BOINC Simplified GUI

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Profile kinhull
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Message 389201 - Posted: 5 Aug 2006, 17:05:18 UTC
Last modified: 5 Aug 2006, 17:07:36 UTC

I noticed that the BOINC Manager may soon be getting a smarter appearance.

Check it out at: BOINC Simplified GUI Efforts

This is from Rom Wolton's Blog at: ROMWORLD


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Message 389213 - Posted: 5 Aug 2006, 17:22:27 UTC

Its been going on for a while now
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Message 389216 - Posted: 5 Aug 2006, 17:35:57 UTC
Last modified: 5 Aug 2006, 17:44:45 UTC

That's great! The new GUI looks amazing. I don't care what anybody says, I like eye candy. As long as I have to look at it, it might was well be appealing. Who cares if it takes away a few extra CPU cycles to look good? We've got all this power anyway, why not make it look nice too?

Any idea as to when this new GUI is going to be released? Also, I read that they are working on incorporating advanced CPU optimizations such as SSE. Will they be including older instruction sets such as MMX and 3DNow!?
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Message 389217 - Posted: 5 Aug 2006, 17:36:24 UTC - in response to Message 389213.  

Its been going on for a while now

I thought it probably might have been.
But I hadn't noticed it until now, and there's a pic of what it might look like too - something I've not seen before.

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Message 389337 - Posted: 5 Aug 2006, 20:23:41 UTC

I hope this means a less obtrusive Mac version will be produced, something like the obsolete Menubar but with the option of expanding the GUI to provide access to individual tasks.
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Message 389592 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 0:18:29 UTC - in response to Message 389216.  

Any idea as to when this new GUI is going to be released?


Its an ongoing development, the guys at WCG are doing the simple GUI side of it, behind it all is the normal BOINC client for whoever does not want to look at the simple GUI.

PS: The GUI will be skinnable, so just think of all those kewl designs that will be flying around once this comes out (project ones, team ones, user ones) Will have to have a competition to see who can come up with the best
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Message 389628 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 1:06:11 UTC

Yeah, I read about the skins too. That's sweet. I'm really excited about seeing what people are able to come up with (I'm no good at that kind of thing myself).

It's one of the things I like about FireFox. It's also one of the things I was hoping would really take of with Windows 98 (they called it "themes").
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Message 389866 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 6:58:52 UTC

I think that the idea is to hide the ugly workings of Boinc and present a face that is more pleasant to the new users. Eye candy seems to be what is preferred by the casual users. I just hope they also find a way to incorporate a simple local wizard to attach to projects and set preferences.

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Message 389940 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 10:26:29 UTC

Is it downloadable anywhere? Will it work with Mac OSX PPC?
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Message 390249 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 17:03:14 UTC - in response to Message 389940.  
Last modified: 6 Aug 2006, 17:05:29 UTC

Is it downloadable anywhere? Will it work with Mac OSX PPC?

It is still in very early development and probably only on the developers own system. They only asked for feedback on the look. I don't expect a release even to Alpha testing for several months.

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Message 390312 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 19:04:17 UTC

Well, I hate the simplified app. Yet another situation where the decision was made that the users are stupid. Why bother educating users? They're too stupid to understand the information provided. Let's dumb down the program and make it pretty and shiny.
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Message 390323 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 19:12:39 UTC

tekwyzrd,

the BOINC manager will still be accessible if you want it. Giving people the choice to run either as "simple mode" (new GUI) or "expert mode" (traditional BOINC manager) can't be a bad thing if it makes the program more accessible to novice users. Note that I just thought up simple/expert mode, though it will likely be called something along those lines.

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Message 390371 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 20:19:19 UTC - in response to Message 390312.  

Well, I hate the simplified app. Yet another situation where the decision was made that the users are stupid. Why bother educating users? They're too stupid to understand the information provided. Let's dumb down the program and make it pretty and shiny.


That's a poor attitude, isn't it? What if our entire society worked that way and refused to share information because we thought people were "too dumb" to understand? Doesn't that encourage the smart staying smart and the dumb staying dumb - or the rich staying rich and the poor staying poor?

Who cares if they don't understand the science - not everyone needs to. As long as they want to help donate their PCs, why not give them something aesthetically pleasing to the eye? You're getting their help in exchange.

Besides, I'm not a dumb n00b nor a casual user, yet I like the eye candy. Where does that leave me?
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Message 390399 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 20:57:46 UTC - in response to Message 390371.  
Last modified: 6 Aug 2006, 21:01:20 UTC

Well, I hate the simplified app. Yet another situation where the decision was made that the users are stupid. Why bother educating users? They're too stupid to understand the information provided. Let's dumb down the program and make it pretty and shiny.


That's a poor attitude, isn't it? What if our entire society worked that way and refused to share information because we thought people were "too dumb" to understand? Doesn't that encourage the smart staying smart and the dumb staying dumb - or the rich staying rich and the poor staying poor?

Who cares if they don't understand the science - not everyone needs to. As long as they want to help donate their PCs, why not give them something aesthetically pleasing to the eye? You're getting their help in exchange.

Besides, I'm not a dumb n00b nor a casual user, yet I like the eye candy. Where does that leave me?


I think it's related to a currently prevailing attitude in the U.S. An example is the poor proficiency test scores in some areas and the "solutions" proposed. Too many students fail or get low scores? Don't look at the factors causing the problems (truancy, overcrowded classrooms, poor teaching practices, etc). Take the simple approach to "fixing" the problem and make the test easier.

There's nothing wrong with making a program look nice but when you sacrifice it's ability to readily display important information it is NOT an improvement. Users need to be informed of the purpose of the information rather than "Oh, you don't need to know that". If a user lacks information or the ability to use that information it increases the probability that problems will occur and not be solved in a timely manner.


