You see this shit SO much more often than you would think. And the infuriating thing is, it seems to be most common among programs that are INCREDIBLY complex and sophisticated.

It’ll be like this:

“What does my program do? Glad you asked. It simulates stress patterns in glass and ceramics, after they come out of a kiln. You can specify any melting temperature, adjust the composition of elements in the glass, and the ambient temperature of the cooling and tempering stages.”

“Wow, can you show me how it works?”

“Sure! <opens a command line and starts typing commands>”

“O-oh. Do you have any plans to add a graphical user interface?”

“HAHAHAHAHHA, no. That’s never happening. And here I thought you were serious about using advanced software, and being an intelligent person.”

Obviously, that last part is just kinda implied. But sometimes, when users request a GUI, the goddamn developer will kinda get in their face, like that.

They always fall back on the position of “well, I developed this shit for free, for your ungrateful ass. So you can build your own fucking GUI.”

But the thing about that is…no. And fuck you. I shouldn’t have to be two-thirds of a fucking developer, in order to use the fucking software.

If you can figure out how to simulate molecules, or draw 3D stereograms, or translate hieroglyphics, or any other RIDICULOUSLY COMPLICATED SHIT, making a graphical user interface should be nothing to you. You should be able to do it in a fucking afternoon.

IT DEFINITELY SHOULD BE THE EASY PART, FOR YOU.

All the rest of us, who aren’t programmers? We envy programmers, and their ability to really connect with computers, on that deep logic level.

If we could do that shit, we would. But a lot of us have tried, and we realize it’s not a good use of our time. We can do cool stuff with software, but it’s just not ever going to be worthwhile for us to struggle through the act of creating software.

Also, I hasten to add that I have put in my time, using command line interfaces. I used DOS, I used BBS systems, I have used modern command-line-only programs. I know how to do it, but I DON’T WANT TO.

I don’t want to have to memorize commands. I don’t consider a GUI workflow to be some kind of weird luxury. It has been a basic part of modern software, for around 40 years at this point. Literally get with the program, guys.

If you’re serious about making software, get your shit together and implement a fucking GUI from the very first release. Nobody ought to be taking you seriously, if you refuse.

  • @InvisibleShoe
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    3 months ago

    Yeah GUI development isn’t easy or straightforward. Thats why there are UI/UX engineers whose sole job is to design and create simple and easy to use interfaces. And they get paid big money to do it too.

    If those programmers making ultra specialized software were to waste their time making a GUI, they would never finish the project or would require funding of some sort.

    • Chill Dude 69OP
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      3 months ago

      Those ultra-specialists are paid to make GOOD GUIs, for software that is going to cost real money.

      I just want a fucking window with fucking buttons on it, so that I don’t need to refer to a cheat sheet of fucking text commands. I don’t care how ugly the UI is.

      That makes a HUGE difference, and you know it. There have been libraries, development environments, fully featured frameworks, and templates for basic GUI structures, for almost as long as there have been GUIs.

      I mean, for fuck’s sake, does anyone remember Visual Basic? I even developed some shitty software in that language, back in the day.

      And, more to the point, there are a bunch of solo developers who do make graphical applications. If this conversation has to come down to me saying “well, this is a skill issue. If you want users, you’re gonna have to step up your game and learn to play like the big boys do,” then so be it. That’s my position, then.

      Even if I’m getting the software for free, GUI development being oh-so-difficult is not my problem. If you want to develop software, get your shit together and accept that GUI is kinda here to stay, as a concept.

      I mean, not for nothing, but phone apps are all GUI based. There are outreach programs that have volunteers teaching random hobos and 11-year-olds to make phone apps. If they can do it, grown-ass nerds can do it. Fucking facts.

      • @[email protected]
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        33 months ago

        This is a really good and entertaining post and thanks for making it

        As a guy who burned out super, super, super, super hard to the point that thinking about code–even though I’m good at it–just makes me feel baaaad, I still can’t help but chuckle. Like, in my case, providing what I did to the code world was literally all I could do before I stopped being able to contribute because it hurts inside my brain lol.

        But at the same thing the fucking most hilarious part of it is you’re right 🤣 People do just not see software as “real” if it involves any reading and typing outside a comment box. Buttons and visualizations are truly everything if one wants to code and be taken seriously by anyone but other hackers. 😭😂 I wonder how much low hanging fruit there is out there of software that people could just make a paid GUI for and make a killing

        • Chill Dude 69OP
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          -83 months ago

          I really appreciate this perspective. It really is a matter of software dying on the vine, because it’s truly not possible to use it for its actual purpose, if you have to be looking at a cheat-sheet of commands.

          As I explained to someone else in the thread, I don’t need the UI to be pretty. I just need it to be visual. And, just to stress the point, it’s not about feelings. It’s about me actually using the software to produce data or art or whatever complex output that I’m using it for. Actual use cases are not the same thing as the developer testing all the inputs in a command line, and going “well, it doesn’t really need a GUI, does it? I mean, I just proved that, when I tested all the commands.”

          I think that’s a big part of the disconnect. Sometimes, developers make software that they’re going to use themselves, but in many (most?) cases, they really aren’t going to be the users. The actual users are going to need their brain space for CREATING A THING with the software, and that means it’s really not okay to be clogging that brain space up, with the need to remember commands, and where they are in the text-based workflow of the software.

          I mean, going back to the first principles of the whole matter, that is WHY THE GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE WAS CONCEIVED, wasn’t it? That’s the killer application of the whole concept. The user can be free to think about what they’re doing, and not how they’re doing it.