Archive for February, 2012

Nothing Overlooked

February 21, 2012

It’s been said that there are virtually no playwrights who are making their living entirely off their playwriting. Even Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America recently said he can’t live entirely off his playwriting income.

For anyone in the arts, it’s a risk to quit that day job and go full-time into your passion. But it’s what my sister did years ago when she quit her day job to be an artist full-time. Not that I think my playwriting will ever lead to that, but she’s an inspiration to me to follow my muse.

Anyway, she has a fine arts blog called Nothing Overlooked, which is one of the many links in my so-called blogroll. And she’s running a Kickstarter campaign to create her next series of art. And some of the reward categories include the planned fruits of her labor.

Her campaign has 10 days to go as of this posting. If you’re an art lover, go over and check out her blog. And then, if you’re moved as I was to kick in, check out her Kickstarter campaign to go to Italy to paint and the cool art rewards that come from funding it.

You can tell her I sent you.

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Pinch/spread and portrait/landscape: why don’t they just work?

February 18, 2012

I recently had a chance to alpha test an app on the iPhone and Android for work. I can’t discuss it here, but I can say that apparently both the iPhone and Android development systems cause developers a lot of extra work to make things behave consistently throughout the app.

My point of frustration: why do I have to remember where pinch/spread and portrait/landscape work and where they don’t?

The most important part of ease of use is that the same command behaves as expected wherever you use it. But apparently developers have to enable pinch/spread zooming and portrait/landscape orientation for each screen within their apps.

The two features don’t even work in the phones’ system settings.

A developer told me that the late Symbian system had such a work-everywhere feature. Now we’ve lost that with Android and iOS. This is progress?

[update April 5, 2012: I was on a flight eaveslooking at another passenger’s use of an iPad (as with eavesdropping, I didn’t care what they were looking at but I cared a lot how they used it). There were a number of times the passenger tried to use spread that nothing happened. Their assumption appeared to be that they thought they didn’t use it right, as they re-tried once, maybe twice, to no avail. That’s an indication it’s a true design failure of the iPad, among others, not my fussiness.]

On eavesdropping for dialog

February 6, 2012

I eavesdrop like crazy. I don’t care what people are saying, but I care very much how they say it. I don’t consciously put it into my dialog, but the process seems to work. Actors often compliment me on my dialog. (If only plot and character were that easy.)

Ticket-purchasing websites

February 4, 2012

One thing most playwrights like to do, besides writing plays — if you are a playwright and you don’t like writing plays, please stop immediately! — is seeing plays. And in this Internet age, one thing many of us are happy to do is purchase our tickets online. Having done some of this myself, I have some opinionated ideas of what I like and don’t like about the usability of e-ticketing websites. Originally published Mar. 10, 2010 with several updates on Feb. 4, 2012

Continue reading Ticket-purchasing Web sites