Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

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Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Teggun » 2018-3-15 @ 01:22

Hey everyone!

Recently, i had a discussion with some friends about old and new software and how things have changed and it got me wondering what the wonderful forum-goers of VOGONS thought about this topic, and what kind of opinions they would have!

More specifically we were discussing about stuff we used to find in software that we miss the most, most of the opinions thrown around in the conversation were about UI design, and about ways software development has changed with time as well as stuff that we were happy to see changed, either because whatever it was that replaced it was much better or because whatever was there before was something you didn't like.

Overall the conversation is about stuff you liked from software and software development changes over time and stuff that you miss about it all, either because it holds nostalgic value or because there were some things you think worked out better.

Maybe there were some old projects that didn't make it to the present day that you wish were developed more? Any software products you enjoyed using but don't like how they turned out over time? Or maybe the other way around, some software you didn't like but it's now something you enjoy!

The choice is yours!
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Errius » 2018-3-15 @ 01:30

Stop messing with browser design. Leave long-established features alone (e.g. Home button), or at least give users the option of restoring them easily. (Opera!)
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Teggun » 2018-3-15 @ 01:35

Errius wrote:Stop messing with browser design. Leave long-established features alone (e.g. Home button), or at least give users the option of restoring them easily. (Opera!)


Haha, that's something that our discussion group talked about!
Most of the group agreed that they wouldn't mind UI experimentation at all if they were given at least an option to go back to the original designs.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby squiggly » 2018-3-15 @ 01:37

Before Doom turned Id software guys into rock stars, game development was not a particularly cool profession. Most programmers would have preferred to go to work for Apple, IBM or Microsoft than write games. It was a kind of loser job. And that's what made the developers so awesome - they weren't always technical geniuses, they were often odd-bods, weirdos, with wacky ideas and humor and lifestyles - in other words exactly the kinds of creative minds you want to make games. People then weren't in it for the money - because there wasn't much money to be made. A game that sold a few tens of thousands would be a huge success. Over 100k would be a mega-hit. Game developers made normal or below industry average wages. There was a degree of authenticity to everything and a real pioneering spirit. They had fun, and we had fun playing the games. We fell in love with characters and settings and worlds they created.

Fast forward today and game development is a brutal profit driven industry. There is big money to be made, and everyone is in it for the money. "Lovable characters" are now churned out by committees and design studios. Programmers are now asshole brogrammers. Hardly anyone is having fun, apart from when they are counting the cash. And the crap they pump out deserves to be forgotten as quickly as they release the next year's edition of exactly the same crap.

There is a reason we try and keep the past alive - it was simply better, done by better people.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby 133MHz » 2018-3-15 @ 05:13

I like skeuomorphism. I like a bit of 3D shading on user interfaces to aid intuitiveness and discoverability, but no useless eye candy please. I like text on buttons & controls (even though it tends to be a bit of a problem in my native spanish because simple words are usually much longer than in english, leading to awkward localisations and lots of abbreviations). Nowadays everything looks flat and dull, you've no idea what's interactive and what's not and interfaces seems like they're designed for the illiterate with their mish-mash of pictograms. It seems like everything is headed in that direction and I don't like it.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby oeuvre » 2018-3-15 @ 16:52

This is how I setup Firefox. Works perfectly IMO.

I liked the way earlier Firefox versions (2-3) were laid out.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Teggun » 2018-3-15 @ 22:53

squiggly wrote:Fast forward today and game development is a brutal profit driven industry. There is big money to be made, and everyone is in it for the money. "Lovable characters" are now churned out by committees and design studios. Programmers are now asshole brogrammers. Hardly anyone is having fun, apart from when they are counting the cash. And the crap they pump out deserves to be forgotten as quickly as they release the next year's edition of exactly the same crap.

There is a reason we try and keep the past alive - it was simply better, done by better people.


So, would you say that game development is best as a humble and fun project? It seems like that's how many of the big game development companies started out as, including ID Software, small and humble, just a couple of people/friends doing their thing.

What about independent developers today? (Or "indie" if you prefer)
I've seen some games classified as indie that seem to have real love put into them, or at least it looks like it, can't know for sure how the devs feel. Of course it's also upsetting to me to see some gems being overshadowed by the big releases of that time but that's another story.

133MHz wrote:I like skeuomorphism. I like a bit of 3D shading on user interfaces to aid intuitiveness and discoverability, but no useless eye candy please. I like text on buttons & controls (even though it tends to be a bit of a problem in my native spanish because simple words are usually much longer than in english, leading to awkward localisations and lots of abbreviations). Nowadays everything looks flat and dull, you've no idea what's interactive and what's not and interfaces seems like they're designed for the illiterate with their mish-mash of pictograms. It seems like everything is headed in that direction and I don't like it.


I adore that 3D "feel" in designs, and i also prefer to have as little "bells and whistles" as possible to get the job done comfortably, although i would also understand if someone didn't like it and wanted something else added or something different entirely!

oeuvre wrote:This is how I setup Firefox. Works perfectly IMO.

I liked the way earlier Firefox versions (2-3) were laid out.


