Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 149 - Deconstructing "blu" - a new WPF Twitter client from thirteen23

February 13, '09 Comments [10] Posted in Podcast | Windows Client | WPF
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blu Scott talks to Doug Cook, Hal Saville, and Lee Brenner about their dramatic new Twitter client, called "blu" (formerly "chirp") with a jelly aesthetic you have to see to believe. How do they find developing in WPF? What's their workflow? What's coming for the next release of blu? Let's put the pressure on them to make it even better, eh?

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Friday, February 13, 2009 2:04:53 PM UTC
Nice, been using Blu for a couple of days, very nice, this is how WPF apps should looks like.

The only problem is that I haven't figured out how to view replies, it has a button for direct messages but when I start it up after I have been a away I usually check if someone has replied.
Friday, February 13, 2009 3:57:01 PM UTC
wait... you can't resize it?????? FAIL. also, isn't very usable. maybe in a couple of months it will be better.
Friday, February 13, 2009 4:38:40 PM UTC
All development emphasis was put into the visuals, not the usability. As stunning as blu is, it's an utter failure as an application. Things that are wrong with it:

1. Can't resize the application. That's a WPF 101 failure.
2. No scrollbar. Even if the list is scrollable by other means (and in the "chirp" iteration, it fell down bad there), the scrollbar is still important for usability, as it's the only visual cue for where one is at in the list.
3. Keyboard support is lacking. blu does better than chirp in this respect, though there's still issues.
4. Focus isn't visually displayed. This is especially important when using the keyboard for input. It's surprising when the new keyboard support for scrolling in blu doesn't work, until you realize it's because the list isn't focused. Hard to know when the keyboard will work, when focus isn't visually displayed.
5. No shell icon.

These are fundamentals for any application (except 5), not specific features for a Twitter client that you could argue about whether or not they must exist, much less in a V1 release.
Friday, February 13, 2009 8:43:23 PM UTC
wait... it's free??? and will probably only improve over time?????? FAIL.
Friday, February 13, 2009 9:33:45 PM UTC
Wow. Maybe before people jump on the FAIL bandwagon they should ask themselves how many apps they've produced - for nothing - for the community recently?

Myself, I think it's a fantastic effort and a great example of the future of Windows UX. It's obvious that a good deal of work has gone into it.

No, it's not perfect (multiple accounts please! :) but I'll certainly be keeping an eye on it.
Andrew
Saturday, February 14, 2009 6:27:41 AM UTC
When will we have the Pdf version ? Can't understand all because my bad english, but can understand almost all reading
Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:06:43 PM UTC
My experience with WPF leads me to believe that Thirteen23 worked "extremely" hard and with passion to produce Blu. My hope is that Thirteen23 continues to produce such motivating work and that they're not put off by some of the short sighted comments left here. Good work guys, just terrific stuff!

Chris
Chris
Sunday, February 15, 2009 6:16:12 PM UTC
Tried Blue but can't say I cared for it at all. Find Twhirl far better.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:55:56 PM UTC
Per the podcast this application was a demonstration or proof of concept lab exercise. To me, it seems a bit harsh to hold the application up to a differenet standard and then label it a failure.
Stephen Study
Saturday, March 14, 2009 3:15:34 PM UTC
I agree with the to build a quality software.It needs forthrightness,skills and imagination power.Thanks for recommending this.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.