Miscellaneous - Oblique

Description: Are you a musician/producer having a blank in the studio? Are you a writer with a sudden writer’s block? Are you an artist staring at a blank canvas? Are you a creative looking at an empty screen?

In comes Oblique — a widget implementation of the famous “Oblique Strategies” card decks from Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt. It features the complete sets of the Original (1975), the Second (1978) and Third (1979) Editions, as well as the elusive, commercially not-available Fourth set (1996) by Brian Eno and Peter Norton. Selection of the Editions is user-controllable via a preferences panel. Version 1.1 uses an Auto-Backflip feature, with user-defineable timings.

The use of Oblique is very simple and straightforward, with the aphorisms presented in a non-obtrusive way.
Author: gd2
Version: 1.1
Uploaded on: July 21st 2005 at 9:11 PM
Rating: (3.67 stars)   [Show Detailed Ratings]
Downloads: 2471
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Nice design; some sort of bezel is necessary IMHO, which is why this widget looks better than the other Oblique Strategies one by cerberus... that one leaves text floating in the void, reducing its readability, and has the gaul to pass it off as a feature.

I like the orange version; bring it back as an option! smiley (http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/reference/oblique.html)

Functionality has some room for improvement.
- Why isn't there an option to use ALL of the editions? Why are we stuck to just one?
- It doesn't remember preferences (e.g., auto-flipback time).
- Make it resizeable! Most of the strategies I've seen are one line, so the widget is a bit large.

Posted by: Darkside on Jul 21, 05 (11:15 PM) for version 1.1 (current version)   View Detailed Rating

Hi Darkside.. The correct word is "gall", not "gaul".

I appreciate your critique of my graphic design chops....My OS widget will continue to offer the features you requested here, but it was designed to be unobtrusive outside the Dashboard environment, so no bezel is planned.

The orange theme is from one side of one card of the fourth edition.. So it is not "accurate" to have this theme with all the cards... Maybe this is why guyD2 removed it from this version posted here ? I liked the themed looks of his orange one... Once he released version 1.0, I was set permanently about not offering any sort of bezel,

I admit I had "gall" to say that the clickthrough problems I was having were part of the game, but a real set of cards also needs some minimall to handle, I solved this for the most part by adding a subtle text shadow, which also increased readability.. So I hope you are criticizing the release version of my widget, not any of the alpha versions I uploaded here before the release.

I trash a lot of widgets, but I keep 2 Oblique ones around, mine and guyD2s.

From this excellent widget by guyD2, I'd wish for a different graphic for every card (an actual photrealistic reproduction of each card from each edition as they actually looked). That is a lot of .pngs but it would be worth the disk space and RAM requirements.

I think guyD2 also excels in providing a historical context, It is cool IMO that his widget has this on the backside and I'd like to see more of this kind of content in future updates.


Posted by: cerberus on Jul 22, 05 (2:14 AM) for version 1.1 (current version)  

Hey Darkside,

Thanks for the nice comments !

To answer a few of your questions/requests:

- The reason why there's no "Use All Versions" - although very easy to implement - is because most aphorisms in the decks overlap. There's actually not that many differences between the 4 versions... Using all of them at the same time could introduce less randomness as well.

- Prefs should be remembered. Though I admit the Autoflip prefs was thrown together a bit hastily, so I'll look into that.

- There is a reason why the Oblique widget is so large: it's the same size as the original cards... But a mini-me version will be available, most probably in the next version.

- User-defined colours (orange!) for the cards will appear in a later version as well. Not sure yet if that'll be for 1.2 though...

Thanks again for your positive feedback !

Guy D2

Posted by: gd2 (developer) on Jul 22, 05 (6:48 AM) for version 1.1 (current version)  

Hi cerberus, colleague,

You are right about the orange card.

As for the different graphics for each cards, I decided to forego that 'feature' because of several reasons (although I must admit I was tempted for a while):

- the graphics for the Fourth edition are copyrighted material (designed by Pae White, who contacted me about it).
- I have no direct access to the Fourth Edition.
- the widget would indeed end up being rather heavy on the bytesize.
- imho, it would go a bit against the philosophy of the original Oblique Strategies decks.

Thanks for your positive comments - you're a gentleman.

Guy D2

Posted by: gd2 (developer) on Jul 22, 05 (6:59 AM) for version 1.1 (current version)  

"The correct word is "gall", not "gaul"."

Damn homophones. Thank you for correcting my spelling on the internet.

"...but it was designed to be unobtrusive outside the Dashboard environment..."

Ah, "outside..."; that explains it.

"I hope you are criticizing the release version of my widget, not any of the alpha versions I uploaded here before the release."

Yes, I dowloaded the latest version of your widget to evaluate it's current state. Previously, I downloaded an earlier version that had click recognition and text clipping issues, which probably unduly infulenced my latest impressions; sorry that I was overly-harsh in my use of "Celtic peoples living in the area of modern-day France". smiley

Posted by: Darkside on Jul 25, 05 (9:34 PM) for version 1.1 (current version)  

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