[Seaside] Re: Rails and Seaside

Chris Wong chris_wong at mac.com
Sun Jan 15 22:24:09 CET 2006

I'm a newcomer to Squeak and have been itching to "bitch" about its  
usability. :-)  Here are my 2 cents.

On Jan 14, 2006, at 4:17 PM, Jeremy Shute wrote:

> The font choice is basically horrible.  Serif text gives all sorts of
> "cues" that the human eye can pick up in order to read faster, when  
> on the
> printed page.  The screen, however, is 72 DPI.  Do Apple, Microsoft,
> Google, Yahoo, or Sony use Serif on their home page?  No.  Case  
> closed.
> Code should be in monospace because it's easier to communicate  
> repeated
> patterns that way (yeah, they still occur).  These changes should be
> default.

I couldn't agree more with Jeremy on the font issue.  The first thing  
I change is set the font to use the Vera san serif based fonts.   
However, the anti-aliasing isn't done right.  Too blurry on LCD  
screen.  After I switched over to use the anti-aliased fonts, the  
display speed became awfully slow/sluggish.  (at least on my PowerBook.)

> Flaps are "a good idea" -- allowing you to whip your mouse to the  
> edge of
> the screen in order to navigate a menu of frequently used things.   
> Except,
> they don't remain atop the other windows, which is a bad idea, because
> although you can run your mouse at 90 miles an hour to any edge of the
> screen, what you're aiming for isn't there any longer.  ARGH.

I agree that Flap is a noble attempt to provide fast access to  
frequently used stuff.  However, it's poorly designed and implemented  
compared to the Mac OS X dock or even the NeXTSTEP dock that was  
designed over 10 years ago.

Mac OS X has done it right with the Dashboard and the dock.  For  
power users/developers, some global hot key bindings to bring up  
browser or what not would be welcomed.

> And, in case that wasn't enough, can you please make it sexy (OS 9)
> without being ridiculous (OS X)?  Take the time you would spend  
> making it
> themeable and use it instead to get it right the first time.  How many
> people theme Firefox or OS X?

Personally, I have grown to like the OS X U.I. more than the OS 9  
now.  I used to agree with what Jeremy said, but over time, I find  
the arrangement in OS X feel better, not just eye-candy stuff.   
Personally I consider themeable U.I. as a relatively less important  
feature. 1) usually, theme created by the creative individuals are  
too "colorful" and subjective for the usual users; 2) it has the  
least to do with usability.  Hence, I'd rather focus the effort on  
improving the speed and usability issue.

All these issues boil down to one common problem for me.  When I play/ 
work in Squeak, I feel cut off from my favorite OS, window manager,  
editor, fonts, etc, which is my most productive environment.  I love  
the concept of Smalltalk/Squeak/Seaside etc, love the development  
tools, but can't go back 20 years and look at jagged serif fonts on  
my screen anymore when I have hundreds of modern anti-alias fonts on  
my disk.

If Seaside is to be successful, Squeak would need an overhaul.

Another problem is the lack of documentation, some sort of high level  
docs to help developers new to Smalltalk/Squeak get started to  
contribute and improve the environment would be essential.

my $0.02.

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