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MathGroup Archive 2010

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Mathematica's text + graphics GUI

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg113439] Mathematica's text + graphics GUI
  • From: kj <no.email at please.post>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 04:29:14 -0400 (EDT)

One of the things I find most amazing about the Mathematica GUI is
that it combines, within the same window, both command-line
interaction with top-quality graphics.  Of the software I'm familiar
with, Mathematica is the only one that does this.

I wonder why so few apps supports this type of GUI.

One possibility is that in fact most users prefer to have separate
windows for the text-based interaction and the graphics.  (Maybe
I'm just biased, but I find this possibility really implausible.)

One other possibility is that combining both text interaction and
graphics in the same window is technically *really hard*.  This
seems to me a more likely explanation, even though I really wouldn't
know exactly why this particular combination in a GUI would be such
a technical feat.

I can guess and speculate like anyone else, of course, but I really
don't know.

Does any of you *know* why so few apps in this general area offer
GUIs that combine text interaction with graphics in the same window?

Am I right in guessing that it is an inordinately difficult thing
to do?  If so, could someone spell out for me what are the major
hurdles?

~kj


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