Sometimes I'm forced to agree with Blakey



  • ... about the poor UI decisions made by the authors of open source software.

    I'm currently using a freeware media player on my work machine after getting successively more annoyed with WMP (the final straw was when it lost the setting for my media directory, so it couldn't find any of my files, and wouldn't let me change it). This morning it gave me a prompt saying that a new version had been released, etc., and asking whather I wanted to restart now or later; standard stuff. So I told it to go ahead and restart, and it churned away for a couple of minutes updating itself. All well and good.

    Then it gave me a dialog saying "The following add-ons are incompatible with your new version and have been disabled." Nothing important, right? Just stuff like CD ripping, WMA playback and so on.... My initial reaction was "Couldn't you have checked for that [b]before[/b] you did the upgrade and asked me whether I wanted to proceed?" It's not like, for instance, half the music files on the machine are in WMA format or anything... Then I noticed that it was offering me an option to check whether the addons had compatible updates, so I did that. Lo and behold, they all did; I got another dialog asking me which ones I wanted to install. Fortunately it at least defaulted to having them all selected, so I just had to click "Install" and it went and updated them.

    But really, why is any of that necessary? Can't you assume that if I was running certain addons, that I'd like the updated version if available? Is there any plausible reason why I might say "oh, now that I'm running version 1.10.1 I guess I don't really want to rip CDs any more"? The most interaction I could have needed to see in that whole process was the status message change from "Installing upgrades" to "Upgrading add-ons". And I didn't even really need to see that.

    Now, sure, if you [b]can't[/b] upgrade an add-on for some reason, [b]then[/b] give me a dialog saying "This add-on isn't compatible with the current version and no compatible upgrade was found, but I'll keep checking from time to time." But otherwise, why should I have to tell it to do the obvious?



  • Filed under: Manukarant



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Filed under: Manukarant
    Not as catchy.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    Filed under: Manukarant
     

    Is that more fuel efficent than an auto karant?



  •  @Sutherlands said:

    Filed under: Manukarant

    Filed under: 

    								        Scarlet Moanuka </p>


  • Only sometimes?

    Exercise! Put in an entry in their bug tracker, see what the reaction is like. That's always an eye-opener to the efficiency and professionalism of the open source community.



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    But really, why is any of that necessary? Can't you assume that if I was running certain addons, that I'd like the updated version if available? Is there any plausible reason why I might say "oh, now that I'm running version 1.10.1 I guess I don't really want to rip CDs any more"? The most interaction I could have needed to see in that whole process was the status message change from "Installing upgrades" to "Upgrading add-ons". And I didn't even really need to see that.

    Now, sure, if you can't upgrade an add-on for some reason, then give me a dialog saying "This add-on isn't compatible with the current version and no compatible upgrade was found, but I'll keep checking from time to time." But otherwise, why should I have to tell it to do the obvious?

     

    No, you're not getting off that easy.  They're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't.

    If they don't, you start asking "I had these installed already.  Why didn't it just upgrade them for God's sake??"  If they do upgrade automatically, and there's a conflict on your system, you say, "What a piece of shit!  It automatically upgraded the plugins and now the damn thing crashes!  Why didn't it just disable any plugins and ask if I wanted to try to upgrade them individuallly?  I could've decided that I didn't want to use the plugin!"

    No, the safest choice is to ask you if you want to upgrade your plugins.  That's why all respectable software asks "A new version is available!  Do you want it?"

     



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    after getting successively more annoyed with WMP
    In other words, it isn't just open source software that is shit.

    It reminds me of Abode's PDF Reader a few years ago when you couldn't directly upgrade to a newer version if you missed a version or two in between -- e.g., I was running 7.01 and the latest version was 7.03.  I had to download and install 7.02 before I could install 7.03.  Seriously -- who the hell thought THAT was a good idea?



  • @El_Heffe said:

    In other words, it isn't just open source software that is shit.
    So, basically, you can either pay for shit or get shit for free...



  • By your description I'm betting on Songbird. It was actually a nice media player when it first came out, but it's getting worst and more bloated with every new release.

    On the other hand it's still better then most of the other media players out there...



