[DISCUSSION] Hidden and Open: O'Keefe as "everyman"

Ned Konz ned at bike-nomad.com
Thu Feb 13 23:21:01 UTC 2003

On Thursday 13 February 2003 02:34 pm, Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:

> I'm afraid the direct manipulation metaphor has been strained past
> its breaking point here.  We have Tiles which are like pointers to
> objects, and dropping one Tile on another will do nothing or cause
> a replacement depending on, stuff, I guess.

[snip description of using halos to do interesting things with tiles]

> It should not be too hard to make that work, surely?
> I don't suggest that the "phrase" tile should remember the original
> "noun", but the "script" morph that it's in certainly _does_
> remember "The Scriptee" (as the help balloon puts it), so if a
> phrase tile finds itself without a receiver, couldn't it ask the
> containing script for one?

[snip more halo manipulation]

> Trying to built up a "conjuction" of "nouns" like this seems an
> obvious thing to do if you want several things to turn together. 
> If it's not going to work, maybe Tiles should refuse to accept
> Tiles?

They do, most of the time. That is, they only accept other tiles at 
the right time when you do drag'n'drop.


I think the problem is that there are two separate UI conventions at 
work here. Nothing in the environment tells you that you can't mix 
them, of course, which leads people (naturally) to try to (like you 

One is drag'n'drop, in which you get to see potential targets via 
their highlighting, and can't drag non-draggable things. The 
scripting/viewer interface is consistent (if a bit limited) in this 
mode. You can drop noun tiles on other noun tiles to replace them 
once they're in scripts. Other actions with the noun tiles are 
futile. Once in a script, they can't be dragged back out.

The other UI -- the generic halo/menu UI for Morphs -- *looks* like it 
should work (that would be consistent), and in fact you can get halos 
on these things and manipulate them like you did, but this NEVER does 
what you want. So -- despite the fact that the tools themselves are 
built using Morphic -- using this generic interface is not what you 
want. Halos aren't part of the scripting vocabulary when applied to 
the scripting tools themselves.

In fact, I haven't seen any Morphic UI yet that attaches any kind of 
high-level meaning to these low-level actions (embed into, duplicate, 
grab, rotate...).

A simple solution for the viewer/scripting items would be just to make 
them not pop up halos when blue-clicked.

Ned Konz

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