- We ought to get rid of the Save and Quit commands;
- It's stupid that file requestor dialogs and the desktop/finder are two totally different ways of doing the exact same thing;
- Microsoft really, really sucks, and so do Gnome and KDE.
All true, but not exactly earth-shattering revelations, so I didn't bother passing it along, but it's been picking at my brain for the rest of the day, mostly because I recently got my mom a new computer.
She had been using a truly ancient Mac for a long time, and nothing worked any more. She wasn't able to get any version of Netscape newer than 2.0 installed on it, and she wasn't able to enable her ISP's spam-blocking feature, because it used an SSL page, and her copy of Netscape's root cert had long since expired. Faced with the prospects of either trying to explain this to her, or update the cert myself, I just bought her a new iMac with OSX.
She's aghast at the idea that this perfectly good computer is totally obsolete, only six years later. As well she should be. But, oh well, it is.
Anyway, the point of this story is, in the intervening six years, the file save dialog has changed who-knows-how-many times, and she keeps ending up trying to save things and losing them, because it seems to like to default to putting things in ``Documents'' instead of back in whatever directory they came from. Or something like that.
So today she proudly told me that she'd gotten it all figured out. She said, ``now I just always save everything to `Desktop' and then I can see where it is: once I save it, I drag it to the right folder!''
Now, that's just... so wrong. But hey, she made it work. Go mom.
It struck me that this was a perfect example of the result of the kind of cruft that Matthew Thomas was talking about, above: there's an interface she's familiar with, and that's pretty discoverable: icons on the desktop, and dragging things around. And there's this second interface for doing exactly the same thing that works totally differently, and is highly non-discoverable. So she found that it was easier to just always use the familar interface.