- VS2019 removed at least two important features from VS2017 (export of profiler results and the concurrency profiler)
- Firefox "new" extension API still means you can't remove the top tab bar from tree style tabs (best FF extension) without hacks
- Current Dropbox versions are incredibly invasive. They popup when opening a word document. When pluggin in my Camera. And now started showing a glowing red "error" because I "only" have a Pro account and no business account (when using 0,4% of my storage). Also they still have no way of ignoring folders.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware just jumped the shark two (?) years ago with its redesign. It was so good back then
- Skype is being almost completely unusable. Still popular because of the name unfortunately
- Imgur is a joke and became what it was literally founded to avoid
- The new Reddit layout is borderline unusable. They will lose the rest of the core users when they disable the old. subdomain
- Teamviewer. How is it possible that such an program is not backwards compatible between versions? Everytime I want to use it it's a dance to quickly delete/find/install a version that the other side has
- I don't understand how the "modern" Windows start menu works they introduced in Win 8 I think. Luckily everyone I know uses classicshell
- Phones have gotten almost to the point of being unusable. The latency, audio quality, skipping and hearing your own voice made me avoid phone conversations for years now. Even landlines are all digital and horribly compressed. Humanity had that one nailed in the 60s.
The redesign optimized for that and as a result you, I and everyone else with hundreds of contacts lost our collective minds.
I 100% get that it's worse for you (and me too) but I think it's important to look at what they were actually trying to do and it makes sense.
Let me guess: too much trouble for a developer to implement and maintain.
Calls not connecting despite both users being online
Calls dropping suddenly
Calls seeming to connect but neither user can see or hear the other
Video freezing for one user while fine for the other
User showing up as online when not
User showing up as not online when actually online
I wonder if their case studies showed these would cause users to flock to this "walking dead" app. But hey, a UX lead got to put "re-designed Skype" on their resume, and their logo animates differently while connecting, so they have that going for them.
> In the first half of 2015, the next version of Lync will become Skype for Business with a new client experience, new server release and updates to the service in Office 365
The current start menu was introduced in Windows 10 though even the initial 10 version was a bit different. Windows 8 had a "start screen" where there were only tiles (that are now at the side) and took the entire screen.
Because the Windows 8 start screen and the initial Windows 10 start menu strongly deemphasized folders (submenus) everything was placed on the top level (in Windows 8 you'd see even subfolder icons on the top level). More recent versions of Windows 10 have the start menu show proper folders by default, but they use a tree-like "flow down" approach instead of an actual popup menu approach which makes navigating them harder.
These two combined makes the start menu a mess with tons of toplevel entries for applications that you are not going to use often or at all and a UI that makes it hard to create proper categories.
Nowadays we have more applications and programs than we ever had in the history of personal computing, yet the UIs for launchers are now being made as if we only have a handful of applications. This is true not only for Windows but also for launchers like those found in GNOME, elementaryOS, etc.
So I only use the search feature which works ok most of the time. Some days ago I fixed the printer on my wife's laptop which involved a restart as usual. Right after the restart I typed "printer" in the search field and all I got was web -search. So right after a restart windows "forgets" that it has a native setting for configuring printers (and basicly everthing else).
If anything i'd say that .desktop files are among the few things that Free Desktop got right (though i think that is largely because they're basically KDE1's .kdelnk or whatever they were called).
I'm asking, because whenever I hear people complain about phone software that just breaks, it's almost always Android, and with good reason: They have to support a lot more phones than iOS, and Android is a lot more open.
So I just wanted to air the idea that you could try with an iPhone. iOS may lack some of the feature Android users are used to, but in my experience, it's just more stable, and I don't at all share the sentiment that "phones are unusable" or that the audio quality is bad or anything of the kind. If there's one device I can always count on working, it's my phone.
Recently I noticed that in specific location 3G UMTS call quality is much worse than 2G GSM...
(and there is that weird VoLTE, but it apparently requires specifically supported phone by operator with branded firmware..why!?)
Unfortunately it does not help you if you want to use the regular dialer to access the telco voice networks and/or nobody you know has the app.
