[Blink] Blink/Mac - a few UI suggestions

Nicholas Riley njriley at illinois.edu
Wed Aug 25 04:07:26 CEST 2010


I have been using Blink for a few weeks now and particularly  
appreciate how it worked out of the box with very little configuration.

However the user interface is a little rough (better than most other  
SIP clients, though that doesn't say much :-).  So here are the things  
that have annoyed me most, in roughly descending order.

1. It is very hard to read the highlighted contact information  
(ContactCell) because the text is drawn in gray/black on dark blue.   
All the text should be in white when a row is highlighted.  Compare  
the download list in Safari as an example.

2. You can't easily make a call from the keyboard.  Ideally, you could  
press Command-F or Command-Shift-F to focus the search field, type a  
name in the address book, then use the arrow keys to navigate the list  
of matches.  Instead you need to click or tab repeateadly to get down  
to the list.  Consider how the URL bar works in most Web browsers.   
Similarly, it'd be great if it would search the phone labels and  
searched each word independently (e.g. I could type "nich home" to get  
my home number).

3. There is no standard Command-, shortcut for Preferences.

4. It is easy to get lost in the large number of settings; the popup  
menu is a poor navigation tool.  Some consolidation/removal of panes  
and a better navigation control (e.g. list down one side) would be  
great, as well as a search function.  I like Xcode's searchable/ 
expandable lists and TextWrangler/BBEdit's drawer for this.

5. Please do not use 12 point Lucida Grande for UI controls (in  
Settings).  It is fine to use for content (e.g. in contact list).   
This is not a standard control text size and for better or worse it  
reminds me of lousy cross-platform software - thank you for not  
inflicting Qt or wxWidgets on your Mac users :-)

I tried to fix some of these but it seems Blink does not build from  
the tarball - some code is missing:

2010-08-24 20:43:03.040 Blink[4392:10b] Traceback (most recent call  
2010-08-24 20:43:03.042 Blink[4392:10b]   File "/Users/nicholas/ 
Main.py", line 56, in <module>
2010-08-24 20:43:03.042 Blink[4392:10b] import BlinkAppDelegate
2010-08-24 20:43:03.043 Blink[4392:10b]   File "/Users/nicholas/ 
BlinkAppDelegate.py", line 13, in <module>
2010-08-24 20:43:03.044 Blink[4392:10b] from application.notification  
import NotificationCenter, IObserver
2010-08-24 20:43:03.045 Blink[4392:10b] ImportError
2010-08-24 20:43:03.046 Blink[4392:10b] :
2010-08-24 20:43:03.047 Blink[4392:10b] No module named  


Nicholas Riley <njriley at illinois.edu>

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