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Change “designing” to “typing”
 
denriddy
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-08-11
Nashville
 

Everywhere you use the words “design,” “designer,” and “designing” in your software and your documentation, in the sense of graphic or artistic presentation, I strongly recommend that you replace it with the words “type,” “typist,” and “typing.”

Your abuse of “design” in that sense, in any variation, is an insufferable, unspeakable insult to designers.

Design is a visual art. In your documentation you go on and on droningly, semi-literately, snoringly about navigating file systems, sending designers off to read until eyes bleed through indecipherable, unexplained text files, and to hammer on keyboards, and you have the effrontery to call that “design.”

It’s little wonder that the web has become an infinite ocean of visual garbage. The once simple but aesthetic and invaluable art of constructing pleasing and harmonious combinations of shapes and colors has been perverted into a soulless, blind, mechanical drudgery of typing into page after page after page of esoteric and complex code, code that then calls other esoteric code in other pages of arcane jabberwocky, which secondary pages rely mysteriously and inexplicably on yet other sets of pages of code, code, code, code, typing, typing, typing, typing, ASCII, ASCII, ASCII, ASCII, the manipulation of which into anything remotely visual entails endless trial and error of uploading and refreshing and typing and uploading and refreshing and typing and uploading and refreshing and typing—all for the electrifying reward of discovering that one has managed to create sheer clunky crud with little, if any, resemblance to the intended effect.

What does it require now, in your graphic “design” model, to merely move and change the color and size of a simple rectangle, which we’ll call for the moment a “header”? How many hours would it take a designer to attempt to ferret out of thousands and thousands of lines of utterly undocumented cryptic code, in literally hundreds of mysteriously named text documents, the magic few lines of text that might accomplish this amazing feat of design?

Well, do you have any idea how many text documents contain the text string “header” in a Magento installation? Would you like to guess?

Don’t bother—I’ll tell you: it appears in 658 separate text documents. So which and how many of those would a designer need to sit typing into just to move a simple rectangle two inches? Who knows? Where is it explained? Where is it accurately and specifically documented? Nowhere.

Oh, of course a designer can go to your global search on the site and type in “header” and pull up hundreds more absolutely irrelevant references to the word, and spend even more hours wading through that measureless swamp to end up back where he started.

The simple act of changing just the position of a simple rectangle—something that would take a designer a fraction of a second in an actual visual design medium—becomes a labor of hours and hours of guesswork and endless infuriating frustration of trial and error. And typing. And typing. And searching. And typing. And typing.

So your misappropriation and abuse of the word “design” in a graphic sense is an ineffable insult to designers. You make it an obscenity.

It is a trap. It is bondage. It is slavery. It is a way to stop designers from designing and get them spending endless hours typing, typing, typing, and typing some more.

Magento is not the sole carrier of this pandemic plague by any means. It has infested and infected the world, like some alien parasite, to the point where even designers themselves go into a zombied state of acceptance of their fate, where they submit themselves ‘umbly in a macabre computerized manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome to their captors.

And the captors are the coders.

Of course you have every uncontested right to put out your massive collection of dizzying combinations of 50-odd ASCII characters any way you want. And you have every uncontested right to call sitting at a keyboard typing “design.” But it’s a lie. That’s all.

So my modest proposal is merely this: that for the sake of exhibiting a modicum of integrity and honesty, you simply stop lulling designers into the utterly false belief that with your software they will be practicing the art of design.

They will not.

What they will be practicing is their typing skills.

 
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hyteckit
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Joined:  2008-04-01
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So there is no God; No Intelligent Designer; Just a Guy, in the Sky, eating his humble Pie, coding merely away.

By the way, “design” means to plan, to outline, to architect, and to be constructed in an artistically or skillful way.

The Magento project involves more than just typing.  It involves carefully planning, outlining, architectural conceived, and constructing in a skillful way.

What does it take to be a designer? Does having artistic skills alone make you a designer? What’s the job of an interior designer? You think it’s just to draw things out on paper or photoshop?

Maybe you are not a designer, just a graphic artist.  A web designer these days involves more than just knowing photoshop and illustrator.  A designer is able to use the tools he/she is given and be able to construct from concept or sketch.  The tools you are given are PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML.  Work with it.

PS: I’ve been told my code is like poetry, my web design is artistry, and my artwork is a technical mastery.

 
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denriddy
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  4
Joined:  2008-08-11
Nashville
 
hyteckit - 12 August 2008 01:01 PM

So there is no God

Nietzsche has left the building.

By the way, “design” means to plan, to outline, to architect, and to be constructed in an artistically or skillful way.

