New version 1.3.4: unexpected regression in user interface

I just downloaded and installed 1.3.4, replacing 1.3.4 beta I had installed as a temporary workaround to unusual bugs with Safari 3 webkit.
The very first thing I noticed in this new version is the disappearance of one of the preference in the General tab > Interface > “Mail 2 like interface” which, by unmarking it, gave me the chance to have the background in my favorite blank colour, much more pleasant than the insipid grey one which comes as default.
I am one of the numerous addict DTP users wich also complain about the sadness and the lack of modernity of the DT UI. So far, we have not received any answer from Devon team about possible improvements in a next major release. Anyway, you should, at least, preserve the existing UI settings in the minor releases you deliver.
In my opinion, this regression is unacceptable. Please, please, restore the preferences of the 1.3.3 or let us the chance to download again 1.3.4 beta in which they were preserved.

Can I at least hope for an answer, an acknowledgment, a sign of life?

Yes, we are alive. :slight_smile:

The display is compliant with Leopard’s display conventions. See, e.g., the most modern versions of Mail and iTunes in Leopard.

It may or may not be possible to modify the display appearance in the future without introducing problems or complexity.

I suspect that you are a bit kidding 8). Anyway, I am of good mood as well tonight.
As already written many times in this forum, modernity, in my opinion, does not mean an “iTunes like” appearance (see multiple threads about that). I know you like this caricatural comparison but, should you need to defend you against modernity, then it would not be a so good argument :slight_smile:.
Back to my concern. Do you mean that we are condemned to live in the gray as long as we are running DTP under Tiger?
Again, I hope that you will have the possibility to restore the “old fashion” settings of DTP preferences :smiley:.

Heh. This is funny.

For months, people complain that the DTP interface is “outdated” and “out of step” with advances in the OS X UI.

Then, a new version appears, fully compatible with Apple’s latest interface guidelines.

And within days, people want the old interface back.


Um, don’t you mean your favourite blank color? :smiling_imp:

I have noticed that 1.3.4 is now lightning fast under Leopard. But I guess that’s less important than insipid gray whatever. :open_mouth:

I agree with Christophe. I didn’t think the look of DTP could get worse, then 1.3.4 came out. Those still using Tiger have gone backwards. Before I could have a background that was white, grey or with alternating row colours. Now I can have grey, grey or perhaps even grey. There is a relationship between form and function which doesn’t seem to have been recognised with this product.

Look at it this way: if the background color is the most discussed “problem” of your software, you must have a more or less perfect product already.


Good point, Sven, except to my knowledge no-one said it was ‘the most discussed “problem”’. It is simply the problem we are discussing in this thread. Off the top of my head I can think of other problems, in particular the lack of key functionality such as spotlight integration, tagging and the ability to open multiple databases simultaneously, which are of concern to quite a few people judging by other posts in the forums. Perhaps these don’t bother you. If not, you are fortunate.

Sven, quit being so condescending. The user interface is a HUGE part of any application. To put down someone’s comments as silly just because you don’t agree with them is ridiculous.

I would of course agree that the user interface is a huge part of any application.

But the term User Interface doesn’t apply to appearance per se.

There’s a decent summary in WikiPedia at To quote:

“The user interface (or Human Machine Interface) is the aggregate of means by which people (the users) interact with a particular machine, device, computer program or other complex tool (the system). The user interface provides means of:
Input, allowing the users to manipulate a system
Output, allowing the system to produce the effects of the users’ manipulation.”

An outstanding UI may be aesthetically unpleasing, as in the instrumentation of a racing car, by contrast to the instrumentation in a consumer automobile where styling receives more attention – sometimes (fortunately not always) to the detriment of functionality.

Most of Apple’s efforts towards good UI emphasize simplicity and consistency, so that the user can focus on the options for input and on the results of a procedure. Apple has introduced more ‘flash’ in Leopard, as in the Time Machine UI. I find it attractive. But I’ve seen one report by a man that his wife cannot use Time Machine, because all the movement and flashing triggers a seizure. So for her, it’s not a good UI.

