Tunes Concept of the Week

Patrick Premont
Sun, 2 Jun 1996 04:39:30 -0400

> Hello All --
> This list has seemed awefully quite this past month.  I hope I've made
> some mistake and accidentally unsubscribed myself...because otherwise,
> it would seem that Tunes is most certainly dead in its tracks.  If the
> list has been busy as of late, please let me know so that I can check up
> on the idea that I really am unsubscribed....

I think most of the discussion was in the lll list (I'm not sure I get
both, and don't read everything :( ). But don't worry about the death of
Tunes. We will always want and somehow work towards Tunes. You can worry
about the speed at which we are progressing however. Personally, I'm
doing theory and I'm sure it will benefit Tunes. (We need a theory to
make proofs).

> What I wanted to suggest to you all was an extension to our idea that
> users and programmers are no different: that users and _programs_ are
> also really not that different.

Yeah, that's what I think of when I say or hear that users and
programmers should not be distinguished. That one can do things
interactively with a program or almost as easily build another program
to use the first. Saying that users and programs may have the same
role (use) towards a program is another way to say this. Maybe a
better way in fact, provided it is clear that the "using" programs may
be easily created by the user in need of automation.

> With this system, any "user" could perform any task normally reserved
> for "programmers", and any "program" could perform tasks normally
> reserved for "users".  The system, Tunes, becomes one large, integrated,
> flexible environment in which the value of each tool is exponentially
> increased by the ease with which it can connect to all other tools.

To do that, user interfaces must be dumb an simple. The user
interfaces here are the "program-human adapters" that sit on top of
the interfaces for progams. In fact it would be ideal to unify the two
interfaces by having programs provide only one but with enough high
level information that could be use to provide a nice human interface
automatically. A function of type A and B into C could be called by a
human by dragging a B on a A to produce a C... If this function is not
convenient you could then try defining new functions to mirror the way
you'd like to drag and dorp things, these function would then be
available to programs also.

> Am I making sense?  Do others of you have similar thoughts?  Comments?

Yes, yes and yes.

> How can we make this vision -- and the whole Tunes vision -- come to be
> before we're all 90 years old and running out of steam? 

Someone will have done it before we are 90 years old. How do we make sure
it is us and soon ? I don't know. Let's do what we can.