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Author Topic: Interfaces we love  (Read 3963 times)
Sentinel
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« on: September 04, 2005, 02:51:20 PM »

To follow on from Zaine's thread here: -

http://www.donationcoder....rum/index.php?topic=820.0

I think it would be a good idea to consider what we think is a good interface and a model for software interface design.

I think anything based on the standard Windows GUI API's are perfectly acceptable, but as mentioned in the thread above I also think WinAmp is both beautifully crafted and functional.  Everything is where it should be and it is simple for a first time novice user whilst being powerful for the weathered power user.

I personally think the key to interface design is having something which looks and feels simple on the surface that also meets the most demanding complexities of any given software.

To me, one of the most perfect interfaces I have ever used was 3D Studio 4 in DOS (and I still occassionally use it to this day).  If I can sort out a DOS boot to capture some screen images I'll post them here.  Unfortunately I feel they lost the plot somewhat with the complex and confusing interface with later Windows versions.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2005, 03:01:28 PM by Sentinel » Logged

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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2005, 03:11:06 AM »

Well I was going to say AutoHotkey, but it doesn't have an interface. But I will say that a good interface entails good design. But off the top of my head, I'd have to say the GreatNews RSS Reader. It's simple, customizable, and uncluttered.

       

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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2005, 03:37:20 AM »

I think it would be a good idea to consider what we think is a good interface and a model for software interface design.
How about Norton Commander?  Or is that not so much a "good" interface" as a "standard" interface?  I can't get my head round Windows Explorer: the two-pane model seems much more intuitive.  The NC interface has carried through from DOS, with various clones, to Windows, with various clones, the one I use most on Win2K being Total Commander (shareware)  http://www.ghisler.com

More here - Orthodox File Managers: Simplicity Rules

http://www.softpanorama.org/OFM/index.shtml

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov's page devoted to the Orthodox File Managers (OFMs) that are also known as "Commanders". Members of this family of file managers use simple yet very powerful interface that is a direct derivative of Norton Commander (NC) interface
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jpfx
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2005, 10:13:12 AM »

V - The File Viewer should be on that OFM list http://www.fileviewer.com.
If being indispensable has anything to do with loving the interface. I can't say there's ever likely to be an app that I use regularly that I consider ugly.
So if it doesn't fit whatever I conisder to be the best app in the world; and if it doesn't look okay, I'm not going to use it. Heh! how unfair is that? smiley I like function over form ANY time.
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2005, 04:53:02 PM »

JP, V File Viewer is one of THE coolest apps I've seen in a long time. And it has incredible power. I opened an 8.5G text file in less than ONE second — wow! Thanks for pointing that out. Hey, and its interface looks as good as any other Explorer replacement.
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2005, 03:08:23 AM »

i'm a huge fan of the right-click menu, apps with good right-click support and drag-n-drop support always make me happy.

one of the programs that i have the most love for in terms of user interface is Beyond Compare, which we awarded best file compare/merge tool here: http://www.donationcoder....e/CompareTools/index.html

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patteo
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2005, 10:17:54 AM »

There was some mention here about the venerable Norton Commander.

For those who love it and still use it in Windows XP SP2, there's a little patch that solves a vexing repeat character problem that surfaced when you install Windows XP SP2.

Well, someone (bless his soul) has posted a free patch at

http://www.rcis.co.za/dale/ncpatch/index.htm

I have used the patch for a few weeks now and it works and is very stable. No problems encountered.

Norton Commander is really useful after all these years despite the lack of development.

I have looked at various clones like xplorer2 etc (with their enhanced feature set) but somehow, I have grown used to this really useful two pane file manager and keep coming back to it. Couldn't live without it. And now it's even better with the patch that solves the command line repeat character problem.
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Innuendo
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2005, 10:43:43 AM »

patteoks,
If you are so fond of the Norton Commander way of things then why haven't you moved to Total Commander yet? It's like NC except turbo-charged. smiley
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patteo
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2005, 11:06:25 AM »

Well, that's a good question.

I did try Total Commander a couple of years back, not in great depth I must say to do it justice. But I guess the answer is that Norton Commander did what I needed. To move files, copy files, compare efficiently and besides I do use some other utilities like macros that worked through it's commandline, quickview, an external viewer like metapad that worked well with it.

So you could say I used a DIY turbocharged Norton Commander. Of course I do use other tools like Thumbnail viewers to manage images etc and various other one-trick ponies that do their respective jobs very well.

For example, I looked at xplorer2 which is also another very capable Norton Commander on steriods with a very active forum www.zabkat.com. Yes, it did a lot of other stuff like being able to "flatten" sub-folders so that all files in folders and sub folders can be viewed within the same pane etc. So this is also moving to a swiss knife approach.

So in summary, Norton Commander + others still serve me very well. And it may be the same for others. Someday I may just give it up. But until then...

So the patch is really for people who still want to use Norton Commander and not prepared to let go yet.

Think Ecco (PIM) - there's a big loyal community that still supports it even though NetManage drop the ball a few years back because of Microsoft Outlook's appearance a few years back. Talk about killing innovation.

And since then, there have been various PIMs trying to supplant it - But none so far can match Ecco's pure elegance for it's stated purpose and it still works very well if you are looking for a very capable and flexible outliner.

By the way, if anyone care to investigate Ecco - it's freeware now
http://ftp://ftp.netmanag...b/utilities/EC401/Ecco32/

Support community
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eccopro/

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