of controlling the software, coming from a dogma that (almost) anything that can be performed by an application should be quickly accessible all the time. Generally, very questionable claim today, but admittedly useful sometimes to some people.

When it comes to designing software and it's interfaces, frustration and inspiration flows in our effort to design a 'perfect tool'. But thinking it 'a tool' is a mistake from the onset, I believe. Software, especially open source software, is often not a mere 'tool' but a a workshop, a worktable, a kitchen... Designing a 'perfect kitchen' or a piece of software is a bit more complex. It is a subject to customizations, arrangements and workflows. In fact, if I am not wrong, it is meant to be re-arranged and customized 'a posteriori'.

With this 'kitchen' metaphor in mind, I feel that 'demanding' mouse-click reduction via toolbars is like entering not ideally, but nicely equipped and stocked chef's kitchen, shouting at the fridge and the utensils, demanding for a '****** Big Mac already!'



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