UI ideas/questions or can we animate things as smooth as iPhone?

Fabien fleutot+openmoko at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 11:29:19 CEST 2007

On 6/7/07, Michael 'Mickey' Lauer <mickey at openmoko.org> wrote:
> Tomasz Zielinski wrote:
> > If with GTK/Matchbox we cannot achieve such rich, fluid and, erm...,
> > fluid GUI as iPhone, maybe it's not too late to drop GTK and choose
> > other framework, designed for mobile devices and running quick
> > framebuffer operations? GameBoy provided nice full-screen animations
> > in 1989, eighteen years ago.
> I feel your pain. Trust me, it hurts me as well...
> > I'm 100% sure nobody will cry after pure-X11 applications we loose
> > this way. Almost every GTK application would require rewriting/porting
> > to fit OpenMoko capabilities, so it's not great loss too. Not to
> > mention font and other DPI-aware issues.
> Interesting. Can I hear more supportive or counter arguments?
> What do the others think?

I'm only interested in graphic effects if they improve the ease and speed of
my interactions with the phone. Most of graphic effects don't fit in that
category on computers, and my gut feeling is that the smaller the screen,
the worse it gets.

I want something:

- fast. Don't wan't to wait 1 second everytime I open a menu in order to get
it half transparent (and therefore less legible BTW). Maybe I don't want a
menu-based UI at all, actually.

- easily and deeply configurable: because even *I* can't tell what's the
perfect UI for myself without a lot of experimenting. Empowering the users
is not only about giving them the sources, it's also about making them as
easy to change as possible, so the rapid prototyping abilities of the whole
framework are extremely important.

And actually, I might want it bad enough to implement it. I'd bet on some
tiny, X11-less GUI for responsiveness, plus a layer of Lua bindings for the
rapid prototyping aspects. Anyway, AFAIK the widgets implemented in the
common, big open-source toolkits have been designed for big screen + mouse,
so it's more important to easily write new widgets than having loads of
unadapted, XVGA-oriented ones.

Note that this approach is not incompatible with the heavier, GTK-based one:
once an interesting user experience is found on a lightweight and easy to
tweak UI, it can be transposed on the
heavy one(s).
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