[FoRK] Top general purpose languages: Practical choices for app logic / presentation & web / server apps

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Jan 18 17:53:53 PST 2011


On 1/18/11 4:18 PM, Jeremy Apthorp wrote:
> On 19 January 2011 10:13, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> As Wikipedia notes: [...]
> None of those are beautiful OS X apps.

What apps do you find most beautiful?

There are very few apps that I find to be beautiful, even OS X apps.  They are often better than Windows or Linux apps, and usually 
functional with a few nice GUI features.  But not beautiful.  Not anymore anyway.

I'm infected with ideas and examples about what GUIs could be, including some of my own.  I see inefficiency, irritation, waste, and 
other problems with apps constantly.  The beautiful aspects I do see are mostly particular GUI elements.  For instance, in Corel 
Photo Paint / Draw, the little element in the corner that allows quick panning to any location with a large thumbnail map is 
brilliant and missed severely in every other panning application I use.  I think Photoshop has it too, although I just realized that 
Adobe shipped it full of framework case errors which prevent it from starting on a case sensitive filesystem until I make enough 
symlinks...

Many consider OS X apps to be beautiful / better because they adhere to a more evolved and thoughtful set of design guidelines and 
idioms.  Yet those are precisely the guidelines and idioms I want to improve on, at least in key ways in key places.  While I may 
end up back at some of them, I need the freedom to break all convention for a while to try to get out of our local GUI minima.  The 
"native" GUI APIs all force you into their paradigm pretty hard, if only to get something working with their overly complex surface 
area.  Qt is close to as concise as possible in many cases, plus it already maps to those APIs giving it structure that seems much 
more hackable.  Plus, it is open source which enables that level of growth if needed.

Somewhat on a different subject, I need interactive application GUI features in OpenGL space also.  After looking at many game 
engines, I feel that Qt is still best here for what I need, but perhaps temporarily with another library layered on for that purpose.

Stephen



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