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From: Alan Gutierrez (alan-boost_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-12-25 07:50:52

* Reece Dunn <msclrhd_at_[hidden]> [2004-12-25 07:03]:
> Alan Gutierrez wrote:
> > The Revised Taxonomy
> >
> > The Form, The Grid, The Document, & The Canvas.

> I think that trying to work out the taxonomy of user interfaces is the
> wrong way to go. In general, it is not clear how these break down.


> For example, an application will usually have a main interface frame,
> such as the web browser. In this case the taxonomy is the Document to
> use your terminology. The application may also provide a set of options
> that the user can configure, which is The Form.

    Perfect break down.

> Also, consider an e-mail manager like Thunderbird. It is a mixed
> taxonomy application. It has a left pane consisting of the available
> folders (a tree component), a list of the messages in the folder (a
> Grid) and the contents of the message (a Document).

    Yup. Exactly. The tree, it's a common widget, and panes are part
    of windowing. In the case of Thuderbird, the tree is implemented
    as an XML document, with paragraphs that are indented, that
    expand and collapse.

    (Thunderbird is an amazing example of what you can do with a
        component like an XML + CSS renderer. All of those controls
        are, in fact XML documents.)

> Then what about games? Media players like WinAMP? These do not fit into
> one of the above Taxonomy items.

    Games don't fit, granted. I'd be hard pressed to come up with a
    generic basis for Photoshop.
    WinAMP is a skinnable form, and if all you are is WinAMP you
    might want to draw your own controls on the drawing surface,
    fine, but you could implement an WinAMP UI in XUL easily.

> The above fit into specialized frame types (the Form), components (the
> Grid) and content renderers (the Document and Canvas).

    I'd say that the framing, tabs, splitters, and the like, are
    part of content area management. I'm intereseted in providing
    application developers with building blocks for the content
    area, and more than wrappers around common controls and graphics

    These problems Forms, Grids, Documents, and Canvas are what most
    applications are made of. This is why web development is so
    popular, because it focuses not on spliting windows, but filling them.

    Firefox provides Forms, Grids (tables), Documents, all scriptable,
    and if you add Flash, you have a generic Canvas application.

    It think it is important to recognize these content building blocks.

Alan Gutierrez - alan_at_[hidden]

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