By the way, you missed where I said “in the sense of graphic or artistic presentation.” It’s in my first sentence. Once you miss the major premise, it’s sort of downhill from there.

Maybe you are not a designer, just a graphic artist.

Maybe. Then again maybe I’ve done design, illustration, and graphic arts since the 1970s for some of the largest corporations in existence. PM me and I’ll give you the answer.

The tools you are given are PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML.  Work with it.

The tools I “am given”? “Given” by whom? Just who is it that gets to dictate to a visual artist what “tools he is given”? What hubris drives anyone to utter such authoritarianism at all?

PS: I’ve been told my code is like poetry, my web design is artistry, and my artwork is a technical mastery.

Oh. I guess that answers my question. About all I can say is ‘twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML are not now and never will be visual tools. They are typing tools. They are coding tools. They are no more visual tools than is the chain saw that takes down the tree from which the handle of a sable brush is made.

Designers and visual artists of every stripe have been a vital force in the development of graphical user interfaces and of some of the most powerful and pervasive visual arts programs in existence today, because that’s the way design gets done.

And until Magento—for all its coding beauty, and for all its many virtues—has some such interface for design, their use of the word “design” in the sense they are using it in their documentation and promotion is sheer misrepresentation in my opinion. And that was my point. But you couldn’t skip the major premise and get it.

 
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hyteckit
Sr. Member
 
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Total Posts:  166
Joined:  2008-04-01
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denriddy - 12 August 2008 03:00 PM


By the way, “design” means to plan, to outline, to architect, and to be constructed in an artistically or skillful way.

By the way, you missed where I said “in the sense of graphic or artistic presentation.” It’s in my first sentence. Once you miss the major premise, it’s sort of downhill from there.

Or maybe you missed the keyword “or” as in “artistically or skillful way”.  Designing something like Magento takes skill.

denriddy - 12 August 2008 03:00 PM

Maybe you are not a designer, just a graphic artist.

Maybe. Then again maybe I’ve done design, illustration, and graphic arts since the 1970s for some of the largest corporations in existence. PM me and I’ll give you the answer.

Maybe I missed the point where you mention you worked as a web designer?  Graphics designing and web designing are a different beast.  So is designing a software application.

denriddy - 12 August 2008 03:00 PM

The tools you are given are PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML.  Work with it.

The tools I “am given”? “Given” by whom? Just who is it that gets to dictate to a visual artist what “tools he is given”? What hubris drives anyone to utter such authoritarianism at all?

PS: I’ve been told my code is like poetry, my web design is artistry, and my artwork is a technical mastery.

Oh. I guess that answers my question. About all I can say is ‘twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe: all mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML are not now and never will be visual tools. They are typing tools. They are coding tools. They are no more visual tools than is the chain saw that takes down the tree from which the handle of a sable brush is made.

Designers and visual artists of every stripe have been a vital force in the development of graphical user interfaces and of some of the most powerful and pervasive visual arts programs in existence today, because that’s the way design gets done.

And until Magento—for all its coding beauty, and for all its many virtues—has some such interface for design, their use of the word “design” in the sense they are using it in their documentation and promotion is sheer misrepresentation in my opinion. And that was my point. But you couldn’t skip the major premise and get it.

The environment you work in dictates the tools available to you.  Since you are working in the Magento environment, your tools are PHP, HTML, CSS, and XML.  Can’t hack it?  Maybe stick with graphics designing and don’t get into web designing or don’t bother designing for Magento?

Can’t use a handle a hammer and chisel?  Don’t become a sculptor.
Can’t handle a brush and paint? Don’t become a painter.
Can’t handle a scissor, a brush, and blow dryer? Don’t become a hair stylus.
Can’t handle a pan and stove? Don’t become a professional chef.
Can’t handle HTML, PHP, CSS, and XML? Don’t become a web designer for Magento.

The environment dictates the tools that are available to you.  Deal with it or get out of the kitchen.  Maybe you the one putting down real web designers that not only can handle photoshop and illustration, but know there way around HTML, PHP, XML, and CSS.  I, a web designer, hand off some of my grunt work to graphic artists like yourself who don’t know web design.

Have you taken any web design courses that teaches you HTML, XHTML, DHTML, and CSS?  The web environment is not the same as a static canvas; It’s dynamic.

 
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joyously
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Total Posts:  447
Joined:  2008-08-21
 

Are you sure you’re not a repressed writer?  cool smile

Really, I understand your point, but you have to remember that Magento is for selling things, not for art itself or pleasing its admin users.
It is pretty early in the life cycle, and I imagine that there will soon be more user-friendly ways to manipulate the layout and colors and “design” elements. Making the change you sarcastically suggest wouldn’t help anyone.

 
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