[sugar] perceived sugar performance
Mon Apr 28 17:01:53 EDT 2008
I'm neither a child nor a teacher, so this opinion is personal :
What you want to avoid is having the user decide "my intent has been
ignored", when in fact it is something "under the covers" that is
delaying the completion of his intent.
The best way I can think of to avoid the user making a wrong
decision is to give him "feedback" whenever the XO enters a
condition perceived as "as yet, nothing seems to be happening".
You are probably asking about situations where responsiveness is
expected in seconds (let educators determine how long a wait needs
to be to cross the threshold into "too long"). What I believe is
needed is showing "Yes, something *is* happening". Many operating
systems use the cursor appearance to tell the user "working on it".
[Eye candy might distract the user during unavoidable waits.]
If confirmation takes "too long", the user might end up confused.
For example, I restarted an Activity from the Journal (no longer
remember which one); nothing seemed to be happening, so I used
alt-tab to switch to an existing Activity; a while later, while I
was viewing its screen, the XO suddenly transferred the display to
showing the screen of the new Activity, which had finally started.
[A change to supply an unmistakable confirmation of "Activity
starting" has been described -- I wish it were available now.]
Harder to endure are the situations where it can take minutes to do
something. I am (and I expect others will be, as well) too
impatient to sit still and wait for these to complete - I'll switch
my attention to something else, and will need to be informed of what
became of the thing I was waiting for. [For example, I believe that
if connectivity to a server is lost -- recovery might be soon, but
also it might take more than five minutes.] I believe there should
be an ongoing indication (e.g., slow blinking of a front panel
light) that unambiguously shows the user "I'm slowly working on
this", with a specific how-it-concluded indication when this
"working" activity ends (e.g., light goes off for "connection given
up for good", or light goes steady for "connection properly
[Shutdown is an example of where I feel the XO is a "drag" - it
takes me 40+ seconds. I don't know if "closing the lid" while the
screen is still lit will cause problems, or if before packing up the
XO I have to just sit and wait until the screen goes dark.]
mikus (running G1G1, not emulator)
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