Note to the square UI fans.

Nov 18, 2007 at 6:58pm

Note to the square UI fans.

Regarding Max 5;
I’d like to restate I’m fully in the square corners camp and was disappointed to see my name occluded from the list of 29 vocal square UI supporters. From the Max5 pre-release information I’ve concluded the zoom feature + rounded look is a combination that requires at minimum 3x more energy from the user to accomplish the same task.

Max4: fixed screen, tight organization, (click, edit)
Max5: floating screen, larger patches, (zoom, see, edit, zoom)

It appears other processes such as copy/paste are similarly effected.

Anyway, one upside to Max5 zooming is that less sub-patchers need to be used, however this might encourage users to write less OOP styled code.

Finally, the fixed frame of reference in Max4 is useful for organizing the programmers thoughts while in Max5 energy is lost to a moving frame of reference that hides information from the user (significantly different than a named sub patcher being visible).

I am interested to hear/see how this new workflow is an improvement for the Max programmer. I adopted Max as my digital programming environment and post this message in hopes that Max5 can be good for everyone.

I have some faith C74 will include a UI preference or sensible import feature as I cannot imagine the amount of time users would be forced to spend updating Max4 sources to Max5.

-anthony bisset

#34657
Nov 19, 2007 at 2:56pm

I personally don’t care about whether my corners are square or rounded. If
there was an option, I’d probably leave it on square but probably only for
familiarity’s sake.
As for the zooming, you do make some good points, there are pros and cons to
it and it’s hard to predict what will happen/what is best for the users.
At the end of the day, everyone has their own “style” in Max. Veterans will
stick to that in Max 5. Noobies will find they have much more scope for
developing their own style. Using sub-patches in a modular style may be
“good programming” but the great thing about max is that a lot of the time
it’s irrelevant.
I think the only new feature I’d really take advantage of is the
presentation view.
I can’t see Max 5 slowing down the workflow for most users, if anything it
may be speedier as people will be able to arrange and align things better
using zoom and the dot grid so won’t spend ages staring closely at the
screen to make sure their object boxes are aligned
pixel-perfect…. Is that just me?

On 18/11/2007, Anthony Bisset wrote:
>
>
> Regarding Max 5;
> I’d like to restate I’m fully in the square corners camp and was
> disappointed to see my name occluded from the list of 29 vocal square UI
> supporters. From the Max5 pre-release information I’ve concluded the zoom
> feature + rounded look is a combination that requires at minimum 3x more
> energy from the user to accomplish the same task.
>
> Max4: fixed screen, tight organization, (click, edit)
> Max5: floating screen, larger patches, (zoom, see, edit, zoom)
>
> It appears other processes such as copy/paste are similarly effected.
>
> Anyway, one upside to Max5 zooming is that less sub-patchers need to be
> used, however this might encourage users to write less OOP styled code.
>
> Finally, the fixed frame of reference in Max4 is useful for organizing the
> programmers thoughts while in Max5 energy is lost to a moving frame of
> reference that hides information from the user (significantly different than
> a named sub patcher being visible).
>
> I am interested to hear/see how this new workflow is an improvement for
> the Max programmer. I adopted Max as my digital programming environment and
> post this message in hopes that Max5 can be good for everyone.
>
> I have some faith C74 will include a UI preference or sensible import
> feature as I cannot imagine the amount of time users would be forced to
> spend updating Max4 sources to Max5.
>
> -anthony bisset
>

#117347
Nov 24, 2007 at 2:38am

Oh yes, the align-to-grid will save hours. Something you don’t even think about unless it’s not there.

For me, the composited objects and new Inspectors (with hint built-in) are awesome. Rounded or square, whatever. Pretty much any control you want could be an imported image anyway, so the native display isn’t that relevant. Most actual objects wind up hidden in the end, and should be replaced by a comment or hint if needed, unless you’re showing the object for a reason.

Zooming will be great regardless of what it does to the patching style — it’ll allow tight fits of those little objects that attach to others (like a + 1 on a dropdown that goes to a gate) — things you want right there because they are part of the object, but take up space. Similar to the “select” for tabbing through number boxes — no sense having it elsewhere, but it’s always in the way and tough to connect. The zoom will let you connect these easier when they’re behind other objects. Also, zooming is preferable to scrolling with big big patches, in my mind.

So many new features in 5, the square-rounded debate is a small part of the big picture. Though I can understand the resistance — they are different aesthetics and they can change how one arranges things somewhat. It takes more work to roll your own buttons and such, but it’s worth it if you are concerned about appearance. Then they can be any shape you want using masks, or if you like square corners, no masks needed ;)

–CJ

#117348
Nov 24, 2007 at 7:41pm

#117349

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