Lots of software used to do maintenance releases but sadly this practice seems to have gone out of fashion. Software upgrades are almost always now "take it all or leave it".
- Android Studio... don't get me started.
It was something like ~$15-$25 per copy in licensing fees that they could save. Moving that to a Store purchase was purely a financial move to save Windows costs. For everyone complaining about the Candy Crush installer shortcut, imagine how many ads there'd be if they still included DVD playing out of the box, even though hardly no one was using it.
Note that WIN+search orders results by hits so if you use it for a while it gets better. Also if you don't use file search you should turn it off as this makes search faster for starting programs.
What's that app? I mean which one exactly? I have some OS/2 copies in VM
Two things - pi hole or something like it is a godsend. It makes many sites filled to brim with nonsense become usable.
For phones, one plus seems to have done well with using fast CPUs and cutting down on bloat at the same time.
OT, but does anyone know if there is an API-shim for dropbox integrations? I use YNAB classic and that’s the only reason I have dropbox and it is utterly horrible.
edit: I just deleted dropbox. I’ll sync YNAB manually instead. Dropbox behaves like malware.
Now I’m not saying that ”high level engineers” are less engineers than others, but it’s not surprising that we’re moving in the direction we’re moving. It’s by design.
(Now this doesn’t explain everything, far from it, but IMO it’s why we see an image writer weighting in on 300MB compared to a C/C++ version at <1MB)
While I agree with you here, there is also a point that it might attract new and younger users with its more 'modern' look.
Personally I like sites like HN or the old style wikipedia for its information density and out of the way design. But that might just be the age talking here. People that grow up now that mostly scroll by touching the screen with their fingers have other requirements and ideas about good UI.
It plainly sucks.
At least unlike other sites, they have the decency to leave the old UIs around, so not everything is bad.
All the HN comments here about Reddit are talking about how they feel and their bubble feels. Which I personally agree with. But I’m not representative of every day user.
That keeps my point in tact and covers the vast majority of the population
To be honest, I actually don't mind that so much. The thing that annoys me about Reddit is the whole ads-that-look-like-posts thing.
It literally fails utterly at the singular thing it is supposed to do. Makes me feel less bad about my own managerial driven development.
Have you tried Nextcloud?
It is not invasive and is able to ignore folders. There are paid providers available though I have never tried them, I host my own instance.
Recently this came up in discussion with a software developer who was overly concerned with openssl certificate minutiae. I advised the only durable solution for his concerns is a method to change the entire implementation, not only the certs.
They give you more free disk space with little extra UI.
Eventually I may get to the point where my whole operating system has a lock file. That would be nice.
That's a weird statement. You can move from graphical apps towards text-based ones, or from proprietary software to FOSS, or even from graphical, proprietary apps to text-based, FOSS ones, but the combination you gave mixes up two mainly unrelated factors.
- Vizio Smartcast. I bought it as a simple display plus Chromecast. Later, updates turned in into a household ad billboard every time I turn it on.
-windows 7 (upgraded only for widi support - and i miss them)
- skype (i d never upgrade if i could)
- photoshop standalone (still use it)
- office 2007 ( still use it)
- dropbox (no option there)
- old reddit
- iphone 6
- jquery (plan to avoid npm until it dies of natural causes)
- windows movie maker / photos
In fact it s getting harder to think of things that are clearly better.
Not only are newer versions slower, they re lacking features that were working just fine. Something happened in the past 4 years and suddenly worse became cool again. There s def a worrying trend.
My theory: the mobilification of everything is destroying tech. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: make everything mobile-friendly so more people switch to mobile-only (why?). Second, mobile has terrible user feedback mechanisms. It's too burdensome to send feedback and the apps are so limited that there's physically no space for asking to add new features on the screen. That's why it's largely desktop apps that are affected - not server apps.
(Ironically, table-based HN has the best responsive behavior for reading text on mobile than any "responsive" site).
No it doesn't, HN literally sucks on mobile. From the top of my head:
- On the front page I always click the stories title when I want to click on the "xxx comments" link
- When reading comments, it's impossible to use the tiny [-] buttons to collapse threads
- "code" blocks are still broken
Same goes for sites that don't scale nicely and have interfaces designed for desktop. "Clicking" links is always easy.
