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THOUGHTS: Is more really better or is it just excess baggage?
Posted by Carlo Guerrero - on Saturday, 10.04.04 - 19:16:37 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8012x
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If you've been a long-time Pocket PC user, you might have come across those little utilities and applications that take up a mere 40K to100K. This can be from Registry editors to simple tweaking interfaces that help the average Pocket PC user do those complicated registry hacks from a simple interface.

Over the years, more and more developers have started offering multi-functional applications to add value to their products. The downside of this is that most of them offer these features in a fixed package. These applications have steadily grown in size where one application could have started out as a 600KB installation, with every added feature or version upgrade, it grows by about 50KB to 100KB.

Memory for handhelds has always been an issue and will always be an issue. We may get more memory with every new device that comes out, but what good is it if we can't use it efficiently? I'm not saying that all applications are memory hogs, all I'm saying is that if the user decides to use another application from another developer, he can't remove that part of the software which for him may be uselessly taking up some precious memory space.

I think it would be nice to have more applications that allow for more user control wherein the user can select which components are loaded up to the device. Some developers offer a single software with as much as five different features, at times not related to each other, in one installation package. Some of these features may be deselected from a list, but still resides in the Pocket PC's precious memory doing nothing. Luckily, some developers have taken a step in offering a users better control as to what components are installed. This of course minimizes the chance of conflicting installations or simply lets the user manage the Pocket PC's memory better.

Here is a feature I love about Resco Explorer 2003. It allows me to select which components to load up. I can either have just the File Explorer, or choose to add the FTP add-in, the Registry add-in, or both. If I ever choose to use a different FTP Client from another developer, I can simply choose not to load that particular add-in that comes with the package. If I am already using another registry editor, I can simply deselect the Registry add-in and simply go for the core File Explorer function. If I don't have a use for an FTP client, and if I don't care about editing the registry, I can opt not to install any of them altogether.

I would like to see more developers consider such a practice and give the user better control as to which components are loaded up or not. A good application is always one that strikes a good balance between usability and memory usage. In my opinion, a multi-component application streamlined to install only the user selected components will always be better than one which installs everything, including excess baggage.

Mabuhay! ~ Carlo


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