Wired HC Article - UI

Troy Rollins troy at rpsystems.net
Mon Aug 19 00:11:01 EDT 2002

On Sunday, August 18, 2002, at 11:59  PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:

>> But when I saw: "one month to pay the bills" I knew, that could
>> be only a very light version of iShell UI. If its possible at
>> all it would be anyhow a very nice thing for beginners and small
>> projects.
> Precisely.  It rarely makes sense to recreate any existing product; it's
> almost always cheaper to simply buy a product than to build it from 
> scratch.
> But the central question was:  what can Rev learn from the design of 
> iShell?
> Since iShell is cited as an accessible UI, perhaps there may be value in
> exploring ways of employing Rev's vast capabilities to build a UI that
> starts the user with something inspired by the relevant portion of 
> iShell's
> design, progessively disclosing additional fetures as needed.

I'll respectfully (re)submit that I don't see that happening. A month? 
That would be cheap indeed. But I doubt that would deliver even close to 
the value level desired. Nor would a year. Unless you have used the 
iShell environment, and have experienced the fact the the UI is so 
incredibly consistent and fully implemented to the last detail, as well 
as entirely rock-solid, then you can't imagine the level of work that it 
would require. The Rev team has enough UI stability issues within their 
own chosen approach, I can only imagine the fiasco which would ensue if 
someone were to attempt a facsimile of a completely different metaphor. 
Even assuming that the intention is not to attempt providing the depth 
of iShell's capability, but just the general sense of UI - I still don't 
see it happening. The things that would be required to do it would play 
on all of Rev's weakest areas rather than its strengths. Rev looks and 
works like it does mostly because its core engine rather dictates a set 
of efficiencies that it plays on. The same could be said for iShell. I 
have seen nothing which would indicate to me that one could even 
simulate the other with anything close to a quality result.

Now. That said, could some alternative metaphor be developed to provide 
certain types of users an entry-level or more graphical experience into 
the Rev environment? Maybe. I just think that while iShell is indeed a 
remarkable example of UI, only a poor replica could be achieved inside 
of the Rev environment. My point is, for the purposes of an alternate 
metaphor, I don't believe I would be looking at iShell. The two tools 
just function at a fundamentally different thought process from the 
ground up. Even Director may be a more appropriate target - its 
approach, environment design, and general work-flow is far closer to 
Rev's than iShell's is.

Just my two cents. I use all three environments extensively, if that 
counts for anything. (like maybe one more cent.)  :-)

RPSystems, LTD

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