[Haskell-cafe] Elegant & powerful replacement for CSS

Malcolm Wallace malcolm.wallace at cs.york.ac.uk
Tue Feb 3 16:48:21 EST 2009

Jeff Heard wrote:

> Similarly, I've been wondering what's at the core of a GUI?  It seems
> in recent years that more people have been moving towards web-based
> applications, and away from traditional GUIs, so the meaning of them
> may be changing.  The old question seemed to be Page vs.
> Control-Board, but that seems like implementation, when the real
> essence of a GUI is taking in common kinds of user input and
> displaying output in a sensible way.

I would go with Bret Victor's argument (http://worrydream.com/ 
MagicInk/) that the concept of user interface as primarily  
_interaction_ is misguided.  What GUIs are really about is visual  
_presentation_ of information.  The semantic questions are about what  
it means graphically to compose information sources.  We spend more  
time reading, viewing, and absorbing that information, than  
rearranging it, or adding to it.

Interaction changes the sources, or the way they compose, but is (or  
should be) fundamentally an infrequent activity.  The better the  
visual presentation, the less you need to interact with it.


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