Wednesday, August 31, 2016

GUI 2 - Keyboard Binding Management

GUI 2:
  • memory footprint scales along with console-to-game usage
  • user never leaves session to change desktop environment
  • variety of usage workflows are producible through alterations within the environment
    • keyboard-only
      • command line
      • panels
      • windows
      • most possible
    • mouse
      • most possible
    • touch 
      • most possible
GUI 3: clearly requires different interface
    • VR 3d positional
      • most possible
    • Thought-reading
      • everything

Decided to call Distro 2's GUI 'GUI 2'.)(

  • All applications in GUI 2 have application shortcut profiles.
  • The management for these profiles is linked to in the window decorations, or whatever equivalent OS-level structure exists.
  • There is an app for managing keyboard bindings per application. 
  • All keyboard shortcut profiles can be exported and imported via simple files.
  • All applications have a code or individual name that fits into a universal naming convention.
  • Files are much like .css files, except they are listed according to the keystroke first.

<Application> [
ctrl+x: <function>;
ctrl+c: <function>;

<Application>.<location> [
ctrl+x: <function>;

If there are doubts as to how keyboard shortcuts can be transferred to different types of applications, then check out the Firefox VIM shortcut add-on. It is a perfect example of how shortcuts do not transfer perfectly, but still work.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Basic Income Begins

Continued from here.

Basic Income costs more than the entire budget.

Finding Earth from Basic Income

. . . continued from here.

My loose intuition on Basic Income has been to say it is tenable and forward-facing. Probably best for us to wait for automation to pick up more slack. But this is ridiculous.

To Recap:

The last post was off by $1.3 Trillion, but it is a grounding reality that the total federal budget is still less in total than the cost of basic income alone:




Sure I knew the concept of basic income was about swapping out welfare programs and taxing corporations more. However my casual impressions were always of maintaining a similar bottom line.

I would say that this idea has been debunked except that it has so many proponents.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Distro 2: The GUI has a GUI-Component Construction Kit

The Settings and Features Problem:

The OS can only facilitate so many options and settings

     ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ              possible function availability

So they select a lot they think will be used by most people

      W Q U O P R D X C M H L T A J Z S K              standard function availability

But users inevitably want a whole different set at their fingertips

    E       X      T      I      P      Z       J       B               preferred functions

Windows and Linux both have this problem.

The Windows/Mac approach to solving this problem is:
  • Reduce Options
  • Fall back on tradition and familiarity
  • Obfuscate 'deeper' functionalities
  • Familiarity creates illusion of superior design
  • Stale feature set
  • Awkward, failed attempts at change
  • Limited number of operations

The Linux Approach to solving this problem is: (maybe better?)
  • Reduce Options
  • Create Myriad of Desktop Environments
  • Imitate Windows GUI Menus

A Rant in Ignorance: Basic Income

The Rant

  1. Of the dreams to have, basic income is one of the best.
  2. The idea holds a strong common sense appeal
  3. But what are the numbers? Does it actually make sense?

As with many discussions on social issues:
  • The frequent discourse on the topic appeals to one's common sense
  • There is a strong sense of promised fulfillment
  • There is much repetition, with layers of depth, but:
    •  none of that depth ever addresses real numbers
    •  discussions of complications and weaknesses do not exist 


Welcome to this rant in ignorance.


(How much would basic income cost?)

Common introductions to Basic Income mention $1000/month/person. The United States has ~320,000,000 citizens. So immediately we get a minimum yearly cost of ~324m * 1000 * 12 = $3.888 trillion.

1st Wave of Basic Income Costs 4 Trillion Dollars a Year


(How many dollars does the Government pull in?)


2012 Federal Tax Revenue by State

Federal Tax Revenue Was $2.5 Trillion in 2012.

Notice The US Avg on a Person's Tax Rate is $7,918

 Ok, so my ignorant rant is assuaged for now. At least I have some idea of proportionality.

to be continued....

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

'CLI-GUI Transference' is a Principle of Operating System Design

'CLI-GUI Transference' is a coined term for a principle of operating system design that needs attention.

Cli-gui transference is about maintaining a relationship and a consistency between gui and cli tools.

Cli-gui transference means:

  • skills easily transfer between cli and gui methods
  • gui methods mentor users on cli methods
  • cli users easily derive gui methods
  • gui users easily recognize and acquire cli conventions

This principle is useful when approaching os design from a holistic vantage point. In other words, neither features of the cli or gui exist in a vacuum respectively. The value of this design comes in good hindsight of problems that arise from the gui and cli being disparate in technique.

