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Where do you see Apple in 5 years? (Page 4)
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Jul 15, 2013, 12:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What's the difference between "design language" and aesthetics, or user experience?

It sounds like you disagree with the direction Apple is going as far as user experience goes? I took what you wrote to mean that you don't like the direction they are going in as far as interface design and usability.
Um... I like a lot in iOS 7. I'd never go back. When I see iOS 6 device... it does look dated. Where I'm disappointed is that OS X is now a generation behind since it doesn't use the new design language. Going back and forth between the two OS's now is jarring.

Having said that, iOS 7 is ripe with major usability issues. Steve Jobs has definitely left the building.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 12:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
Um... I like a lot in iOS 7. I'd never go back. When I see iOS 6 device... it does look dated. Where I'm disappointed is that OS X is now a generation behind since it doesn't use the new design language. Going back and forth between the two OS's now is jarring.

Having said that, iOS 7 is ripe with major usability issues. Steve Jobs has definitely left the building.

I honestly have no clue what you are trying to say here. Please define "design language", that would help. It sounds like you are referring to user experience, but I'm not sure.

What usability issues come to mind? Why do you feel that Steve Jobs was responsible for good OS X usability?
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 02:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I honestly have no clue what you are trying to say here. Please define "design language", that would help. It sounds like you are referring to user experience, but I'm not sure.

What usability issues come to mind? Why do you feel that Steve Jobs was responsible for good OS X usability?
Design language can be viewed as the overarching look, feel, and usability of software.

Design language is defined by a set of foundational design components:

Colorscheme (e.g., hyperlink color, UI element colors, tool bar color and tone, etc.);
Font scheme (e.g., H1 color, size, type; Subheading color, size, type, weight, etc.);
Principles of things like Deference;
Icon set (what they are supposed to visually represent and how they achieve that);
Brand communication: that the brand is communicated through the design.
Overall, how all these elements come together in a tone to make a user feel.

The design language (the main components of the design) is derivative of the overall intent of the way a user is supposed to feel and react when they use the software. The foundation for making design decisions to achieve a goal of how you want a user to feel and react when they use your software is based on a combination of design principles (things you know) and design theories (things you don't necessarily know). Together, these make up a design philosophy. The design language is like the sharp end of the stick: it's the output of all of the thinking and weaving together of the various components that comprise the design. This design language comes from your design principles and design theories which themselves come from a master design philosophy.

So the user experience and usability of something is the effect of a design philosophy that manifests itself in a design language. In other words, a design language is used to construct the user experience and usability of software.

Specifically, as for iOS 7's usability problems, I can mention a few.

1. The thin fonts were brutal. Washed out in several Apps like the Weather App. In Beta 3 they've emboldened the system fonts and abandoned thin. It was really bad trying to read razor thin fonts on a tiny iPhone screen.
2. Transparency. It's terrible in some places, like running a search of your phone. The transparency washes out the small font and it's very hard to read the results. Terrible UI/UX.
3. Touch targets too close together: Try creating a playlist in the iTunes App when the volume is half way slid. The Create button and the slider knob are literally touching each other.
4. The rolodex in Safari is horrible, I find the usability of it really bad. I can barely see the titles of the Webpages because they wash into the rest of the UI. It's confusing. But this one may be more subjective.
5. The Control Center. When you swipe up, you get a toolbox of items like Wifi control, music control, etc. This control panel is absolutely ugly. There is so much crammed in there with no differentiation. It's all the same color and the icons all the same thin, wireframe look. It looks like a blob of thin lines and a mess of controls. With transparency, it's even worse. Terrible UI/UX here.
6. UI. The UI icons are in some cases ugly and difficult to use. The reason is that they look unfinished like wireframes. I understand what Apple is trying to do by making the UI disappear and more of a focus on the Apps but when you're out and about, it's very hard to distinguish a UI from the content of an App. In some cases it's ugly and difficult to use. Safari is a good example. A month on and I'm still not remembering where the share buttons, etc. are because they're just forgettable. And the UI buttons are in many cases just written out. No bounding boxes, no anything. So now UIs have lots of text sprayed all over them. I'm finding it ugly and a bit of a step backwards. Imagine translating your App and having to rely on words for buttons.

They've done a lot right but there's a lot wrong too. I'm just scratching the surface. I've got about 30 screenshots with major usability issues dissected across iOS 7 and this doesn't even capture half of what we've found. The icons are another story but after 1 month I think they're just ugly and not growing on me.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 02:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
Design language can be viewed as the overarching look, feel, and usability of software.

Design language is defined by a set of foundational design components:

Colorscheme (e.g., hyperlink color, UI element colors, tool bar color and tone, etc.);
Font scheme (e.g., H1 color, size, type; Subheading color, size, type, weight, etc.);
Principles of things like Deference;
Icon set (what they are supposed to visually represent and how they achieve that);
Brand communication: that the brand is communicated through the design.
Overall, how all these elements come together in a tone to make a user feel.

The design language (the main components of the design) is derivative of the overall intent of the way a user is supposed to feel and react when they use the software. The foundation for making design decisions to achieve a goal of how you want a user to feel and react when they use your software is based on a combination of design principles (things you know) and design theories (things you don't necessarily know). Together, these make up a design philosophy. The design language is like the sharp end of the stick: it's the output of all of the thinking and weaving together of the various components that comprise the design. This design language comes from your design principles and design theories which themselves come from a master design philosophy.

