Saturday, July 26, 2008

GUI: Disabling menus

Recently Joel of Joel on Software published this quote:

"A long time ago, it became fashionable, even recommended, to disable menu items when they could not be used. Don't do this. Users see the disabled menu item that they want to click on, and are left entirely without a clue of what they are supposed to do to get the menu item to work. Instead, leave the menu item enabled. If there's some reason you can't complete the action, the menu item can display a message telling the user why."

I could not disagree more. When we disable a menu-item we put a tool tip to indicate to the user why the menu-item is disabled. In fact isn't it irritating when you choose a menu-item and then it says something to the effect of, "Sorry you can't do this because you haven't done x". If Joel had his way we'd all be wasting our time.

Good thing Joel in not in charge of designing any software that has any significant market share. With this sort of advance one can understand why.

P.S. Even more scary he's written a book, "User Interface Design for Programmers". Of course no surprise people don't seem to really like it.

Image Processing

Here's the first time I've setup an open source project and the commands I tried just simply work. Amazing! The project is an Image Processing project called Processing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

German Kids - Right to Vote

In what can only make sense to German people there is a proposal to allow all people [yes including kids] to vote in the national election. "A bipartisan group of 46 lawmakers made the proposal that would grant 14 million young Germans a chance to have their voices be heard in political matters." Clearly this is completely illogical. And even the Germans appear to agree having tried passing the amendment in 2005 - but was, "rejected by parliamentarians on constitutional and practical grounds since parents would likely cast their own choices and not of their children's.". NO! REALLY?!?!?! So let's examine this a bit a family which has 10 children, would have the parents vote 10x. YA!?!???!?!?!? So why is it back on the table?

Nice quote, "But wouldn’t this make abortion vote-tampering?" --- Don Surber