Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Feb 2008 20:46 UTC, submitted by irbis
Graphics, User Interfaces "It's one of the more popular culture wars in the free software community: GUI versus CLI (graphics versus the command-line). Programmers, by selection, inclination, and long experience, understandably are attracted to textual interactions with the computer, but the text interface was imposed originally by technological limitations. The GUI was introduced as a reply to those problems, but has undergone very little evolution from 1973 (when it was invented at Xerox PARC) to today. So why can't we do better than either of these tired old systems?"
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by fasteez on Fri 8th Feb 2008 22:11 UTC
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I just lost a big comment ... so i summarize

cli like shells are nearly perfect :

data flow (pipes)
operators (anything that pipes in and out)
homoiconic user composition persistency (scripts)
+ contextual symbols database (autocompletion aka fast search in the possible existing inputs)

many highend software ( nr shake, discreet flame, alias maya , sidefx houdini ... ) uses 2D pov of the same ideas :
dag aka composition of nodes and dataflow evaluation

computer languages too have the same concept ... (lazy evaluation in fpl)

we could surely find some minimalistic way of interacting with computers there

so cli is perfect but .. linear .. it doesnt scale , and TUI are discrete lo-def (its a matrix of rectangles)

here come the gui .. we have 2d ( and Nd in fact ) and freeform shapes but problems are :

- these dataflow / operators ideas stayed out of sight ... for a lot of people ( even teachers ) a MSOffice gui is some kind of state of the art of what a GUI should be. they start with their mind creativity crippled.

- on top of that comes the oldfashioned concept gui frameworks that makes you write tons for few results ..
imperative and even oop gui frameworks are not well suited for ergonomy and interaction expressivity.

I guess value oriented semantics will lead the way ( like xml / js / css can demo actually . they created fancier gui inside a browser than in richclient apps )

or maybe some ND interaction calculus for generic data can be developped ...

- then 2d is nonlinear... an advantage and a disadvantage too : good 2d interaction is not simple. good 2d data layout is hard too. especially dynamic live data , with semantic relation between them.

lets see ;)

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