957 reputation
411
bio website purl.org/net/oakley
location Barrington, IL
age 54
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen Aug 6 at 21:15

I started as a FORTRAN programmer, paid my dues writing C and X11/Motif, switched to Perl, discovered Tk, and from that, Tcl, and spent the next decade plus writing cross-platform GUIs in Tcl/Tk.

I then spent three years using python and a smattering of ruby to create a cross-platform automated testing framework. I am now working in an all-Windows shop, again building an automated testing framework and still using Python.

The open source projects I currently am active on are:

I also maintain a sporadically-updated blog at boakley.github.io, focused mainly on my work with the robot framework.


Apr
12
comment Are there any statistics on what orientation people prefer to hold tablets at?
"There is no correct answer to this question since it depends entirely on the actual picture. In case of tablets: it depend on the application" -- I'm not convinced this is a true statement. Sure, it definitely depends on some apps. For example, I would never play pinball in landscape. However, in my experience, people have clear preferences. I never use portrait except in isolated cases. I know others who exclusively use portrait. Therefore I think the question can be answered, especially since a great many apps can be used in either.
Feb
28
comment What does the 4 symbol on the top-right signify?
I get a 404 with that link.
Feb
28
comment Is it a good user experience to have drag and drop in tablet apps?
The iPad's home screen uses drag and drop to move icons around. So it's not like there's no built-in drag and drop on the iPad.
Feb
21
comment Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?
@KenLiu: Yes, I know it can be done with some hardware, but it may not have been originally possible with some of the earlier laptops or with some of the cheaper laptops. My point is, some manufacturers may have gone this route simply because they didn't control the wifi hardware and may not have had much control over the OS either. What they did have control over, is adding a small hardware switch to their design, so that's what they did.
Feb
21
comment Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?
@kaz: assuming that the wifi device can actually be controlled by software. Perhaps they are using cheap hardware that can only be controlled by a physical switch.
Feb
19
comment Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?
I'm not saying it's the best solution. The question was about who would need such a thing. People who want to save power need such a thing. It's at leadt plausible that a physical switch may have been easier to manufacture at the time, then it would have been to build a software solution. Or maybe the misguided engineers didn't consider usability as a factor. Shocking, I know, but I've heard it happens.
Feb
18
comment Who needs an external on/off Wi-Fi button?
Yes it can be done. Just as effectively? That part is debatable -- a switch is certainly easier to flip than having to do a handful of clicks and double-clicks to get to a settings menu somewhere. Also, a physical switch implies you are physically turning the power off, which might give one more peace of mind that flipping a virtual switch.
Feb
13
comment Does a list of checkboxes necessarily mean multiple choices?
@JonW: these conventions have been in place pretty much since the invention of the checkbutton and radiobutton. This distinction is precisely why there are two different types of buttons.
Jan
30
comment What's the best way to navigate from between two screens in an App?
When you say "Amazon kindler", do you mean the kindle, or is "kindler" an app?
Jan
15
comment How to not make my website have a “1990's” look
I would suggest that for a non-designer, you should avoid picking fonts altogether, and stick with the defaults.
Jan
6
comment Recommended pixel size for labels for mobile?
Do you realize Apple's recommendations are specifically for Apple devices?
Jan
6
comment What are the differences between buttons and links?
Buttons have been around much longer in UI design than links.
Jan
6
comment What are the differences between buttons and links?
I would say a button does something, rather than make something. But otherwise, yeah.
Dec
19
comment What are the functional advantages of disabling user access to the filesystem on the iPad?
This answer sounds more like a rant against Apple than a fact-based answer to the question. Plus, the question asked for advantages of such an approach, not complaints.
Oct
19
comment Why do Microwave oven UIs fail?
I would hate a modal knob. I just know I'd end up twisting it in the wrong mode. Two knobs would be easier to use and take up about the same amount of space.
Oct
19
comment Why do Microwave oven UIs fail?
There's no reason why a mechanical dial can't control a digital timer. You might still have the issue of hitting 30 seconds precisely, but it seems reasonable that for times <= 30 seconds, increments of 5 seconds seems very reasonable. Who has ever purposefully set a microwave to 27 seconds? If the mechanical dial says 27, simply round the digital up to 30.
Mar
6
comment Is there ever a requirement to allow text to be underlined when it's not a link or a header
Your answer is a perfect example of a use case where underlining is appropriate -- when discussing underlining! You bolded the word bold, and italicized the word italics, but couldn't underline the word underline, and it stood out (to me, at least)
Jan
5
comment Is it ever okay to have multiple rows of tabs?
@dnbrv: I didn't downvote their pattern, I downvoted your answer. Partly because of the Microsoft thing, but also because you wrote "... because interface becomes cluttered". "Cluttering" is not the problem. Tabs moving around when you select them are the problem, and logically organizing multiple rows won't solve that. You could have given an example from an Apple product and I still would have disagreed with your answer. I don't believe something is acceptable just because it is "standard in its realm". That doesn't make it right, it only means it is a pervasive practice.
Jan
5
comment Is it ever okay to have multiple rows of tabs?
Just because Microsoft did it is not a good reason to do it.
Dec
20
comment What indicates Zoom uniquely?
hmmm. My first reaction was that the graphic meant "add a search", as if there were a way to save and recall multiple searches.