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    half the music files on the machine are in WMA format
     

    I found TRWTF

     



  • It actually sounds to me like they did about the right thing, process-wise - told you the upgrades weren't compatible, provided an option to download and install compatible versions. No problem there. Evidently, though, they managed to make the user-interface so bad that the process was still annoying, and really this is the root of the issue. UI design is just so fucking embarrassingly bad that it hurts. MS work hard at it to some slight effect, but even they're pretty bad at this stage; the OS movement is completely hopeless, as are most commercial software houses who aren't MS. Unfortunately most UI stuff is still done by people who haven't the first clue what they're doing, and don't even realise they need to learn - but likely would be extremely defensive if anyone suggested that whatever language they code in could be picked up by a complete beginner paying scant attention, and would maybe point to a site like this one full of egregious errors made by those with no knowledge of the right way to do things. Who here knows even such basic UI design stuff as, say, the first three places on the screen most people look at?

    So many things I see are as if a programmer has very proudly announced that his UI design is great because 'the users only have to click the OK button' but failed to realise that randomly placing that button in a 100 x 100 grid of identical, non-functional OK buttons makes his program hard to use.



  • Why aren't you using a package manager to deal with this in one big swoop?

    Oh, right Windows.

    I sympathize, I use windows too.



  • @henke37 said:

    Why aren't you using a package manager to deal with this in one big swoop?
     

    This is one of my pet peeves... when I obtain a program, I want all its necessary components to be included in its release package. I don't want to have to have a third-party "package manager" to use for installation, I don't want to go hunting for new plugins, etc.

    Actually, the plugin thing is pretty awful - why aren't plugin APIs backwards compatible?  Could you imagine if OSs were like most apps that support plugins, where when there was a single security update to the OS you needed to update every single app on your machine? After all, an application is essentially just a 'plug in' for the operating system.

    So why on earth do the "common" plugin frameworks (commonly called 'browsers') break plugins with every single release?  (Well, I know the technical reason why, but I cannot for the life of me understand why you'd choose such an architecture.)

     

    And yes, I did feel the need to kick that horse corpse a few more times.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    So why on earth do the "common" plugin frameworks (commonly called 'browsers') break plugins with every single release?
     

    Because there's a culture in the team/company where they think it's acceptable to do so. Selectively taking seriously and ignoring the importance of others. Basically just like human beings.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    @henke37 said:

    Why aren't you using a package manager to deal with this in one big swoop?
     

    This is one of my pet peeves... when I obtain a program, I want all its necessary components to be included in its release package. I don't want to have to have a third-party "package manager" to use for installation, I don't want to go hunting for new plugins, etc.

    Actually, the plugin thing is pretty awful - why aren't plugin APIs backwards compatible?  Could you imagine if OSs were like most apps that support plugins, where when there was a single security update to the OS you needed to update every single app on your machine? After all, an application is essentially just a 'plug in' for the operating system.

    So why on earth do the "common" plugin frameworks (commonly called 'browsers') break plugins with every single release?  (Well, I know the technical reason why, but I cannot for the life of me understand why you'd choose such an architecture.)

     

    And yes, I did feel the need to kick that horse corpse a few more times.

     

    This.  I hate it even more when this gets applied to development (i.e. dependency management).

    My current project evolved out of an older project, which was headed up by a couple of guys who belonged the Church of Maven (not sure if it's the worst of the worst but it's close).  We were also working with an open-source framework that relied on Maven to download a bunch of libraries it uses.  Well, guess what: we're behind a proxy, and our build servers aren't going to connect all willy-nilly to any old repository server.  So we go through the process of getting a bunch of weird packages added to our internal Maven repository and making sure that our build script only looks at that.  And every time we upgrade the framework, we have to look at all the dependencies and make sure we have the correct version in place.

    Now the real WTF was when we migrated to a new framework version, and suddenly every build was failing.  Why?  Because the lead developer on this framework fat-fingered something in a config file, thus requiring a nonexistent version of some library.  Great job guys.

    Bonus WTF: when the bug was filed on this, since, y'know, it basically prevents any automated build manager from ever succeeding, said lead developer basically said "screw it, we'll roll that fix into the next release."  Which was scheduled for two months later.



  • @MascarponeRun said:

    Who here knows even such basic UI design stuff as, say, the first three places on the screen most people look at?

     

    I don't.  I tend to code cli stuff if I need an interface to it.  But there's a reason I work with a UI designer who does know, so that when my code displays something to an actual human, said human does not get confused.

     



  • @Shishire said:

    @MascarponeRun said:
    Who here knows even such basic UI design stuff as, say, the first three places on the screen most people look at?

    I don't.  I tend to code cli stuff if I need an interface to it.  But there's a reason I work with a UI designer who does know, so that when my code displays something to an actual human, said human does not get confused.