So the user experience and usability of something is the effect of a design philosophy that manifests itself in a design language. In other words, a design language is used to construct the user experience and usability of software.

Specifically, as for iOS 7's usability problems, I can mention a few.

1. The thin fonts were brutal. Washed out in several Apps like the Weather App. In Beta 3 they've emboldened the system fonts and abandoned thin. It was really bad trying to read razor thin fonts on a tiny iPhone screen.
2. Transparency. It's terrible in some places, like running a search of your phone. The transparency washes out the small font and it's very hard to read the results. Terrible UI/UX.
3. Touch targets too close together: Try creating a playlist in the iTunes App when the volume is half way slid. The Create button and the slider knob are literally touching each other.
4. The rolodex in Safari is horrible, I find the usability of it really bad. I can barely see the titles of the Webpages because they wash into the rest of the UI. It's confusing. But this one may be more subjective.
5. The Control Center. When you swipe up, you get a toolbox of items like Wifi control, music control, etc. This control panel is absolutely ugly. There is so much crammed in there with no differentiation. It's all the same color and the icons all the same thin, wireframe look. It looks like a blob of thin lines and a mess of controls. With transparency, it's even worse. Terrible UI/UX here.
6. UI. The UI icons are in some cases ugly and difficult to use. The reason is that they look unfinished like wireframes. I understand what Apple is trying to do by making the UI disappear and more of a focus on the Apps but when you're out and about, it's very hard to distinguish a UI from the content of an App. In some cases it's ugly and difficult to use. Safari is a good example. A month on and I'm still not remembering where the share buttons, etc. are because they're just forgettable. And the UI buttons are in many cases just written out. No bounding boxes, no anything. So now UIs have lots of text sprayed all over them. I'm finding it ugly and a bit of a step backwards. Imagine translating your App and having to rely on words for buttons.

They've done a lot right but there's a lot wrong too. I'm just scratching the surface. I've got about 30 screenshots with major usability issues dissected across iOS 7 and this doesn't even capture half of what we've found. The icons are another story but after 1 month I think they're just ugly and not growing on me.

Thanks for all of this! Sorry to make you spell all that out, it just gets confusing when people come in here and use these terms without always making it clear like they really understand what they mean. You obviously do! Often times people often conflate elements that are not aesthetically pleasing to them or provide, in their opinion, a poor user experience with usability issues. It is possible to have a highly usable but aesthetically ugly UI element.

I haven't used iOS 7 so I can't address your list, but do you think that iOS and OS X *should* use the same design language when their input methods are so different from one another? Perhaps I'm just so used to OS X, but I don't have a problem with its design language, and I don't care if it is "boring" so long as I can make money using it.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Thanks for all of this! Sorry to make you spell all that out, it just gets confusing when people come in here and use these terms without always making it clear like they really understand what they mean. You obviously do! Often times people often conflate elements that are not aesthetically pleasing to them or provide, in their opinion, a poor user experience with usability issues. It is possible to have a highly usable but aesthetically ugly UI element.

I haven't used iOS 7 so I can't address your list, but do you think that iOS and OS X *should* use the same design language when their input methods are so different from one another? Perhaps I'm just so used to OS X, but I don't have a problem with its design language, and I don't care if it is "boring" so long as I can make money using it.
Thanks.

Yes, I absolutely think iOS and OS X should use the same design language. Without this being present, the two operating systems become bifurcated and then there is a loss of consistency and uniformity across multiple devices. When you start using iOS 7, I bet you'll start to see just how much of a departure the design is from iOS 7. Thin and flat... I can't overstate this enough. Windows 8 is a good example. It's radical. Different. It's fresh and clean. Sure, it's got many usability problems... the inverse of what you accurately pointed out (here, you can have an aesthetically pleasing UI with poor usability). But put OS X beside it and you'll see the difference between thin and flat and bubbly and textured. OS X the latter.

When you deal with Apple's developer documentation and UI guidelines, it's easy to see how they think of design and the new direction they've taken. OS X as it is... is simply now at odds with Apple's new design language.

OS X is heavy on the gradients and textures... things like App icons look like something designed by young kids with crayolas. Tabs in Safari are heavy on the drop shadows. Buttons are dominant. This new, post-modern, fresh, clean, airy design language calls for flatter, thinner design from top to bottom with a UI that is supposed to "disappear". This will mean less gradients and textures, more dominance and use of white space (what Apple refers to as Deference).

It all equals simpler UIs.

True, OS X is not multi-touch in the way an iOS device is, but the core design language can easily transfer over without any loss of functionality. They'll have to make some compromises and come up with things that make sense for a point and click device, but I think you'll not only see a thinner, flatter, fresher design from top to bottom in OS X inline with the way iOS looks and feels, but multi-touch will be even more integrated into it.

I'll give you an example. The back button in Safari on the iPhone running iOS 7 is pretty much gone. You just swipe from the edge of your screen to go back and forward. This simplifies the UI through tapping into gestures rather than relying on an ugly button to clutter your UI. You'll see more bold moves like this... taking UI elements away and relying on multi-touch... in OS X too... because people have had enough time to be indoctrinated into multi-touch.

