CocoaFIBS feedback

Started by fergy, April 20, 2005, 05:17:43 PM

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Hi Adam,

I've only spent a little time with this, but here are some comments about CocoaFIBS. It is a great start, and I look forward to seeing it get even better.

Login Window

The FIBS Login window needs a close button or a Cancel button (preferably both).

The metal look is gratuitous and distracting, I suggest using a normal window instead. The window doesn't need to be so small--after all, it quickly goes away.

The strings sound after logging in is also gratuitous and distracting. Sound effects in an application should always serve a purpose; this sound serves no purpose besides making noise.

Players List

Player list is very "wordy" with the repeating "Rating" and "Exp" for each player. May be unavoidable given the two line design (which is elegant, but it does require more scrolling.)

You might get rid of the parentheses around the player's current status, the font size difference is sufficient to distinguish the status text from the player's name. The same comment applies to chat messages; you don't need the [player] brackets around the player names since the font size/color already provides differentiation.

The two icons (status and client software) one above the other creates for a lot of visual noise, making it difficult to interpret either. The client icons are so tiny as to be almost useless.

Player Sorting

The Sorting checkbox buttons are pretty wonky. I figured out what they do, but it really isn't the right design for this because it provides no information about what the primary sort order is, especially if more than two are checked.

Two popup menus (with choices [blank] / Name / Rating / Exp / etc...) might work better:

Sort first by: <popup>

then by: <popup>


I guess the Match Length control at the bottom of the lobby sets the match length to use when you invite someone, but it is not very natural or intuitive, at least to me. The Match Length control has nothing to do with sorting, but its location at the bottom of the drawer suggests that it is.  

Your preferred match length should be a preference, and have menu commands to invite by the default, and possibly to invite "custom".


The board graphics are too cramped. Can't see the pip numbers, the artwork should have more room to "breath". Overall, the board is too small for most monitors, but I understand the issues and challenges of proper sizing all too well. In CocoaFIBS case, the problem is aggravated by having the player list in a drawer rather than a separate window (and speaking of which, having the Players appear as a choice under the Window menu is confusing.)

Checker Moving

Double clicking to move is bad, bad, bad. It requires twice as many clicks as necessary; over the course of many games that is a considerable number, which directly translates to user fatigue. Moreover, double clicking requires more dexterity, which some computer users find difficult (or even impossible) to do.

I believe the GamesGrid design of single click to move first (left) dice, and control click to move second (right) dice is superior to what I did in MacFIBS; it is particularly nice with a multi-button mouse.

(Update: in 0.3 I see you offer an option for single click. Swapping the dice with Option-click is rather lame, though. It still requires an additional click that doesn't contribute to moving a checker.)

Undo Move

You must have an Undo Move menu command (toolbar buttons should never be the only way to perform a command). Assign it a command key equivalent so that players can set it for a multi-button mouse (I use the scroll wheel button to undo a move in GamesGrid).

The toolbar button for Undo Move should be in the default set.


Preferences window opens to default on Chat. If that's what you want, the Chat tab should be the first one. (Update: in 0.3, opens on Board. Make sure you set the TabView to the initial tab before closing the file in Interface Builder.)

The Prefs window is resizable, but it doesn't do the right thing. Generally speaking, preferences windows need not be user resizable (they may dynamically resize themselves, as the System Preferences window does.)

Using a slider to choose single vs double click is a clear misuse of the slider control.

General comments

The application icon doesn't appear correctly in my dock or the application switcher list, not sure why. Probably a bad .plist or something else in the app bundle.

The "Public Chat" menu command is not enabled, can only open it with the toolbar button.

Lose the tiny red text wherever it appears (login window, board, player drawer). Looks cheesy, is not very readable, and red has inherent connotations (read this! important!) that aren't applicable in the context you are using them.

More generally, the interface is too cramped when you use tiny size fonts, regardless of color.

Use Interface Builder to align your controls and other visual elements correctly. For example, the input text fields or popup menues in the Terminal and Public Chat windows should not touch the sides of the window, there should be space between them per Apple's UI design guidelines. Otherwise, people will think the application is written in (shudder) Java!


Glad that another one opened this topic. I like CocoaFibs myself but there are chances for improvement.

Login window

I think the app should autologin if username/password are known, at least there should be a preference to choose this behaviour.

Players list and sorting

I'd second to avoid the repeating "Rating" and "Exp" for each player. I'd suggest a table view where the list is easier to sort by clicking on the header. Maybe an additional window for the player's list is better than the drawer solution.


I second the suggestion for invitations. There should be a default/custom invitation or there should open a dialog where one can choose the appropriate options.


The "toggle" icons in the toolbar should also toggle their view to reflect the current status.

Player's profile

The player's profile should be shown in the drawer.

Window position

The app should store and remove the position and size of the three main windows(board, chat, terminal).

Beside these remarks I like the app really and it is the one I use most to play on the internet.

Regards ergo


Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play ?

Robert J Ebbeler


I also have some feedback regarding's too slow. There, I'm done. Other than that, it's marvelous, Adam. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Now, if someone could tell me how to get messages on cocoa for the tourneys, that would be grand. Oh, and the does one pick that up? :rolleyes:  
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.


When either side fans, the roll is reported correctly in the little red message thingy that flashes up too quickly, but when the dice are placed in the sidey-bit they are incorrect (previous roll?).

Many is the time I've looked at the dice and not understood why I or my opponent fanned.

It also seems to be happening with Greedy moves set on in the bear-off.

Feature request - Bot stalk
It would be nice to be able to tell the client to invite a bot to a match as soon as it finishes the match it is currently playing (different match lengths for different bots).


Feed back

Running cocofibs on 10.4 tiger , and when i add a person to my friends list it boots me off Fibs.

now it this a bug ? or noone wants to be on my friends list ? :lol:  


Try with other clients to add a friend Vic....

Maybe it's not a bug as you said :lol:  


Adam Mac fibs doesnt seem to have any probelms with it , so i wonder what could be causing fibs to disconect when i add a name to friends list ,

Any ideas folks?


I've only been on for a day or two. My problem is I can not double. This is because the dice roll automatically. How do I turn this off? I checked preferences and there is no option.
  Thanks, .....   Snoogle


Today i installed cocoa and it works fine besides that i have got the same problem as vegasvic, when i want to add someone to my firends it boots me off and when i log in again the person i wanted to add is off my playerslist.... :wacko: