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Chapter Seven. Interface Issues Outside the User Interface

Chapter Seven. Interface Issues Outside the User Interface

It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by copybooks and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

Alfred North Whitehead

This chapter presents a potpourri of other technology-related areas where some out-of-the-box thinking (or nonthinking) may be of value to designers. Section 7-1 addresses the fact that programming language environments contain some of the worst human interfaces in the industry. We look at two aspects that could be improved. One is that the initial hurdle in terms of system and development environment has become so large that the beginning programmer is not encouraged to experiment and to learn by doing. The second is that although the benefits of documentation are well known, not much of it is done. A small change to programming languages might make the process easier.


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