So what I'm saying is the two operating systems are closer than you think, and will continue to evolve in their own way, but they must share a very common thread and look and feel very much the same. OS X will utilize as much multi-touch as it can so someone who uses an iOS device can hop right into OS X and just "get it".
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:44 AM
 
Yeah, we kind of went over some of these things earlier in this thread.

Do you think Windows 8 has usability problems because Microsoft tried hard to sort of merge touch and click interfaces into a single interface, or because their approach is sound, but there are correctable usability issues with it?

As I said earlier in this thread, I think it makes sense to merge operating systems together, but not necessarily the touch and click interfaces themselves.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 04:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Yeah, we kind of went over some of these things earlier in this thread.

Do you think Windows 8 has usability problems because Microsoft tried hard to sort of merge touch and click interfaces into a single interface, or because their approach is sound, but there are correctable usability issues with it?

As I said earlier in this thread, I think it makes sense to merge operating systems together, but not necessarily the touch and click interfaces themselves.
I think you hit it at the end of your post. Or alluded to it. They went TOO FAR in merging the two together to the point where it's not focused enough on one and then the other.

And for a specific example of the problem, "It's the tiles, stupid". The tiles simply don't work on a point and click device. But on a multi-touch tablet or smartphone they're not bad. The problem is, the tiles are the heart of the system. It's the main entry point to everything in Windows 8. And that's where it falls flat with consumers.

Apple has it right with large, multi-touch trackpads and a sort of tempered approach to merging the their two operating systems. They let each operating system be as naturally as possible for the devices they run on.

Microsoft simply has no clue about compromises. It's compromises that define what something is. It's after you've taken everything away from something where you can't take anything more away that a product becomes a real product of the highest order. Something a person can use. The old saying rings true, "A lawn mower with wings isn't good at cutting the grass or flying".
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 04:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
I think you hit it at the end of your post. Or alluded to it. They went TOO FAR in merging the two together to the point where it's not focused enough on one and then the other.

And for a specific example of the problem, "It's the tiles, stupid". The tiles simply don't work on a point and click device. But on a multi-touch tablet or smartphone they're not bad. The problem is, the tiles are the heart of the system. It's the main entry point to everything in Windows 8. And that's where it falls flat with consumers.

Apple has it right with large, multi-touch trackpads and a sort of tempered approach to merging the their two operating systems. They let each operating system be as naturally as possible for the devices they run on.

Microsoft simply has no clue about compromises. It's compromises that define what something is. It's after you've taken everything away from something where you can't take anything more away that a product becomes a real product of the highest order. Something a person can use. The old saying rings true, "A lawn mower with wings isn't good at cutting the grass or flying".

So then why try to merge the interfaces into a single interface when you run the risk of shoehorning things that don't belong?

I say, merge the OSes, merge the UI elements (if any) that can/should be common between mobile and desktop devices, but develop two distinctly unique interfaces that capitalize on the strengths and best possible design for each input device.

Some of the design language might be identical between both, but I don't think one should come at this from the vantage point of trying to merge the two, but in making the best possible UI for each, where the best possible UI leverages familiarity where it makes sense to do so.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So then why try to merge the interfaces into a single interface when you run the risk of shoehorning things that don't belong?

I say, merge the OSes, merge the UI elements (if any) that can/should be common between mobile and desktop devices, but develop two distinctly unique interfaces that capitalize on the strengths and best possible design for each input device.
But that is exactly the current status quo!
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Yeah, we kind of went over some of these things earlier in this thread.

Do you think Windows 8 has usability problems because Microsoft tried hard to sort of merge touch and click interfaces into a single interface, or because their approach is sound, but there are correctable usability issues with it?

As I said earlier in this thread, I think it makes sense to merge operating systems together, but not necessarily the touch and click interfaces themselves.
Windows biggest problem is that it isn't allowed to change. The core user base just wants it to work the way it always has. They will probably triple their sales if they put the start button back in.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
But that is exactly the current status quo!
It's as if the earlier conversation about merging the OSes never happened. iOS and OS X are two separate OSes with shared elements, but they are separate projects.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 07:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It's as if the earlier conversation about merging the OSes never happened. iOS and OS X are two separate OSes with shared elements, but they are separate projects.
It's as if all our previous conversation had never happened.

They are separate projects because of all the differences in platform-specific code and interface requirements.

Everything else is shared.


Edit: I'm about resigned to the assumption that it's probably a semantic thing. I simply cannot, for the life of me, figure out why you think you're describing something different from what has been happening for the past eight years, since Apple started working on iOS.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 07:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's as if all our previous conversation had never happened.

They are separate projects because of all the differences in platform-specific code and interface requirements.

Everything else is shared.


Edit: I'm about resigned to the assumption that it's probably a semantic thing. I simply cannot, for the life of me, figure out why you think you're describing something different from what has been happening for the past eight years, since Apple started working on iOS.

I think you are unable to think about what it might mean from a developmental perspective to have two separate projects to maintain versus one. This is not inconsequential. It takes more than just pressing the magic sync iOS -> OS X button and tweaking the interface.

I also think you're on the brink of getting emotional again.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 07:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I also think you're on the brink of getting emotional again.
Troll level: subtle.

Thanks for playing.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 08:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think you are unable to think about what it might mean from a developmental perspective to have two separate projects to maintain versus one. This is not inconsequential. It takes more than just pressing the magic sync iOS -> OS X button and tweaking the interface.
As opposed to having one large project and maintaining to massive sub-projects catering to the entirely different needs and interfaces of the different platforms?

