Vincent Gable’s Blog

July 19, 2010


Filed under: Design,iPhone,MacOSX,Programming,Usability | , , , , , ,
― Vincent Gable on July 19, 2010

It’s a small thing, but it breeds deep suspicion. Mac OS dialogs always had “OK” buttons (capital O, capital K). Windows dialogs had “Ok” buttons (Capital O, lowercase k). “Ok” buttons in Mac/iOS software are a sign of a half-assed port, by someone who doesn’t really know the platform.

June 7, 2010

Quality is Money

Filed under: iPhone,MacOSX,Programming,Quotes | , , , ,
― Vincent Gable on June 7, 2010

The truth is that an iPad app is neither easier nor harder to make than an iPhone app (or a Mac or Windows app), in any general, reasonable, defensible way. Software doesn’t work like that; we don’t have to work twice as hard to cover twice as many pixels on screen. It’s all about the elusive quality factor.

Matt Legend Gemmell, on iPad App Pricing


February 18, 2009

Competing Software Engineering Approaches

Filed under: Cocoa,Programming,Quotes,UNIX | , , , , ,
― Vincent Gable on February 18, 2009

Tim Bray,

…Palm’s approach is
radically different from both Android’s and Apple’s. Since they’re all here
at more or less the same time, running the
same Web browser on roughly
equivalent hardware, this represents an unprecedented experiment in
competitive software-engineering approaches.

Language Framework Notes
Apple Objective-C Cocoa Old-school object-oriented language compiled to the metal; general-purpose UI
framework with roots reaching back to NeXT.
Android Java Android Java language, custom VM, built-from-scratch UI
framework aimed at small-form-factor devices, fairly abstraction-free, based
on “Actions” and “Intents”.
web OS JavaScript “Mojo” All Web technology all the time. Innovative and visually-impressive
“card”-based UI.

(I think it’s interesting to see Windows Mobile on the list:

Windows Mobile C/C++ Windows CE/.NET Micro Philosophically tries to bring Windows to the phone. When I did WinCE development it felt like doing C++ for a Windows OS from the past.


I see way too many other factors to attribute success/failure of the devices to the language. So I wouldn’t call this an experiment.

But it is interesting how much development for each platform diverges at a fundamental level!

Historically most operating systems —
UNIX, OS/2, Linux, Windows, Solaris, Mac (Classic and OS X) — were predominantly, written in C/C++. While each platform has it’s own frameworks, they all have strong support for C++ development. (Although Mac OS X has is slowly dropping support for it’s C/C++ “Carbon” API, and Windows wants to be moving to C# .NET)

It’s really cool to see mobile platforms doing something radically different from each other. There are good arguments for each approach — may the best one win.

December 20, 2008

“Most Windows Developers Couldn’t Care Less About Design”

Filed under: Design,Programming,Quotes | ,
― Vincent Gable on December 20, 2008

Judging by the applications I’ve used, most Windows developers couldn’t care less about design. That’s bad. What’s even worse is learning that same design carelessness has shipped in the box with every copy of Visual Studio since 2002.

See, even Jeff Atwood says it, and he’s no Mac fanboy.

September 29, 2008

OS Sounds

Filed under: Uncategorized | ,
― Vincent Gable on September 29, 2008

Here’s a case where Windows 98 “beats” out Mac OS X.

September 25, 2008

Simple Truths About Cross-Platform Apps

Filed under: Design,MacOSX,Programming,Quotes | , ,
― Vincent Gable on September 25, 2008

Scott Stevenson tells it like it is,

Even if Apple recommended cross-platform toolkits for Mac development, the basic premise of Mac software market would not change. Mac users bought the computer they did because they found the experience more appealing. Bringing an application across from Windows with minor tweaks simply won’t resonate with this sort of user.

And gives free advice,

Maybe the most important thing you will ever need to know about Mac development is this:

Mac users will generally favor an app with a better experience over the one with more features.

The full article.

September 5, 2008

The ‘Apple Stands on 3rd Party Shoulders’ Theory

Filed under: Uncategorized | , , ,
― Vincent Gable on September 5, 2008

Do you know what the real difference is between a Mac and a PC?

It’s not just the OS. A platform always stands or falls on third-party development. The difference is that Mac software tends to be well designed, and Windows software tends to suck.

Mike Lee, being “an elitist Mac-fan wanker”. Some interesting comments so far.

August 14, 2008

Only Skin Deep…

Filed under: Design,MacOSX | , ,
― Vincent Gable on August 14, 2008

Pictures showing that a nerds desktop can look like other operating-systems … at least from a few feet away.

It’s a good reminder that design is not just skin deep.

July 23, 2008

Wow, Macs Really Are Easier

Filed under: Accessibility,Design,MacOSX,Usability | ,
― Vincent Gable on July 23, 2008

Atul Varma learns to love his Mac

…In a nutshell, though, I had always assumed that Macs were only marginally easier to use than PCs. I guess I’ve found over the past two months that in some ways, this holds true—the Mac is essentially an incredibly sexy-looking PC, with the same annoyances and a few polishes that make it a bit more humane to use. In other ways, however, the difference is truly like night and day.

This is a story about such a situation.

… I had to go through 8 wizards in all, so that’s a grand total of twenty-four clicks required to unplug my keyboard and mouse from one side of my computer and plug them into the other side. I’m not actually installing brand-new hardware here.

The first time I had to plug this keyboard and mouse into my Mac, I was floored. In the best-case scenario, I expected it to think for a second or two and then give me a reasonably unintrusive message informing me that I could use my USB mouse and keyboard. That would have been pretty humane.

But it did one better.

The Mac didn’t tell me anything, because my mouse and keyboard just worked the moment I plugged them in. When you plug in a power cable or a pair of headphones into a computer, you don’t get some kind of confirmation message from your operating system, because it’s obviously supposed to just work—why should plugging in a USB keyboard and mouse be any different?

… I have to admit that when it all adds up, I find my Mac to be significantly easier to use than my PC.

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