Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 4th Nov 2007 19:24 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the third article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II]. 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 III today, we focus on the desk accessory, popularly known as the widget, applet, mini-app, gadget, or whatever the fashionable term is these days.
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RE: multi-tasking
by Morin on Mon 5th Nov 2007 16:21 UTC in reply to "multi-tasking"
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

> What was really amazing - from the perspective of an RISC OS/Amiga
> user - was the hard sell that multitasking needed with some people.
> "Why would I want</> to run more than one program at once?".

I'd be similarly cautious if you asked me. Let's see what applications I have currently running:

- A web browser (obviously). That's what I'm typing this comment in, so it is needed. I have a background tab open which I'm currently not using. I will use it in the future, but not now.

- Other applications like Eclipse and Finder (file browser), which I don't use at the moment.

Here we already have the first point: Saving and restoring the state of these applications would do the job as well. Multitasking is a solution, but not the only one. Going on:

- Email and ICQ client: These applications aren't doing anything at the moment. They are waiting for incoming events. Even when an event arrives, they will quickly handle it and then go to sleep again.

Event handling is an obvious case for the "widgets as drivers" idea that the people at Apple had. Again multitasking can do the job, but others can do as well.

- iTunes: Yes, here I am actually running a second program.
- Background tasks: ... and some more.

Finally we have some use-cases for multitasking. But they are much less obvious than some people think.

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