Richard Bucker

Having worked with driptiles. metro is interesting but has limited usecases

Posted at — Sep 1, 2012

The description that follows is derived from my experience with droptiles. What makes droptiles interesting is that it is browser implementation of the metro interface as generally described by Microsoft for Windows 8. I cannot begin to determine what sort of accuracy there is between the two but it is interesting to use and modify.The way droptiles implements the individual tiles is effectively that of a porthole on a cruise ship. (a) you can see out the window at the limited and effectively prescribed view, (b) if you want to see more you have to get off the ship.The tiles on droptiles are simple views that you allow the user to see, They are implemented in fixed sizes but can be anything you can render with private css and/or Twitter’s Bootstrap. Optionally, the user can add tiles from the “store” and the user can move tiles from one section to another or within a section. (some of the auto placement is a little awkward and buggy.)  Also, if implemented the user can click on a tile and the website that is linked to the tile will take over the current browser tab inside an iframe. (The iframe is to give the user a way to get back to the main droptile dashboard).So in summary you either have the dashboard up in fullscreen or you have the app you are using in fullscreen. This is ok for someone who might be a casual user. Possibly someone at home on the couch that is watching TV and casually looking at RSS feeds or even email blurbs. It might be useful to someone in network operations or some other role where the main job responsibility is to observe and report. But as a programmer, knowledge worker, or just someone who might perform word-processing all day… the droptile metro interface is not going to add any real value.So I wonder whether the ongoing complaints about Metro are well deserved or not. I wonder whether or not the start button is really necessary or not. Will wonders never cease? Given the size, depth and breadth of the average user’s program files folder I wonder if this is good for the desktop? It’s certainly great for their phones!