    I certainly don't. For most of my projects, the closest thing I have to a UI is a log file.

    I am very good at making them precise, terse, and informative, however.



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:


    But really, why is any of that necessary? Can't you assume that if I was running certain addons, that I'd like the updated version if available? Is there any plausible reason why I might say "oh, now that I'm running version 1.10.1 I guess I don't really want to rip CDs any more"?

    It would be nice if the app could make that assumption, but it can't because many companies do stupid shit like removing features from later versions of their products. So you have CD Ripper 1.0 plug-in, and it automatically upgrades you to CD Ripper 2.0, which it turns out is no longer free, and you have to pay for after 30 days, and now you can't rip CDs anymore. Or whatever stupid ideas stupid companies come up with. It's sad, but we really do have to worry about such shit.



  • @dcardani said:

    @Scarlet Manuka said:


    But really, why is any of that necessary? Can't you assume that if I was running certain addons, that I'd like the updated version if available? Is there any plausible reason why I might say "oh, now that I'm running version 1.10.1 I guess I don't really want to rip CDs any more"?

    It would be nice if the app could make that assumption, but it can't because many companies do stupid shit like removing features from later versions of their products. So you have CD Ripper 1.0 plug-in, and it automatically upgrades you to CD Ripper 2.0, which it turns out is no longer free, and you have to pay for after 30 days, and now you can't rip CDs anymore. Or whatever stupid ideas stupid companies come up with. It's sad, but we really do have to worry about such shit.

     

    That kind of makes sense, but Scarlet Manuka got it right earlier in the post: the application should check plugin compatibility before doing an upgrade, and ideally determine if updated versions exist.  Even if you can't auto-update the plugins, or you're just safeguarding against the sort of situation you described, at least you're allowing the user to make an informed decision instead of just going ahead with an application update that breaks all the plugins.  If they can't get an update to some essential plugin, then they're stuck looking for old versions of your software, which may or may not be readily available.



  • @MascarponeRun said:

    Who here knows even such basic UI design stuff as, say, the first three places on the screen most people look at?

    The real problem is programmers who don't read TheDailyWTF, or participate in community forums. I'm sure any GUI app written by this crowd would be way above average, simply because this crowd is full of people who give a shit. (With a few exceptions... who was it who a few months ago was arguing that their GUI program didn't need to pump messages?)

    On a related note, here's an app I found for the Blackberry Playbook just yesterday:



  • @Justice said:

    That kind of makes sense, but Scarlet Manuka got it right earlier in the post: the application should check plugin compatibility before doing an upgrade, and ideally determine if updated versions exist.

    In order of "idealness" (I know, I'm using that word "ideal" again, expect 47 angry posts from people who don't know what it means):

    1) There would be no plugins, because the app would already have 100% feature coverage
    2) The plugin API would be stable enough that there would be no worries about them breaking during an upgrade (do you know the plugin API for Explorer.exe didn't change from Windows 95 until Windows Vista? That's what you want to be doing!)
    3) The application would present you with the list of plugins-to-be-disabled before it disabled them, so you could make an informed decision about the upgrade
    4) If a plugin has to be disabled, the application should attempt to find and install a newer version of that plugin, but in a single step in the background as to not annoy the user

    Basically, Scarlet Manuka's recommendations are spot-on. I look forward to reading the bug report. (HINT!)



  • @Scarlet Manuka said:

    .
    I'm currently using a freeware media player on my work machine after getting successively more annoyed with WMP

    TRWTF was trying to use WMP in the first place. Every encounter with it leaves me feeling like Spock (h/t blakey in a Funny Stuff thread):



  • @blakeyrat said:


    3) The application would present you with the list of plugins-to-be-disabled before it disabled them, so you could make an informed decision about the upgrade

    4) If a plugin has to be disabled, the application should attempt to find and install a newer version of that plugin, but in a single step in the background as to not annoy the user

     

    These two could be combined: determine any incompatible plugins and find up-to-date versions.  If anything can't be updated without hiccups, then show the user "Here's what is currently incompatible, here's what has updates, here's what you won't be able to use. Continue with update?"

    As much as I agree about not having to annoy the users, I'm a little wary of auto-updating plugins, basically for the reason mentioned about third-party vendors removing features or breaking backwards compatibility or whatever.  It's probably not an issue in Firefox*, but it might be a bigger deal in something like Photoshop.

    Perhaps the real solution is to have something in the plugin architecture that forces plugins to identify any breaking changes they make between versions.  I don't know much about plugin systems, so doing that could be fairly straightforward or it could be a giant pain in the ass.

