Musings on an Erlang GUI System.

Daniel Dudley <>
Mon Feb 17 18:24:13 CET 2003

Vlad Dumitrescu (EAW) wrote:

> please forgive my ignorance, but... while I see why it might
> be good sometimes to have the UI on screen look the same as on
> paper, I fail to understand how to handle the dynamic aspects:
> it seems that the answer is supposed to be "using a smart
> engine that will do the work behind the scenes", but practical
> evidence suggests that this is *very* difficult to do (if
> possible at all) unless one is ready to accept even ugly
> results. The reason why it is difficult is that an automatic
> engine has to assess how "beautiful" a layout would look to a
> person - I don't think this is researched enough...

On the contrary, both Apple and Microsoft have done
extensive research on this. Both have publish their own
recommendations on UI design, somewhere on the web.

> Maybe I just misinterpreted what you all were saying, and there
> are two different threads on the same conversation: (1) the UI
> look that has to be beautiful, just like printed matter; (2)
> automatically building UIs from an abstract representation,
> that will look good on screen and paper.
> << Is it meaningful to use a common representation for screen
> and paper UI?

IMHO, no.

> Aren't those media used for completely different
> purposes?

IMHO, yes.

> Why would I want to print a file-open dialog, for
> example?

I dunno, you've got me stumped there, Vlad. ;-)

> I mean, it makes sense for text, documents, and such,
> but UI? Do we mean different things by UI? >>

I've been asking myself that, too. Maybe the arguments are
directed towards the web, *most* of that stuff is text and
document orientated, ain't it?


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