discussion:Goals Round II (fwd)

Mike Prince mprince@crl.com
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 23:03:59 -0800 (PST)

<Fare wrote in Re: discussion:Goals Round II (fwd)>

> >> - must be a friendly intuitive UI
> So, I say *yes* to an interface, but let's build the interface over our
> system, and not the system under the interface

Yes, I agree the interface is TO the operating system.  The above goal 
does not advocate the contrary though.  It is merely a constraint on the 
design (You can't make it user unfriendly).  And I believe a good 
_extensible_ UI should be one of our early efforts.

> >> - must have a lot of productivity apps (mail, wp, spreadsheet, ie necessary
> >>   apps)
> Yes, but we won't write definitive beautiful versions for the first releases
> (if -- when -- there'll ever be).
> Put this even later in the list.

This is my only real complaint on the list.  I say we aim for one app 
that would show off our system.  Most likely this should be a niche 
market where we'd stand a better chance of competing.  Though I'm open 
for any suggestions.

> >> - must fill a strategic niche (i.e. choose our customers well)
> Anyone who wants a computer for a useful work (not just to please the boss)
> is a good customer, which should be a better goal: be useful to everyone.

The system should be useful to everyone, but we can't please everyone the 
first time around (we just don't have the resources to develop the 
amenities they are used to).  Instead let's do one thing good, get some 
support, do five more things good, get some support, do fifty things etc.

> >> - must be maleable (no set ui, easy to personalize)
> I'd say *fully programmable*; as using a computer *is* programming. Weenies
> just program trivial things, which does not mean we should forbid them from
> doing anything else (just like DOS/Windows/MacIntosh do). All the computer
> users I know one day need to do more complicated things, and cannot do anything
> when the system does not provide way to do it automaticall, whereas they could
> (and thus should)

This is where the OO stuff and an extensible UI come into play.  Our 
chore is to provide an easy to use interface for end-users to do simple 
programs with.  As they get more sophisticated they can move up to the 
real development environments.  One important element would be to not 
create too many languages.  We shouldn't need a scripting language is we 
have a good interface to either our low level language or the high-level 

> >> Programmers/Marketing goals
> Again, programming *is* using the computer; So called "programmers" just
> explore this art deeper than "mere" users.

I was almost tempted to put this together with the "end-user" goals.  
Maybe we still should...

Keep those ideas coming,