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Just Another Tech Blog

Anything and everything having to do with technology, computers, science, and most of all... Linux! The documentation of my Linux endeavor.

Compiz, Beryl, eyecandy vs. productivity. My approach to quantify interfaces

Sunday, November 11, 2007

There is no doubt that Compiz is some of the best eyecandy available for Linux now-a-days, but many people have raised the question: where does the eye candy translate into an actual productivity increase? I, myself, approached this question some time ago in my post: "A Look at Beryl: Function vs. Eye Candy." That was back in the day when Beryl was still the best thing around, but really, the basis of Compiz now and Beryl then remains the same. So, the question comes up again: what kind of increase in efficiency can be achieved through the use of Compiz (or whatever interface you use).
Paul over at Paul's Digital World has taken a very mathematical approach to the problem. Basically, he has come up with a fairly simple formula to determine the "computer interface efficiency index" or CIEI for short:
So the formula is CIEI = AWP * weighted average of task b (over all tasks) times b's efficiency index (which is 1/eb1 + 1/eb2+ ...) So with a computer that does two major tasks b, c (others are just too rare so we approximate it with a 2 case) 1/3, 2/3 of the times and there are 2 and 3 ways to start each application respectively.
CIEI = AWP * ((1/3)*(1/b1+1/b2) + (2/3)*(1/c1+1/c2+1/c3))
Don't let the names or the math scare you, this formula makes perfect sense with a bit of thought! I encourage you to read the full post and try the formula for yourself! Check it out at Paul's Digital World.
posted by linnerd40, Sunday, November 11, 2007




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