The Fish
for 17 April 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Suck Staff

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief


[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor


Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director


Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor


[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
Copy Editor


[Phillip Bailey]
Phillip Bailey
Production Editor

Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman


Ana Marie
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor


Sean (Duuuuude)
Sean Welch


Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor


T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker


[yes, it's
a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager


Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine


Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager


Forsyth, " we're just spanning time "]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor


[the fixin'
pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar


Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager

Skin Cancer

Subject: people will get what
they want...

They want skins? They'll get
skins. They want consistency
and ease-of-use? They'll get

The idea is choice. I choose
to (or not to) use skins, not
my vendor. Choice is always,
ALWAYS a good thing. You can
choose to use a boring yet
interface to get more work
done, or you can go with
Enlightenment and get paid to
wank off different themes all

For the record, I use KDE +
xmatrix -root ;)

Matt Hennessy

Oh, I'm all in favor of
choice. My choice is the
native Windows GUI for
Netscape 6. What? Oh, it's
not available? Well, so much
for choice.

For the record, I use KDE +
xmatrix -root ;)

Oh, man, then you deserve
what you get. I wrote
xteevee and can't let
it run -static as root for
longer than a minute or two
without going stark-raving

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

But there isn't a
cross-platform way to do UI.
Using native components on
whatever system you're on has
been tried before- the Java
AWT used that approach and
had so many subtle bugs that
is was unusable. Sun wrote
its own components from the
ground up for the next

I think the real problem is
shitty user interfaces, like
WinAmp skins and Netscape 6.
Ignoring the platform's
controls is okay as long as
the stuff works and it's

Russell Cagle

There isn't a cross-platform
way to do UI, true, so don't
do cross-platform UIs. If
you're going to bother to
write code that runs on a
particular OS, at least
respect your users enough to
give them what they expect: a
native interface. If it's
going to take more work,
well, then, too bad. Ignoring
platforms controls is simply
telling your audience that
they're not important enough
to bother with. The common
controls are there to be
common — and that
ultimately matters more than
either working or being

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon


Great article in the vein of
Sucks usual venomous style.

As a usability developer it's
amazing how the freedom of
the Web is translated into
"Let's build the wheel over
and over again. 'cause WE

Baron Lane

Oh, it's not only that. It's
"Let's build the wheel over
and over again, but this time
make it so that you can
specify the tread, the
diameter and the color! And
the hubcap! And the shape!
Well, I don't know who might
want a square wheel, but,
y'know, they might! The only
problem with this is that it
makes a round wheel
impossible. You can have any
shape but round. But any

Um, to carry a metaphor.

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Thanks for another bizarre
and nonsensical article. Your
point seems to be "all user
interfaces must be exactly
identical and if they're not,
its an apocalyptic tragedy."
Get over it.

While we're at it: who the
hell gave the 'great
unwashed' control over their
computers anyway? How dare
they set their computers up
the way they want. Pretty
soon they'll be asking for
the right to vote!

Jason G. Fleming

P.S. I agree that there is
too much of an emphasis on
customization. Most people
never bother with it. But
it's not so important that
you need to write an article
complaining about it.

Oh, chill, Jason. If you
think the ability to skin
your browser is on the level
of universal suffrage, you've
got some serious perspective
problems. But as long as
we're talking about control
of the machine: I'm a citizen
and I want native OS
controls. They're not
available? Oops. So much for
the wishes of the masses. Or
do your skins get more votes
than mine?

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: Netscape 6 and your

The only thing I can say is
you are correct, up to a
certain point, but as some
one has pointed out to me,
this version is only a Beta,
so things could get better or


Most likely it will get
neither. But no matter how
"better" the final interface
looks, it still won't be made
up of native, common
controls, the stuff that
every other Windows/Mac/Linux
program on the planet uses.
It'll still be Netscape 6,
all by itself, over in the
corner, claiming that it's
flexible when it's really
just worse.

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Skin Cancer

"It's what's makes the Web
such a visually exciting
place. It's also what's makes
actually using the Web such a
consistent exercise in
frustration. "

is that correct? is what's
possessive or a shortened
version of "what is"? why?

otherwise, i loved the
article. i was a rather vocal
mac user on the mozilla lists
complaining about it all the
way through. imagine my lack
of surprise when they
released netscape 6 and it
looked exactly like the last
milestone. ugh.

Todd Greco

Heck, I just write the
articles. I don't actually
know no good grammar.

I sat out the XUL discussions
because I've been too busy,
but when the subject first
came up, I just knew that it
would come to no good. It's
not the looks that bother me
so much — because they
are changeable — but the
fact that there's no way to
opt out, back to the normal
OS native controls. I've been
through the emulation of
native widgets before and it
never, ever works. Users can
tell. They may not be able to
point to a pixel or a color
and say, "That's different,"
but they can tell.

Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

This is just a note to let
you know that there is at
least one person out here who
wishes that someone would
make you the god of all
interface design.

