Digg Dug

TopDesk was recently featured on Digg. It was extremely interesting to read the comments, as they effectively gave me a large sample of users first impressions of TopDesk.

The major thing I took from the comments was that memory usage was a problem for some people. TopDesk has two modes, “Use more memory”, which is faster, and “Use less memory”, which is slower. As the first thing most people want to see after installation is the tiling animation, TopDesk is tuned by default to use more memory so that the animation is as smooth and silky as possible. The thinking behind this is that users get to see what they want as soon as possible, and if they’re still interested in TopDesk they can then tweak it to meet their requirements.

Reading the Digg comments though, it looks like what’s happening is that people are running TopDesk, tiling a couple of times, then going straight to the TaskManager and having a look at the memory usage. Have seen that TopDesk is using more memory than they’d expected, they write it off as “bad software” and move on to the next “cool util”. I’d like to think that if they’d only read the documentation they’d have a different opinion, but as we all know, no-one ever reads the documentation :) .

Obviously I’d rather they gave TopDesk more of a chance, so beginning with the next version of TopDesk the installer is going to make it clear which options are available in terms of performance and memory usage, and allow users to tweak them before they run TopDesk. Hopefully this will give users a better idea upfront of the choices that are available to them and a better understanding of the tradeoffs between performance and resource use.

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