4.0156 Interfaces (3/60)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 31 May 90 17:52:40 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0156. Thursday, 31 May 1990.

(1) Date: Wed, 30 May 90 19:32:38 EDT (27 lines)
From: Michael LeBlanc <leblanc@cosy.uoguelph.ca>
Subject: Interfaces

(2) Date: Wed, 30 May 90 17:06:45 PDT (24 lines)
From: cbf@faulhaber.Berkeley.EDU (Charles Faulhaber)
Subject: Re: 4.0148 Interfaces

(3) Date: Thu, 31 May 90 09:41:59 EDT (9 lines)
From: Clarence Brown <CB@PUCC>
Subject: windows 3.0

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 30 May 90 19:32:38 EDT
From: leblanc@cosy.uoguelph.ca
Subject: Interfaces (1/1

Philip Taylor makes a very good point-- that is, that he regards the
idea of the 'natural selection' process of the GUI over command-line has
yet to be proven. But the power of the GUI can best be expressed when
you need to do something that is much more difficult to do using words,
for example, if you need to describe a "spiral staircase", without using
your hands or drawing a picture. You end up spinning lines and lines of
rter of an hour, before you can adequately complete the description.
But with a simple gesture and a few words you cam make the point.

But pictures work great ONLY if the information is not particularly
specific. Words then act as modifiers, strengthening the pictures, while
the pictures strengthen the words. Written language has evolved from
pictograms to alphabets because these forms allow us to be much more
specific about our ideas. It must be remembered, however, that the GUI
is not purely graphic but contains words AND pictures. I believe that
the perfect interface will not end at the GUI, but will provide the same
level of richness that the world outside the computer provides. That is,
3D, pictures, sound AND text, perhaps even feelies.

So the GUI is only a step towards perfection, but that's only because
it provides reinforcing information to the computer operator.

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------42----
Date: Wed, 30 May 90 17:06:45 PDT
From: cbf%faulhaber.Berkeley.EDU@jade.berkeley.edu (Charles Faulhaber)
Subject: Re: 4.0148 Interfaces (1/125)

I use mostly UNIX and MS-DOS. My only foray into the Mac world was to
organize a specific product; so I can't speak to its strengths and
weaknesses with any authority.

My one basic problem with the interface was that I was never sure where
I was. The tree structure imposed by DOS and UNIX is apparently so
deeply ingrained into the way I do things, that I kept getting lost on
the desktop. I know that files are in folders which can be in other
folders; so in essense it's the same-- but it wasn't. The ability to
move things around on the desktop was too powerful. I had the uneasy
feeling that I was moving folders recursively; and I kept losing things.
The Mac offers the user so much flexibility that one of its major
advantages--the fact that everything works the same way--is undermined
by the fact that no user organizes the desktop in the same fashion;
which means that when you come into a public machine (or at least one
which is used by a number of different people), you never know what
you're going to find.

Charles Faulhaber
UC Berkeley
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------15----
Date: Thu, 31 May 90 09:41:59 EDT
From: Clarence Brown <CB@PUCC>
Subject: windows 3.0

After a week of using the new WINDOWS 3.0 I wonder whether others with
the same or greater experience feel that the debate over the relative
merits of the Mac and the PC should now be consigned to the ashbin of
history. Yours for global fenestration, Clarence Brown. Comp Lit.