Monday, March 6, 2023

Rogue Amoeba Historic Screenshot Archive

Paul Kafasis:

20 years ago today, on March 3, 2003, Rogue Amoeba released Audio Hijack Pro 1.0. This was a crucial event in the company’s history, as sales grew a much higher level, taking Rogue Amoeba from a hobby to a viable business.

On this anniversary, it seems fitting for us to unveil something else special: the Rogue Amoeba Historic Screenshot Archive. It’s an in-depth collection of images and information about key versions from our 20+ years in business, and we think it’s well worth a look.

This is really cool.


Update (2023-03-08): Rui Carmo:

Although we blame the web and shitty Electron apps for the recent downturn in overall computer usability, it is sobering to go over these screenshots and notice that the erosion of clarity and usability on the Mac actually started with Apple itself as it progressively sanded down the macOS UI into featureless rounded rectangles laden with ambiguous text that (lacking affordances) might or might not be buttons and drop-downs.

John Gruber:

I really miss UI design that made controls obvious. Clear affordances. All buttons obviously buttons, all text input fields obviously text input fields. Pop-up menus that are obviously pop-up menus (today’s MacOS 13 is chock full of pop-up menus that only reveal themselves as pop-ups when you hover over them). 20 years ago we bent over backwards to make the purpose of every control as obvious as possible; the style today is to make everything look like flat static text.

Depth and texture in UI are good things. Our displays have never been better suited to displaying color and fine detail, but our UI themes today look like they were designed for output on a crummy old laser printer or something.

Update (2023-03-14): Cory Birdsong:

Taking extremely busy UIs and making them cleaner and less obtrusive often ends up in a decent-ish place, but the mistake is not keeping in mind that the goal should be clarity, not indiscriminately stripping out every bit of visual noise.

The shiny aqua style makes the active control here a little hard to read, but when glancing at the new style you might not even notice there's an active control[…]

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I love Rogue Amoeba. They're one of the few software companies left on the mac that make great functional, beautiful, elegantly designed native applications. They're a rare breed, especially in these dark times of poorly integrated resource draining electron apps and the current nose dive of Apple's software quality.


Agreed. They and Panic are in a league of their own.

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