Re: Xerox PARC Magic Lenses -- Parallel? Equivalent? Value Lessons?

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Sat Oct 07 2000 - 21:58:11 PDT

I'm inclined to agree with Nicholas.

Great user interface GUI stuff, mostly focused on graphics. A very
useful thing to have, but not particulary germane at this point.

I especially the liked the bit about seeing detail while keeping
a sense of context. That "window in window" exploded view of a
map, for example, lets you "drill in" to a particular area while
still maintaining a sense of the larger map -- in other words,
you don't have to replace the current map with a more detailed
version -- you add an "inset" window that has the detail.

That's important, because graphic hierarchies have traditionally
operated like the old MacIntosh file systems -- you get more
detail by "going to it", replacing your current view.

The windows file explorer, on the other hand, works like an
outline. You can expand a directory to see its contents, while
still keeping half an eye on the surrounding context.

So I think its great that someone is coming around to the idea
of having graphic hierarchies work the same way. Their mechanism
looks like a clever adaptation of graphic layers (which have
been around a long time) to solve this very real problem.

But without a highly graphic system, the mechanisms they have
generated have very little applicability to what we are doing.
(However, when graphic representations of topic maps and the
like come to the fore, this technology will be very useful.)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 17:57:55 PDT