Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Oct 2008 17:04 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the tenth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms. 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. Fitting for this rounded number, part X will detail the window.
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Comment by tupp
by tupp on Tue 7th Oct 2008 18:19 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

From the article:

... the Xerox Star, which lacked some of the more powerful features of the Alto; most notably, it lacked overlapping windows, opting for tiled windows instead (dialogs were allowed to overlap).

The Star didn't have overlapping windows?:
http://toastytech.com/guis/starapp7.jpg
http://toastytech.com/guis/star6085-1.jpg
http://toastytech.com/guis/starscan.jpg


Also, the GUI history of the article goes directly from Xerox to Apple, leaving out a very important, independent GUI player (that predates the Apple Lisa) -- the Three Rivers Perq (1979):
http://toastytech.com/guis/perquidoc.jpg
http://toastytech.com/guis/perq.html

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by tupp
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 7th Oct 2008 18:42 in reply to "Comment by tupp"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That's a later version of the software on the Star. The first version did NOT have overlapping windows (only dialogs). See here (use your browser's search function for "overlap"):

http://www.digibarn.com/friends/curbow/star/retrospect/

As for PERQ - that's an interesting one right there. It's the work of ex-PARC employees, and is based on the Alto and the D* machines from PARC. I'm not all too familiar with it, though - I'll gladly admit that I'm no walking encyclopedia, and I don't know everything. However, I still think this article is pretty much accurate, but I don't carry the illusion of having covered everything.

Reply Parent Score: 2