Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"When they handed me that viewer edged in black"

"Letter edged in black"
By Selby Evans (aka Thinkerer Melville)
That was one of the first thoughts that came to the undisciplined part of my mind a year ago when I opened viewer 2.0.
"But he little knew the sorrow he had brought me
When he handed me a letter edged in black."
That reaction was triggered by the funereal design and gloomy atmosphere given by the black boarders, the grey on black text, and the dull green for contrasts.  Oh you could rationalize the choice: "We wanted a subdued UI so it didn't compete with the scene."
Plausible.  But if we are going to deal in explanations, I suggest that the morose color scheme was chosen by a morose manager who could see the handwriting on the wall (grey on black, of course).
Now I suggest it is time for a new beginning. The viewer 2.x  series has recovered most to the valuable feartures of the Viewer 1.x  series.   And the shared media is a big benefit, as are some of the other features introduced into the Viewer 2.x series.    Let's pretend viewer 2.0 was one of those unexpected server problems that keep me from saving  notecards.  
Now use the improved viewer 2.x code with Firestorm code worked in.  
  • Call it viewer 3.  
  • Let users customize the color scheme
  • Let users move those tabs off the right side and put them elsewhere or nowhere.
  • Use the Phoenix feedback to inform future development.


Hitomi Tiponi said...

With 2.6 skinning has finally been enabled in the the Viewer - yay! Unfortunately with 91 hard-coded colour entries, several system colours and other bugs in the viewer xml this is not easy unless LL either make quite a few changes or use the StarLight skinning base (as Firestorm does).

Selby said...

Back when I was working in computer science, hard coding of UI features like that was considered amateur work. I would recommend that LL shift to the Firestorm code. It may not matter, though. Many users will shift to Firestorm on their own. Maybe LL needs to concentrate on the introductory version for newcomers.