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Re: Useful Dumb User Questions

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg9051] Re: Useful Dumb User Questions
  • From: crose at (Colin Rose)
  • Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 01:42:30 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

  > I recall reading that Microsoft has a policy of taking computer novices
  > off the street, sitting them down in front of Windows, and asking them
  > to perform certain tasks on the computer.  Microsoft monitors carefully
  > all the mistakes made by these novice users, in order to find out how
  > Windows could be made more intuitive.  That is the kind of analysis I am
  > calling for here.
  > Maybe such analysis is only appropriate for WRI personnel

I sure hope not. I hardly think the unbelievably clunky Windows
interface (and 10 years late) is a suitable metaphor.

  > Among other things, Mathematica is still a
  > command-line-driven program in an age of graphical user interfaces. 
  > Palettes and the like are a helpful step.

That's a little unfair. The Plot[] interface could 
certainly do with a neat interactive front-end, but
the underlying functions are both too numerous and too
integrated into what is ultimately a programming language
to be treated as graphical or menu objects. Even so, almost
all the mma functions are now available through the palettes.



Colin Rose 
tr(I) - Theoretical Research Institute
NOSPAMcrose at

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