The Transcendental GUI (was a thread from REALbasic vs. Revolution)

Rob Cozens rcozens at
Sat Oct 12 12:04:29 EDT 2002

>If you know of an application that is popular, runs on at least two
>platforms, and takes significant liberties with the native UI, I'd love to
>take a look at it.

Hi Richard,

At the moment I can only give you item 3.  As soon as my HyperCard to 
Revolution conversion is completed (1 Jan 2003?), I can give you 
items 2 & 3.  My application has a limited market (wineries); so it 
will never gain "popularity" awards...except perhaps within the 

What I have done is to reduce a very complicated activity into a 
series of point and click actions that can be completed without 
typing on the keyboard.  Looking at competitors' products, I don't 
think the functionality can be replicated in a standard menu-driven 
application without suffering significant setbacks in ease of 
learning, navigation, and use.

I'm not sure how this fits into your research, but I suggest you 
focus some time on the issue of pull down & select vs point & click. 
I watched a lot of non programmers design stacks in my days chairing 
the local HyperCard SIG, and I'd be willing to bet at least 8 out of 
10 chose button-driven interfaces over menu-driven ones.  I have 
archived somewhere several hundred stacks I downloaded from AOL for 
Jacque Gay, and I would be willing to wager that, of all stacks not 
created by Apple, at least 75% more contain Next/Previous buttons 
than contain Next/Previous menuItems.  Most major apps now supplement 
pull-down menus with point-&-click palettes, and point-&-click is 
basic to web browsing.

The pull-down menu has been the mainstay of the GUI for over a 
quarter of a century.  It's time for something better.

Rob Cozens
CCW, Serendipity Software Company

"And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
Who are a little wise, the best fooles bee."

from "The Triple Foole" by John Donne (1572-1631)

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