The Human Interface

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Thu Mar 10 09:19:13 MST 2005


On Wed, 2005-03-09 at 15:53 -0700, Dan Stovall wrote:
> There are a lot of things that are glossed over though.  Especially,
> how applications are integrated into the user interface.  That seems
> to me to be the biggest question mark I have.  But I think it has
> potential as far as navigation goes for getting around a user
> interface.

Actually why do we even need the concept of applications in our computer
paradigms, especially within the context of THE?  In my estimation we'd
be far better served by a completely data-centric or document-centric
system.  The idea of launching an application to create a paper, for
example, or loading an editor to work on a text file, is kind of stupid.
Why don't we just create the paper or text file and work with it
directly.  From the THE perspective, you just copy a template document
to a clean area and start working on it.  All the things we
traditionally associate with a word processor or text editory really can
just be implemented as a toolset that's automatically available whenever
you are working with the data or document.  Think of it from an object-
oriented point of view.  The document is the object instance and all of
the functionality traditionally provided by applications is instead
moved into methods that you can implement on the document (or friend
classes).

Years ago when I was in high school wrote up some white papers (since
lost) that described document-centric replacements for every common
application paradigm including word processors, spreadsheets, integrated
development environments, image processing, etc.  

Of course, like THE, I don't believe the technology of the time could
have supported these ideas.  Now with the proliferation of virtual
machines and advanced scripting languages like python I think such a
project could work (anyone remember taligent or pink?).

Michael


> 
> 
> Dan
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