Re: Easiest/quickest method for very simple interfaces?
From: Anton Suchaneck (asuchaneck_at_web.de)
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2005 18:09:59 +0200
> Michael speaks truth here wrt vim. vim (or its less-capable ancestor
> vi) is on every Unix-like system. If you know the basics of vim, you
> can edit text anywhere, which can be Really Useful.
That's true, but my case is different. I do not want to handle foreign
systems, but I want to optimize my own for my special tasks.
>> When the actual tasks are very complex, you cannot afford to spend any
>> thought on handling the interface.
> ? If the tasks are complex, you learn the interface well enough so that
> you don't have to think about it when you use it.
Yet you think more about it, than if you had the easiest possible GUI. There
wouldn't be any nuclear reactors if there were no graphical monitors and
fool-proof (hardware) switches instead of a single command line interface.
> Driving a car is
> a fairly complex task, but you don't see many people complaining that
> there's no fancy GUI for their BMW.
Because the usual "car system" is almost the most intuitive. I'm not saying
you need Windows style OK-Buttons. Things just should be visual, because
that's the way humans think.
>> As trivial as it might seem, but any new thought shoves out another,
>> so I don't want to think of what to do next and how to enter the
> Any new thought shoves out anoth... oh look, a puppy!
There have been scientific studies showing that people can handle only a
limited amount of items at once. Say you want to evaluate items and order
them. With only a few items you look once, get an overall impression and
know the order. With more items you need to resort to typical algorithms.
> When your command lines become too complex for you to remember how to
> compose one of them, you write a script that contains that command line
> (or lines) and invoke that script.
That's OK for speed. What I have to do is to deal with (a moderate) amount
of data files. Then it helps a lot if there are visual previews and I can
click on them instead of looking up filenames. Also seeing the files you
use can never be a disadvantage.
> Specifics on what it is that you want to do might help people assist
I have datafiles. They can be added (many input, one output), subtracted,
corrected (one input, one output) and plotted (many input, gnuplot output).
Single data lines in the file can also be input parameters for other
procedures. Looking at the raw data in an editor is not impossible, but
inconvenient. A spreadsheet like parameter overview would help to find data
with parameters I want to consider.
I've written simple command line perl scripts, but they need optimization
for the best infrastructure. As always in programming...
>> I need the computer to suggest how to proceed. For example by
>> offering choices.
> Computers aren't very smart, and you may wish to look at the Jargon
> File's entry for "DWIM" to see some of the pitfalls inherent in having a
> machine try to figure out what it is that you're trying to do.
I meant offering choices (e.g. checkboxes, choice lists). In the future A.I.
could offer commands where you can chose from if one of them suits your
Automated reinterpretation would be Windows programs which have those
hidden, terribly annoying autocorrect "features" I've always hated.
>> Unintuitive interfaces are probably a big source of human error.
> s/Unintuitive interfaces/Uneducated users/ . It doesn't matter how
> intuitive the interface is if the user doesn't know what to do with it.
I don't object. Let's agree on that you need both: Educated users and