Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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100 words on

We already know that Apple’s Weather Widget has made an effort to ignore the existence of languages other than English, of user preferences of metric units and of places outside the US of A since its inception. While a less dramatic effect, it also ignores the difference of the moon-phases’ looks depending on your position on the planet.

Same moon phase for pretoria and Göttingen

Getting this right may not be as essential as localisation is. But with the necessary data being readily available, it’s another place where you see the difference between a carefully and lovingly ‘crafted’ widget and one that has been quickly slapped together.

March 18, 2008, 21:48

Tagged as Mac OS X.


Comment by Dave2: User icon

You know, I am with you on the localization thing. Just because Apple is a primarily English company is not an excuse to get sloppy. If you’re going to offer localizations, then you really should see to it that it’s done right.

But now you’re starting to move away from insightful critique and towards petty bitching.

The size of a crescent is consistent no matter where you are on earth. The widget symbolically displays a representation of this size, which is all its really trying to do. The rotation of the crescent is different based not only on where you are on earth, but what season it happens to be. Sure they could multiply the transparent PNG for the moon’s shadow and position it properly based on additional data for a city’s position on the planet and current season… that would be very nice… but calling a widget whose primary function is to display the weather “slapped together” because of this? Give me a break.

This is a beautifully crafted widget which does a wonderful job of communicating a good amount of information clearly in a condensed space. Calling it “quickly slapped together” is way too harsh a criticism for for somebody who obviously worked very hard on its design.

March 20, 2008, 3:07

Comment by ssp: User icon

As I said, this isn’t as big a problem as the lack of localisation and respect of my preferences, which merit the ‘slapped together’ badge alone. I doubt that programmatically rotating the moon would be that much of a problem anyway.

However, seeing that Apple spent time giving us a vibrating seconds hand on their Clock widget (adding no information) and proper geodesics in the Flight Tracker widget (adding a bit of information but still not displaying the actual flight path), it’s curious that they left out this detail which could help people find out whether it’s three days to or from the full moon.

March 20, 2008, 16:54

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