I use this extension and it's super useful: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...
The new site is way way slower to load, which i can notice immediately if i open it on a browser that doesn't have the extension installed :/
Until you have a certain nesting depth of comments, then they get condensed pretty hard.
Mon dieu. What witchcraft have you invoked to keep that working for so long? Surely not on the same computer for all these years? I feel like MS Office was total garbage until they hit v2013.
(†) I'd like to put it down to only having tried it during that period of time you're referring to, so I will :)
They would be IrfanView (image viewer) and foobar2000 (mp3 player).
Both programs are very minimal and have stayed true to their vision. Using them today feels similar to how it was 5 or even 10 years ago, but at the same time subtle improvements have been made too. Both are still under active development, so it's not a matter of them not being updated for years.
Too bad there's no Linux version.
Apparently, on Nov 5th Apple released 11.2.1, but still haven't put it in the App Store. I didn't know about it.
Ended up being a 7.3gb download and about 10 minutes to extract the .xip file on my 12 core 2.9ghz macbook pro.
The struggle is real.
They probably evolve slower than newer younger players because of their stability (and baggage).
I'd be interested in knowing what they do right.
Everything! But most importanlty, the people who make them use them. There are so many bugs in skype nowadays that it's fair to assume its developers have switched to something else!
I just received a new work laptop and the license for 11 refused to deactivate, so I can’t activate it on my new Laptop.
Usually IT or whoever would contact support but with a couple buyouts under us it was licensed to a company that no longer exists.
Trying to talk IT into getting me a new expensive license for an outdated piece of software I’m not even sure they’ll sell you so I can have a couple convenience features is out of the question.
I’m very frustrated.
This is IMO one of the greatest challenge the software engineering field needs to solve.
APIs used to be cleaner and more atomic, today they seem like very leaky abstractions and breaking changes seem to be all the rage.
Previously, breaking changes were seen as a serious thing as it meant the API signatures/functionality was missing and needed to be broken.
Today, breaking changes is just part of the "move fast and break things" fad that developers don't even try to make a stable/consistent API anymore.
Lots of the problems are that development/engineering is no longer in the hands of developers/engineering/product people or designers, it is pushed by project managers and bizdev/MBAs/marketing/finance which is backwards. Good products should be built, with lots of thought into long living APIs and limited breaking changes and maintenance, that is then marketed and sold because it is value, instead we get the exact opposite. Rarely does software today ever get to a stable phase before the platform is version two'd, and there is no time added for software quality or solid products, features and underlying systems are in constant harvest and replanting.
Stable consistent APIs don't help lock-in and they don't sell books, conferences, or allow large companies more control. For larger companies to keep control they need to break standards, and regularly break their own platforms to keep people updating and invested, it sucks and is why software is so bad today.
I do not think this is true, Windows has a lock-in on desktop explicitly because it has a stable API that allowed it to amass a huge library of software that keeps people relying on it to get that software working.
For the largest majority of people, Windows' worth is its stable API (even if they do not realize it).
When they have a monopoly or near monopoly like Microsoft does with the desktop and Windows, less need for churn to keep people on it but lack of competitors. Azure has gone through lots of churn because of heavy competition.
Maybe competition, which is good, causes all this breaking software changes but change is good as well. Software change should just be a little more stable and developer/engineer/product/designer led not just the money/marketing/oversight pushed.
Unfortunately standards get wrecked when platforms are going for lock-in and control, Microsoft/Google etc are all to blame for that. It isn't the engineers pushing for that mostly. Standards at least promote some level of stable APIs, but they don't lock-in and so big fish and sharks eat them up and break them.
However Apple is greatly responsible for HTML5 and browsers today, as well as the handheld gaming revolution on mobile.
Webkit, Canvas, SVG, OpenGL ES + WebGL (through Khronos sponsorship) and more were open sourced or pushed by Apple.
Chrome/Safari basically every browser that is good came from Webkit and Apple opening that up. Granted that originally game from KHTML and KJS libraries from KDE but it exploded with Apple support.
I left them out because they still have some grace left.
