21 July 2017

Stupid and Pointless 500 Index

This is a customer review on the Apple iTunes store for Meshlab's iOS application. Meshlab is described thusly: 
MeshLab for iOS is an advanced 3D model viewer. MeshLab for iOS has been designed to be able to display complex 3D models in a simple and intuitive way, allowing the accurate inspection of a 3D model through a precise yet straightforward navigation. 

I've used the desktop version of Meshlab off and on for a few months, and it's pretty handy. I was looking to get the iPad version so if I wanted to show off a model before printing it, I'd have options beyond e-mail, flash drives, or Dropbox
"When you open the game,"
It's not a game, it's a productivity app. It's a minor point, and I'm sure he meant to say "app", but it helps establish a pattern that's worth noting.
"there are a few models to choose from. It wouldn't let me change or edit them in any way besides changing the light effect. There wasn't a color button a shape button, nothing!"
This is almost a fair point, as the desktop version does allow you to paint the imported models, albeit crudely and with some questionable export settings. As for the shapes button, once again we're back to the main issue that this program is a viewer. It is not full-fledged modeling software. It never proclaims to be anything more than that, thus setting expectations by which it should be judged. Does it perform as advertised? If not, then that's a bad product. If it does, then it's ample, serviceable, adequate... etc.. If it has features beyond those advertised that are competently executed, then that's a fantastic app. If I expected you to fly by flapping your arms while thinking happy thoughts, would that make my criticism that you are a worthless person no one should ever have to deal with valid? 
"So I tried deleting all the models to see if i would then be able to create a new one. Nope."
You didn't try looking on the website or finding any information on how to use the app? You didn't think to look in the app's Help menu to see if the feature was even available? What makes more sense from a design perspective, hide the "new" button until all documents are deleted (especially considering there are only 4 default models in a drop-down menu that goes all the way to the bottom of the screen), or keep the button visible but display an error message that there is not enough room? Imagine if the fuel gauge of a car disappeared until the needle approached empty. 
"I couldn't even do anything because I didn't have any models to edit. There wasn't a plus button to make a new model."
A typical setup for a VIEWER. 
"so that basically made the app useless!"
As useless as a bicycle is for climbing Mt. Everest... As useless as a Jeep is for entering a low earth orbit... As useless as a can opener is for removing a computer virus... as useless as wishful thinking is for overturning DNA evidence... 
"Look, I'm not an app inventor."
Indeed.
"And I'm sure it's harder than it may seem. But seriously! You can do better than this!"
Yes, there are tablet-friendly 3D modeling programs out there, though their numbers are significantly fewer since Autodesk axed the better part of the 123D repertoire, but that doesn't change the fact that Meshlab is a VIEWER and not an EDITOR. 

I know I'm likely blowing this out of proportion; the app is doing well and this little one-star diatribe isn't going to hurt that for an instant. Also, it's certainly not as big a display of ignorance is the yahoo from a few months back who paid ten dollars for the SketchUP Viewer app ("viewer" is in the name) and complained that he couldn't edit anything. 
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