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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm using 10.3 on a Mac mini. I've been using the Mac for about a week or two now, so keep that in mind throughout.

Download went okay. After download with Safari, it unzipped itself and created a pkg on my desktop. Running the package correctly installed the program to my applications folder.

First looks at starting the program. I don't think Mac apps generally provide as many different ways of doing things as Windows does. Typically I don't see icons on the tool bar for the File menu type stuff, ditto for the Items menu. So I'd drop the open, new, save, delete icons from the bar. Same with the download icon. I'd probably keep the upload icon since that's a common task to perform. The icons don't look very Mac like, although that's a hard comment to quantify.

In my short time on the Mac, it seems to me that Windows provides users with many different ways to do a task, right click menu, toolbars, menus, etc. On the Mac, there is typically one way. The author has made the executive decision on the "right" way to complete a task. As long as the way chosen is easily discovered and intuitive, then it works out okay. I think Windows takes the easy way out under the guise of flexibility.

Need a way to customize the icon bar.

Downloading a feed worked well, however, it doesn't name the feed so I wind up with 2 (untitled) ones. Both of which seem to have the same information. I would have expected one to be empty since it was the default one upon program startup.

I think it would be slicker if the feeds were in a slide out drawer (see Mail mailboxes for an example). It seems like the layout of Feeds/Items/Images and Required/Optional are too close together. Could all the Feed items be put in an Info box for the feed itself? They probably aren't changed much. When the feed is selected from the slide out drawer, all the items could list along the left side like when the Items tab is selected. That might allow you to get rid of the Feeds/Items/Images tab strip. Isn't an image also an item? Or is it something different? i.e. can it be listed with the items but have a different icon or something?

Couldn't get the first icon to light up after pub date (I'd spell out publication or maybe call it post date, since it's the only shortened word on the page).

All field labels are supposed to end with a : and be right justified I'm pretty sure. The items required labels end with : the optional page items don't.

I think it might be better to use little icons under the list box of items for add/move etc. like iTunes does.

My most likely activity is to go into FeedForAll, select a feed, add an item, and then upload it. You should make sure the interface is geared for this if you feel this is the most likely path. Perhaps even opening up the last used feed or something.

Preference dialogs should auto size for each tab like all the other preference dialogs do. I don't think I've seen another dialog with 2 levels of tabs, let alone 3. Spell checking is blank and Display only has 1 item. Given that the controls have built in spell checking by default, you can probably leave that out of the options altogether.

Seems to be a limit on how small I can make the main window. It's fine for me, but can't it go smaller?

I was surprised at how far along this is. I don't know why, but I was not expecting a Mac port to be anywhere near as done as this. Perhaps it's just because I just started porting my application.

Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 648

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

nalenb, thanks for the time you spent looking at this. A lot of your issues are because this is a work in progress. Initially we are giving it the exact same look and feel as the windows versions, knowing that it won't be a good Mac UI citizen, but it does make the design easy. We intend to then make it conform to the Mac UI guidelines.

We have talked about using drawers like Mail, but the current system does match what Safari does with the Bookmarks. We all agree about the "tab happy" preferences and are discussing options for that.

All of you comments and suggests will be considered as the design moves forward.

Thanks again,
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:55 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

nalenb wrote:
I was surprised at how far along this is. I don't know why, but I was not expecting a Mac port to be anywhere near as done as this. Perhaps it's just because I just started porting my application.

It should be mentioned from a design perspective this version of FeedForAll is not just a "recompile" for Mac, it is a complete rewrite, so we definitely appreciate your comments. Initially we are attempting to "clone" the look and feel of the current FeedForAll, but I know that many Mac users are accustom to a different look and feel. Comments on this issue in particular are of great interest.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Understood, and I've only been using the Mac for a little while. I'd check out some of the really popular apps like Unison, Transmit, NetNewsWire, etc. I'm not sure the bookmark metaphor works for FFA because the feeds are only listed in the left hand side. If it worked like the book marks and put the feeds in a tool ribbon like bookmarks, then maybe it would work better. I guess the bookmark thing is the way it is is because it's seldom used. However, in FFA, the feed list is the first thing you see, when Items are the most frequently used things.

FWIW, I think most Mac design starts with the UI and then fills out the functionality, whereas most Windows design starts with functionality and then fills in the UI. Here's a great article on the difference:

That site in general gives lots of useful information on what makes a good Mac application, especially ones like:
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