     

     

    * You just know that somewhere, there is a business-critical process that relies on version 1.5.1.7 of some obscure Firefox 2.5 plugin written by a guy in Romania who now raises goats for a living.

     

     



  • @Justice said:

    then show the user
    Won't work. You'd have the 'too much information' crowd complaining that the poor dears won't understand and will click 'OK' anyway. Which has the same effect as getting the 'stop fucking around with my system' lot enraged by surrepticiously updating the stuff that would need to be updated.



    'Drivers licences for the internet' FTW! (well I can hope...)



  • @Justice said:

    * You just know that somewhere, there is a business-critical process that relies on version 1.5.1.7 of some obscure Firefox 2.5 plugin written by a guy in Romania who now still raises goats for a living.
     

    FTFY



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @MascarponeRun said:
    Who here knows even such basic UI design stuff as, say, the first three places on the screen most people look at?

    The real problem is programmers who don't read TheDailyWTF, or participate in community forums. I'm sure any GUI app written by this crowd would be way above average, simply because this crowd is full of people who give a shit.

    My point was really that, no, it's much, much harder than that. MS, with all the billions of dollars they spend on it are barely above awful, and since there doesn't seem to be a simple set of guidelines to follow, everyone else is even worse. Amateurs are always hopeless.

    I'd have expected you of all people to agree with me that the best UI design today is roughly equivalent, in developmental terms, to the Wright Flyer.



  • @MascarponeRun said:

    My point was really that, no, it's much, much harder than that. MS, with all the billions of dollars they spend on it are barely above awful,

    Some groups are better than others. The Office, Xbox, and Windows Phone teams are really doing some good work, for example, while Windows, SQL, Visual Studio are... mediocre at best.

    @MascarponeRun said:

    I'd have expected you of all people to agree with me that the best UI design today is roughly equivalent, in developmental terms, to the Wright Flyer.

    Oh yes I agree entirely. I didn't mean to imply I thought the current state of UI design was good, in fact quite the opposite: it was peaked on the Macintosh around 1997 or so.



  • How hard would it be to install a signal/exception handler, catch the crash, look to see if you're inside a plugin, pop a dialog saying "Plugin X is making your player unstable, would you like to restart the player and disable this plugin?"

    If it crashes inside the player itself, possibly due to misbehavior of a plugin, assign the blame to any plugin which was loaded. Plugins accumulate blame to a certain point, then you offer to disable them. Hopefully you've QA'd your app well enough that if it crashes repeatedly it's not a bad bet some plugin is responsible.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    it was peaked on the Macintosh around 1997 or so.

    I prefer the time-period of upper case only hard copy devices - say, pre-1972.  [Yes, I know there were mixed case devices before that, but the majority o fcomputer terminals were still UC only. It wasnt until 1974 that UC/lc devices became common.



  • @smxlong said:

    How hard would it be to install a signal/exception handler, catch the crash, look to see if you're inside a plugin, pop a dialog saying "Plugin X is making your player unstable, would you like to restart the player and disable this plugin?"
    @smxlong said:
    Hopefully you've QA'd your app well enough
    I think you just answered your own question.

     



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    it was peaked on the Macintosh around 1997 or so.

    I PREFER THE TIME-PERIOD OF UPPER CASE ONLY HARD COPY DEVICES - SAY, PRE-1972.  [YES, I KNOW THERE WERE MIXED CASE DEVICES BEFORE THAT, BUT THE MAJORITY O FCOMPUTER TERMINALS WERE STILL UC ONLY. IT WASNT UNTIL 1974 THAT UC/LC DEVICES BECAME COMMON.

    ASR33TFY.

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @too_many_usernames said:

    Actually, the plugin thing is pretty awful - why aren't plugin APIs backwards compatible?
    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I still use Winamp. Yes, it got old and bloaty and crufty. But the Nullsoft guys seem to know something about software development. Aside from the abortive nightmare that was Winamp3, plugins from the beginning of time all work perfectly, and even the ancient UI is still available. And sitting at 10mb in memory footprint (including sizable buffers and a fantasically huge content library), I'm pretty sure even the cute little opensauce minimalist players are more heavyweight. And it can sit open for YEARS at a time without leaking resources all over the place.

    It is, as far as I'm concerned, the ONLY media player necessary or desireable.

     

    Shit, I even PAID for Winamp.



  • @DaveK said:

     ASR33TFY.

