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Appendix A: The One-Button Mouse: History and Future

Appendix A. The One-Button Mouse: History and Future

Men loven of propre kynde newefangelnesse.

Chaucer, “The Squire's Tale”

I have been variously castigated and applauded for creating the one-button mouse and some of the basic methods for using it. Questions from readers of drafts of this book indicated that they thought that the way the Macintosh worked was the way that earlier mouse-driven systems from Xerox PARC worked and were curious as to the differences. This appendix describes the mouse-based systems that I saw at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) when I was a visitor there. The even earlier use of the mouse at Douglas Englebart's group at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) was embedded in a system that was decades ahead of its time in many ways and contained valuable ideas that have not yet been widely applied. Englebart's software, however, was often modal and was sometimes inefficient at the keystroke level.


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