4.0157 Interfaces (4/108)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sat, 2 Jun 90 14:13:35 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0157. Saturday, 2 Jun 1990.

(1) Date: Thu, 31 May 90 20:31:26 EDT (27 lines)
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 4.0148 Interfaces

(2) Date: Fri, 01 Jun 90 01:11:41 EDT (22 lines)
From: Tzvee Zahavy
Subject: Windows 3.0

(3) Date: Saturday, 2 Jun 1990 01:03:58 EDT (33 lines)
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <U47C2@WVNVM>
Subject: 4.0148 Interfaces (1/125)

(4) Date: Thu, 31 May 90 22:07 PDT (21 lines)
Subject: Re: 4.0148 Interfaces

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 20:31:26 EDT
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 4.0148 Interfaces (1/125)

I think this point has been made before, but I will make it again. The
interfaces that are "winning" in the market place allow one to work both
from a command line and by pointing and clicking. Take the NeXT, one
can open within the GUI a window where one can type commands just like
the good old days. In Windows 3.0 one do this, as one can on the Mac if
you get MPW. If one is to believe the rumours about the upcoming Mac
OS, the Mac will get even more tools for traditional commanding. The
success of the GUI is its ability to give commanding personalities their
screen space too. One need not loose functionality with a GUI. There
is nothing inherent in the notion of a graphical user interface that
prevents one from typing text, and asking the system to execute ones
commands. The trend I see is towards interfaces that can be used in
different ways, with different views for different folks. This I think
is an improvement over the "traditional" environments.

Geoffrey Rockwell

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------23----

Date: Fri, 01 Jun 90 01:11:41 EDT
From: Tzvee Zahavy
Subject: Windows 3.0

I second the sentiments of Clarence Brown. Windows 3.0 brings the GUI
to the PC in a big way. It will have a place in user interface options.
But do take heed. There is no final word on this. Just when I was sure
that the Mac had that graphical advantage and that it appealed to the
masses, my son came home from tenth grade and informed me with great
enthusiasm that he discovered how to transform Mac directories from
icons to lists and that he was now going to go into our SE's hard disk
and "improve" all the folders. What I am sure of is that we need
competition to grease the wheels of progress.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Saturday, 2 Jun 1990 01:03:58 EDT
From: "Patrick W. Conner" <U47C2@WVNVM>
Subject: 4.0148 Interfaces (1/125)

Philip Taylor's logic is faulty; he asserts the following:
What the Macintosh (and its predecessor, the Lisa) have undoubtedly done
is to shew that there is an {\it alternative} to the `traditional'
interface --- an alternative which is readily acceptable by, and
accepted by, a significant proportion of potential and actual computer
users; what they have {\it not} done is to shew that this alternative is
so superior that it will, by a process of natural selection, become the
only viable interface for the forseeable future.
But he has already said:
However, my worries concerning the quasi-religious fervour which it
arouses are nothing compared to my worry that despite the continuance of
the debate on countless mailing lists, both the learned journals and the
computer industry seem agreed that the war is already won: the future
human-computer interface will be graphically oriented.
Does that premise not, in fact, contradict his assertion? If if the
learned journals AND the industry have indeed agreed that the war is
won, then someone, somewhere has shown them the value of GUI. I, for
one, don't see such homogenization of interfaces of either kind. It
would be, quite simply, contrary to the immense flexibility which has
come to characterize computer use. Is it still common in GB to use the
verb TO SHEW?

--Pat Conner
--West Virginia University
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 22:07 PDT
Subject: Re: 4.0148 Interfaces (1/125)

As a Mac user from 1984, may one offer a suggestion to this command line
homily that comes with all its very heavy language? I have found that
those who rely always on the icons give me a pain in the brain, that is:
everytime a computer support helper gets into my office to fix up a
problem with the new system, I find that he/she ahs turned everything to
icons, and it is a jungle of unorganized, even chaotic images.
But--the Mac also ahs all the features the word folk like, alphabetical
listings, dates by sequence, times, etc., all available by menu choice.
The mixture of choices makes for a flexible habitat, and one finds that
there are mouse and key commands both available after a little
acculturation to the machine if that is the correct word? It is the
either/or logic that is discomfiting. And the natural selection process
shows that icons mixed with the logic of numeration, alphabetization
and so forth is coming on the market. The early IBM things were made
by engineers to fit the needs of the keyboards and transmission schemes,
and had nothing to do wth words or images. It has taken a decade and
htings are not yet sorted out. Pazienza, all, please. Kessler at UCLA.