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Authors: Greenberg, Saul
Witten, Ian H.
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Mar-1985
Abstract: Conventional command-language interfaces to interactive computer systems do not support the problem-solving behaviour of users in a natural way. They supply a single view into a sequential stream of actions, whereas people normally juggle many activities concurrently, switching rapidly from one to another. They provide a wide and flat command structure which is fixed and insensitive to the context of the dialogue. They offer little opportunity for personalization, while people differ radically in what they do and how they prefer to do it. This paper describes an experimental interface which supports parallel activity through user-defined extensions to a basic command interface. Windows provide multiple independent views into the system. Workbenches supplant the flat command structure. A specialized direct-manipulation editor allows easy creation and maintenance of workbenches by novice and expert alike. Users are encouraged to create their own informational support environments and to alter them as their activity dictates. The scheme complements the normal command interface and utilities can be invoked in whichever way seems most natural.
Appears in Collections:Greenberg, Saul
Witten, Ian

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