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Chapter 45. New Media

End-users, seated before their 19-inch monitors, may have no inkling of whether or not the software in use is object-oriented. We might even argue that, unless they read the details on the box in which the software was shipped or find some buried reference in the documentation, this matter of implementation technology is hardly of interest. So long as the system runs with reasonable efficiency and supports most of what users are trying to accomplish, their basic needs are being met. If it is relatively easy to learn and to remember how to use, users are well served.

On the other hand, if the technology of objects is to make good on its promises to streamline and simplify the process of design and development, if it truly enables us to supply systems more closely suited to the needs of our users, then software that is merely “good enough” is less than what our customers can rightfully expect from us. Object-oriented software ought to become recognizable to users, not by the awkward familiarity of its interface classes or because it mentions Smalltalk or C++ implementation on the box, but by the superior capabilities it offers to users and the more effective and elegant manner of its presentation. There are no excuses for failing to bring to the user interface the power of our new-found economy of expression and our expanded abilities to reuse and refine components through object technology.


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