Strong opinions, weakly held

The determination of users

There’s a lesson for software developers in this paragraph:

I did all my email work in that one “legacy” tab, marveling at how much I preferred it to the new-look Gmail that was the only option in any newly opened tab. I carefully “slept” the machine at night rather than shutting it down. I cancelled any software update that required a system reboot. I worried about what would happen if I unthinkingly closed the tab. It was my living connection to happier days.

That’s James Fallows, explaining how he attempted to keep using Gmail through the old interface.


  1. “Now, to see whether the latest version of Thunderbird is less of a CPU-hog than it used to be.”

    Oh man is it ever.

  2. I dearly dislike the new Gmail interface. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone.

  3. He could have just hit “revert to classic UI” under the settings gear pulldown, and all his new sessions would have the old UI, but it wasn’t aggressively advertised. Alas, that option vanished recently, presumably so they could stop maintaining the old code.

    I think this falls under “strategy tax”. Gmail gets a worse UI in order to be consistent with the rest of Google.

  4. consistently worse than the old Google, that is…

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