INT: Project Alive!
Mon, 18 Dec 1995 17:09:24 -0800 (PST)
Hello TUNESfolk --
A good many of you out there are sounding rather dead. I hope
it's because you're out skiing, or in some other way celebrating winter.
If some more terrible fate has befallen you, I'm sorry... =)
I've decided, at least for the moment, to take up initiative of
the Interfaces project again. In celebration, I've updated the
Interfaces page (now found at
http://simba.lakeside.sea.wa.us/~chrisha/interfaces/) to contain a bit
more summarizing, removed some outdated stuff, and added a page of
UI-related links across the net. Nothing terribly new, really, but a
As far as making some progress here, I'll bring up something Fare
(or someone) said a while back: that Tunes should be for all kinds of
computation, from report writing to games to scientific simulations to
www serving, and that Tunes objects are the basis of everything. This
sounds good in theory, but it poses a slight problem for any interface
How can the same API support well both a beautiful
report-writing module, or, for that matter, most modules pertaining to
manipulating 2D surfaces for printing, and a rapid-fire, 3D action game with
full-screen graphics? What if a deaf person didn't have a
full-screen, to see this game's graphics or the report-writing
module? We've agreed, in the past, that (s)he shouldn't be locked
out of Tunes.
Perhaps it would be helpful to look at the difference in the nature of
these game-like, scientific, and text-oriented modules, and see under what
sort of UI they could best be represented. What, if anything, is common
between these things from which we could derive some basic Interface semantics?
Surely these different sorts of things must not be totally dissimilar....
Maybe we should also look at what sorts of software might
be written for Tunes. Though we agree that most anything should be possible
under Tunes, a program such as MS Word would probably be a bad candidate
for such a fine-graned, persistant system. A better choice would
probably be something like the small text/graphics components of an OO
system like opendoc (relavant links on the new pages), only perhaps with
still smaller modules.
Are games such as doom, that are essentially their own OS, have a
place in Tunes? Certainly some games would help out the system's
popularity. But is consuming the whole machine encouraged? Should we
provide some sort of fast, semi-portable gaming primitives? Should these
have nothing in common with the graphics primitives that a simple
picture-drawing module might use?
Answers, comments and more questions are welcome....