[Loadstone] Reply to Shawn et al.
shawn at odyssey.cm.nu
Mon Sep 18 03:40:20 BST 2006
I'll try to address all your various points in one message.
First, let me see if I can clarify the various kinds of interfaces that
loadstone, and all the other software on the phone uses since there are
several of these and they work slightly differently. When you first start an
application you end up in what symbian calls a view. This is the
application's main window and it's the place where a programmer has the most
freedom to decide how the interface is going to work. Usually a view will
have the two soft keys available, usually key 1 is options and key 2 is
exit. This isn't always the case but is quite common. When you hit key 1 for
options you are placed in a menu. The menu interface is quite strictly
defined and will work the same in all programs. When you are on a menu item
your choices are key 1 to select it or key 2 to cancel the menu. If the item
is a submenu then selecting it will take you to that menu. If the item isn't
a submenu then selecting it will close the menu and execute the action of
that item. That may be anything from toggling an on/off setting to opening
up other windows etc. Since menus work this way it makes sence to show what
will happen if the item in question is selected. In other interfaces, like
the settings page for example, the current state of an item is shown.
Selecting the item in that case will usually bring up a list of available
choices for the item.
In the case of the use checkpoints option since it's a menu option it makes
sence to display what's going to happen if the item is selected. Having this
say "use checkpoints only on" or "use checkpoints only off" would be nice
but this poses a problem. The length of a menu item can be a maximum of 22
characters, a limit imposed by the symbian sdk not me. This means that it
would say "use checkpoints o" and that would'nt be helpful at all. The only
option I can see for this is to maybe turn this into a checkbox item. If the
sdk will do this and if talks will speak the state of the checkbox then
maybe this would work. If I didn't have to display the word "on" or "off"
then I could use that extra space for more clarity. No matter what's done
there's always going to be something that can't be written as long as we'd
like. For those cases that's what the documentation is for.
Now for some information about the loadstone development team.
At the moment the team consists of 4 people, myself, in charge of writing
the actual program, Monty, in charge of running the web site and mailing
list, Shane, in charge of the point share exchange, and the most recent
addition to the team Rob, writing and cleaning up the documentation. We are
all blind, with sight levels ranging from totally blind to just slightly
above that. We are also all talks users. So Loadstone is written by blind
people for blind people with talks specifically in mind. In fact, some
feedback on how the display actually looks is probably needed. All team
members are volunteers working on the project because it's something they're
Monty and I started this project around March 2004 mainly for our own uses.
We wanted something cheaper, faster, and better than the available solutions
at the time. If we've achieved any of those goals or not is up to each user.
We decided to take the program public at the beginning of July this year
since we thought it was at a level that would be of use to others. The
mailing list was set up to allow for discussions about problems,
suggestions, or just general comments. This has already lead to several
improvements to Loadstone.
The program is also open source. This means that for example, people that
think "it is stupid and confusing" can get off there asses and fix it if
they can. This means that other programmers can contribute to the project or
maybe even port it to other phones in the future. It also means that the
program will remain free for all to use.
On Sun, 17 Sep 2006, Aedan O'Meara wrote:
> Hi Shawn,
> I understand what you are trying to do but it is not working. I must say
> that after 2 years using this phone I have never seen any other product that
> states the alternative possible state instead of the current chosen one in
> this way.
> Furthermore, this view is not only mine. Two other friends using this
> product, one a fully sighted ham radio friend who is also a clergyman, and
> another blind friend in Dublin who has also got Wayfinder and the new
> Sensora gps system have both expressed disatifaction with your menu system.
> To quote the blind friend "it is stupid and confusing". These are not first
> Also if your system is so good why are we having all these discussions.
> Since joining this list I see every day someone who is confused by your
> Aedan O'Meara.
> Loadstone mailing list
> Loadstone at loadstone-gps.com
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