Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 18th Nov 2007 15:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the sixth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VI, we focus on the dock.
Permalink for comment 285271
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

no one argues that Steve (personally) or Apple invented it

You're kidding, right?

In spite of seeing proof after proof over the years on this forum and elsewhere, the Mac fanboys would not accept that Jobs/Apple did not invent the dock/task-bar. Many still won't accept that fact even after seeing the proof in this article.

Mac fanboy denial is a powerful force. There is someone who just posted a couple of messages on this thread who evidently can't accept that the dock did not originate at Apple. This poster is delving into minute and rather arbitrary behavioral differences between launchers, task-bars and docks, apparently in an effort to show that the Apple dock is distinctly different than the non-Apple versions, and, thereby, bolster the idea that Apple invented the "true" dock.

Even this OSNews dock article anticipates Mac fanboy resistance, taking a roundabout, sort of apologetic path before finally declaring in the sixth paragraph, "... the fact remains that the first public appearance of the dock was the Iconbar in Arthur. Credit where it is due, please."

(However, the first dock/task-bar actually appeared in Windows 1.01, two years before Arthur.)

By the way, do you know "Steve" personally?!!

what they did do well is the popularisation of the said technology.

Once a person has finally accepted that Jobs/Apple did not invent an item, nothing in the Universe can stop that person from saying, "... well, Steve made it popular!"

First of all, just saying that Jobs/Apple "made popular" or "introduced" something doesn't make it a hard fact. Please see this response to someone's claim that Apple "introduced" free-floating, overlapping, application windows:

Also, making something popular is a dubious achievement. Perhaps we should start a televised awards show for hucksterism -- I wonder who will win this year's "Huckie" for "largest reality distortion field."

The inventor is the one who should get the credit and accolades.

LCD's for example, was an American invention, it was the fact that it took until the 1980s when american companies finally realised the link between R&D, competitive advantage and producing products - where they finally protected the technology they developed.

Not sure what you mean here, but I think that it was long before the 1980s when American companies realized the importance of R&D, "competitive advantage" and production.

Nothing today is original; the vast majority of it has already been conceptualized years ago

An optimistic view.

A famous myth has Charles H. Duell, the U.S. Commissioner of Patents in 1899, saying, "Everything that can be invented has been invented." Although he did not really make the statement, surely, a lot of people have held that sentiment before and after that fictional moment. It is a good thing that the sentiment also has never proved to be true.

Lets not try to start a turf war over who invested who - the question should be who implemented the best

Okay. If who "best implemented" or "popularized" an invention is more important to you than who invented an item, then you won't mind if I reiterate three facts proven earlier in this article and thread:
- Jobs/Apple did not invent the dock;
- Jobs/Apple did not invent free-floating, overlapping application windows;
- and, Jobs/Apple did not invent the scrollbar.

Edited 2007-11-19 21:48

Reply Parent Score: 2