Google and Microsoft squash standards and Microsoft is famous for "embrace, extend, extinguish" which Google now employs.
Microsoft has been better recently but only because they lost developers during the Ballmer era and they have a desktop monopoly and their new OS is cloud where they are competitive with Azure so they are pushing standards more and cross platform to win back developers.
Google is entering their Ballmer era currently.
Apple doesn't have the power for that yet with developers, though they are not engineer/open focused typically and especially now in the COO era and have their own Ballmer vibe currently, but they are still riding on some fuel from Webkit, Canvas, SVG, HTML5, OpenGL ES + WebGL support which really helped handheld gaming and web gaming.
The linux kernel does not provide a stable ABI for drivers. Drivers that aren't in the kernel source tree will eventually break.
On the one hand it gives hardware vendors an incentive to contribute their drivers directly into their kernel but on the other hand most Android phones are now restricted to one old kernel version due to the lack of ongoing support from SoC vendors.
I assume that the majority of Linux kernels are running on Android phones and due to this lack of stable ABI for drivers these kernels are all outdated or even unmaintained.
Did this policy cause more harm than good?
No, it's because the hardware manufacturers won't upstream their drivers. All they have to do is send the code licensed under GPLv2 and it will be updated and maintained.
Stable ABI for drivers will result in the Windows situation: hardware vendors will just release one driver for one Windows version and one processor architecture. They don't seem to care very much so why should people optimize for their comfort? The least they could do is release free software so that the people who do care can make it work well.
My laptop has a backlit keyboard with RGB LEDs. The only driver for it is a single proprietary Windows driver coupled with a buggy and slow application. I doubt these things will ever be updated.
I actually emailed the manufacturer about this. I asked for technical information in order to make it work on Linux. They didn't or couldn't help me. So I reverse engineered the keyboard, made a Linux program to control the LEDs and the result was much better than the software they wrote for Windows. At least it doesn't take a full minute to start up.
There is no point in making these companies comfortable. People should do the opposite: it should be as expensive as humanly possible to not release the drivers as free software. If they insist on maintaining proprietary drivers out of tree, then they should absolutely pay the maintenance cost. Kernel hackers shouldn't have to spend one second thinking about how a change will impact some crappy proprietary driver that's not even in the kernel tree.
Android phones don't get more than 3 years of support and my fear/tinfoil theory is that the vendors abuse the good intention of the kernel devs to deprecate old devices faster.
Uh, I dare say Windows hardware + driver compatibility is pretty damn good, so this doesn't really resonate with me... at all. Has not being able to install Windows XP on a modern machine left you bitter...? Or have I been living in a bubble?
You probably know this, but that's most definitely not true. After they get their code correctly licensed, they still have to get the code up to the standards of the mainline kernel, get it through reviews, plus at least act like they intend to maintain it. Probably actually do that too, if you want any future changes to go in.
That seems like a dubious assertion. I've heard several cases of driver regressions in new kernel versions, and because of the model that means you can't just use the older one.
A fixed piece of software can have a limited lifetime for only two reasons: Dependence on ephemeral infrastructure (e.g. cloud services that disappear or change), and assumptions that fail over time (e.g. "the device will never be used after 2020" + hardcoded calendar).
Only the first can be caused by API changes, and the API changes are usually always caused by voluntary product rewrite and infrastructure deprecation, not by security issues.
In other words, the problems spawn from entirely voluntary and technically unnecessary actions, and you cannot claim that is caused by some unavoidable law of nature, such proliferation of security issues.
If old APIs required no maintenance it would be fairly simple to leave them around.
However, APIs are built on an ever deeper stack of APIs that go all the way back to the Operating system and through internet protocols (APIs) right across the internet. Each API gets updates and fixes and things get deprecated. Bit-rot sets in and things stop working.
My original comment was suggesting that if everyone just left their old APIs around forever then the world would be filled with unpatched APIs with security flaws and I was not sure that would be a better place to be than the world of bit-rot that we have now.
Sounds like something would've Intel said internally before Meltdown / Spectre were discovered.
I’m thinking with access to the git repo as well as the relevant package manager you could get pretty close.
Good way to illustrate upgrade requirements to a product owner.