UI idea: MOOOS :)

Tom Novelli tcn@clarityconnect.com
Sat, 13 Mar 1999 13:09:50 -0500

MOOOS.. it's a joke.. (MOO-OS, not MOOSE)  No it's not another OS I'm
writing, I just wanted to get your attention :)

Games have the greatest user interfaces. I used to have a game called
LambdaMOO, which had lots of things we're after: a well-designed object
system, persistent storage, a decent programming language (LISP or
something), probably even lambda-calculus. Everything was an object: Boxes,
containers, rooms, ships, carts, people, monsters, etc.

In MOOOS, the user interacts with the whole system just like in a game.
Hmmmm... how about a little example :)

	You are in your living room.
	Exits: North South
	Objects here: Stereo, Shelf full of CD's, Notepad
	> play Morrison Hotel
	(Music starts playing)
	> read notepad
	Meeting at 3:00 tuesday
	> warp to www.tunes.org
	(you see the web site)
	You are in www.tunes.org
	Objects here: TUNES FAQ, Review project, Site map, Mailing lists
	> read faq
	TUNES is a Useful, Nevertheless....
	> look at Review
	Objects in Review: OSes's, Languages, VM's...
	> print OSes
	It's 150 pages, are you sure?
	> yeah
	Ok, printing OSes's.
	> look at mailing lists
	Objects in Mailing Lists: tunes, tunes-lll, tunes-specs, unios...
	> read tunes-lll
	tunes-lll is for discussions about low-level system stuff..
	> read mes
	* The print daemon walks up to you and says, "I need 3 more sheets
	of paper! Feed me!"
	> read mes (notice how it keeps the line you were typing)

Of course, it doesn't have to have the MUD-like, natural language interface.
You can use many different interfaces with the same system (like Fare
wants). It could have a hotkey-based text interface, which would be quicker
for routine tasks. Then there's the 2D graphical interface (just add x,y
coordinates and a picture for each object). This could look like a game
(say, Zelda) or like a typical windowing OS. Really want to get fancy? Do 3D
(just add x,y,z and a shape). It would certainly _look_ cool, and it might
make your system layout more memorable. Now, some objects (like the numerous
internal system objects) can't have fancy pictures.. that would take up too
much space. So we need a fallback. For these objects, we can just show them
in a textual list, as books on a shelf, or whatever the user prefers.

So, the first thing we write for Tunes should be a game.

Tom Novelli <tcn@tunes.org>