What is the difference other than putting a different descriptor on the office door?


Or, let's move down a level:

Maybe my failure to understand your point is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of how OS X/iOS works:

My understanding is that these OSen are basically modular, built around a basic system kernel, with all sorts of frameworks and architectures that are customized or custom-built to purpose, and added/loaded as necessary.

It was my impression that this is part of the beauty of *NIX, and what allowed OS X engineers to mix-and-match the most suitable components from wherever they happened to see them, with minimal adaptation necessary to make them work the platform — a kernel from here, the FreeBSD networking stack from there, a rendering engine from there, this bit from scratch, etc.

So if that is the case — and PLEASE correct me if it's not — then it follows that major portions of OS X and iOS are one and the same project (networking, graphics, audio/MIDI, USB stack, etc.), worked on by a single team of engineers, with some adaptation to tie into the specific requirements of the platform, while other portions are completely custom (the entire interface, a kernel optimized for ARM, etc.).

So you can see why I don't see any further potential for unifying the development process.

I am not a software engineer, though, and since you're so adamant in your claims that there is a massive increase in efficiency to be gained, I'd appreciate if you could clear up my apparent conceptual misunderstandings.
Seriously.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
As opposed to having one large project and maintaining to massive sub-projects catering to the entirely different needs and interfaces of the different platforms?

What is the difference other than putting a different descriptor on the office door?
As I said, the interface code, while substantially important, probably represents far fewer lines of actual code, and fairly isolatable code, than, say, the "core" libraries, or Quartz, or whatever else backend code that doesn't directly render stuff that we see that props up what we do see.


Or, let's move down a level:

Maybe my failure to understand your point is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of how OS X/iOS works:

My understanding is that these OSen are basically modular, built around a basic system kernel, with all sorts of frameworks and architectures that are customized or custom-built to purpose, and added/loaded as necessary.

It was my impression that this is part of the beauty of *NIX, and what allowed OS X engineers to mix-and-match the most suitable components from wherever they happened to see them, with minimal adaptation necessary to make them work the platform — a kernel from here, the FreeBSD networking stack from there, a rendering engine from there, this bit from scratch, etc.

So if that is the case — and PLEASE correct me if it's not — then it follows that major portions of OS X and iOS are one and the same project (networking, graphics, audio/MIDI, USB stack, etc.), worked on by a single team of engineers, with some adaptation to tie into the specific requirements of the platform, while other portions are completely custom (the entire interface, a kernel optimized for ARM, etc.).

So you can see why I don't see any further potential for unifying the development process.

I am not a software engineer, though, and since you're so adamant in your claims that there is a massive increase in efficiency to be gained, I'd appreciate if you could clear up my apparent conceptual misunderstandings.
Seriously.

This is a good question to be asking.

I would postulate that bringing something from iOS to OS X or vice versa is more than 5 second copy and paste job plus the time needed to tweak for the different interfaces.

The modularity exists within an environment/developmental framework that establishes dependencies that break when certain things change, and can require a substantial amount of time to test and trace bugs when changes are made in comparison to the UI elements which are propped up by these underpinnings and are generally lighter and more agile to work with. For example:

- the specific dependencies can change (i.e. new ones added, old ones taken away)

- the dependency versions can change (Apple internally probably versions all sorts of their components), and there isn't always a guarantee that a newer version will work as expected in a newer framework, or that the older versions will continue to work

- these dependencies may call on functions/objects that work in different ways, some that may have been refactored (i.e. rewritten) to be used in different ways, requiring different parameters, returning different results, calling upon other classes/objects/functions in different ways, etc.

- this modularity can break and reveal bugs, design issues and weaknesses without realizing this until the code has been transplanted to a different environment

- sometimes these dependencies exist in links which become broken, or that need to be recompiled for the CPU architecture

- sometimes there are compile time errors because of dependency issues which can be a challenge to sort to satisfy the compiler


This list is of course just a theoretical generalization and general hypothesis, but generally speaking the lower level stuff is thicker and denser than the high end/front-end that is setup to allow agile development because it has been simplified by its underpinnings. For example, the code that handles printing is far denser and more complex than the code that simply registers the print command in the file menu.

I hope this makes some sense.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:10 PM
 
Also, the lower level stuff will be refactored/rewritten from time to time to work more efficiently (i.e. faster), with new programming styles and techniques, for greater simplification, to retire functions/parameters/syntax deprecated by the newer versions of the programming language, etc.

By the time you get to the interface code, interface developers don't have to worry about performance of their application launch, the time it takes to spool a print job, for their windows to gain focus, etc. If you were building a website and everybody used the same browser, if you wanted to change your HTML or CSS you wouldn't have to worry about whether the browser can deal with this and all of the low level nitty gritty so long as everything you are doing is "legal" - i.e. supported by the framework. You can bet that that low level nitty gritty (e.g. the web browser browser, Webkit, etc.) is far more complex than the HTML, CSS, and Javascript used by the site, even though to the visitor the HTML/CSS/Javascript absolutely makes or breaks their experience.

