MUSIC Specs 0.0 [djo4-ish]

Dan Odom
Sun, 18 Apr 93 17:30:41 CDT

>From the brain of JJ Lay came:

>             B. OVERVIEW
>             The objective of this MUSIC (as it will be called from here
>             on) will be to provide an user interface that is easy to use
>             for both user and programmer.  Historically, most interfaces
>             have been one or the other.  For example, a text oriented
>             interface is easy to program but rather cumbersome for an
>             end-user.  An advanced graphical environment such as
>             OSF/Motif is somewhat complex to program in, but is easier
>             for beginnners to learn based on my experience.  There is
>             one exception - Microsoft Windows - which is difficult for
>             everyone to use.

I would argue this.  GUIs are easy to learn, but once you learn them
CLIs are easier to use.

>             The second assumption: Certain end-users have specialized
>             needs.  MUSIC will not be able to meet all users' needs.
>             Therefore the user should be able to replace those parts of
>             the interface with components that better meets his needs.
>             It should be "customizable to its atoms."  Equivalent
>             components can be exchanged without any side-effects.

Hmmm... This sounds like a programmer's interface, and it's what I'd like to
see.  It's hard to have a customizeable interface that can be learned in
less than a month.  After all, what is the BSD UNIX API but a cutomizeable
interface?  (enough misspellings there for you?)

>             The basic hardware requirements are as follows:
>             a 386DX operating at 33MHz with 2Mb of RAM and 80Mb of
>             external storage (the term hard disk was avoided because of
>             alternative media such as flopticals and network devices).
>             The video quality for a graphical interface (GUI) is
>             recommended to be a VGA monitor and adapter (640 x 480
>             resolution) with 1 Mb of RAM capable of 256 colors.  Text
>             quality can be as poor as a text-only dumb terminal.  Input
>             can come from a number of various devices.  Currently,
>             keyboard and mouse are considered the main input channels.
>             MUSIC will have no such prejudice.  It will be built
>             assuming anything can give input.  The same will hold for
>             output.

1) VGA is not high enough quality, I don't think.  Anybody who uses a
SPARC knows exactly what I mean.

2) We'll be hard pressed to fit it in 80 meg.  The best 32-bit PC OS
that I have seen is Linux, and the SLS distribution requires 90 meg for
a full installation, plus about 670k of RAM for the kernel.

>             Information has the nature that it can easily be converted
>             from one type to another.  This will be the key to MUSIC.
>             Text can be easily converted to audio and vice versa.
>             Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for more complex
>             information types such as video amd other graphical forms.
>             This will be one of the limiting fasctors for now.  Basic
>             types must be identified and will be termed "basics."  The
>             following basics are proposed:
>                  - text
>                  - audio
>                  - graphics (computer generated mainly)
>                  - video
>                  - motion

OK.  My only comment about this part is that it will take a HELL of a lot
of WORK.

Dan Odom -- Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

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