QuickTime is a particular
sore point with me, what as I
have spent years asking
Wintel folks "why, oh my god,
why do you put up with such
inconsistant interface

Apple has apparently decided
to join 'em if they can't
beat 'em. I say: 'try a
bigger stick.'

oh well

Aaron Headly

You're all alone in that God
of Interface Design thing. I
couldn't design a decent
interface to save my life.
But at least I like to think
that I recognize the fact
that starting from the
fundamentals —
familiarity gooooood — is

QuickTime 4 was so


Greg Knauss
Fish With Letter Icon

Telling Baby No

I love it.

I am one of those Baby

I survive by employing the
"Me Inc." strategy when it
comes to the work world.

I have one core part-time job
with great benefits. I switch
hats and work other part-time
jobs. If my second part-time
job does not work out
(usually it's one of those
"flexible hours and great
place to work jobs") I'm out
of there.

As long as I can get out of
bed I will always have some
sort of part-time job. I live
modestly. I am a single Dad
with a teenage daughter. I am
home at different times of
the day.

I used to work from dark to
dark. Who needs that. I
dumped my Costco membership.
Just more stuff.

I love it! Don't mess with


You won't have a problem with
me pally, just so long as you
register all your gun

I have to say though, you
probably have come across a
good way to deal with
corporate job situations. I
think the angriest people are
the ones who sign on to
companies and pin all their
hopes and dreams on them,
only to get frustrated when
the machine doesn't pay off.
With your way, you've got
more control day to day than
most people.

Glad you liked the comic,

Fish With Letter Icon

Admit it. You're jealous
about sex and the drugs,


No, Larry, it's the herpes
and short term memory loss
that's got me jonesing. No,
there's lots of sex and drugs
out there - don't you old
timers read MAXIM?

Disco Rules,

Fish With Letter Icon

This is awesome. It reminds
of my father in law's
company. I work for
MCIWorldCom Network and Data
Solutions. I would be
interested in how your
company is structured.

Ken Minton

SUCK is structured on the
policy of Might Makes Right
and If You Don't Like It,
Jack, There's Always Salon.
It's pretty tough around
here. SUCK's idea of a health
plan is If You're Not
Healthy, Plan to Look For a
Job. You know what I'm
saying? It's a long work
week, too. As I was told,
"Bert, if you don't want to
work on Saturday, don't plan
on coming in on Sunday."

If you really want to know
about SUCK, write Tim
Cavanaugh (,
cause my whole work
experience here is structured
all around him.

Fish With Letter Icon

Man, you made my day.

Used to work at this strange
job, editing the transcripts
for National Public Radio on
the far outskirts of the DC
metro area.

My average transcriber's age
was 45. At one point, I had
four lawyers working for me.

Seething mass, dude, seething

Tee, hee, hee.



Talk about your front line
veterans! As John McCain
would say, "Thank you for
serving, sir."

Glad you liked the strip.
I've had some angry boomers
writing in and some letters
like yours. One man's freedom
fighter is another man's
terrorist, I guess.

The Ageist of Aquarius,

Fish With Letter Icon

Subject: yeah, well, ur site
name pretty much sez it all

u suck... i see, so baby
boomers are stupid old
hippies and disgruntled
workers..and teenagers are
gun toting psychopaths.....
but not the gen-x'rs ....
hell no.. u guys are level
headed, completely sensible,
well adjusted young adults...
bite me... i dont hav
anything to learn from the
generation that made bands
like 'poison' and 'motely
crue' and 'ratt' and
'cinderella' rich... not from
people that would get all
teary over 'power ballads'...
such crap... ur a cookie
cutter generation... no
substance.. all hype... even
ur drugs are lame copies of
the real stuff....
is right... u suck...


Cinderella? Ratt? Crue?
Nobody was more disgusted
than me to see those baby
boomer metal acts conning
decent kids out of their

Well "Trip," sorry you
weren't into "Telling Baby
'No'". I tried to say nice
things about Carly Simon and
Bill Clinton, but you can't
please everybody.

I'm just doing it for the

Bert Blecht
Fish With Letter Icon

 The Shit
Krushchev Remembers, by Nikita Krushchev (authorship disputed), translated by Strobe Talbott
Five-Star Day Cafe
Athens, Ga.
Salon's "Action Figures"
TV ad
Donna's Famous "Long and Short of It," by Donna Anderson and friends
Two-Lane Blacktop, directed by Monte Hellman (The Anchor Bay/Universal letterboxed edition)
George Bush, Dark Prince of Love: A Presidential Romance, by Lydia Millet (Scribner)
King Kong: The Complete 1933 Film Score, by Max Steiner Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William J. Stromberg conductor (Marco Polo)
Eightball #20, by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)
The ECW's Little Spike Dudley
Stan Kenton, City of Glass, featuring arrangements by legendary weirdo Bob Graettinger (EMD/Blue Note)
Comix 2000, Edited and published by L'Association, 2000
Star Dudes
Do you know of stuff that doesn't actively suck? Things so good they deserve to make the Shitlist? Send your suggestions to us.

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