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Mobysaurus V2.4 Preview 2

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Here, here -- I too look forward to seeing the Mobysaurus grow.

Just bumpin the thread to keep Mobysaurus on his toes and anticipating the next release.I really
like this app and hope you continue it's developement. :Thmbsup:
-tinyvillager (April 06, 2006, 02:44 AM)
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Thanks tinyvillager!  :D  Finally I get to work on Moby for a few days or more. Wish me best luck.  ;)

I've got a lot of feedbacks since the first release of Moby 4 months ago, they brought many best ideas that we can build into Moby.  :-*

Here's one of them which I just received, probably the longest one I've ever got. What do you think about it?

Name:      Jens *****
Email Address (Optional):     J******
Did you find Mobysaurus useful?      7. Other
Where did you get information about Mobysaurus?      2. Search engine

We really appreciate your comments (any length):     

Ok, here's the initial feedback I promised an hour ago. Essentially, this is a Jekyll and Hyde program: content scores 10/10, but interface (and everything associated with it) scores little more than 1/10. In short, it's quite terrible!

In more detail:

* The whole interface is clunky and far from intuitive; things could easily be streamlined with just one input field, radio buttons for the various search and result display options, and perhaps a redesigned sidebar. Buttons should be intelligent; allowing multiple buttons to be selected when appropriate, or cancelling conflicting buttons when not. WordWeb has a very simple, quick to use and well thought out interface that you might have a look at (Moby in WordWeb's skin would be perfect)

* more options for display appearance (header colours and fonts), and please ensure that using a black or very dark background works all screens (eg the shortcuts screen that opens as default; on my system, the text, being black and not changeable, is invisible)

* enable use of postscript OpenType (OTF) fonts. The program appears to use a very old (Win95 era?) font dialogue. WinXP can natively use PostScript and OTF fonts, and even Win95/98 aren't difficult, just needing Adobe Type Manager running...

* first entry (ie title of entry) could be in bold; as such wouldn't need to be indented.

* different downloads for different screen sizes seems unnecessary (and cumbersome, if someone use both a large desktop monitor and a laptop, for example); it shouldn't be difficult to let users choose their own screen size. For that matter, although I have a large screen (and so downloaded the larger version), had I have know that the display would be near full-screen and not reduceable, I'd have chosen the smeller version instead. I'd much prefer having Moby in a little window, perhaps beside my wordprocessor window, than have to pull it up every time.

* searching in "any occurence" brings up more entries than for one screen. The message about pressing F6 to go to next page only displays if the mouse is outside the results window. So, with the sidebar hidden, took me a few instants to realize what was happening. Also, the sidebar only displays headings for that result page, not for the whole search, which would be far more useful.

There are many more points I could make. In short, the entire interface needs to be rethought, with an eye both for usefulness and useability. Also, the .net Framework thing doesn't appear to have much to do with next generation. 200MB on the disk is excessive (an vast understatement) for a word-based application. A plain text version (with basic formatting, saved as RTF) of Roget's entire II thesaurus, for example, only takes up 1.6MB, and when compressed as a ZIP is a mere 600Kb. Much as I would like to believe that Moby is a great resource, I can't believe it contains so much more information to warrant 200MB (roughly one half of the Encyclopaedia Britannica's entire text)!

Anyway, I'm sure I'll get used to Moby - it does contain a lot of information, but please do something about optimizing it!



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i'm a big fan for streamlining the interface, as we've talked about in the past.
(and i think 2 downloads for dif versions is also something to do away with).

i like the idea of a simple resizable interface which has a main text edit and maybe checkboxes for what results are wanted.  the commercial program wordweb is absolutely worth checking out - it is as streamlined as can be and it is attractive and very usable.

the idea of having different results from different dictionaries in dif tabs would be one neat idea.

or having all results on one screen would also be nice.

i think in general i like the idea of having a very minimalistic main interface, with other options offscreen or tweakable on demand, so im in favor of the idea of editbox, checkboxes for where to search, and then clean results.

and as someone who is curious about words i really would like to be able to just type a word and click GO and then have all info on the word displayed from the different sources (ie dictionary, web, thesaurus, quotes, etc.).  not sure how practical that is, but it would be fun.


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