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Re: [xml-dev] Topics of keen interest to me ... how about you?

Also interesting David.

I think the distinction I'm trying to draw here is between using raw or low level schema type data to drive an interface and using more descriptive metadata.  The former is sort of an engineering first approach; the users will know what fields "A43F67" and "CDF337" mean because thats the data they deal with, as opposed to using a morere top down approach with something like "Diagnostic ICD9 code" and "Procedural CPT code" (though those are still not ideal).  It seems like a long time ago that people started preaching the benefits of good metadata, but given the history of this industry I likely shouldn't be surprised that people still don't treat it as a prerequisite to any application or system design.  

I agree that a pure, data only, approach isn't likely to work in all but the narrowest of user interface niches.  But then again, I don't see how a pure, data only, approach can be viable for any part of a modern systems design...

Peter Hunsberger

On Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM, David Lee <dlee@calldei.com> wrote:

> peter says


I find it interesting that "data driven" can someone how be viewed as in opposition from giving the user a better UI.  In the end, the metadata that should be used to build user interfaces is still data and exposing that as early and directly as possible and giving the users ways to manipulate that data is the best way to build a powerful user interface.  Exposing it directly as XML is probably not part of that scenario, but XSLT on top of XML can be directly below the layer that is exposed to the user and is very flexible and powerful.




I come from a long history of being pulled into doing UI when I wasnt really good at it

(20+ years ... think X10, DOS ... and on through all incarnations of Windows, Mac, Devices , Palm, PPC, BlackBerry, iOS .... )


"Data Driven" GUI has always been a holy grail.  In some closed systems it succeed quite well ... especially when the expectations

of the users were modest and the computer capabilities were equally modest.

But as time advances I find the concept on less solid grounds then my liking.  I spent a day at Balisage Pre-conference hoping that

what I didn't know about XForms would enlighten and endear me to the concept.   I am afraid it did not.

I simply have not seen how a data driven UI ( unless that data is presentation oriented +  program code) can achieve what "ordinary users"

expect out of a "normal UI".    There are certainly a lot of cases where the UI can meet the minimum standards, and balanced against the problem of multi devices and variety of input is a good tradeoff.  But when you hit the bounds of "application" where users expect that it was

actually written for them ... and where the function and display (the whole UX)  is more than filling out form fields or showing some tables,

to me, I have not seen a "Data Driven UI" that meets that expectation - unless you constrain the space very tightly.  That is you create a very good UI framework then plug in the data driven stuff to fit it.  But I have used many such things and while they work well within their box, if you push up against the edges they fail miserably.


I would love to have someone show me the Holy Grail ... I still think it might be out there, but have not found it myself.



David A. Lee







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