Splash screen at start up

#1

Hook is putting up a splash screen when the machine boots. Sort of an advert. “Hook supplies the missing links … blah blah.”

I’d rather not have applications feeding me adverts when I boot. Please make that go away – or give us an option to hide it. Also, there’s a progress bar for something (unexplained). That’s not needed either at boot time.

Hook’s great, but every other great menu bar app just loads silently and is ready to serve without announcing itself.

#2

I’m not seeing either of those things.

Edit: Something does flash up, but so fast I can’t read any of it.

#3

We’ll provide an advanced setting (Terminal defaults command) to disable the splash screen. We might also radically simplify the messages as a function of number of times Hook has launched. (E.g., after N launches, just say “Opening Hook library” or something.)

FWIW, here is some background on our splash screens. It’s quite a long reply for such a small issue, which the previous paragraph I think satisfactorily addresses. But I’m treating this as an opportunity to reveal some CogSci Apps thinking before Hook’s official 1.0.

Progress indicator

We feel it is a good idea for apps that can take more than a second to load to have a splash screen and progress indicator. (compare EagleFiler which says "Opening EagleFiler). In the spirit of how Apple continued to optimize macOS from its first release, both in speed and size, till Snow Leopard, we will continue to optimize Hook.

Frequency of launch

Most users of Hook will include Hook as a startup item, unlike, say, Calendar or Contacts, which users tend to frequently open and close. So the launch message should relatively rarely appear. And it should tend to appear at times when the user is not productively using other apps. During beta, there are more frequent releases of Hook, of course.

Still, there are some valuable reasons for the messages (which is not to deny the usefulness of turning the messages off.)

Education and communication

Hook is a very different kind of app from anything else on the market. Its functions and objects are abstract. It is multi-purpose (hence the slogan One app, infinite applications.) Understandably, such products are more difficult to understand.

Therefore, we decided to use the application launch as an opportunity to help new customers understand Hook (what it does, what its potential is, etc.). It’s at least as much education as it is marketing, the two can overlap. As users better understand Hook, they will get more out of it, and be able to better communicate about it. This will be beneficial to some users, and all users will benefit from the widespread adoption of Hook.

If Hook was just another app (just another editor, another graphics app, another news reader, another launcher, another calendar app, another this, that or the other), the splash screen could be mundane.

Inspiring users is good

One of the cognitive iOS apps I like would startup with a splash message like “Keep learning” (maybe it still does). I found that message to be inspirational — very much in the spirit of cognitive productivity. Sure, that is marketing. But during that little launch time, the app was reminding me why I was launching it (which could help decrease distraction and keep me focused).

Nudge and self determination theory

The “keep learning” message is consistent with nudge theory - Wikipedia.

However, it is also consistent with Self-determination theory - Wikipedia.

We at CogSci Apps have those and other psychological concepts in mind.

Not Clippy

Having said that, the splash screen is not Clippy, nor do we plan to go down the Clippy route.

Going forward

We will likely add, edit and remove particular splash screen messages as we move forward along Hook’s product road map.

In our product road map for Hook, we have several quite innovative functions. The splash screens there may be useful to help even experienced users continue to improve their cognitive productivity.

CogSci Apps

In sum, the splash message, like Hook itself, is in the spirit of CogSci Apps being inspired by cognitive science ( designed with cognitive science in mind).

My own thinking about software was very much influenced by Poplog - Wikipedia, POP-11 - Wikipedia, its core language, and VED, its main editor, all of which I used during my Ph.D. research (1990-1994). Poplog was at the time (perhaps still is?) the most versatile AI programming environment. One of its principles was configurability and extensibility. We’ll see that with additional Hook preferences, and the future of Hook.

#4

Thanks. That does the trick.

As for the rest – that’s great. Very interesting. For a regular app (not a menubar utility) I think all of what @LucB wrote about is wonderful and should be exposed in the app. But menubar apps are different – IMO they should arrive silently and stay that way. No friction at boot time.

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#5

I second that — especially as it vanishes so quickly I can’t even read it.

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