4.0245 Interfaces for Text Generation (1/28)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Tue, 3 Jul 90 17:16:23 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0245. Tuesday, 3 Jul 1990.

Date: Fri, 29 Jun 90 19:16:48 EDT
From: Brian Whittaker <BRIANW@YORKVM2>
Subject: Interfaces

In a recent message to Humanist Mary Ann Lyman-Hager drew a contrast
between "the beautiful GUI and lovely text that the Mac
offers and the power of text generation offered by the IBM
PS/2-generation machines".

Before someone reopens the wars of digital religion that have
laid waste continents, lists and bullentin boards, perhaps we
could build a productive dialogue. Assuming that everyone has
heard enough of the glorious Graphic User Interface for the
moment, could I ask the other side of the question:

What *specific* powers of text generation and manipulation
are available on the IBM but not on the Macintosh?

I am not calling for renewed hostilities. The IBM's evolution has
clearly profited in recent years from trying to catch up with the
Macintosh's interface. I suspect that the Macintosh could profit
similarly from trying to catch up to the IBM in other areas, and
text handling may well be one of those areas.

Please try to be specific. It may be possible to add features to
Macintosh text editors like Vantage and word processors like Nisus by
way of macros and external commands, or by means of simple utilities.
This is the kind of dialogue from which all may profit by refining the
tools on which we all increasingly depend.

Brian Whittaker
Department of English, Atkinson College, York University.