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** Reply to message from Paul Prescod <email@example.com> on Tue, 12 Nov 2002
> 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.
I think you are playing the man there instead of the ball. One shouldn't
dismiss a successful GUI just because it targets visual work products.
> * 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.
I'm not comparing them. I'm pointing out that they happily co-exist, and you
can use whichever is most comfortable, whichever suits your abilities best. The
point which I had wanted you to take away was that this harmony comes about
because the visual paradigm came about first, the language came afterwards and
had to work seemlessly with the visual interface. The problem with many specs,
in a sense, is that they only requirement is to produce something that can be
dealt with, however tediously, using a plain text editor. It would be very
different if a visual metaphor was an integral part of the spec. It would no
longer be such an issue to build IDEs that are able to present all of the
functionality in a usable manner.
And while I'm sure some spec participants would reel in horror at the thought
of having to deal with a visual dimension as well, there are precedents. UML is
a particularly good one.
Anthony B. Coates, Information & Software Architect
MDDL Editor (Market Data Definition Language)