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If the spike in donations are any indication, the IM 1.6 launch has been very well received. It has had a few bugs and set backs but as we get into the 1.6.5 patches, things are starting to smooth out and I am turning my attention back to adding features and fulfilling requests.
Trying to find the right balance in the new tool-bar between information overload and too little information has been challenging. I think the majority of people don't mind the more condensed less specific display that omitted things such as latency (which we will discuss further in a minute) and battery percentage. But there was a little bit of push back from people who wanted to know their exact battery percentage and exact latency at all times, even though these numbers are superfluous and even a little fudged. Despite this I think the best thing for the UI of the program is to keep it simple and omit data that isn't necessarily needed to the user.
The latency that people have been focused on lately is something that I half regret ever even implementing because it forces people to focus too much on fractions of a millisecond. The latency that is displayed isn't even a true latency. True "latency" is determines by the amount of time it takes for the controller to register an input and for the software layer to spit it out to the game, well there is no software way to measure most of that info such as the time that the packet spends in the hardware and "in the air". What we do instead is take the time it takes to request a new packet from the controller to the time we receive one and it is processed in IM. the number here is largely affected by factors such as PC load and we try to account for this through some arbitrary math, but its nowhere near perfect. This number was only ever meant to indicate large factor issues that cause large swings in the number, such as slow communication caused by interference or inadequate dongle or driver, the nitpicking over a millisecond here and a millisecond there was never the intention and the margin of error exceeds the 1 or 2 ms concern people have anyway.
The compromise for me was to indicate some sense of latency through the use of the signal strength meter. It gives a rough indication of latency and shows enough info to indicate if there is something wrong or if things are going great. But still there was desire for a actual numeric readout (despite its aforementioned inaccuracy), so a further compromise was reached where there is (or will be in 1.6.6) a balloon pop up when you hover your mouse over the controller that shows "exact" numbers.
The battery level indicator faces many of the same issues is the latency meter in that people put way too much confidence in the number being an exact representation of the battery level. REAL battery level indicators like you would find on your laptop battery take specific hardware and "smart" batteries that just aren't present in the DS4. The DS4 simply guesses the battery level based on its voltage, well the voltage can vary depending on the age of the battery, load placed on it, temperature, humidity, etc etc. Without a "smart" battery the number we use here is just a best guess as well so the desire for specific exact percentages here is pointless. There is a reason why the Play Station 4 only shows a 3 or 4 stage battery indicator. For that reason I again compromised with a less detailed icon to show enough money to give the general idea, but not so much that people nitpick and say things like "my battery only says 80% when I unplug it".
All and all though it seems that the changes have been well received and our donations have definitely seen a spike with this month being the first month in a while where I expect us to break our goal! I thank you for all your support, my liver thanks you, and my local bartenders thank you!
Josh wrote: Great work! Glad to see it progressing so well.
On the latency and battery indicators, would it be possible to give them some color so they stand out a bit?
Khronikos wrote: Just a normal aero custom theme with slideshow is all. Nothing really all that crazy.
My notification area after clicking on the arrow on the right side has always been white. Even when I switch to classic mode or any other theme it is white. I can hover over IM but not see it in the tray.