What’s Really Great About Fantastical

Dr. Drang on Fantastical’s as-you-type animations:

This is not just eye candy. The animations are providing instant feedback on how Fantastical is parsing your words and, more important, they’re teaching you Fantastical’s syntax. This is tremendously useful because, despite the wonderful flexibility of NLP, there’s always a syntax and you need to learn it if you’re going to use the product. This lack of instant, incremental feedback is what makes Siri impenetrable to some people; you have to give Siri an entire command and wait to see how she interprets it.

Lukas Mathis follows up:

Seeing interpretation errors immediately allows you to fix them in your current context. You don’t want to enter an appointment in a natural language user interface, switch to a different mode with a different user interface, and then check your appointment and fix mistakes in that mode’s UI.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013