[haiku] Re: Interesting user interface.

  • From: Ben Allen <ben.allen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: haiku@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:53:21 -0500

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 4:44 PM, Izomiac <haikulist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Very interesting.  I whole-heartedly agree with the first half of the video
> where they discuss the limitations of the traditional approach.  But I don't
> really care for their solution all that much, it gives too much emphasis to
> one application IMHO.  Just picture working on a lab report where you're
> typing in a word processor, referring to numbers in an e-mail, and using a
> scientific calculator to calculate formulas.  In a traditional windowed
> approach all three can be easily visible at the same time, but in their
> approach a lot of vertical space is wasted and each of those windows would
> be quite narrow.

I was thinking the same thing about wasted space, in particular with a
multi-monitor setup.  If you were running two monitors stacked
vertically, you might not want an app to fill the available vertical
space (it's annoying to work on a document when it spans the gap
between the screens).  It would make more sense to be able to have
different apps running on different screens, and from there it's not
hard to make the conceptual leap to dividing a monitor into "virtual
screens" to let more than one app cohabit a single monitor.

I'm not really sure how you would handle the multi-monitor case, but I
do like the idea of a touchscreen interface where the "touch" and the
"screen" are separate devices.  Using more than two fingers is a nice
idea too, I can imagine some users becoming so proficient with such an
interface that they can zoom through interfaces with their fingers
moving about at the same speed they would when typing.

Typing brings up another point: how would this coexist with a
keyboard?  having both in front of you on a desk would leave at least
one of the devices out of comfortable reach.  Perhaps a "hidden menu"
like the ones they have at the left and right sides of the screen
could be added to the bottom that would summon up or dismiss a virtual
keyboard that would appear either on the screen or on the input
device.  This might even let a developer present a customized keyboard
when using their app (have hotkeys labeled, for instance).

This also begs the obvious question:  Would one of the "System
Requirements" listed on the box for such a product include "Ten (10)
Fingers"?  Would you lose any noticeable functionality if you were
missing one or more fingers (or had an extra)?


-Ben

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