Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 29 Nov 1996 to 30 Nov 1996

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 29 Nov 1996 to 30 Nov 1996
From: byfield -at- DIRECT -dot- CA
Date: Sun, 1 Dec 1996 13:18:35 -0800

Playing around with the Windows 95 version of FrameMaker, I
noticed that the Character and Paragraph Designers now have
tabs. This was a welcome change for me, since tabbed setting
boxes are the norm in the OS/2 programs I've been using for
the last three years, and they're much more efficient than
dropdown menus.

So far as I can figure, this design was first used on the PC
in OS/2. Lotus products seemed to popularize it, and now Windows 95
seem to be making it universal.

However, this history is only conjecture, and limited by my
own experience. Realizing this limitation, I started to wonder:
is there such a thing as a detailed history of user interface
design? I know of several books on UI design, but I'm
thinking of something more specialized. Such a reference would
make for interesting reading: I imagine that it would cover such
things as the transition from the command line to text-based inter-
faces like the Norton Commander to the GUI, and cover such ongoing
trends as object-oriented desktops and the move away from what I call
the DOS or single window paradigm for programs.

If anybody knows of such a book, I'd be grateful for the title,
writer and publisher.

Bruce Byfield (byfield -at- direct -dot- ca)
Burnaby, BC, Canada
(604) 421-7189

"I'll never get to heaven, no matter what I do,
I'll never be a blue-eyed boy, although my eyes are blue,
And I will not work, and I will not work for you."
--Oyster Band, "The Generals Are Born Again"

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