Re: Lisa Office System and GUI

From: Marcin Wichary <mwichary_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2005 17:26:24 +0100

> The field of GUI design seems to be full of creativie copying and
> alterations ans originality. Many many many people are involved in
> this area
> and they learn from each other. At least that is my impression.
> I think this behavior is very good since it provides innovations which
> hopefully end up making computers easier to use by their regular users.

I agree. The process is not as smooth as it might've been (with numerous lawsuits and accusations along the way), but I always loved "creative copying" as long as it introduced some progress. Command+Tab switching in Panther is a good example, on the surface it's just a rip-off of Windows' Alt+Tab program switching, but it introduces several enhancements (pressing H or Q will hide and quit the applications, you can use mouse to point at the icon, the whole thing is dynamic, etc.)

> The only regret I have about this area is the WIMP (windows/icons/mouse
> pointer) interface is still around. There must be something better than
> this. I know efforts have been made to develop the WIMP successor, but
> these
> seemed to have failed due to WIMP's hegemony in the computing world UI.

Again, couldn't agree more. I myself attribute it to in big part to people's old habits... everybody knows GUIs these days and companies might want to "play it safe" rather than innovate. Which is a pity, as everybody is now aware that some ideas behind Lisa's and Mac's GUIs do not translate well into today's computing.

Apple's Mac OS X seems particularly stagnant, with Apple making a big fuss of REintroducing some of the features from "classic" Mac OS. The only really good innovation I can think of is Expose; here's hoping for Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn to bring some fresh air.

People like Jef Raskin, with some great groudbreaking concepts, are not listened to. And the scary thing is that some of the good ideas from Lisa (document-centric environment, filesystem-independent document names) to this day did not make it to the market.

      Marcin Wichary

e:\> mwichary_at_email.domain.hidden
w:\> >> Attached
w:\> >> Graphical User Interface gallery
w:\> >> 10 years of Being Boring
w:\> >>

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Received on 2005-01-09 08:31:10

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