It might not be entirely inaccurate to think about things like icons and interactive widgets in an OS as being similar to HTML/CSS/Javascript.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:53 PM
 
Are you talking about OS development, or about application development?
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 03:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Are you talking about OS development, or about application development?
Both. They both operate in their own frameworks and provide/utilize a number of abstractions, but even if you leave out OS development entirely, OS X obviously consists of a number of very key Apple-made applications.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Both. They both operate in their own frameworks and provide/utilize a number of abstractions, but even if you leave out OS development entirely, OS X obviously consists of a number of very key Apple-made applications.
With the latest iOS 7, Apple has married the development frameworks and libraries between iOS and OS X even more. One example is TextKit: basically, iOS 7 is now getting very much the same text rendering capabilities that OS X has had for years. This will allow developers to more easily display and manipulate text in their Apps. You'll see kerning, lettepress, and other advanced text effects in iOS from more developers because it's easier to do.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
With the latest iOS 7, Apple has married the development frameworks and libraries between iOS and OS X even more. One example is TextKit: basically, iOS 7 is now getting very much the same text rendering capabilities that OS X has had for years. This will allow developers to more easily display and manipulate text in their Apps. You'll see kerning, lettepress, and other advanced text effects in iOS from more developers because it's easier to do.
Which is a good example for my point, because I'm sure if bringing TextKit to iOS were simply a case of copying and pasting that bit over and activating it Apple would have done so by now.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I say, merge the OSes, merge the UI elements (if any) that can/should be common between mobile and desktop devices, but develop two distinctly unique interfaces that capitalize on the strengths and best possible design for each input device.
Ah, but on a low level the OSes are basically merged already - and the current level of integration is a problem. Case in point: yours (and everyone's) favorite thing to complain about in OS X, HFS+. One of the problems with Apple replacing HFS+ with something more modern is that the iOS devices also need a filesystem, and they only have 512 MB RAM, most of them. You can't fit something the complexity of ZFS into that - it would hardly boot. Even a slightly less modern filesystem with 64-bit limits for everything would be slower and hungrier. HFS+' simplicity is actually an advantage - and this is one of the reasons we're still stuck with it.

So why doesn't Apple simply add one more filesystem? Never easy. The tiny file system group would have to split their attention two ways for the forseeable future, and they're having trouble adding features as it is. So we get Core Storage, which is a nice workaround, adding some modern features without touching the wasp's nest, but I can't help but think that we'd be better off without the tight iOS/OS X integration.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 05:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Which is a good example for my point, because I'm sure if bringing TextKit to iOS were simply a case of copying and pasting that bit over and activating it Apple would have done so by now.
I never claimed it was simply a case of copying and pasting.

Why would they prioritize making the necessary adaptations if there are other, more pressing priorities?

The two platforms have had vastly different requirements, with extremely limited font support on iOS due to the complete lack of user/developer access to system libraries like the fonts folder, and probably a huge amount of other architecture that simply doesn't/didn't apply to iOS.

Do you suggest that unifying the architectures from the get-go, and thus thrusting the entire overhead of OS X's architecture upon the comparatively anemic and lower-specced iOS platform would bring any real benefits?
     
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Originally Posted by P View Post
Ah, but on a low level the OSes are basically merged already - and the current level of integration is a problem. Case in point: yours (and everyone's) favorite thing to complain about in OS X, HFS+. One of the problems with Apple replacing HFS+ with something more modern is that the iOS devices also need a filesystem, and they only have 512 MB RAM, most of them. You can't fit something the complexity of ZFS into that - it would hardly boot. Even a slightly less modern filesystem with 64-bit limits for everything would be slower and hungrier. HFS+' simplicity is actually an advantage - and this is one of the reasons we're still stuck with it.

So why doesn't Apple simply add one more filesystem? Never easy. The tiny file system group would have to split their attention two ways for the forseeable future, and they're having trouble adding features as it is. So we get Core Storage, which is a nice workaround, adding some modern features without touching the wasp's nest, but I can't help but think that we'd be better off without the tight iOS/OS X integration.

Things like the file system will definitely be a huge issue in what I'm proposing, but then again, 5 years is a long time. Hopefully Apple will have a file system strategy in place, and chances are the file system that drives mobile and desktops will be similar, if not identical.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I never claimed it was simply a case of copying and pasting.

Why would they prioritize making the necessary adaptations if there are other, more pressing priorities?

The two platforms have had vastly different requirements, with extremely limited font support on iOS due to the complete lack of user/developer access to system libraries like the fonts folder, and probably a huge amount of other architecture that simply doesn't/didn't apply to iOS.

Do you suggest that unifying the architectures from the get-go, and thus thrusting the entire overhead of OS X's architecture upon the comparatively anemic and lower-specced iOS platform would bring any real benefits?

I suggest that the inapplicable parts would lie dormant. The downside is some disk space and developmental organization, but the upside is one OS, and single applications that can work on all devices, which I still think if pretty huge from a business standpoint for both Apple and third party developers, and ultimately from the user standpoint as I tried to make the case for with Skeleton.

As far as the large overhead of OS X, it benefits all of us for that overhead to be reduced anyway, and in 5 years and further reductions either iOS platforms won't run on lacking hardware, or else OS X's overhead will be reduced enough.

