I'm a little pissed off at BitPim right now. I'm also pissed off at whatever idiot decided it would be a good idea to emulate MacOS.

I just finished using BitPim to get some pictures off my cell phone. Now, for whatever reason, BitPim saves everything is downloads in its own data folder. Apparently it wants to be a one-stop PIM suite that integrates with your cell phone. Whatever.... I think that's a complete waste of time, but I don't know of any other program that runs on Linux and lets me access my phone, so I use it BitPim anyway.

Anyway, today I was stupid enough to try to use the "save" feature for pictures to move them out of the BitPim folder and put them with the rest of my images. I have a folder of other images from my camera, so I figured I'd put them there. However, before I clicked the "OK" button in the save dialog, I realized that I don't completely trust BitPim and decided I'd better check if that folder already had files with the same names as the ones I was saving. It did, so I tried to click the "cancel" button. The only problem was, some moron decided it would be a good idea to put the "OK" button on the right, where the cancel button normally is. By the time I realized this, I'd already clicked "OK" and BitPim happily overwrote my existing files without so much as a warning.

Now, I'm not really too upset about the lost images. They weren't really that important to me. In fact, I don't even remember what they were of. I'm just irritated because the loss was so easily avoidable. For one thing, it's not really that hard to check if a file path already exists. Just a confirmation box would have been enough. In fact, a confirmation box was the least they could do, since I was "saving" multiple files, which means the file picker only showed directories, so I couldn't actually see if there were any files already in the target path.

The second thing, i.e. the position of the OK button, really gets on my nerves. I mean, I knew I wanted to cancel the operation, so I did what I always do: I immediately went for the right-most button. It was completely automatic; I didn't even realize what I was doing until it was already too late. After all, I work at a computer every day, using Windows at work and KDE at home, and the right-most button is alwasy - always - the "cancel" or "no" button. Why would they switch it to the other side? Are they stupid or something?

Most likely, somebody thought it would be a good idea to emulate the MacOS style, kind of like the GNOME people do. And, as Tog pointed out, putting the "OK" button on the right is the more natural design decision. However, Tog also admits that it just doesn't matter anymore. Once Windows hit 90% desktop market share, such small design choices, even if they were correct before, became wrong. In a perfect world, where everyone came to your software with no bad habits, then maybe putting "OK" on the right would be the right choice. But we don't live in a perfect world, and if your software is cross platform, then the odds are that most of the people who use it will be used to Windows. And for any user who is used to Windows, putting "OK" on the right is unequicially wrong.

I guess I'm just sick of developers, especially in the free software world, doing things differently just for the sake of being different. Or perhaps I should say for the sake of not being like Microsoft. There's plenty of room to do new and innovative things without worrying about petty little details like button position. It's not doing your users any favors. This is especially true for people like me, who use Windows at work and Linux (or whatever your favorite OS is) at home. And since I can't choose not to use Windows, guess which piece of software I'll be looking to dump....

You know, years ago I thought the disconnect in user experience didn't matter. I figured that the people who complained about moving back and forth between Windows and Linux were just lamers looking for something to complain about. After a while, though, it really does start to grate on you. It's not an immediately fatal problem, but more like an itch that you can't quite reach. It's not a big deal at first, but it doesn't go away slowly builds up to the point where it drives you insane. That's part of the reason that I use KDE these days - because it can easily be configured to work like Windows.

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Comments #

    Vexatiously

    Some people moronically click without looking

    That's not as near the top of the list as signing contract without reading and understanding

    • Comment posted on Wednesday 11 Feb 2015 at 9:09am
    • By Ray n'ing

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