[Pipet Devel] Re: The Loci Project

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at geoserve.net
Mon Nov 29 16:12:43 EST 1999

Tom Christiansen wrote:
> I've looked at it, and found it quite interesting.  It reminds me of AVS.
> I'm not completely sure whether I'd be happy to work within a system such
> as you described, but I'd certainly be more than willing to give it a try.
> I confess to longing for Perl bindings, however. :-)

Do you mean Perl bindings to Loci, or Loci using Perl instead of Python?

> The easier of my two point is to make programs Unix-friendly and
> touch-typist-friendly.  I would like a program to "lay well under my
> fingers", as musicians are known to say of a particular composition.
> It should follow the principle of least surprise and not cause me
> confusion.

Would a mouse-friendly system address your point?  I suppose this second point
is to make intuitive programs, rather than just touch-typist friendly.

> For example, the "xv" program does a good job at this.  It doesn't require
> strange keystroke combinations, but uses regular keys.  It doesn't require
> the mouse for non-mouse things, like selecting or executing commands.
> It doesn't put things on menus whose name have no relationship to the
> purpose of the command.

I see.

> KDE is very bad at all of this, and the only excuse provided me is
> Microsoft compatibility.  That is no excuse whatsover.  It just ends up
> producing something that feels completely foreign to me, like a poem
> run through babelfish.

As you know, Apple gave the world a very well thought out graphical shell or
windowing system (which they 'stole' from Xerox, but probably did a better job
at it) back in 1982? (Lisa).  And this gave Microsoft a good case of the
metoos.  Up until 1995, Microsoft had been playing catchup, trying to make
theirs as good as Apple's (IMHO, maybe Windows 95 = Mac System 7).  Since
then, however, it seems the two have been rushing to implement ALL of the
features of the other, leaving both looking and working very much alike.  So,
with 90-something percent of all desktops working like the two do, who would
DARE make something that works a completely different way?  When it comes to
making a new desktop (KDE, Gnome, etc.), it's not that 'Winintosh' is the
ultimate, and there is no more room for innovation (or rethinking things);
making something different would simply mean bucking the great trend and
leaving your desktop potentially dead in the water.

> If you read the three report cards I belately posted to that feature
> article, you'll get a feel for what I do or do not enjoy.  Mostly
> do not. :-)  But this isn't much to do with your project, I imagine,
> because you are tackling the harder, more innovative, and far
> more interesting aspects of all this.

Well, I hope Loci can address BOTH of your points: be innovative AND be
intuitive!  Your very much welcome to test the work in progress and give us
some feedback about its ease-of-use, since this is obviously something you
care about in the programs you use.

BTW, Loci is pronounced 'low-sigh', as I'm certain is the proper latin
pronunciation :-)

                      |           J.W. Bizzaro           |
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                      | http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff/ |
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