Fri, 9 Jan 1998 10:51:26 -0800
Mike Brenner makes a good case for developing for text-based environments.
Let me add my own observations. Window-based environments and pointing
devices frequently reduce productivity rather than enhancing it. The vast
majority of people who use computers for their daily work do not, repeat
NOT, need a windowing environment.
Those of us who do more creative work such as programming or graphic
design tend to be oblivious the to reality of the person who spends each
work day doing one set of task. As an example, consider the order-entry
clerk in a wholesale distribution company. This clerk spends the day
accessing a data base, answering phoned-in orders, entering information
on a video display terminal and, sometimes, printing warehouse picking lists.
When we put a windowing system in front of them, with all the possible
associated applications, mouse buttons, etc. we slow them down. The
reduce productivity is partly because of the proliferations of choices.
Another example is a medical transcription technician. All day long this
person listens to physicians dication tapes and keys in whatever the
physician has dictated. This is a specialized field in which the
transcriber has a knowledge of medical terminology. It is helpful to
be able to pop up some kind of dictionary from time to time but this does
not require something as complex as windows.
One could easily list hundreds of other occupations where windowing is
not only unecessary but detrimental to actual productivity. For such
applications it makes sense to develop for text-based video display
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