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Comment: Re:Native UI conventions...? (Score 2) 145

by nine-times (#48939393) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

What pray tell is a "native" application supposed to look like?

... like the other applications on that platform. It's really not a hard concept. Go look at other professional applications that were built specifically for each platform. Your product should look like *that* on each particular platform.

Ideally, on Gnome, it should look like it was written to run on Gnome. On KDE, like it was designed for KDE. On OSX, like it was made by Apple to run on OSX, and yes, on Windows, it should ideally feel like it was made by Microsoft for that particular version of Windows. Obviously that's an ideal that won't be met perfectly on all platforms. There will be compromises. But I don't think the concept is hard to understand.

Comment: Re:"Rogue"? (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by nine-times (#48939337) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

My perception is that Google is fairly open, more so than the others, not locking down the Nexus devices. But on the other hand, their Android partners are really locking things down, and the most generous view of Google is that they're simply powerless to stop it. Often enough, it seems like there are people within Google who favor openness, but the company as a whole is happy to let users' freedoms be restricted so long as it pushes them farther into the Google ecosystem.

That's my perception, not that Microsoft or Apple, or even Blackberry are any better. Google is the most freedom-loving of the bunch, but still not exactly the rebel freedom-fighting bunch that their fans would sometimes like to paint them as.

That's my perception, anyway, as an outsider who follows things relatively well.

Comment: Re:Native UI conventions...? (Score 0) 145

by nine-times (#48939299) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

You are business? Do you mean like, Lord Business? Or are you the embodiment of business?

Look, you may be business, but I'm IT, and when you decide to install LibreOffice on everyone's computers, I'm the one who has to support those people in figuring out how to use it. I can tell you right now, looking non-native is going to kill it on a lot of businesses.

And I happened to be working on an OSX machine last night, but I'm working on a Windows 8 computer this morning, because I'm not so much a "MacOS user" as I am "smart enough to use whichever computer you put in front of me." I've been fixing Windows professionally since the Windows 3.11 days. So run along and be business, and let the computer nerds talk shop.

Comment: Re:Plan B (Score 4, Insightful) 276

by nine-times (#48936619) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen

I think this is right. They're making more investments in getting their apps on iOS and Android. I think this investment is an indication that they're interested in having their own Android distribution (or one that they can at least partner with) which will allow them control while maintaining application compatibility.

And if so, I'd say that's a smart move. It's probably not a full plan yet, but more of a hedge while they try to push mobile application development by decreasing the barriers between development for Windows desktop, Windows Tablet, and Windows Phone. One way or another, they need a mobile platform with apps.

Comment: Re:"Rogue"? (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by nine-times (#48936581) Attached to: Microsoft To Invest In Rogue Android Startup Cyanogen
I think the idea is that Google, Samsung, Motorola, and HTC have all made themselves into a sort of cartel that don't allow the "open source project" to actually be a source of freedom for consumers. Cyanogen is "rogue" because it bucks that system and restores freedom to the project.

Comment: Native UI conventions...? (Score 4, Interesting) 145

by nine-times (#48936527) Attached to: LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release

One of my problems with LibreOffice (and OpenOffice, and some other FOSS apps) is that it doesn't fit with native UI conventions. It doesn't look like a native application, it doesn't feel like a native application, and it doesn't behave like a native application. Although it may seem like a very superficial thing, it makes it much harder to sell in a business setting. First, because a lot of business users (including "decision makers") are pretty superficial, and using a non-native UI makes it look cheap and unfinished. Second, because if it doesn't feel or behave like the applications that users are familiar with, then it's going to be jarring and confusing, requiring more training and resulting in more help desk trouble calls.

So when I read that LibreOffice "has got a lot of UX and design love", I was hoping that some of the incongruences were fixed. Looking at the OSX version, it seems that it's gotten worse. It looks distinctly like an application written for Linux that was hastily ported to OSX.

Comment: Re:Population Densi.. stop asking dumb questions! (Score 1) 474

And as an IT professional working in NYC, I'll tell you that the Internet here is... not so great. I'll grant you, it's better than the parts of the country that are stuck on dial-up and DSL, but you can't get FIOS in most places. A lot of people (individuals and businesses) are stuck with TWC as their only viable source of broadband. Sure, you can run a bunch of bonded T1s and get 10mbps for something like $1k/month, but if you want something cheaper than that, you're stuck with TWC.

The problem with that is (a) TWC has slow upload speeds; and (b) TWC is unreliable and will often go offline for a few hours for no apparent reason.

NYC gave Verizon some kind of deal on the requirement that they run fiber everywhere by Q2 2014. Guess what? Didn't happen.

Comment: Re:My best guess... (Score 1) 474

I'd agree in a sense-- but that it could (and maybe should) be like roads. The federal government deals with interstate highways, and the local governments deal with local roads. Basically we could have the federal government making a high-capacity fiber backbone, and then have state and local government deal with running FTTH.

Comment: My best guess... (Score 5, Insightful) 474

I don't have a lot of facts to cite that I can back this up with, but my general sense is that Europe (and a fair bit of Asia too) have the belief that it's worthwhile to have the government invest in infrastructure. They spend money to improve roads, bridges, railways, airports, telecommunications, electrical generation, and whatever else. In the US, we assume that infrastructure will take care of itself, somehow, mysteriously.

For a lot of stuff, we just get angry if the government spends money to build/repair a bridge. Railways are considered a massive boondoggle. The Internet is considered an entertainment service. To the extent that we consider the Internet "telecommunications infrastructure", we've decided to improve it by giving massive amounts of money to private monopolies, while not having any actual requirements on those companies to actually build anything with that money. There's a belief, somehow, that Verizon is a good and virtuous company that would love to provide fast internet, if only it could afford to do so, so we just keep giving them money and exclusive deals, and they keep refusing to actually roll out fiber.

Meanwhile, European countries just rolled out fiber. No outrage from the Tea Party to deal with, no big payouts to Verizon to stifle the project. They were able to do it because they simply had the government pay for it.

Comment: Re:Microsoft would be onto a winner if... (Score 1) 376

by nine-times (#48907337) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

I tried installing Windows 8.1 a couple weeks ago, and I spent 20 minutes looking for a way to get it to let me install without a Microsoft account, and couldn't find one. I found a way to get it to let you set up a new account, once the install is finished, without a Microsoft account, and that's the best I could do. Even that wasn't easy.

But I tried going through each step carefully, looking for any button I might have missed, and there just wasn't anything. It hit a certain point, and it would not let me proceed without an account.

Comment: Re:Microsoft would be onto a winner if... (Score 1) 376

by nine-times (#48906865) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure that you don't just need an email account, but a Microsoft Live account (or whatever they're calling it now). That Microsoft account doesn't need to include an outlook.com email account, and it can be bound to an email address that's not on a Microsoft domain, but you need to open an actual account for Microsoft services.

And if that's right, that's what annoys me. I wouldn't mind if they set the default to use a Microsoft account. I wouldn't mind if it warned you strenuously, "If you don't set up or use one of these accounts, some Windows features may not work." I just don't like being forced to have an active online account with someone in order to install an operating system.

Comment: Re:Microsoft would be onto a winner if... (Score 1) 376

by nine-times (#48906367) Attached to: Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

You know, aside from the "Metro" or "Modern" interface, I don't have a problem with Windows 8. It seems like they've addressed that, so I'm not sure what else you're hoping for.

Actually, I do have one other annoyance: their seeming insistence that you have some kind of an Windows web account (outlook.com or whatever) in order to run the OS I understand that they're actually doing something kind of neat with that, but it's pretty annoying that they won't let you skip it during the Windows setup.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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