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Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007, 11:16 am
Flume - initial impressions

So by dint of blackmailing one of the cool kids I've managed to aquire a Flume invite. Flume being the super sekrit new social medoodad that the Alpha 2.0-ers have been casually referring to and then saying "oops, sorry, you're not meant to know about that".

A caveat - I've always been a bit grumpy about, well, stuff. Especially hype over substance so filter this little rant through that assumption. Even still though, and even though this is an "Epsilon" release (see what they did there! it's 2 letters after gamma! how clever!) it still seems very rough. Really rough. Like, a days hacking rough.

Still, I shall plow on.

The first thing I noticed - very generic Web 2.0. Rounded corners CHECK, gradients CHECK, neoligisms CHECK.

Oh and what Neologisms. Flume gets used as a noun and a verb. Special! Also, the Facebook style notification thingy on the landing page. Err, guys. Before deploying something like that you my want to look up "Effluvia" in the dictionary. Although to be fair it's an apt description. Never has the million monkeys hypothesis been put to the test so badly.

At least they don't use the "I'll have a vowel please Carol" naming scheme that Flickr so inadvertently started.

Oh, wait. I just noticed. In one of the emails I got the other people on the site are referred to as Flumrs. *stabby* *stabby* *face* *face*

In use - it feels slow. I thought AJAX was supposed to make the user experience better but no, it's like wading through molasses.

And of course there's no Linux client so I've had bring up a Windows Virtual Machine. Sniffing the traffic, the XML based protocol appears to have been designed by a 4 year old. Security check summing isn't in place - 0xdeadbeef all over the place in various fields is kind of a give away. On a whim I attempted to spoof someone else's account by changing a few things and ... got in. And gave myself another invite. Huzzah.

Now I don't mean to harp on like a Unix grey beard about security blah, blah, blah but this sort of stuff can't be added on later. You've got to think of it from the start. Sigh. It's like people just can't be bothered to learn the lessons others have already gone through.

And by damn is it ugly. Uglier than my sofa. Which is very ugly. Even when it's covered with a throw I bought. There may be an 80s revival in place but lurid oranges against green backgrounds (or vice versa for the account settings pages .... euggggch, I'm still shuddering) is not a good look.

Anyway, if anybody wants to 'beflume' (barf) me then I'm testing it with two accounts - try principe or cirving.

Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 01:53 pm (UTC)

screw that, get me a mash invite :)

Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 02:17 pm (UTC)

oh, and for the shiny new delicious, too :)

Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 03:37 pm (UTC)
gwire: Flume - windows client

You got it working OK straight away under a Windows virtual machine?

I tried running it under vmware and the interface seems to corrupt everytime someone I know plays any music with a BPM over 110. Turns out it the "ambient network aura" feature needs some weird graphics extensions.

The only work around (right now) is to manually configure the app for "low battery" use. Very laptop-centric design, that. (Although I guess that sort of makes sense if you consider who is using it.)

Mon, Sep. 17th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)

Sounds absolutely awful. And what kind of social kerjigger requires a native client in this day and age?

As it stands, I hate FaceBook more than mortal language can describe but I have to maintain an account just so people stop bugging me to join. Instead, they just bug me to play Ninjas or answer stupid quizzes.

Tue, Sep. 18th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)

I'll be interested to see how you get on with this - we should talk next time I see you .....