[gst-devel] gst-player ui required changes

Steve Baker steve at stevebaker.org
Thu Jan 16 01:13:06 CET 2003

On Thu, 2003-01-16 at 09:12, Erik Walthinsen wrote:
> On 16 Jan 2003, Steve Baker wrote:
> > > - get rid of stop
> > Done! Its software, not hardware. There are no heads or motors to wear
> > out, and no batteries to run down by being in pause forever.
> OK, this is bogus.  Hardware issues have nothing to do with user
> interface.  Why are we creating a new interface when everyone and their
> dog is going to be vastly more comfortable with an interface they
> literally grew up with?  Just because that interface originated in
> hardware limitations does not mean that it is inherently flawed, nor does
> it give us license to arbitrarily change and cease to match what our
> *user* expect.

I do concede that there needs to be a button that does "pause and go
back to the start of the file". If we don't get a playlist soon (and
hence a back button) then we might need stop.

However, there is a precedent here - the quicktime player has no stop
button and somehow the users still knew what to do with it.

This hardware analogy does annoy me though - here are 2 examples which I
come across the most:
1) video players with controls at the bottom. If this was a real piece
of hardware then it makes sense because thats where my thumbs are and I
don't obscure the screen with my hand when I push a button. However with
software it causes a problem when I click play and then my play button
(and everything else) shoots to a different part of the screen because
the video widget resizes.

2) back and forward buttons |<  >| look an awful like ff and rew buttons
<< >>. Many years ago you could buy tape players with the buttons layed
out something like this:
<<  >  ||  []  >>
So what does winamp/xmms do (and many blindly copy)?
|<  >  ||  []  >|
Even though any cd walkman will group the forward and back buttons
together like this
>  ||  []  |<  >|

My only point to this little rant is that software lets us design a
better ui without the constraints of the real world. And hardware
designers are always redesigning there UIs whenever technology allows
them to make a better one.

Steve Baker <steve at stevebaker.org>

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