Re: POW user suggestion

Subject: Re: POW user suggestion
From: Reed Loefgren (
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 16:19:28 CDT

David Chart wrote:

"Our UI tells people
'AbiWord is something over and above the documents'."

I want to throw in my total-layman's opinion on this.

In my observation, most GUIs still try to follow the analogy of a
physical desktop; a document is a piece of paper on a desk. Now, I come
out of the Mac-centric world, and there, in good ol' Word 5.1a at least,
a document is a window on my desktop, and the analogy more-or-less

The single biggest complaint I have about Windows is that there my
document's window is not opened on my desktop, but in another window;
that of the application (e.g. Word.) *That* window (the
application's,)is what's "on my desk," and that subtle difference, that
separation between "my desk" and "my letter" is the genesis of almost my
entire feelings of tremendous clunkiness in Windows; that the Mac (or
PARC) GUI was copied but not truly implemented because of failures in
Windows itself. My guess is that this was because Windows was really
just a GUI shell over DOS and not a true GUI OS.

Because of this perceived separation, I am more comfortable using pico
in the console than in using Word in Windows. The upshot of this user's
ramblings is that if my document is in a window then buttons presented
by that window should affect the document and not the app. The app
should be intangible, much as is my intent when I go through the
physical motions of writing a letter. Perhaps the app could reside in a
panel or desktop button that, when pressed, would present app-centric
options: (Load,) Quit. Everything else is doc-centric and might be
relegated to the doc's window's buttons.

As an aside, I know two people, one a total rube and one fairly computer
literate, and they both have difficulty remembering that Close closes
the doc and Exit quits the app. I often find their respective computers
with all kinds of apps running which they thought they had quit when
they had actually only closed the document's window.

Well, that's my schtick. Thanks for reading this far.

Reed Loefgren


Yes, as a matter of fact, I do need a job.

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