It seems more than coincidental to me that Apple has spent a considerable effort in OSes since Snow Leopard in this overhead reduction. They market this as saying that they are increasing battery life, but what reduces overhead more often than not also improves battery life anyway, so it's all the same. It also seems more than coincidental that Apple didn't really seem to care about OS X performance so much until iOS became a big thing, the only exception that comes to mind being OS X 10.1 which was sorely needed.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I suggest that the inapplicable parts would lie dormant. The downside is some disk space and developmental organization, but the upside is one OS, and single applications that can work on all devices, which I still think if pretty huge from a business standpoint for both Apple and third party developers, and ultimately from the user standpoint as I tried to make the case for with Skeleton.
But whether that unused or rewritten-per-platform code lies dormant on the developers' servers or in my machine is pretty irrelevant to developers, and *quite* relevant to the user.

The only difference to me is whether I have to download the "same" application again for my tablet, provided it's made available for both platforms.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
As far as the large overhead of OS X, it benefits all of us for that overhead to be reduced anyway, and in 5 years and further reductions either iOS platforms won't run on lacking hardware, or else OS X's overhead will be reduced enough.
As the hardware gains similar capabilities, and should needs align, more and more OS X architecture will be transferred over to iOS (as with TextKit now).

But again, that is pretty much exactly what is already happening.

What you're saying is basically, "in five years, Apple's OS development structure will be exactly the same as today, except more so."

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It seems more than coincidental to me that Apple has spent a considerable effort in OSes since Snow Leopard in this overhead reduction. They market this as saying that they are increasing battery life, but what reduces overhead more often than not also improves battery life anyway, so it's all the same. It also seems more than coincidental that Apple didn't really seem to care about OS X performance so much until iOS became a big thing, the only exception that comes to mind being OS X 10.1 which was sorely needed.
Every Mac OS X up until and including 10.4 provided SUBSTANTIAL speed gains. (10.4 wasn't so much "faster", as "smoother".
10.6 was faster and leaner on intel hardware. 10.7 was a feature update that set a direction, and 10.8 was the polish and performance update.

I don't really see a change in direction.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 06:37 PM
 
Also: thank you for your explanation above.
     
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Jul 15, 2013, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
But whether that unused or rewritten-per-platform code lies dormant on the developers' servers or in my machine is pretty irrelevant to developers, and *quite* relevant to the user.

The only difference to me is whether I have to download the "same" application again for my tablet, provided it's made available for both platforms.
I don't understand what you are saying here.

What you're saying is basically, "in five years, Apple's OS development structure will be exactly the same as today, except more so."
Exactly the same, but more so? Huh?

If you still don't comprehend the differences between a single project and multiple projects, I'm sorry, but I really don't want to go over this again, I've gone over this a number of times. I'm not trying to infer that you are dumb or that my explanation was flawless, I just don't know how to restate this at this time.

Every Mac OS X up until and including 10.4 provided SUBSTANTIAL speed gains. (10.4 wasn't so much "faster", as "smoother".
10.6 was faster and leaner on intel hardware. 10.7 was a feature update that set a direction, and 10.8 was the polish and performance update.

I don't really see a change in direction.
Maybe so, but I don't recall seeing anything substantial on all supported hardware until 10.6, but you might be right about this.
     
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To this day the snappiest Mac I ever used was a G5 tower, dual 2.5GHz water-cooled, (I think it was rocking the PPC970FX) running the factory installed build of Panther. That thing seemed to know which app you wanted to open before you even clicked on it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 8, 2013, 07:31 PM
 
besson3c:

Here's a design of OS X using iOS 7 design language. This is exactly what I had in mind.

For iOS 7 users... having this new updated design is a breath of fresh air. The consistency between OS X and iOS is tight and inviting. Right now it's brutal having to go between one and the other.

OS X looks really dated to me now. This new design can't come soon enough.

A look at what an iOS 7-inspired OS X could look like [Gallery] | 9to5Mac
     
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Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
besson3c:

Here's a design of OS X using iOS 7 design language. This is exactly what I had in mind.

For iOS 7 users... having this new updated design is a breath of fresh air. The consistency between OS X and iOS is tight and inviting. Right now it's brutal having to go between one and the other.

OS X looks really dated to me now. This new design can't come soon enough.

A look at what an iOS 7-inspired OS X could look like [Gallery] | 9to5Mac

How do those screenshots demonstrate a new design language? To me this is just an iOS 7 skin.
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 03:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
How do those screenshots demonstrate a new design language? To me this is just an iOS 7 skin.
I guess you've missed my point about design language. Forget iOS 7. iOS 7 is just an instance of the design language. This design language is characterized by use of white space, thin fonts, transparency, and cleanliness. About interfaces that sort of disappear. Windows 8 is effectively the exact same thing. It's characterized by the same things, except Microsoft introduced this design language, not Apple.

OS X will lose its heavy design language (heavy gradients, deep drop shadows, button filled interfaces, etc.) and it'll be replaced by the same design language in iOS 7 with a heavy reliance on gestures and less on old school interface buttons. Sure, the Apps may be organized differently... but the design language will be the same.

I've heard through some people that OS 11, which is launching next year, is going to be using this new design language. This release might be the biggest one since OS X the first version.

This is where Microsoft may gain some ground with Windows 8 because of people being conditioned into this new design language via iOS 7... and then next year... OS 11. Windows 8 was too radical. Too soon for people. But I give Microsoft a lot of credit because it is quite beautiful. It has major usability issues, but it's gorgeous and is smooth like butter.

