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Chapter 42. Objects in Your Face > On the Face of It

On the Face of It

Just when you thought you could rest in the knowledge that objects were securely ensconced where they belong: in class libraries of immense reusability and deep within the coded heart of robust software everywhere, just when you thought you finally understood polymorphism and genericity and persistent objects, just when object technology starts to make sense, suddenly, objects start appearing on your monitor screen. If objects are good inside the software, they must be good outside as well. If objects are good for developers, they must be good for users. Or so the advertising says.

So what does the object revolution look like when it escapes the programming language and reaches the user interface? Picture this: On the screen is a simulation of a pocket organizer, a “day-timer.” Click on the “index tabs” to go to any section, click on the corner of a “page” and the page flips. My, how clever! Of course, most of the time half the screen is wasteland and you have to twist your neck to read the index tabs, first clockwise, then the other way, as text flips from side to side with the turning pages. Ah, but it looks familiar, and everyone knows that familiar metaphors make software easier to use, right? It is especially important not to notice that there is less information on the super-VGA screen than on an old 80-column DOS display, even though it is displayed now in a much smaller font. After all, it's in color, which is great if you are not among the one in twelve males who are color blind. This “personal information manager” must be good, because it is surrounded by and covered up by and interlaced with all those pretty pictures. But wait, they're not just pictures, they're objects! You can manipulate them and communicate with them and make your life wonderful with them.


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