Re: The State Of The Art

Dr Geek wrote:
> The intention of this message is to spark a little debate on alternative
> directions for Linux (and other *nix) GUI environments.  My contention is
> that while I believe Gnome and KDE are both excellent implementations of the
> state-of-the-art, the opportunity exists to go one better; to leapfrog the
> art and improve on the desktop metaphor that has dominated GUIs since 1984
> while remaining within the realms of the possible.
So far so good.

> (My background in doing this is that I'm an engineer who specialises in
> (amongst other things), interface design and human-computer interaction
> (HCI).  The proposal below is a starting point and builds on ideas coming
> from research in many places, including MIT and Xerox (without, as far as I
> can see, any patent infringments).  I'm also a hacker (C, C++, Java, Perl)
> of *many* years,

> Gnome and KDE are rebuilding the GUI environment for Linux.  Why then are we
> following Windows/Mac/whatver in using the same old flat desktop metaphor?
> Yes, we have multiple desktops (so does Windows, so does the Mac), but how
> about this:
> Consider that your monitor is just a rectangular window ("viewing area")
> onto a wrap-around surface on which your windows are placed.  Conceptually,
> your viewing area moves around on that larger surface.  You can consider
> that the usual X "virtual desktop" or "multiple desktop" idea is an example
> of this.  Now, consider that the surface could be spherical, so that you can
> spin around in any direction, or maybe cylindrical (like an oil drum several
> "screens" high and wrapping around behind you).  Alt-tabbing from window to
> window slides the viewing area around the screen so that the window selected
> is always nicely centered.  Replace the "sticky" attribute with one that
> glues a window to the viewing area (often called "sticking the window to the
> glass") so that it follows the viewing area around.
> Now you can use "areas" of the surface for related windows, but have a
> better notion of where these windows are *spatially*.
> In order to aid navigation, a minaturized version of the *whole* surface
> would be displayed in a corner of the monitor (technically this is known as
> a "world in minature") which gives a reduced view of where windows are
> placed on the surface.  Clicking in this minature view will slide the
> viewing area over to the place clicked on.
So, what's the great idea. Having twisted, bended, curved, etc. windows at you
screen ?
Ha, "... so that the window selected is always nicely centered ...", blah-blah
I DO NOT my damned windows "nicely centered", I want them where I put them. 

-- velco

PS. Who the hell you work for ?

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