Instant kudos for that NIN tab.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby subhuman@xgtx » 2018-3-16 @ 02:23

I dislike the overall user interface/web design move towards flat design. Everything everywhere looks the same. Having less visual hints gets to a point where it starts becoming counterproductive, and the excessive use of white on white (alas Windows 10 Appx/Explorer) is exhausting for people like me who have to cope with myodesopsia.

Sorry! I love 256 color icons and 3d shaded menus too much.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby leileilol » 2018-3-16 @ 02:51

I hate how 'skinned apps' look when they come from commercial software. More often than not those particular ones don't respect custom color schemes that do white over black text and accessibility....

i.e. everything since 2000
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby DosDaddy » 2018-3-16 @ 04:22

Well, I've never been a fan of Java or .NET, and a decade ago I wouldn't have bothered installing either, except for the sake of a couple applications, but now it's a completely different story for those hoping to extend the useful life of Windows XP (not an easy task anymore with so many developers dropping support for anything older than Vista). I'd say that's been a slow but drastic (and ultimately negative) change.

Out the multitude of good apps that are no longer being developed, here's a few, in no particular order:

DVD Decrypter
Proxomitron
Sygate Personal Firewall Pro
ffdshow
WinMX
PowerStrip
ACDSee Classic
AOLPress
FastMAME
AATools
Vidalia
Xnews
Ulead Gif Animator
CDRWIN
GSpot
PGP CKT

And here's also some that essentially morphed into mockeries of themselves:

RegSeeker
Daemon Tools Lite
Opera
uTorrent
Forxit reader
SpyBot
CoolEdit Pro
PhotoShop
Forceware


...the list goes on and on.

Fortunately some of these apps I can still use (with or without third party hacks), and some I've found worthy replacements for, so it ain't the end of the road just yet.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Errius » 2018-3-16 @ 06:08

Oh yes, that reminds me of the battles over FileZilla. I think it no longer tries to install crapware. (The developer took a lot of flak for that.) But the ads are still annoying.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby DosDaddy » 2018-3-19 @ 06:21

For Doom mappers a lot of things have changed. Personally I was and still am very satisfied with WadAuthor. It's clean, fast, powerful and intuitive. Sure it has it's very own way of doing things, but I don't recall ever hitting a wall for vanilla maps, and I never had it crash on me either. Unfortunately this beautiful piece of software was abandoned many moons ago.

Surely Doom Builder (the long established de facto Doom map editor) wasn't the first one to get a 3d editing mode, but that kind of takes away from the overall experience and thrill of watching an abstract 2d idea come to 3d life one step at a time. Ultimately, though, that's a personal preference, but I like the way it was done before.

As for resource editors, WinTex, also dead and gone, was the last one that did what it was supposed to do and did it well, and it's got a classic win31-ish GUI, which makes it all the more likeable if you appreciate that kind of aesthetics.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2018-3-19 @ 11:34

The latest Samsung Android phone I bought:
(1) doesn't allow me to move applications to SD card.
(2) always sneakily installs application updates whenever I am connected to a wi-fi network, and regardless of my settings.

I'm not really a "social media" person. The only social apps I have on my Android Phone is WhatsApp, because my clients and associates use the damn thing, and Gojek, a local drive share application which I often found very handy whenever I need quick transport. There. I don't have Instagram, I don't have Twitter, and I have closed my Facebook account about a year ago. But thanks to Samsung's policy of mercilessly filling my phone's internal storage with updates, while not allowing me to move those goddamn apps to SD card, my phone routinely bugs me with "storage full, please delete some files" error message.

So this is the way Samsung gives a big middle finger to their customers while saying, "if you need bigger storage, then you must buy more expensive phone!" The users should not be allowed to move their apps to SD card; the users must constantly buy a new goddamn phone every few months, because some Armani-clad sociopaths in Samsung need new yuppie blings.

So, to address the OP, I miss the day when we the users still had full control over the electronics we bought.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Errius » 2018-3-19 @ 13:07

I have the same problem with my Xperia Arc S. Certain programs insist on using internal storage and will refuse to install to the SD card. Plus the OEM insists on filling the internal storage with useless programs that can't be deleted. I haven't tried it yet, but there are apparently hacks to let you get around this.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby nforce4max » 2018-3-19 @ 19:54

Firefox used to be pretty decent on old hardware until recent years where even modern computers are now struggling to run it should you have more than a couple of tabs open, eats up ram like nothing else.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby 640K!enough » 2018-3-19 @ 21:09

I have three main things that bother me about the direction in which the industry has been going:

  1. The steady decline in the quality of Apple's software, and more recently, their designs, too. The company that had previously set the standard for usability is now consistently making changes for change's sake, apparently with no thought about usability or UI fundamentals. Over years, they seem unable or unwilling to properly implement standard protocols. It's shameful that they are letting their arrogance and greed get the best of them (again!).
  2. The approach to Web development; specifically, the fact that the industry seems to be settling on JavaScript for client and server-side tasks, and throwing the kitchen sink and beyond into browsers. It's a security and data compromise nightmare waiting to happen. The recent example is Chrome's WebUSB. This is a feature looking for a problem to solve, and I can't imagine any legitimate uses that couldn't be implemented more securely by other means. The ideal is to give browsers less access and control, not more. It's not a question of whether this will blow up in our faces, but how soon.
  3. The attitude of companies lately, where the sentiment seems to be that hardware we buy isn't really ours, and they are entitled to siphon any data they please, for any purpose they please, without consequence or obligation. To re-word a famous old line, it's like they feel, "all your data are belong to us". We're on a very slippery slope with this, and it won't be too long before someone loses their footing; hopefully it's one of these data-siphoning corporate monstrosities, rather than the users.

