[self-interest] GUI stuff (was: nice job!)

Jecel Assumpcao Jr. jecel at merlintec.com
Fri Mar 17 22:43:07 UTC 2000

Randy Smith wrote:
> Thanks to you both.  In keeping with the Kansas/Oz metaphor,
> I was calling this the "Yellow Brick Road" tutorial.  This
> particular path to enlightenment would undoubtedly feature
> several visits to the Emerald Debugger.

Ah - that is why you visit the various "screens" in a spiral pattern ;-)

> Thanks again.  I'm sure the idea was pretty inevitable, but
> as far as I know, ARK was the first place 3D buttons
> appeared.  You have to remember in those days just using a
> mouse was a weird idea.  In user studies we often had to
> expect a 15 - 30 minute lead time before subjects would get
> comfortable with the "little box on the table moves the
> arrow on the screen" concept!

>From personal experience and from watching others struggle with it, it takes
quite a while for people to get the three buttons on the mouse right. It is too
easy to call up the blue menu when you wanted the yellow one (and vice versa)
and create a big mess.

If Self ever runs on PCs, it will have to deal with the fact that two button
mice are the most common there. We will need modifier keys, like on the Mac.
Something like:

           left = grab/manipulate
           right = yellow menu
           right+modifier = blue menu

This will make accidents less likely. Of course, it is tempting to find
something for left+modifier to do (but there would be no equivalent on the Mac)
and in that case I would propose that embedding/extracting morphs is a very
common operation and would be a good choice.

-- Jecel

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