UI toolkit appeal (was Re: Who has no job? )

Tim Rowledge tim at sumeru.stanford.edu
Thu Apr 18 21:54:07 UTC 2002

Bruce Cohen <brucecohen at qwest.net> is claimed by the authorities to have written:

> Oh dear God, no!.  Please don't insist on replicating all the 
> horrible mistakes (in terms of both esthetics and cognitive 
> effectiveness) of the last 20 years of WIMP interfaces just because 
> they're "standard".  The best argument that I've heard for doing this 
> is that users get confused by differences from what they've seen 
> before.  Frankly, I think this argument insults and demeans users.
Well now don't be too swift to jump on the poor guy. He's kinda right.

There _are_ important (financially, at least) applications where you do
indeed want rather less thrilling UI components than you could dream of.
Users _do_ have cognitive dissonance problems with wildly variant UIs;
it's part of how our brains work, we simply do not see things that are
too strange. Include such items in a UI and you get frustrated users and
lost customers. Waaaay back when mice only just existed I had to spend
an entire morning of my weeklong Smalltalk courses getting people to use
a mouse and understand the basic idea of menus etc.

Squeak really could do with some of the basic UI elements that people
are used to. That doesn't mean anyone has to use them and only them for
everything in the image but to have them available for doing mundane
apps to show the potential value of using Squeak in a business sense
would be tremendously helpful to those of us wanting to actually
continue on the path of eating regularly. I'm sure that just about all
the capabilities are there, buried in the vast forest of morphic
somewhere, but buggered if I can find them when I want to. Please,
please, could some of you conversant with all the joys of morphic put
together some classes (with logical names please!) that would actually
provide a basic set? Making a SimpleFooBarButton, sending it a hundred
messages to set parameters and extensions doesn't count. "oh just knock
it up from this that and the other" doesn't either - I may be unemployed
but I'm busy as hell trying to make things to get out of that before I
have to sell the house. I'm also thoroughly non-conversant with the
details of morphic since I spend all my time trying to make the vm and
building process better.


Tim Rowledge, tim at sumeru.stanford.edu, http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim
Shift to the left!  Shift to the right!  Pop up, push down, byte, byte, byte!

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