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   Re: [xml-dev] Does WTSIWYG make simplicity moot? (was Re: [xml-dev]dtds,

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Anthony B. Coates wrote:
> ...
> Not so.  The most illuminating thing for me was to have spent a couple of years
> as a multimedia developer, using Macromedia's Director. 

A multimedia developer is usually a visual person. They are working on 
creating a visual product. It isn't surprising to me that a visual 
environment would be more efficient than a textual one. But I'm talking 
about something like a computer program or a schema which has no 
intrinsic preference one way or the other.

> ...   Director opens up development to a far larger group of people
> than most programming languages do, by lowering the level of entry.

Director opens up multimedia development. That makes sense for two reasons:

  * first, as I said before, you're building something visual and 
probably every pixel counts. Doing that in a text file is no good (which 
is why I gave up on text-edited XML as a general replacement for PowerPoint)

  * Second, you're contrasting the visual abstraction layer with Lingo, 
which is a full programming language and probably at totally the wrong 
layer of abstraction. I have faith that whatever Lingo's GUI got right 
as an abstraction could be emulated in a carefully designed XML 
vocabulary (perhaps something like SMIL???) It isn't fair to compare a 
carefully designed GUI abstraction to a poorly chosen textual abstraction.

> What makes Director different to more typical programming IDEs?  Director has
> to appeal to both programmers & artists.  It would be a failure in its target
> market if it didn't.  By contrast, many technical specs never rise beyond an
> ASCII view of life and the universe.  So it is a self-fulfilling prophecy that
> they sometimes seem best handled using the plainest text editor available.

There is nothing wrong with handling data in a visual environment. I 
just argued against using that as an excuse for poor language design.

  Paul Prescod


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