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July 08, 2003

OK, I'm back

I'm currently in Arlington Virginia for Kevin Werbach's Supernova conference -- a fine occasion to resume entering thoughts here.

I've been concentrating on a redesign of the Central user interface based on our usability testing and feedback on Beta 1, which has taken my attention. Beta 2 is now on the way, we are headed to a new design that I am excited about and we will be increasing the number of beta testers. Now I can participate in other conversations again, such as what's up with Echo and RSS :)

My experience is that design work requires full immersion and not many distractions in order to see the task and data patterns well, brainstorm with the team, understand test results, and come up with ways to best structure the interface. What I am finding about blogging is that when you're active, you're pretty constantly thinking about whether everything might make a good blog entry! I'll try to be better about posting a "be back soon" note next time I'm that immersed.

Today I will be speaking on a panel led by Cory Doctorow called New Platforms, New User Experiences. I won't be attending FlashForward in New York this week -- the first one I will miss -- I hope everyone has a great time there as always!

08 Jul 03 04:57 AM


Daine Portman says:

I had the same problem!

Posted by: Daine Portman on 09 Jul 03 12:08 PM

philipp ringli says:

hey kevin,

if you need a real tough test on OS X, then please send me a copy of beta 2.
i have appied but haven't gotten any response.


Posted by: philipp ringli on 12 Jul 03 11:48 AM

Tealgirl says:

Glad your back.

Like most people I haven't seen the beta but my main advice is that in order to be a useful productivity platmore, search and replace must be better than it currently in in Flash. There is no way to search all of the scripts in the movie at once and this can severely hamper development.

I know, I know; this isn't the place for feature requests. :-). But I thought it couldn't hurt. And of course, you can't verify or deny whether the new design has easier S&R capabilities, because thsi would be disclosing too much information.

So I'll give you an "easy out" so to speak, and just say I'm sure you are doing everything possible to make the development experience be as easy, quick, and intuitive as possible. The Flash development audience will certainly appreciate all of your hard work.

Posted by: Tealgirl on 16 Jul 03 08:39 AM

Court Kizer says:

Certain areas of Fireworks MX 2004 are faster. Some of the areas are filters, and stuff of that nature. However, the interface and workflow is slow. It feels like using an OS emulator. Application windows don't snap to or have that “snappy feeling” like many of my other applications. Take Photoshop for instance, windows fly, moving between them, switching between tools, and doing other things is really fast. I'm not talking about the graphic operations I'm talking about the user interface, the core part you have to work with.

If all the other applications I use on Mac and Windows perform faster it leaves me to believe that Macromedia could to. Obviously Macromedia admits there apps with MX were slow, it's one of the big new brags on the front of there site "Major Speed Increases'

It's not like I'm making something up or point out something that nobody else sees. Plenty of people are complaining about the speed of the applications.

As far as my comment about not working in the "beta" Panther of Mac OS X, this is a comment towards the attitudes of people at Macromedia and less technical. Last year when the MX apps first came out 10.2 was just in beta. There apps wouldn't work with the betas, and didn't function in the final version until nearly three months after. That's way to long to update their application. Most of it had to do with the way Macromedia wrote their application to do programming calls to Mac OS X. They didn't write them cleanly as specified in the Apple Programming guidelines. To me this showed that the programmers wouldn't really concern with writing clean code. In the Panther beta I'm running right now (nearly final candidate to be released next week) our test suite of 2,000 Mac OS X applications all function perfectly, except Macromedia ones. When you debug the error codes you can see it's simply because of they way the call the system. Had they cleanly programmed the system calls it would function on any version of Mac OS X.

The part that’s irritating is this. When Panther does come out in 2 week (yes very soon) and after a few months macromedia will update MX suite to support Panther. It won't need a separate version, one version will work across Panther, Jaguar and all OS X builds. It just shows they didn't take the time to even test it with the latest builds.

It's a mentality thing, I get the impression that Macromedia is a company that doesn't put enough stock into it's programmers or hires people who might not be up to coding major applications. You can flame me for this but these are my observations.

I know about 6-10 other programmers who have looked at Macromedia code, or debugging and peaking inside, I've yet to hear any of them say a good word about it, most walk away with a "what the *uck" look...

Posted by: Court Kizer on 11 Sep 03 03:19 PM

Graham Lawrence says:

Just a fly by to say that I really enjoyed my visit. I was looking at the layout in particular which is pleasing to the eye. I have just installed MT on my site but it hasn't gone live yet because I am still twinking the styles and templates.

Posted by: Graham Lawrence on 28 Sep 03 02:51 AM

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