Adil Bukhari (MAB)

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Adil.jpg

Going ice skating at the College Park Ice Rink.


I am Adil Bukhari (MAB). I am a senior computer science major and I hope to graduate in June 2010.


Contact Information

Email Address: mbukhariATumd.edu (replace the "AT" with the "@" symbol)

I am also available on Facebook: Adil Bukhari on Facebook

Good Interface: Celestia

One interface which I enjoy using is Celestia:

Celestia allows the user to explore the (known) universe of heavenly bodies via a simple click-and-keypress GUI.

Celestia.jpg


The yellow sphere in this picture represents our Sun - I have used the rotate and zoom commands to pan out and show the area of space around it. In order to "travel" to a specific location, the user has to click on that location and then has to press a key to move the camera there. Zooming and rotating the camera is done just as easily and makes for a very intuitive and educational experience. Celestia is somewhat confusing for a new user since every command requires a different keypress or mouse motion - but the help function is easily accessible and can even sit next to the main window as a reference.

Bad Interface: GIMP

AdilGimp.jpg

Editing my picture for this page in GIMP.

GIMP is a very good Open-Source image editor. In comparison to commercial products like Adobe Photoshop, however, GIMP comes with a terrible toolbar interface.

The concept of a 'toolbar' is simple: it should include the most frequently-used functions within a program. However, GIMP includes far too many functions in its toolbars; in comparison, Photoshop relegates many of these same functions to separate accessible menus because of their infrequent usage. GIMP's stuffed toolbars create a cluttered and oftentimes annoying system which can actually draw a user away from the program.

Technology: AJAX

In recent years, AJAX, or Asynchronous Javascript and XML, has granted a new sort of appeal to the World Wide Web. Before the implementation of AJAX, every click on a webpage would force a full refresh of that page; this restriction imposed a harsh limit on features like dynamic panels and other interactive content. The implementation of AJAX has helped promote the more media-centric applications of the web, including seamless picture browsing and flexible video viewing. Though AJAX does force more interactions with the website's server, it has enabled developers and designers to create more dynamic pages with rich, customizable controls and content.

Thanks in part to AJAX, self-updating features have almost become prerequisites for any up-to-date website. Many users have begun to perceive the World Wide Web as a place where they can conduct their business without having to see anything that lies beneath the surface – a perfect case of abstraction. The old World Wide Web, which consisted of manual page refreshes and other 'clunky' mechanics, probably does not even appeal to the newest wave of web users. AJAX has paved the way to a World Wide Web that is only becoming more intuitive, user-friendly, and interactive over time.