    Still own three of them in working condition (technically 2 KSR and 1 ASR), though they could use some mechanical "love and care" (but I cna not find a teletype repairman)..Also own a working PDP-8/E (the same model I learned programming on)



  • @Weng said:

    (Winamp worship)

    Winamp's the program with the ugly black custom UI with the unchangeable 8-point font size labels, yes? Or are you talking about some weird alternative-universe Winamp where it has a good UI?



  • From memory, as I can't quite trigger it just now (all up to date), but...

    "The following updates are available:

    • XMPlay (rev. 3.6)
    • CD Audio (rev. 10b)
    • MIDI (rev. 10)

      Do you want to connect to Un4seen website to download them now?

      []Yes] []No]"



      XMPlay is small, lightweight, themable, extensible, has great range of input and output plugins with stable API that doesn't break between upgrades, and is compatible with Winamp plugins.

      It's also NOT open source, and the author listens to bug reports and releases fixes very quickly.

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    @Weng said:
    (Winamp worship)

    Winamp's the program with the ugly black custom UI with the unchangeable 8-point font size labels, yes? Or are you talking about some weird alternative-universe Winamp where it has a good UI?

    Oh, no. The UI is fucking terrible. Everything else about it is excellent, though (and given I don't use the UI...)



  • @Weng said:

    and given I don't use the UI...

    Care to explain how that works?



  • @Spectre said:

    @Weng said:
    and given I don't use the UI...
    Care to explain how that works?
    CLI?



  • @PJH said:

    @Spectre said:
    @Weng said:
    and given I don't use the UI...
    Care to explain how that works?
    CLI?

     Hoping he built a proper front panel, and is doing it with toggle switches and blinky lights!!!!!!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Spectre said:

    @Weng said:
    and given I don't use the UI...

    Care to explain how that works?

    Minimize the fucker and use hotkeys to control playback. Okay, it doesn't help when you're using the library function to build a playlist, but what it lacks in visual consistency, it makes up for by actually being laid out quite well.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @TheCPUWizard said:

    @PJH said:

    @Spectre said:
    @Weng said:
    and given I don't use the UI...
    Care to explain how that works?
    CLI?

     Hoping he built a proper front panel, and is doing it with toggle switches and blinky lights!!!!!!

    This is on my "dumb shit to do because I can" list.



  • @Justice said:

    ...............

    As much as I agree about not having to annoy the users, I'm a little wary of auto-updating plugins, basically for the reason mentioned about third-party vendors removing features or breaking backwards compatibility or whatever.  It's probably not an issue in Firefox*, but it might be a bigger deal in something like Photoshop.

    ...............

    * You just know that somewhere, there is a business-critical process that relies on version 1.5.1.7 of some obscure Firefox 2.5 plugin written by a guy in Romania who now raises goats for a living.

     

    I maintain a patch for the web developer plugin that lets me edit a specific HTML element instead of the existing functionality that lets you edit the whole body.  Since I couldn't get the author to accept my patch I have to maintain it myself.  Everytime the plugin get's updated, I have to unpack the source compare it to the previous version to apply my changes. I've been really hating FF version inflation habit.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Weng said:
    (Winamp worship)

    Winamp's the program with the ugly black custom UI with the unchangeable 8-point font size labels, yes? Or are you talking about some weird alternative-universe Winamp where it has a good UI?

     

    It's better now. Fully skinnable, and you can change the font size. I've honestly never found a better mp3 player than Winamp. Simple interface, clean, hotkeys to do whatever you want (either through the UI or globally), and no built-in adware. I can point it at a collection of mp3s and playlists, and it just goes. 

     Hell, this little program is probably one of the #1 reasons why I still won't concider switching from winamp + an old Palm Zire 72 to an ipod + itunes. It works exactly how I want it to, easily, on any computer-- works with the existing file system, and doesn't bug me about shit. I've been using winamp since I had a 486 and spent twenty hours downloading a single mp3.  (That mp3 was Download Time Exaggeration by the Pedantic Dickweeds, just so you know).

     I'm using 5.572, which is hardly the latest. If you're looking for a media player, it's worth giving it another shot.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    It's better now. Fully skinnable,

    Hm.



  • Here is a question, where does foobar2000 fall under the UI wtf scale.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @delta534 said:

    Here is a question, where does foobar2000 fall under the UI wtf scale.
    Through the godfuckdamn roof if it's the same as when I last used it.