Oops ! Wow ! Heh !
Which monstrosity did I say, which taboo did I transgress to cause so many hostile reactions?

@Howarth. You are right, my English is “so, so” (approximate?). I am just a French guy who makes the effort write in English to share his ideas in a rather broad way. Note: as far as I know, the two orthographies “grey” and “gray” are accepted. If that were false, I would appreciate you to correct me again.

2° More specifically, I am not using Leopard but Tiger and I reaffirm that this DTP version 1.3.4 comes with a regression in terms of UI settings. As mentioned by Inkwell3, those using OS X 10.4 have the chance now to colour the background in gray or in grey, which is a very daring alternative. @Katherine: it is absolutely not a question of conservatism but, within the framework of the general discussion about the user interface, I consider that this decision of the Devon team appears to be inappropriate.

3° I have always been a defender of the great features shipped with DTP. As much of us, I am also impatient to see them improved (multiple databases, Spotlight, etc…). And, I’ll be always in first line to defend the care which is necessary to take to the interface user / application. I invite you to read more in this thread
One often answers this debate by the mockery, implying that those which claim a more modern interface are only poisoned geeks with iTunes. These little argued answers are less and less understood by some (most?) of us who are tired to be regarded as whimsical amateurs.

Hi, Christophe. The discourse wasn’t too hostile, I hope. Discussions about appearances – aesthetic perceptions – sometimes get contentious, with a wide range of opinions. :slight_smile:

Confession: When I was running DT Pro Office 1.3.3 under Tiger I had the “Mail 2.0” preference setting turned on. But now I’m running under Leopard; Mail doesn’t look like Mail 2.0 now. Leopard’s Mail list view looks a lot like the Three-Panes view in DT Pro, or vice versa. Leopard is going to be the future for application development for the next couple of years or so.

DT Pro Office 1.3.4 running under Leopard feels like – to me – a better research tool than did 1.3.3 running under Tiger. It feels faster, especially for searches and See Also and Classify operations. I like that! There have been some tweaks and some new features including (under Leopard) addition of MS Office 2007 and Open Document compatibility. And very promising development opportunities for the future.

I still see a few glitches in Leopard. But my databases are stable and I’m getting my work done. As in previous major OS upgrades, Apple will continue to polish the new Mac operating system.

Well, maybe I do not use DTPO long enough yet.

I would appreciate the ability to have multiple databases open very much. This however is already promised for V2.

I don’t see the point in Spotlight integration, as the search function in DTP is much more powerful. One of the big advantages of DTP for me is to have everything in one place, neatly organized and instantly accessible. It also makes backups a lot easier. That is why I choose to import everything including “unknown file types” and leave the “Index” feature alone.

As for the tagging and the structured records: yes, that would be nice. However the workaround to use prefixes like “&”, “@” and “%” works quite well for me.

Having developed software myself for over 10 years I see no point in bugging in particular Christian to much once he acknowledged the need of a feature. Quality takes time and Mac users in particular have a very low tolerance for buggy implementations. Knowing this I would prefer to wait a little longer for V2.

Of course there is nothing wrong with discussing user requests, it is just the pushing that happens here that I feel is inappropriate.

Back to the background color: while Gray might not be everyones favorite, it is compliant with Apple’s latest and greatest. Often the user does not even know what he wants. For example, I used the alternating row colors myself when I started using DTPO until I discovered a few weeks later that they distract more than they help.

Especially in the field of UI, what one would think works is often the wrong choice. Apple however has a long history of getting those things right, so I give them a lot upfront credit when they decide to change something.

From an engineering point of view, every feature that is not needed or only used by a small percentage of the users is a candidate for removal. Simply to maintain a clean code base and reduce possibility for error.

But I acknowledge that I might have overstepped a little. The simple explanation is, that I was actively looking for something like DTP for a long time. Gave up. Stumbled upon it by accident (post in 43 folders) and now am very exited since my way of doing work finally is like I wanted it to be for so long.



i never said it was “silly”, I simply put it in perspective. Where that “silly” came from … must have been your own perception.