3D engine uses in a no-nonsense GUI (was: XO Gen 1.5)

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Sat Apr 25 05:13:28 EDT 2009

Hal Murray writes:

> I've always thought of "slide into view" as annoying.  I have to
> wait around for the thing I want to look at to finish dancing.

Me too, which is why I specified "fast" and "rapid". Animations
commonly suffer from various problems:

a. You really do have to wait, because the software is terribly
   slow, and the animation was put there to distract you.

b. The animation itself has bad performance. This is where the 3D
   engine can make a huge difference.

c. The animation is purposely slow because the UI designer fell in
   love with it and he wants you to love it too. You're supposed to
   sit there and marvel at what a wonderful animation it is.

Sometimes multiple reasons apply. Sugar activities take way too long
to start if they are written in Python, so we got a throbbing icon
for activity startup. This itself is so slow that non-Python activities
became much slower. (including Tux Paint, which is NOT lightweight)

A decent rule of thumb: if you have time to really focus on the
animation, then it is too slow. You should barely even see it as
it runs. It should only be there to direct your vision a bit,
giving you a feel for where things went or came from.

Without a 3D engine, it's not reasonable to expect such performance.

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