Today at the makerspace we were discussing The Things We Lost W/R/T the development of computing.
We talked about the Cannon Cat, we talked about Hypercard, we talked about the ST and the Amiga.
One topic that came up towards the tail end of the discussion that is near and dear to me is Sugar, the DE designed along side the OLPC project.
It was a radically different approach to computing, and could have been a strong step towards a more Humane future for computers.
Choice paralysis can be a real problem in lots of modern software.
Give me some sane defaults, make choices for me, give me a way to override them when it makes sense. Tell me to fuck off and use another tool when that makes sense.
What could a specialized video editor look like, as opposed to a general purpose video editor?
@ajroach42 Agreed. It's so much easier to copy and modify an idea than to build from scratch (and too, if you're offering something to replace proprietary program X, people usually want something just like X).
@kelbot Windows Movie Maker was still just trying to follow what other NLEs did.
It was a standard NLE with bits missing.
And yeah, it was pretty functional and reasonably quick to pick up.
@ajroach42 Hmmmm, I don't know. But I'd definitely like to see one built on GStreamer! Allowing you to visually assemble media pipelines.
GStreamer has some infrastructure for precisely this, but I don't know if it's used anywhere.
@ajroach42 Reminds me of how I'd design HTML & CSS editors: They'd be seperate.
When writing documents you'd default to a nice theme (Kev Quirk's Simple.CSS?). But if you don't like that look, you'll be able to open a sidebar full of all the controls webdevs have access to.
Why don't office suites hide their styling options behind the paragraph style selector? That'd encourage better typography, whilst so happening to adhear to oversimplification that's all the rage!
@ajroach42 While I don't remember names, there was a decent amount of entry level video editors in the early Multimedia era (late 90s).
Those were mostly aimed at home video market, where you would make quick videos out of your vacation footage, etc.
The one I played with was quick and simple to use: drop some clips, choose transitions if you want, add titles and text, maybe some effects (I remember adding falling snow to a static winter pic) and go.
I think there were also themes to choose.
@ajroach42 Only supports an A/B cut. One button push zooms to a slider to select your cut point. If there's audio, cut automatically happens at the bottom of a trough in volume unless you turn that off. Alternately specify a time stamp to cut in 0.1 second increments
@ajroach42 90% of the video-editing I do is "chopping clips shorter, then smashing them together" (with titles between, sometimes, if I'm feeling fancy).
This is like "trip report" type of stuff, like you've got a bunch of video-clips from some adventure ... so something that let me "select the next clip, shorten / chop / split it, put it on the end" would be amazing.
(...and for me personally, the clips will be sorted in a directory somewhere so like "edit_video *.mp4" or so to start :)
@ajroach42 i saw a terminal editor that was a linear real-time editor. You would do small 'takes' until you were happy with one and move onto the next. I forget what it was called. It was optimized for remote conference presentations and videos.
@libc early imovie was great. Very near what I want. Currently it's just a stripped back clone of final cut or whatever.
Windows movie maker was ... uhh... maybe a little too simple?
Sugar was fun -- accessible, friendly. I never played with it enough to see the guts. It wasn't like the morphic-based desktop environment that ships with squeak -- which is absolutely wild, like the GUI equivalent of an Obayashi movie. That came out of discussions at the ViewPoints Research Institute about what an idea "gui of the future" would be like.
One problem, I think, is that organizations to do weird things with tech mostly don't exist anymore. We just have companies -- and they try to look quirky, but inside they are just corporations. The MIT Media Lab was ethically compromised and scammy in some ways, but it was at least insulated from the need to cut out all but the most obviously profitable decisions.
But another problem is that the idea of getting together a bunch of stuffed PhDs in a room to spend six months talking about the future of ANYTHING -- and then BUILD IT -- seems weird today. You can do one or the other but nobody expects to do both -- and mostly, you don't do either, because people who can code work for companies and companies need to be profitable.
I work at a firm that works with IP data and science data (i.e., we process patent/trademark/copyright/whatever registrations, and also their litigation history, in order to help companies figure out when to sue each other) and with some very brilliant people, but we too have swallowed the 'agile' pill and are sucked into short-sighted obviously-stupid plans that are not even interesting.
"Not even interesting" is the permanent failure mode for a discipline staunchly uninterested in even its recent history -- a discipline fully captured by the incentives and processes of capital, which is even more blind than darwinian evolution, having decided to jettison any kind of long term planning apparatus that might naturally develop.
@enkiv2 People who can code don't just work for companies, they expect to be paid more than anyone should reasonably expect.
I'm sure a small company could sustain itself making and selling weird open source software, and pay some living wages, but we're never going to make a fortune at it.
@enkiv2 @ajroach42 (As someone with a PhD..) that does happen in some cases; in startups it often happens because the teams are small; in big companies it can happen as well - but often they split it up abit; e.g. a 'research division' that does a lot of talking and prototyping and then gets another group to actually develop a product.
@penguin42 @enkiv2 I work for one of those big companies, have worked for a couple of them, and we did have skunkworks out there prototyping new weird stuff, but it's rarely anything worthwhile, if that makes sense?
I can't say much more than that, but it's just uhhh... I never feel good about the secret projects.
Yeah, & I think companies are a poor fit for this work because shit gets shut down whenever it becomes clear that it won't be profitable.
Bell was a special case, having a government-sanctioned monopoly & keeping it just through the PR of filing a lot of patents on basic research & waiving licensing fees. Plus all the sputnik money. PARC was also DARPA sputnik money.
(Specifically: right after the sputnik launch there was a worry about soviet engineering overtaking US industry, so a bunch of money was set aside for supercharging STEM education & engineering collaboration -- some administered by ARPA. It funded ARC, PARC, PLATO, & a lot of other stuff, and dried up by the late 70s.)
British Telecom used to have a few interesting "skunkwork" style projects well the 2000s (their research centre is in my district), nowadays the place seems to be largely empty other than very lean teams working on various "cybersecurity" projects and monitoring overall infrastructure performance (in other words surveillance of the UK's Internet) - no one is allowed to talk about /exactly/ what they are doing, and they are generally paid well enough to keep quiet.
@ajroach42 e.g. What if I told you that a web browser doesn't need visual output?
That's often a stumbling block when discussing my efforts with others, yet not exploring this is underserving richtext's versatility...
A social network for the 19A0s.