Graphical shells (was Re: Rawrite2)

Date: Tue May 09 2000 - 16:35:59 CEST

In a message dated 5/9/00 8:28:49 AM Central Daylight Time, writes:

>> >A few years from now the 'classical' linux user will be a rare
>> >exception and we will be called stupid but harmless people... :-D
>> Hmmm... interesting way of thinking...
>> I always felt, that the problem is not, that computers can be handled
>> way, I think the problem is, that it is not working this way, even we have
>> desktops full of icons and wizards etc.
>> Things are not getting easier, because there is no system behind it.
> The classicle Unix way is: Have small tools, each does its own job.
> them and get powerful - a modular way. But how should this be moved onto an
> graphicle desktop?!? There is no way, because in todays OSs there is nearly
> no tool used by another. Just a bit OLE
> but no power behind it. The reason: All companies do there own job.
> And the solution is - as ever - free open source software.
> Martin
I can imagine a graphical shell interface, but I can't (yet) code it. You
use icons for code fragments and flowchart symbols, pushing them together
like LEGO blocks, to indicate control & data flows. Rather than typing
ls -s | tail +2 | sort -rn | head -5 > big5
you'd push together an "ls" block, a "tail" block, a "sort" block, and a
"head" block,
providing appropriate parameters in little type-in boxes (or by drawing lines
to other
icons that produced the values needed, there could be a keyboard icon that
ask the user for a value), and a "file" icon that stored the results. The
icons could
have multiple ports, where you'd attach a file to store errors, perhaps. You
can have
little pieces of "pipe" to stretch across the screen, carrying data and
A program would look like, and implement, a flowchart. I can even see how
such a
thing might be useful, especially in a rapid-prototyping environment. Lots
of the code
could probably be lifted from various CAD systems & hardware emulators. But
I don't
think that I would ever really be comfortable using it; too many years of
other, older,
habitually mis-used and underused skills filling my brain.

Maybe I should patent it anyway? (Geeesh, maybe someone already has!)


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