devul feedback

I got a little feedback on devul during the day, after describing the background of devul.

(1) First of all the window itself was said to “look boring”. I can agree to that. Adding some background image, changing the font & color, and removing the titlebar/window frame would improve things a lot.

But when I asked for more details of what could be improved, I got the answer that the command prompt/terminal was the real problem, not the devul window!

Being a python/ubuntu application with a command line argument (the text file to add words too), it seemed questionable to remove the terminal. How would the user specify what file to add words to, without involving some non-minimalistic open-file-dialog..?

One answer is “build a new file every time devul is started”. For example, one could imagine creating “devul.2010-nov-7.17.17.txt” for the moment I write this sentence. It should be unique for all practical purposes. Putting that file in the users desktop’ folder, should make it obvious and discoverable from a usability standpoint. It could even be named something silly like “Mindpoop.2010-nov-7.17.17.txt”, reminding us of what we are doing here: exploring how free-minded-text-spitting we can be using computer software.

Another side effect of that approach, is that it prepares devul for the windows environment, in case I feel like adding support to that environment. For example via py2exe.

(2) A second point was the addition of more stats. Right now, the word count is the only thing that is displayed. The statistic that was specifically asked for, was the speed of writing. How about adding a words-per-minute measurement to the display? Something like this:

(3) The third critique is how to install devul. Downloading a .py script isn’t really a nice way to do it. For one thing, it requires the user to know how to install Python.

A better way would be to distribute a .deb file, but I don’t know any easy way to generate a .deb file from a .py file. Anyone out there give me some help?

(click to download devul v0.01. And read about the birth of devul)

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7 thoughts on “devul feedback

  1. Hmm. A better measure than “words per minute” might be “words per hour”. That way, it’s much easier to see how much more time you have to write in order to finish your daily portion in the NaNoWriMo challange:

    “1003 wph” – Ah then I’ll finish before lunch, if I keep up this rate!

  2. Interesting feedback, I’ll bee looking into it more when I have time. Like tonight! And try the new version! 😉 being a statistics nerd 😀 have you linked this post in the previous post?

  3. Pingback: devul v0.02: Words-per-hour « Voice Steam

  4. I might be too much of a minimalism-fanatic, but I just feel that adding stuff to a simple application might add clutter (and potentially with that, distraction).

    I’m not saying you’re reaching that point yet, but my very friendly advice, if you care for it (otherwise just ignore plz ;D) would be to think very long and very hard about accepting additional feature requests.

    It all depends on what you want your application to be ^^

  5. @wildcard

    Yeah I’m a minimalist too. Maybe not fundamentalistic minimalist, but a radical one 🙂

    I will keep your advice close to heart!

  6. @OlofB

    There is always that fine line between “perfection” (nothing more to remove) and “good enough” 😉

    I do like your idea and your implementation. The only real tangible thing I have to nag about is not seeing any mention about a license anywhere.

    No GPL, no BSD, no MIT, no CC0 (which I guess is as close to public domain a Swede can come), or any other license which you might want to release the code under.

    I am of course not sure about your thoughts about copyright, so for you it might be a non-issue (i.e. it would never occur to you to sue anyone for infringing upon your copyright), but to some end-users (like me), a license-blurb actually can serve as “insurance” that you won’t (no matter your personal feelings about copyright, infringement, etc.)

    Loooooooooooooong blag-comment is loooooooooooooong
    kthxbai ;D

  7. @padowi;

    Angående licens – det har du alldeles rätt i och det ska jag åtgärda A.S.A.P.

    Vilken licens föredrar du? CC_by_sa, MIT eller CC0? Jag gillar inte riktigt GPL eftersom jag har svårt för saker jag inte förstår..

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