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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 09:46:08 +0100
Jonathan Arnowitz <[log in to unmask]>
Jonathan Arnowitz <[log in to unmask]>
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At 07:01 -0800 27-02-1997, Gilbert Cockton, wrote:
>Hi Kari
>Did you ever get any answers on this?
>Many programming guides for Visual Basic and
>similar spend a lot of time on explaining
>the main event loop and why programmers
>must turn their programs inside out to
>become event driven
>The other problem (see surveys by Myers and Rosson)
>is that GUIs require much more effort,
>upto 90% of the code is UI code in some cases.
>My experience is that the most useful information
>is in programmer oriented texts such as VB, Delphi
>etc, manuals, and in books on OO user interfaces

I have given several seminars on this subject and what I see there is 2
major stumbling blocks, beyond reading books.  One problem is psychological
and the other problem is structural--but both have the same root:

1. Developers are not psychologically prepared to develop GUIs

2. Software houses that still make character based applications are not
structurally designed to support a GUI development.

As crazy as this may sound, in many cases, designer, technical specifier,
lead engineer, and software programmer never see each other.  One person
writes a Functional specification, sent down to be turned into a technical
specification, sent down to be turned into an application specification,
sent down to become a screen or series of screens, and then delivered as a
product.  Everyone is use to working alone and off a sheet of paper, and
they expect GUI's to work exactly the same.

The first message I have to give these types of teams is: life cannot
continue the way it has--and they do not like hearing that.

Jonathan Arnowitz
User Interface Design
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