This list could actually be longer, but I'll start with those.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2018-3-20 @ 07:19

Errius wrote:I have the same problem with my Xperia Arc S. Certain programs insist on using internal storage and will refuse to install to the SD card. Plus the OEM insists on filling the internal storage with useless programs that can't be deleted. I haven't tried it yet, but there are apparently hacks to let you get around this.

I see. Thanks for the heads-up. Another phone manufacturer to boycott then. I guess my next phone will be Lenovo, or even some cheapo, no-name Chinese brand --anything that does not try to flood my internal storage with garbage.
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Re: Opinions in regards to changes in software over time!

Postby Teggun » 2018-3-24 @ 13:16

subhuman@xgtx wrote:I dislike the overall user interface/web design move towards flat design. Everything everywhere looks the same. Having less visual hints gets to a point where it starts becoming counterproductive, and the excessive use of white on white (alas Windows 10 Appx/Explorer) is exhausting for people like me who have to cope with myodesopsia.

Sorry! I love 256 color icons and 3d shaded menus too much.


I agree, I've heard people talk about how much they enjoy the way applications and the web look now, i wouldn't want to completely remove that option for people if they really enjoyed it that much, but i would at least like an option for everyone, including those 256 colors and 3d menus that i adore. Not sure how difficult this would be on developers but hey i can dream.

leileilol wrote:I hate how 'skinned apps' look when they come from commercial software. More often than not those particular ones don't respect custom color schemes that do white over black text and accessibility....

i.e. everything since 2000


Ah, yes, i believe I've used some of those applications, luckily though i think they had options to switch to the system scheme, whenever they didn't though, they would stick out like a sore thumb among all your other applications.

DosDaddy wrote:For Doom mappers a lot of things have changed. Personally I was and still am very satisfied with WadAuthor. It's clean, fast, powerful and intuitive. Sure it has it's very own way of doing things, but I don't recall ever hitting a wall for vanilla maps, and I never had it crash on me either. Unfortunately this beautiful piece of software was abandoned many moons ago.

Surely Doom Builder (the long established de facto Doom map editor) wasn't the first one to get a 3d editing mode, but that kind of takes away from the overall experience and thrill of watching an abstract 2d idea come to 3d life one step at a time. Ultimately, though, that's a personal preference, but I like the way it was done before.

As for resource editors, WinTex, also dead and gone, was the last one that did what it was supposed to do and did it well, and it's got a classic win31-ish GUI, which makes it all the more likeable if you appreciate that kind of aesthetics.


I've always been one to like simplicity in programs, also the idea of building something in a 2D plane and watching it come to life in 3D seems appealing, too.


Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:The latest Samsung Android phone I bought:
(1) doesn't allow me to move applications to SD card.
(2) always sneakily installs application updates whenever I am connected to a wi-fi network, and regardless of my settings.

...

So, to address the OP, I miss the day when we the users still had full control over the electronics we bought.


I have experienced the same issues, although i try to be very careful with the storage in my current phone, i still get a very big chunk of space taken away by stuff that i don't really use but i can't uninstall, well, easily anyway.
Not to mention whenever a friend or family comes to me asking me why their phone is already full, i seem to always struggle with the interface to have some things erased/moved.

nforce4max wrote:Firefox used to be pretty decent on old hardware until recent years where even modern computers are now struggling to run it should you have more than a couple of tabs open, eats up ram like nothing else.


I've had to deal with this issue because a friend's computer was starting to slow down pretty badly, turns out Firefox was using up most of the RAM they had on their machine (it was a pretty old laptop) and was starting to use swap and getting very slow, although i could say the same about most of the common browsers, at least in my experience, since i tried to install a variety of other options in the same laptop and there were very small differences, but they all still used quite a lot of RAM imho.

640K!enough wrote:I have three main things that bother me about the direction in which the industry has been going:
...

I personally think Apple's hardware and software have been in decline too, although i know plenty that tells me that things are just fine, don't know why.

In regards to the web development and security, i agree, another example is the injection of Cryptocurrency miners into advertisement and just sites in general, like you explained, and i agree with, the point should be to have less access and control, not more, the problem is that so many places now rely on these features that if any one browser were to decide to completely axe them it would put them at risk, because their specific browser would be unable to visit many popular sites.

As for data collection, there are some cases where i'm OK with some data being collected, if it's for say, bug reporting, crash reporting, stuff that would supposedly help improve the software, however i dislike when stuff that's not really relevant to such a thing is piled together with the data that's supposedly being collected for the specific purpose of "bug/crash reporting".
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