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Comment on "The Wrong Way for the Right Reasons"
by Dan Price — Nov 18
Scott, Disco isn't being criticized because it has a non-standard UI. Toast has a non-standard UI. As does Delicious. The difference is, these products work very well. The UI should contribute to the function of the app, not compromise it for the sake of style and this is why Disco has gotten so many people upset.

It simply doesn't work very well. For a start, the main window is fixed at a tiny size and cannot be resized. Limiting the burn list to 6 items for the sake of style is ridiculous if you think about it. It's non-hierachical and folders cannot be inspected. You cannot 'select' rows; instead each row has an 'inspect' and delete button. They must be pretty damn good icons to be worth repeating for every line. To add insult to injury, the delete button is pixels away from the scrollbar and there's no delete-confirmation dialog. It's all too easy to inadvertently remove items.

The disk-name field is not well-placed and can only take 20 characters. The transparency is ugly when it's not sitting on a clean background. It doesn't burn ISO and toast images; this is supposed to be a dedicated burning app. It's already produced a few bad disks for me, for no apparent reason. If this was a widget, I would have no problem with it. But it seems to me we're being asked to pay $15 for built-in Finder functionality in a 'nice' (subjective) wrapper, which really doesn't work all that great.

People like innovation. People liked tabbed documents, the iTunes atomic-burn button (R.I.P.), Aqua. But they must supplement the function. Disco's creators spent a day making a disk-burning app, and 6 months working on the graphics.

I agree with you that people will just buy pretty things for the sake of it - many Disco users pre-ordered their copy. It's these same people who are annoyed with it; they thought they were getting a dedicated disk-burning package to rival toast. What they got was a really limited app and eye-candy.

A lot of people are forgiving Disco as it's 'a beta' but the developers would have to do some serious re-workings to write these wrongs, and I don't see that happening.
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