[vlc-devel] Re: Mac OS X interface

Stephan Assmus stippi at yellowbites.com
Sat Jan 11 12:17:16 CET 2003

> hi to you all,
> so what con i say about my design. first i don't want build 
> something,  
> that is 100% apple "interface guidelines". if you want this, you can  
> take the old interface and switch the background to 'brushed metal'.  
> this is the reason why i have arranged the buttons in a more round  
> shape. i also wanted to have a big round play button, but that is not  
> possible the cocoa interface builder. in fact i was surprised how  
> limited the possibilities are, that the interface builder offers.
> i don't give too much on the aqua interface guidelines. i have seen 
> the  
> development form the first public beta to 10.2. now its ok but the  
> public beta was typographic horror for me as professional graphic  
> designer. what apple did a that time was really poor. i don't know if  
> you can understand what i mean. graphic design is very complex thing  
> which takes years to study. some examples: in the first aqua releases  
> interface elements where huge, fonts too. but this hasn't worked,  
> because most programs hadn't enough space to visualize all their  
> information. or the gray horizontal lines in the windows and menu 
> bars.  
> remove them with plain color and you can make all fonts two step  
> smaller without loosing read ability. i think this was the work of  
> amateurs. (this is not my personal opinion - there are many articles 
> in  
> leading design magazines, that say the same. there is a huge 
> difference  
> to quality of the interface design of os 1-9 from people like susan  
> kare)
> an other aspect in your comments affect the functionality of the  
> interface.  these things have to be programed and i don't have the  
> skills to do that (volume slider, toggle play-pause button, ...). now  
> interface builder it's only possible to rearrange the existing  
> elements. if the programers will build these features, i can 
> integrate  
> them in the existing interface.
> i think a very cool thing for vlc would be platform independent 
> themes,  
> like in apps like maccast or winamp. but i don't think the guys here  
> have enough time to do that. maybe in version 3.0?

IMHO, one nice thing about VLC is that it doesn't use skins. I like the 
fact that every platform has its own interface plugins. That way, 
programmers can take full advantage of the possibilities of their 
platform, and the app feels native and well integrated to the user. The 
biggest part of the original critic was focused on the native feel of 
vlc to users of Mac OS X. That is a very valid point in my opinion. I 
completely understand that it is hard to accept critique, especially if 
you have been working on something that hard. Many of the Aqua 
interface guidelines are carefully thought out. You might be right 
about some of the bad points, like the stripes and big fonts, but we 
were not talking about stripes or fonts, both of the mockups had the 
brushed alu design and no labels on the buttons. When I compare them 
side by side, Niels design looks just much smoother. And I think it is 
because it adheres to some of the valid design principles in the guide 

Best regards,

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