[self-interest] text and gui

Albertina Lourenci lourenci at lsi.usp.br
Mon Mar 15 22:32:45 UTC 2004

Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
Hi Jecel!

> On Saturday 13 March 2004 15:12, Albertina Lourenci wrote:
> > Is the main difference between syntax for  literal and graphical
> > objects that the latter is interactive?
> The main difference is that, in existing systems, they are used in
> different places. The graphical object normally (but not always) is
> interactive while we don't think of the textual syntax as such.
> Let us imagine we want to have architectural objects in a Self-like
> language. One such object is a wall, and we could invent a special
> syntax for it so we could write
>  w1: <.5,0>=<0,0>=<0,7>=<7,7>=<7,6.5>
> to describe a wall with the standard height and width which starts at
> coordinates x=0.5 and y=0.0 and then passes through three intermediate
> points before ending at x=7.0 and y=6.5.
> Well,  in this case we have no graphical wall!

Of course for graphical designers this makes no sense!
What I understand by graphical syntax is something like
the GUI, the outliner and so on! In this case you also
have true graphical objects.
Hence the difference is not it is only interactive. Indeed
it has different functionality from the literal syntax.
It is something like three dimensional collaborative
architecture and bidimensional collaborative architecture.

> Instead of doing this, we could define the '===' message for points and
> walls in regular Self and write
>  w1: (0.5 at 0)===(0 at 0)===(0 at 7)===(7 at 7)===(7 at 6.5)
> using only the literal syntax for numbers and the '@' and '===' messages
> to build the same wall object as in the previous example. The problem
> with this is that it takes a little while to build this wall from the
> 10 numbers and so we don't want to do this every time a popular method
> is executed.
> To show a graphical version of this same wall object I would have to
> attach a picture to this email, so I will let you just imagine we did
> it with the sketchMorph we created for your thesis. You can change the
> wall after it was created since the sketchMorph is a graphical editor,
> but you can also edit the text for the two version of the example I
> gave above. The first, of course, can be done while the program is
> running while the latter while the program is being created. That makes
> a difference for languages like C, but not for Self.
> Even though the three versions of the wall object are equivalent in
> theory, in practice it is more fun to deal with the graphical version.

I see no equivalence! Only if you make a reductionist effort or
a rough mapping from one to the other. For a designer this makes
no sense!

> > I put forward clearly in my papers that the software architecture
> > is the place of discourse and communication.
> I was hoping for a simple and concrete example like I gave above.

I could give the example in terms of the subgroup relationships of the
crystallographic groups where everybody becomes a designer and
a "philosopher"!!:-)!
Thank you!
Best wishes

> -- Jecel
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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