    I seem to recall having to look around to figure out how to make it fucking play music, and giving up before I figured out how to make a playlist.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    It's better now. Fully skinnable, and you can change the font size. I've honestly never found a better mp3 player than Winamp. Simple interface, clean, hotkeys to do whatever you want (either through the UI or globally), and no built-in adware. I can point it at a collection of mp3s and playlists, and it just goes. 

     Hell, this little program is probably one of the #1 reasons why I still won't concider switching from winamp + an old Palm Zire 72 to an ipod + itunes. It works exactly how I want it to, easily, on any computer-- works with the existing file system, and doesn't bug me about shit. I've been using winamp since I had a 486 and spent twenty hours downloading a single mp3.  (That mp3 was Download Time Exaggeration by the Pedantic Dickweeds, just so you know).

     I'm using 5.572, which is hardly the latest. If you're looking for a media player, it's worth giving it another shot.

    I've used Winamp for quite some time and overall it works pretty well, I like it and it's definitely way better than Windows Media Player or any of the others.  However, it has a couple of really glaring usability issues. 

    Want to play some music?  OK.  Click on the menu item "Play".  WTF?  There's not one single thing there that will let me play music.  Instead, I have to go to the "File" menu where I find 6 menu items that conatin the word "play" (Play File, Play URL, Play Folder, Load Playlist, etc.....).  Seriously.  WTF.  Why isn't that stuff under the "Play" menu.  And why is there no "Play CD" menu item (You use "Play Folder")..

    You can rip CDs.  Good luck with that one.  Getting to that function is about as non-obvious as you can possibly get.  Forunately, that's something I rarely do.


     



  • @BaRRaKID said:

    By your description I'm betting on Songbird.

    Yep.
    @blakeyrat said:
    Only sometimes?

    Sure. There are some open source products with UIs not significantly worse than the rest of the industry. Not that that's saying much, of course (and the beauty of open source is that probably in a version or two those UIs will be just as horrible as all the other ones).
    @blakeyrat said:
    Exercise! Put in an entry in their bug tracker, see what the reaction is like. That's always an eye-opener to the efficiency and professionalism of the open source community.

    I have better things to waste my time on than that (I've read your posts on the subject before). But, just to please you, I had a look through it and found [url=http://bugzilla.songbirdnest.com/show_bug.cgi?id=16833]this enhancement request from June 2009[/url] which is pretty similar, and [url=http://bugzilla.songbirdnest.com/show_bug.cgi?id=15827]this one from March 2009[/url] which is just asking to have an integrated way to find out about what's changed in add-on upgrades. And yes, as expected, both are languishing in the bucket of "stuff we should probably do one day".
    @nonpartisan said:
    If they do upgrade automatically, and there's a conflict on your system, you say, "What a piece of shit! It automatically upgraded the plugins and now the damn thing crashes! Why didn't it just disable any plugins and ask if I wanted to try to upgrade them individuallly? I could've decided that I didn't want to use the plugin!"

    But as a general user, you aren't going to know the upgraded plugin will crash the app until you upgrade it and find out, so why wouldn't you want to upgrade it? This is where the "This app had a problem last time so we're starting it with plugins disabled" model works well.
    @dcardani said:
    It would be nice if the app could make that assumption, but it can't because many companies do stupid shit like removing features from later versions of their products. So you have CD Ripper 1.0 plug-in, and it automatically upgrades you to CD Ripper 2.0, which it turns out is no longer free, and you have to pay for after 30 days, and now you can't rip CDs anymore.

    I don't see how asking you at upgrade time helps, though. If all you see is "CD Ripper 1.0 has been disabled, I found CD Ripper 2.0 which is compatible, do you want to upgrade?" aren't you just going to press "OK"?
    @Weng said:
    Winamp

    @bannedfromcoding said:
    XMPlay

    Thanks. If I get sufficiently annoyed with Songbird to feel like going through the hassle of changing to another media player, I'll check them out. If I remember about this thread. 🙂



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Exercise! Put in an entry in their bug tracker, see what the reaction is like. That's always an eye-opener to the efficiency and professionalism of the open source community.

    Yeah, compare that with the reaction you get when you put an entry in Microsoft or Apple's bug trac--OH WAIT YOU CAN'T

    This is not an argument. The average end user with a problem is SOL regardless of whether they are using open source or proprietary software. The only difference is that in one case they have paid good money for shit that doesn't work properly, and in the other case they got it for free!  Guess which causes them to feel more entitled and to whine louder about the way the developers aren't dropping everything to scratch their one itch for them?  Yeah, funny old world, isn't it.

     


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