Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Maximalism?

A recent post and comments here made me question whether the philosophy I am supporting is better described as computer maximalism? I certainly disagree with lessism where functionality is reduced significantly.

1 comment:

xcopfly said...

The article you cited seems to be following the Madison Avenue stereotype that less == dated. Don't let that article brainwash you.

There are some "minimalist" things that are dated - for example, the blogger points out floppy disks. The only remaining use for floppies is the fact that they are the safest way to flash a BIOS, or to play around with a minimalist operating system for fun. Buying a jump drive with thousands of times more space doesn't make you any less of a minimalist - in fact more so than a floppy disk, since it's easier, safer, and faster to get the job done.

The same applies to media players - regardless of "phone home" privacy rights issues, "media library" interfaces such as iTunes annoy the heck out of me. I prefer the Winamp Classic/XMPlay/Audacious "add a file to a playlist" interface. Prior to Winamp-Classic-style, you had Old Microsoft Media Player/Media Player Classic/VLC, where the playlist is hidden and harder to access -this annoys me almost as much as iTunes. Both Winamp Classic and Media Player Classic styles are "minimalist" compared to iTunes, but according to my personal preference Winamp Classic is more usable than its predecessor.

Now to "iP*" - that depends on need. I used to work night-shift at a grocery store, and when you are moving pallets and boxes and stocking shelves, "new" touch-screen interfaces are obviously not appropriate when I can use buttons to manipulate my Creative Zen without even looking at it.

For me, "computing minimalism" is about accomplishing tasks which get the job done fast with little resources. A "task" might be an intense 3D game, and if you would lose playability, then minimalism would not apply. However, something like "desktop widgets" which clutter the screen and overwhelm me like modern children's cartoons do, would obviously not be a minimalist technology - you can get the job done faster with a standard "Windows Classic" desktop with few icons.