Archive for August 6, 2021

Friday, August 6, 2021

Safari 15 vs. Vivaldi When Matching the Web’s Colors

Steve Tibbett (includes video):

Flipping tabs in the new Safari is terrible. The flipping of the chrome colour makes it even harder to see what tab is selected. This isn’t an artificial test, these were the tabs I had open.

John Gruber:

Mind-boggling that anyone thinks this looks good, or isn’t bothered by the fact that it’s very hard to see which tab is selected.

Peter Maurer:

Remember the auto-color playlist headers in iTunes? This is like that. They’ll leave it enabled by default for a while because they can, and because some designer feels strongly about it.

Then in a year or two, they’ll disable it by default. Eventually, it will silently go away.

Matt Birchler:

Vivaldi may not look as fancy as Safari, but I think it’s hard to ague it’s any less usable.

  1. The active tab is always the same color, so it always stands out.
  2. Most UI elements live in the always-white part of the app so they’re always equally visible.
  3. The active table is always white so the black text is always maximally contrasy.

Plus, it gets the hierarchy right by putting the URL—which is tab-specific—inside the tab rather than above all the tabs.


After Dark Screensavers Recreated in CSS

This, from Bryan Braun, is great (via Hacker News).

Matt Birchler:

Younger readers may not be familiar, but After Dark was a piece of software you could get for your Mac that had a bunch of screensavers you could enjoy. The most iconic, as far as I can tell, are the flying toasters.

The earlier days of computers and the internet were really bad in some ways (matters of inclusion come to mind as something we didn’t even think of back then), but there are so many incredible things abut that time as well. Flying toasters perfectly symbolizes these days for me; it’s weird, it’s kinda stupid, and its iconic.


Kid Pix as a JavaScript App

jskidpix (via Hacker News):

JS Kid Pix / Kid Pix 1.0 was released in to the public domain and this is an HTML/JS reimplementation.


Just like the original Kid Pix, there’s no guide—have fun! Most of the tools support Shift (^) to enlarge. There are a handful of hidden tool features behind various modifier keys (⌘, ⌥, ⇧). The modifier keys can also be combined.


Google Considered Buying Epic

Adi Robertson (tweet):

Google considered buying Epic Games as the companies sparred over Epic’s Fortnite Android app, according to newly unsealed court filings.


Epic claims Google was threatened by its plans to sidestep Google’s official Play Store commission by distributing Fortnite through other channels, and in an unredacted segment, it quotes an internal Google document calling Epic’s plans a “contagion” threatening Google.


In another unsealed section, the complaint describes a Google Play manager reaching out to Epic about its plans to sideload Fortnite — and apparently admitting that sideloading is a “frankly abysmal” experience in the process.


Another section says that “staff members have acknowledged internally that the difficulty Google imposes on consumers who wish to direct download leads to a ‘[p]oor user experience,’ in that there are ‘15+ steps to get app [via sideloading] vs 2 steps with Play or on iOS.’”

Tim Sweeney:

This was unbeknownst to us at the time, and because of the court’s protective order we’re just finding out now about Google’s consideration of buying Epic to shut down our efforts to compete with Google Play.

Whether this would have been a negotiation to buy Epic or some sort of hostile takeover attempt is unclear.

Michael Love:

Google really giving away the game here; they a) admit that sideloading UX sucks, b) admit that the effect of that is to drive people to Play, c) recognize efforts by Epic et al to break up Play are bad for business, and d) are willing to spend lots of money to shut those down.