At least Microsoft is original, unlike almost every other tech company out there. I'm seriously considering a Surface Tablet. I played with one and I really like it. The only problem is the lack of Apps. And I hate Office.
( Last edited by theothersteve; Aug 9, 2013 at 04:50 AM. )
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 04:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
I guess you've missed my point about design language. Forget iOS 7. iOS 7 is just an instance of the design language. This design language is characterized by use of white space, thin fonts, transparency, and cleanliness. About interfaces that sort of disappear. Windows 8 is effectively the exact same thing. It's characterized by the same things, except Microsoft introduced this design language, not Apple.

OS X will lose its heavy design language (heavy gradients, deep drop shadows, button filled interfaces, etc.) and it'll be replaced by the same design language in iOS 7 with a heavy reliance on gestures and less on old school interface buttons. Sure, the Apps may be organized differently... but the design language will be the same.

I've heard through some people that OS 11, which is launching next year, is going to be using this new design language. This release might be the biggest one since OS X the first version.

This is where Microsoft may gain some ground with Windows 8 because of people being conditioned into this new design language via iOS 7... and then next year... OS 11. Windows 8 was too radical. Too soon for people. But I give Microsoft a lot of credit because it is quite beautiful. It has major usability issues, but it's gorgeous and is smooth like butter.

At least Microsoft is original, unlike almost every other tech company out there. I'm seriously considering a Surface Tablet. I played with one and I really like it. The only problem is the lack of Apps. And I hate Office.

Fair enough, I guess those screenshots do represent new design language too, I just think that when/if the new design language finds its way to OS X that a number of interface elements will be revamped for greater usability and overall design rather than just given a visual refresh. The screenshots just seemed like a superficial skin, much like you can install today if you wanted to muck around with OS X's skin. Isn't design language sort of wed to UI design, usability, etc.?

Why does design language become "dated" though? I've heard this before with regards to the iPhone. To me computer technology is not clothing that goes out of fashion. Maybe some people see it that way, but I'd say that this population consists primarily of young hipsters that probably do not make sense to be catered towards at the expense of other customers.

In the mobile space Apple/Google/Microsoft/Samsung/etc. have had the unique luxury of being extremely aggressive with how things have been rolled out. The cell contract thing is unique, and sort of works well since in many cases the battery life of phones for some heavy usage may warrant this sort of short replacement cycle. For this and other reasons people have been willing to completely change their phones around every year or two, so these vendors have had the luxury of being able to develop without making the same sort of efforts Apple and Microsoft have historically made in future proofing backwards compatibility, etc.

However, this will not last. As these devices continue to be used for more than just toys (as they are to many people), users will not be as interested in switching around like they do clothing or any other trend (providing they use their device with their business/school/whatever). Change is generally a slow and expensive process. I don't think that the mobile space will be quite as painful in dragging users along to modern devices/software as it has been with the Windows XP crowd, but eventually this whole urge to switch away from something that has been working perfectly fine just out of "boredom" will become less common, and the whole "if it ain't broke don't fix it" will probably make a comeback.

Therefore, I don't really agree with this whole notion that Apple should be overly concerned with not being "dated". I don't even think that they are, a great many businesses, websites, cultures around the world, etc. have still not fully embraced the whole mobile thing. Being on the bleeding edge has a price.
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 04:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why does design language become "dated" though? I've heard this before with regards to the iPhone. To me computer technology is not clothing that goes out of fashion. Maybe some people see it that way, but I'd say that this population consists primarily of young hipsters that probably do not make sense to be catered towards at the expense of other customers.
While it's an interesting question WHY these things begin to feel dated, are you really arguing that Apple's interface could look like this and it wouldn't make a difference?

     
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Aug 9, 2013, 05:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
While it's an interesting question WHY these things begin to feel dated, are you really arguing that Apple's interface could look like this and it wouldn't make a difference?

No. The user experience bar gets higher and higher as technology improves and as norms and expectations change, but OS X is certainly at least in the same conversation with anything else as far as hanging out near or above that bar.
     
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iOS, however, no longer is.
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
No. The user experience bar gets higher and higher as technology improves and as norms and expectations change, but OS X is certainly at least in the same conversation with anything else as far as hanging out near or above that bar.
I wish I could show you before and after screenshots of our iOS 6 and upcoming iOS 7 App. The difference is night and day. We've dumped heavy gradients and are tapping into gestures more. Thin, clean fonts. Our user interface in our iPad App has just one button. Think about that. Typically Apps like ours have 4 or 5 at the top and 3 or 4 on the bottom.

The design is incredibly liberating and I'm very excited about it. The content comes out so much more. I look at interfaces with buttons on the top and bottom and it looks dated, particularly the heavy gradients.

This is about abstracting the interface away. What goes with eliminating UI buttons and other UI elements and relying more on gestures is a simplistic, elegant, clean design language. Apple's relied on a more "messy, crayola" design language since the beginning. The two juxtaposed against one another is quite different. The older design language looks very dated because it's more intrusive and excessive.

What's the take away? Since we're moving to more of a reliance on gestures and mobile devices, UIs have and continue to become more simplistic. The result of this new design language and UI transition is that form is following function. That is, mobile hardware with smaller screens and gesture trackpads are the catalyst and departure point for this new design language and new UI design.
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Fair enough, I guess those screenshots do represent new design language too, I just think that when/if the new design language finds its way to OS X that a number of interface elements will be revamped for greater usability and overall design rather than just given a visual refresh. The screenshots just seemed like a superficial skin, much like you can install today if you wanted to muck around with OS X's skin. Isn't design language sort of wed to UI design, usability, etc.?...
It doesn't seem like you're getting what I'm posting.