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Message 390416 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 21:12:26 UTC

Did any of you happen to notice the button on the lower right of the "proposed" new GUI???

Hello???

It is a button for [advanced view] - This could conceivably contain any or all of the current detailed information or even more.
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Message 390524 - Posted: 6 Aug 2006, 22:51:06 UTC - in response to Message 390312.  

Well, I hate the simplified app. Yet another situation where the decision was made that the users are stupid. Why bother educating users? They're too stupid to understand the information provided. Let's dumb down the program and make it pretty and shiny.


Well, looks like atleast one user managed to spot the "Advanced"-button...

User can whenever he wants switch to/from "good old normal BOINC-manager" and "simplified" by hitting a button, so...


BTW, anyone spotted the other button named "Preferences"? This is so users can finally edit preferences locally, without manually editing a file themselves. Now, the "simplified" only contains some of the preferences, hopefully in "normal" mode you'll have the opportunity to edit all preferences, but can't promise this is the case.

As for then the "simplified" GUI will be released, no idea, it's not hit alpha yet, but would guess it will be included in v5.6.xx...

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Message 390595 - Posted: 7 Aug 2006, 0:33:55 UTC - in response to Message 390399.  

I think it's related to a currently prevailing attitude in the U.S. An example is the poor proficiency test scores in some areas and the "solutions" proposed. Too many students fail or get low scores? Don't look at the factors causing the problems (truancy, overcrowded classrooms, poor teaching practices, etc). Take the simple approach to "fixing" the problem and make the test easier.

There's nothing wrong with making a program look nice but when you sacrifice it's ability to readily display important information it is NOT an improvement. Users need to be informed of the purpose of the information rather than "Oh, you don't need to know that". If a user lacks information or the ability to use that information it increases the probability that problems will occur and not be solved in a timely manner.


While you make good points, there is an alternate possibility/scenario.

It's not necessarily about "dumb" people wanting things "dumbed down" for them, but rather, people in the US are already pressed for time and overworked. Why does a car mechanic need to know or be over inundated with information about a piece of software for which he cares little about but simply wants to contribute to the cause.

Or a lawyer - a quite educated being - what would he care about all the advanced information in BOINC Manager if he simply wants to contribute his assistance to a worthwhile cause?

For a lot of people out there, they are very educated and very busy with their own lives that simply do not care about stats that are unimportant to them overall. Would it be helpful for them to know? Sure, but where do they find the time? Make time? Maybe it's an option for some, not necessarily all.

Should we limit BOINC-SETI to only those that know how to calculate a Fast Fourier Transform by hand? After all, if you're too dumb to be able to do that, then you won't understand anything on the screen saver graphic.

What about people with learning disabilities? I have a female friend that was in LD the entire time she was in high school. She graduated high school. She's a house wife that loves to take care of her kids. Are her CPU cycles any less important because she doesn't understand anything on the BOINC interface? Is it really "dumbing it down" just because she simply doesn't understand in the first place and would rather have something nice to look at over techno-bable?

This logic flies in the face of the premise of the software - for regular people to donate their spare CPU cycles without needing to know too much about the science behind it. I don't know how you can lump them all as "dumb" simply because they may not be interested in being over inundated with info but still want to help out in their own small way.

Seems quite judgemental and harsh to me.
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Message 390651 - Posted: 7 Aug 2006, 1:28:36 UTC - in response to Message 390399.  

I think it's related to a currently prevailing attitude in the U.S. An example is the poor proficiency test scores in some areas and the "solutions" proposed. Too many students fail or get low scores? Don't look at the factors causing the problems (truancy, overcrowded classrooms, poor teaching practices, etc). Take the simple approach to "fixing" the problem and make the test easier.

There's nothing wrong with making a program look nice but when you sacrifice it's ability to readily display important information it is NOT an improvement. Users need to be informed of the purpose of the information rather than "Oh, you don't need to know that". If a user lacks information or the ability to use that information it increases the probability that problems will occur and not be solved in a timely manner.

Motion seconded.
If it is implemented then i'm glad there will still be an "expert" mode, but surely there must be a middle ground between were everything is eye candy & no substance, and the arcane world of the *NIX command line with it's endless switches?
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Message 390736 - Posted: 7 Aug 2006, 3:21:38 UTC - in response to Message 390399.  

I think it's related to a currently prevailing attitude in the U.S. An example is the poor proficiency test scores in some areas and the "solutions" proposed. Too many students fail or get low scores? Don't look at the factors causing the problems (truancy, overcrowded classrooms, poor teaching practices, etc). Take the simple approach to "fixing" the problem and make the test easier.

There's nothing wrong with making a program look nice but when you sacrifice it's ability to readily display important information it is NOT an improvement. Users need to be informed of the purpose of the information rather than "Oh, you don't need to know that". If a user lacks information or the ability to use that information it increases the probability that problems will occur and not be solved in a timely manner.


Hmm. I just realized that we're talking about two different things. You're talking about hiding information from users just to make it look pretty. Ignorant bliss over technical information.

I'm talking about two options - one for users that have no interest in too much information and one that displays technical information to the user (hopefully in the "advanced view"), where a technical user could still access the information they need, if need be.

In that regard, I agree with you. As a technical user, even though I like pretty, I still want access to the information I need if I have a problem. I really don't think UCB is going to keep us all ignorant just to appeal to the technicallly impaired.
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Message 390754 - Posted: 7 Aug 2006, 4:03:24 UTC

They're not rewriting the software, just putting some makeup on it. All the underlying interface will still exist and be accessible. As I understand it, people complain Boinc is not user friendly with its current layout, so they are looking at a way to present the information without overwhelming the new user. More software today use a simple interface but have an expert mode. Spybot S&D is one example of a program employing this approach.

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