Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jun 2007 13:44 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Federkiel writes: "People working with Apple computers are used to a very consistent user experience. For a large part this stems from the fact that the Lisa type of GUI does not have the fight between MDI and SDI. The question simply never arises, because the Lisa type of GUI does not offer the choice to create either of both; it's something different all along. I usually think of it as 'MDI on steroids unified with a window manager'. It virtually includes all benefits of a SDI and and the benefits of an MDI." Read on for how I feel about this age-old discussion.
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RE[4]: That's only a part of it
by obi_oni on Sun 24th Jun 2007 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: That's only a part of it"
obi_oni
Member since:
2006-02-15

Glad you brought up the midnight/norton commander.

Something that's great about the midnight/norton commander is the predictability of it all. After building up some muscle memory, I can manipulate files almost faster than my screen can refresh, people watching me work just see the screen flash a bit ;-). Combined with the CLI, it's great. I still use it daily, even though it's a bit dated and clunky in some parts (the editor is only nice because I'm used to it, and very clunky when it comes to copy/pasting for instance)

That being said, even though graphical variants have been tried (a lot) both in windows, linux and other operating systems and desktop environments, somehow they never work out. Someone interested in usability should really look into why it worked in the first place, and why it fails so badly in mouse-based/wimp environments.

I think it worked because of its source/destination system (the 2-panel layout always made clear where your file would end up), the always available command line (it doesn't get in the way of the CLI, on the contrary it augments it), the integrated file search/filtering/comparing, and the integrated editor - and most of all: absolute predictability of the commands.

Maybe I should write my own eventually, not necessarily using the same layout (2-panel + CLI) but copying some of the concepts, and adding some modern features in the mix.

(Something like http://hotwire-shell.org/, the old http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XMLTerm, using modern editors/viewers, and try to get away from being "filesystem based", allow different views based on its content/metadata. I still think you need an source/destination thing, so 2 panels might stay ^_^)

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