things i have learnt today

In no particular order:

  • Although OmniGraffle 2.2 is very outdated, it makes short shrift of flow charts, especially when using Lucida Grande 9pt text and frequent use of the Align Center to Grid button
  • You need to have at least a 1280 x 1024 display to do sane flow charts on A4 in Omnigraffle, as there’s enough room on the screen to have the Font, Palette and Inspector windows open too
  • Adding the Font to the Favourites list in the Font Inspector makes it very fast to change a page once it’s been roughed out: Option+A and then a single click
  • Our children will gaze at us with wonder[1] when we descibe how disc filing systems used to erase the previous contents of the file when saving data with the same name, assuming we can get the concept of a ‘Save’ across to them. I absolutely hope that all key/mouse strokes will be logged and be editable as an integral part of the file and what we currently call ‘File Systems’ will be 100% versioning. Anyone using VMS can laugh in safety already (although I challenge them to run OmniGraffle…)
  • I previously hadn’t paid much attention to computer languages, but they really are quite different at times – growing up programming in C, PHP, Perl, Assembler, Forth, BASIC, etc. has meant that it’s a quick read of the man page and I’m off until the first compiler/run-time error, but trying to get the nuances of Forth described in a Flow Chart is at times monumentally difficult. I’m starting to grasp how hard it must be to translate poetry from French or Japanese to English: some constructs just simply don’t exist, and make Pratchett‘s “Reflected sounds of underground spirits” seem short and to the point

[1] or possibly barely concealed contempt, given that it’s taken us so long to get around to it when compared to such useful items as, say, translucent CLI windows

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