2
exerceo
100d

If I could create laws, I would pass a "software usability act" which would eliminate many annoyances we face daily.

For example, the law would mandate range selection in file managers, mandate time-stamped file names in camera and voice recording apps, and require that browsers open a new tab next to the currently open tab instead of at the end, and all user interfaces must have a dark mode to reduce eye strain, and all operating systems must have a blue light filter, text editors must create a temporary copy when saving to avoid corrupting the existing file, camera applications should not corrupt the entire video file when ending unexpectedly (crashing), cancelling file operations must not cause data loss ( https://support.google.com/photos/... ), no mandatory pull-to-refresh ( https://chromestory.com/2019/07/... ), to mention a few examples.

Mobile file managers commonly lack a range selection feature (also known as shift selection or A-to-B selection), where all items between two selected items of a list can be selected immediately. ES File Explorer had this in 2012, yet many fancy new file managers still don't have this. To select many items, each item needs to be tapped individually. This is an unacceptable annoyance.

This is not to be confused with the inferior drag-to-select which requires holding the finger on the screen until all desired items are selected. Drag-to-select is not range selection, only its ugly stepsister.

Ah yes, under the imaginary software usability act, Mozilla would have to say good-bye to its evil add-on signing. "For our protection" my arse.

Comments
  • 2
    I think the law could just mandate that any state transition or action in an application that can be triggered by a user must also be scriptable. Then you could sit your arse down and write the things you're demanding so vocally, like the sovereign worker that you are.

    God, if programmers only realized what a privilege it is that we own the means of production and can actually make anything with just our time without capital.
  • 2
    Laws and regulations — enacting your vision by force — is rarely the answer, and so often ends horribly.
  • 3
    Software development is one of the last free exercises of expression without stupid fuckers telling us what to do.

    Keep bureaucrats out for as long as possible.
  • 0
    @lorentz Social media owners wouldn't like the mandatory scriptability. I've read about a guy who made a browser extension to unfollow everyone in your Facebook account in one click, only to receive a cease-and-desist letter from Meta, threatening with legal action.

    About owning the means of production, the time IS the capital :) you can make anything if you have the money to survive while doing it. But yeah, almost no more specific tools needed other than a PC.
  • 1
    @gemsy Social media is a tumor on the internet, a combination of great ideas but one that could only grow as big as it did because it found a niche of exploitation that existing consumer protection and media laws didn't cover. They hate all regulation that empowers the user _or_ the content author. Luckily they don't own all lawmakers around the world.
  • 2
    All of the annoyances mentiond could either be solved with open source or have an already existing solution. Law are NOT meant to police a minor inconvenience in software.
  • 0
    Rule number 1 of law making:
    A law is only useful if it can be enforced.

    This is why the cookie laws are not followed except for a few high profile organisations. If I would have to implement a law for that I would require that websites add cookie intent metadata. This way the user can set policies in the browser (instead of millions of misleading cookie UI's) and it can be checked automatically if the metadata of all cookies are present. Thus it can be enforced with warnings and fines.
  • 1
    @Demolishun "Keep bureaucrats out for as long as possible." - Valid point. I never thought of it that way.

    However, unfortunately projects that started out as noble have become de-facto bureaucracies themselves (for example, Mozilla).
  • 1
    @exerceo I wonder how much of that is part of their non-profit status.
  • 0
    @Root Perhaps so. However, wouldn't it at the very least be reasonable to force mobile browsers to save pages inside the download folder rather than a locked-in location that is inaccessible from any other tool?

    Also, right to root. https://devrant.com/rants/10241381/...

    That would enforce more user freedom.
  • 1
    One thing to consider. The way we consume the web is not a requirement to operate on the web. One could draft their own interface for interoperability with sites and the kind of data presented. So if someone wanted to produce a different kind of document other than HTML as default they could. People's adoption would be most likely niche though.

    Right now the current web is a kind of wild animal that evolves into an ever more complex and unwieldy beast. This creates a huge barrier to entry without using existing kits. I feel like a simpler web is wanting to get out from this mess. I know Stroustrup has similar feelings about C++.
  • 0
    And how do you propose to enforce these laws?

    If I make a new textEditor - you’re gonna spend money to launch a government court case against me to fine me or ban it - because it doesn’t save temp files?
  • 0
    @jiraTicket Perhaps asking Google Play to make the app private until then.

    Government has money in abundance anyway.
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