The Sort-of-Tedium Edition Sunday, December 5, 2021

Coding For Non-programmers: Why We Need Better GUI Automation Tools, by Mathew Duggan

"Surely you all have a development team or someone who can help automate that?" I asked, a little shocked at what he was saying. "No well we asked but they just don't have the spare capacity right now, so we're gonna keep doing it this year." He went on to explain this wasn't even the only one of these he had to do, in fact there were many web pages where he needed to manually update information, seemingly only possible through his browser. I thought of the thousands of people at just this company who are spending tens of thousands of hours copy and pasting from a spreadsheet.

When I was a kid and first introduced to computers this was exactly the sort of tedium they were supposed to help with. If you did all the work of getting the data into the computer and had everything set up, part of the sales pitch of a computer in every workplace was the incredible amount of time saved. But this didn't seem any better as compared to him pulling paper files and sorting them. What happened? Weren't we supposed to have fixed this already?

Townscaper On iPad Is Brain Food For My Creative Side, by CJ Andriessen, Destructoid

Townscaper is a calming experience. I’m doing something I love—city building—but in a manner that requires no forethought or extensive planning. I’m just tapping my iPad screen, watching a sprawling city emerge from the light blue depths of this shallow sea. Not only does this relax me after troublesome days at work, but as a natural storyteller, crafting this whimsical city gets my creative juices flowing.

A New App Allows You To Experience Philadelphia The Way Rocky Did, by Mina Llona, The Philadelphia Tribune

The Rocky Experience is a way to fully immerse yourself in Rocky’s Philadelphia on your own time, for as long as you want and you can even do the tour with your friends.

Bottom of the Page

The transition from the classic home button in iPhones from day 1, to the swipe-up-from-bottom-edge to go home since iPhone X must be quite successful. I remember I've gotten used to the new user-interface within the first few days of getting the iPhone X back in the days. Even on my old iPad Pro with the home button, I prefer to swipe up rather than click on the button in order to go home.

Contrast this with how Microsoft's messing around with the Start button.... or how Apple's messing around with the Safari's tabs. This swipe geature is something that Apple has gotten it working correctly on the very first (public) release.

Unfortunately, Apple has also started messing around with this gesture in the latest OS. On the iPad, not too frequent, but not too rare, I've activated the Quick Note instead of the home screen accidentally. This is bad, because I need to find and tap on the "Done" button to dismiss the Quick Note. And after that, I'm back to square one and have to swipe up again to get to the home screen.

Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt with iPad's multitasking, something that I don't think anyone will agree that Apple has gotten it right the first time. Or the second time. Maybe gesture-based user-interface are great so long as they are kept to a minimal, with no overloading.


Thanks for reading.