The Human Interface

Eric Jensen eric at
Thu Mar 10 09:35:34 MST 2005

Michael L Torrie wrote:

>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
>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
>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?).
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I agree with you with those types of applications, in fact I think that 
would be really swank.  But what about the more complex applications 
like video games,  advanced multimedia, etc?  I'd definately run some 
like THE at work if it functioned the way you described, but I can't 
really see how it would work for me at home with all the DVD, 
multimedia, and high end games I run.  Unless I had one beefy machine 
anyway or my own cluster farm.  I would so love to zoom out my video 
game to a picture-in-picture size and work on another project.  THE is 
definately something to drool over, no argument on that.

Eric Jensen

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