Good gui transference means:

  • gui methods show cli conventions and terminology wherever possible
  • gui methods still maintain elegance and minimalism
  • cli methods are designed for discernibility, order, and derivability

Page-Specific Gadget Content

This is a feature idea for Google Blogger.

This feature would allow bloggers to display soft classes of information to blog readers on a per-page basis, via sidebar Gadgets like the "Text" and "Links" Gadgets. This would allow Blogger blogs to have a more dynamic feeling with minimal extra data and feature disruption.

The user would primarily interact with this feature while editing a Page.

When a user is editing a Page, there would be a heading called "Page-Specific Content" under "Page Settings".

When the heading is clicked, a list of Gadgets appears. These would be Gadgets that the user already chose in Layout mode. These would also be Gadgets altered to allow for page-specific content. (This would most notably be the "Text" and "Links" Gadgets.)

Default Gadget content is still defined from Layout mode (as it is presently.)

Suggested Elder Scrolls VI Features

Dwemer Downfall Theme
Through a special magical phenomenon such as a "Dragon Break", send the player back and forth between two different time periods. This would allow players to see certain areas, such as Dwemer ruins, in two different playable states. ie: one in the distant past with the Dwemer, and one without.

(everybody wants to see the dwemer!)

Fantasy Landscape
Bethesda desperately needs to return the landscape to have fantasy elements like Morrowind. It needs to capture beauty, following the essence of Morrowind. Oblivion and Skyrim's landscapes are ultimately too normal and boring.

Conversation Dialect System
The conversation system in Skyrim needs to blow people away. A Dialect system would model rumors and interactive speech patterns, so that language could behave much like real language. This language system could also be modded.

Improved Visual and Physics Details

  • Weapons need to hit body parts visually.
  • Running, jumping, etc. should not be animations, but normalized random body motions that correspond to realtime conditions.

Skills Develop Like Real Skills
  • Low Level
    • A weapon that is too heavy to lift should be usable, but the player will only be able to grab the handle and drag it on the ground - and then
    • If a spell is cast at a low level, a mistaken or weaker version of the spell is cast.
  • Mid Level
    • You finally feel like you are able to use skills practically
  • High Level
    • You feel that things come easier, and then easy

Distro 2

"Distro 2" is a conceptual new upstream cli Linux that 'reboots the franchise'.

A hardened pre-graphical OS presumably running on the Linux Kernel with the philosophies of:
  • logical according to modern usage scenarios
  • logical from a ground-up skill acquisition approach
    • consistent and minimized rules of operation
    • a tool - not a history lesson
    • less memorization
  • maximum deprecation and efficiency
Compatibility with older distributions is a downstream development


  • new file-system hierarchy
  • new binaries
    • good naming conventions
      • hardline, Nazi conventions, potentially system-enforced
    • designed balance in number of binary options with number of binaries
    • reduced redundancy
    • consistent, derivable rules of options
    • consistent, derivable rules of functionality
  • Shell IDE CLI meta files (like computer readable man pages)
    • requires ground-up non-graphical panel functionality
    • binaries options displayed
    • keystroke conventions
    • consistent option naming conventions
  • Modularity of course
  • 'Derivability' (minimizes the need for 'technique memorization')
    • the concept of derivability is that practical operating techniques can be derived through meta rules about how the operations are constructed.
    • it means that there is greater design behind how things are accomplished
    • most importantly, a user could think of a task to accomplish, and be more likely to be able to guess how it is done to minimize the need for memorization.
    • designing derivibility comes down to optimizing:
      • modularity of operating principles
      • reduction of rules
      • reduction of redundant functionality
      • identifying core, absolute operating limitations and directionality created by universalities of, and dependencies on, characteristics of essential devices and interface methods.

'Derivability' is a Principle of Design for Complex Tools

Derivability minimizes:
  • Need for memorization
  • The learning curve on skill acquisition
  • Arbitrary factors in technical operations
  • Costs of operation
  • Unnecessary skill-set isolation

Derivibility means that a user can logically derive most usage scenarios of an otherwise complex tool, given a smaller set of operating guidelines.

Small learning curve means easier adoption.

Good derivibility must also facilitate good modularity.

Considerations Around Derivibility:

  • definition of a tool
    • foreseeable purpose
    • absolute limitations
  • relative limitations - (to be reduced)
  • existence of intrinsic layers
  • directionalities in simplicity to complexity
  • universality and depth of task presence
  • directionalities in task dependencies
  • directionalities in skill dependencies
  • irreducible complexity by systemically external confines
  • any and all forms of irreducible complexity
    • any controlling factors of task reducibility