Form is following function.

Software is becoming more simplistic and clean because of hardware. That's mobile devices that are smaller screened and multi-touch that rely on gestures rather than clicking for input. And that's multi-touch trackpads that give desktop and laptop computers multi-touch capability.

An example: the back and forward buttons in the browser is effectively redundant and useless now that you can swipe back and forward on a multi-touch trackpad. You've just eliminated 2 ugly, intrusive buttons in the UI where there's barely any room to fit them anyway. With the ability to eliminate buttons in a user interface, your software becomes more simplistic in its appearance. Less intrusive. Less distracting. More inviting. More of a focus on content. The new design language of thin fonts, use of white space, etc. is a derivative of this. This is what I mean by form following function.
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 08:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
iOS, however, no longer is.
Why is that? What is it missing?
     
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Aug 9, 2013, 08:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by theothersteve View Post
It doesn't seem like you're getting what I'm posting.

Form is following function.

Software is becoming more simplistic and clean because of hardware. That's mobile devices that are smaller screened and multi-touch that rely on gestures rather than clicking for input. And that's multi-touch trackpads that give desktop and laptop computers multi-touch capability.

An example: the back and forward buttons in the browser is effectively redundant and useless now that you can swipe back and forward on a multi-touch trackpad. You've just eliminated 2 ugly, intrusive buttons in the UI where there's barely any room to fit them anyway. With the ability to eliminate buttons in a user interface, your software becomes more simplistic in its appearance. Less intrusive. Less distracting. More inviting. More of a focus on content. The new design language of thin fonts, use of white space, etc. is a derivative of this. This is what I mean by form following function.

I get the form following function concept, as well as everything else you are saying here, and I agree with all of this. I think I was confused by you coming at this from the design language vantage point, when to me this is about changing far more than just design language, but more so fundamental UI design in general.
     
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Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Why is that? What is it missing?
Well, you said
The user experience bar gets higher and higher as technology improves and as norms and expectations change, but OS X is certainly at least in the same conversation with anything else as far as hanging out near or above that bar.
iOS set the bar six years ago, but alternative concepts have been tried that have expanded upon that bar. iOS is the original Mac interface to an industry that is moving at a FAR faster pace than the computer industry was back then, and it's other interfaces — whatever Metro is called now, for one, and Android inasfar as it now actually compares to iOS (which didn't used to be the case) — that are being talked about.

I appreciate that it was time for Apple to make their iOS the centerpiece of conversation again, as it were, and to do so by implementing design basics in a way that will be almost impossible for Android to imitate.
     
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Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Well, you said


iOS set the bar six years ago, but alternative concepts have been tried that have expanded upon that bar. iOS is the original Mac interface to an industry that is moving at a FAR faster pace than the computer industry was back then, and it's other interfaces — whatever Metro is called now, for one, and Android inasfar as it now actually compares to iOS (which didn't used to be the case) — that are being talked about.

I appreciate that it was time for Apple to make their iOS the centerpiece of conversation again, as it were, and to do so by implementing design basics in a way that will be almost impossible for Android to imitate.

What are your impressions of iOS 7?
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 07:39 AM
 
I've only played with the initial beta briefly on a friend's development phone, so I mostly have what I see and read on the web to go by.

My initial reaction was "wow". It's really lovely, and it actually felt quite different, while still being recognizably the same product.

We'll see whether the shift to gestures comes at the price of intuitiveness, but I'll withhold further judgment until I've seen my daughter try to use it.
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 07:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I've only played with the initial beta briefly on a friend's development phone, so I mostly have what I see and read on the web to go by.

My initial reaction was "wow". It's really lovely, and it actually felt quite different, while still being recognizably the same product.

We'll see whether the shift to gestures comes at the price of intuitiveness, but I'll withhold further judgment until I've seen my daughter try to use it.

What would you do if one day your daughter came up to you and said "Daddy, I think Apple is stupid, I don't like them"? Spanking?
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 08:03 AM
 
She'd [You] do that just to get a rise out of me, so why should I care?

If she actually just wants/needs to use something else, there'd be no reason to rub it in my face, right? Chances are, I'll even have paid for it.
     
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Aug 10, 2013, 11:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What would you do if one day your daughter came up to you and said "Daddy, I think Apple is stupid, I don't like them"? Spanking?
I think he'd probably troll her and then curl up in a corner with his Steve Jobs hugging pillow and cry himself to sleep.
     
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Who's trolling, shif?

At least you had the class to leave out your fantasy of me jerking off to a picture of Steve, this time. I'm kind of sad that whatever mod took offense at the time decided to edit that out of my response, as well. I thought that was pretty funny, if deeply pathetic.
     
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Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
She'd [You] do that just to get a rise out of me, so why should I care?

If she actually just wants/needs to use something else, there'd be no reason to rub it in my face, right? Chances are, I'll even have paid for it.
Just teasing in a light and playful way, but I've come to discover that if I could be paid to troll and I were interested in doing that I could become a millionaire!
     
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Aug 11, 2013, 04:03 AM
 
I meant I'd probably have paid for the Android/whatever else device that my daughter'd be using.
     
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Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I meant I'd probably have paid for the Android/whatever else device that my daughter'd be using.

Would she allowed to bring it to the dinner table?
     
 
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