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.

  • tunetardis
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    5 months ago

    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.

    In a word, no. Being able to build an engine doesn’t mean you know the first thing about how to design a car. It’s a totally different skill set.

    I work with PhDs who code all sort of amazing physics engines and then I design the GUI apps around them. That’s a full-time job right there (I’m living proof of it), and I wouldn’t expect them to understand it any more than they would expect me to understand all the physics.

    When you write some sort of procedural tool, you are in complete control of the program flow from start to finish. In a GUI app, the user is in control most of the time. That’s awesome if you’re the user, but it means a lot more what-if scenarios you have to account for, since users are notoriously unpredictable. And if the task your command line was performing takes an appreciable length of time, you need to spawn it off into separate threads or subprocesses and worry about all the synchronization logic you must get right. This is a programming minefield for anyone who has done it, especially when you need said threads to interact with the GUI, as GUI frameworks are notoriously not thread-safe.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is designing and implementing GUIs is non-trivial, unless maybe you just want something like an installer wizard that runs you through 10 dialogs to gather info for a command line and then runs it.