On Saturday July 26 1997 Chuck Moore gave a presentation to the 
Author Message
 On Saturday July 26 1997 Chuck Moore gave a presentation to the

"Bruce R. McFarling"  writes:

        [ deleted ]

Quote:
>    While I hate Microsoft Word, I agree that this is an aspect of the
> UI of Word that is good.  The specific point I made on Word was the
> treasure hunt for new users.  Case in point: paragraph formatting is
> controlled under a Format menu entry called "Paragraph". Fine and dandy.
> And you can learn, with enough trial and error, that to get blocks of text
>{*filter*} from an indented position, you set the indent, then set the hang
> relative to that.  It probably even explains it that way somewhere.

>    Then you open up a document emailed to you, that has a lot of
> indented,{*filter*} text.  And you open up the Format/Paragraph, and set the
> indent to 0" and the special to (none) as many times as you want, it still
> remains in that format.  Because the entry that you wanted was *not*
> Paragraph formatting, which formats normal aragraphs, but Bullets &
> Numbering, because the text was typed in by someone who experimented
> around and found out that they could get indented,{*filter*} blocks of text
> by using autonumbering/bulleting, with no bullets showing.

        [ deleted ]

Quote:
>    What the UI is missing is *transperency*.  Now, data hiding is
> good, but information provision capabilities are also good. WPerfect, for
> all it has a steeper learning curve getting to full button-push speed if
> you start from its menus, has transparency available.
> Bruce McFarling


Re: Transparency:

Corel Ventura Publisher shows on the screen the "paragraph tag" (i.e.
bullet, body text, Chapter Title, major heading, etc. etc.)--that
describes the current font, face, spacing, justification, indenting
or outdenting, even orientation--of the paragraph where the curson
is located. All these things are under user control, of course, so
a VP document needs its personalized style sheet to display or
print properly, but that's really not much of a trick to include when
you exchange such documents.

Similarly with other information germane to the current state of
things--it's all displayed on the screen (or at least, strong clues
are displayed that let you get at the info without false moves).
In that sense, VP is very transparent.

I began with VP because WP or Word did not (then!) have decent
equation processing--and I tend to include a lot of math in my
documents. And at that time, TEX was neither cheap nor ubiquitous.
"Scientific FORTH" was set with an early version of VP, and looks
pretty good even today, considering the limitations in place then.

I don't know why more people don't use VP--I find it to be much more
versatile than WordPerfect or Word, and with a much simpler learning
curve, to boot. I find WP much harder to do analogous things in,
chiefly because of the transparency issue: if some special object
has been built into a WP document, it is by no means clear

        a) what it is;
        b) how to discover its properties;
        c) how to modify same, if desired (e.g. position on page).

I find that our secretaries (who use mostly Word or WP) almost
never employ the bells and whistles these apps have been lumbered
with. And frankly, I don't use the special features because I
_can't_ !! Too complex for someone who turned to Forth because
there is only one thing to learn, rather than 10^9 (as in fortran).
(Or 10^12 as in Ada or C++ :-)

Oh well, Gresham's Law seems to apply to word processing, as to any-
thing else in life...

--
Julian V. Noble



Wed, 26 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 On Saturday July 26 1997 Chuck Moore gave a presentation to the

Quote:

> Re: Transparency:

> Corel Ventura Publisher shows on the screen the "paragraph tag" (i.e.
> bullet, body text, Chapter Title, major heading, etc. etc.)--that
> describes the current font, face, spacing, justification, indenting
> or outdenting, even orientation--of the paragraph where the curson
> is located. All these things are under user control, of course, so
> a VP document needs its personalized style sheet to display or
> print properly, but that's really not much of a trick to include when
> you exchange such documents.

        Essentially, if Word was done correctly, it's paragraph marker
could automatically, or be clicked on to show, all the paragraph
information.  This wouldn't fix things like Word's notion of what you
intend to do when you delete back across an empty paragraph tha happened
to be the first paragraph with the properties of the paragraph you're
actually sliding back, so that your paragraph automagically inherits all
sorts of properties from the previous paragraph. I.E., I hate Word for
more than one reason.  But the above describes the approach required for
the paragraph properties approach to a document format.

Quote:
> Similarly with other information germane to the current state of
> things--it's all displayed on the screen (or at least, strong clues
> are displayed that let you get at the info without false moves).
> In that sense, VP is very transparent.
> ... I find WP much harder to do analogous things in,
> chiefly because of the transparency issue: if some special object
> has been built into a WP document, it is by no means clear

>    a) what it is;
>    b) how to discover its properties;
>    c) how to modify same, if desired (e.g. position on page).

        Yes, it is a lot easier to get rid of special objects than to
discover how to use special objects.  I started using WordPerfect because
the eocnomics dept where I was doing my graduate work settled on WPerfect
as a standard.  I kept using it in part because I was able to use it both
at the dept and at the technical / community college where I also did some
teaching -- the latter on a terminal talking to a VAX.  I never actually
came to really like it.  And its learning curve is too steep.

        But the odds of this dept acquiring anything other than Word are 0
to none, while it only retains WPerfect for DOS becasue I believe it
bought more rights to use it than are currently in use.

Virtually,

Bruce R. McFarling, Newcastle, NSW



Fri, 28 Jan 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 2 post ] 

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