Don't be too high-tech!!!

Ernest Retzel 1535 49118 ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu
Sat May 8 11:41:55 EST 1993


|> No, nor should they.
|> 


> Despite my believe that a GUI is what all biologists should have 
> it is a severe mistake to neglect all non-X or non-ethernetted biologists. 
<stuff deleted>
> So lests behave as generous as possible and stick to also line-oriented 
> interfaces. 

There is a lot more to a well designed GUI than another pretty face.  In
this case, I am referring to those things more extensible than file
managers in Windows, and Entrez is one example.  At that, it is still
handling text-based information, but does it so nicely that it would 
simply not be as good a design without it.

So, I am in agreement with Bill his statement that they should not.  I don't
think that it would add to the functionality of the program at all, 
particularly not when it would be another thing to support.

It is not a question of being "high-tech" per se, but rather designing the
best software.  We have a fair amount of sw developed here that would lose
most of its functionality if it were ported to a text-only environment.
How does a goal of developing non-text representations of data fit into
making it line-oriented?  

I don't want to contribute to a religious war, but it is important to
recognize that evolving to X-based systems offers more than just ease
of use and pretty pictures.  Aside from things like alternative 
representations, there are issues like access to servers and tools that
are too hard if you stay with that paradigm.

Ernie Retzel
ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu




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