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[tdf-discuss] Re: [libreoffice-design] Breaking out of the box (applications versus objects)


Hi Greg, *,

yes I read it all and I'm fully with you. But what you are proposing here
is not a Design choice it's a general choice and should be on the discuss
Mailinglist from libreoffice. discuss@documentfoundation.org

What I can say is that for the moment they have all the different
applications work with shared scripts and all, to minimize the data they
use. (I'm not going further because I'm not quit sure)

I have forwarded this mail ;-)

Houbsi

On Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:44:46 +0000, "noh.way.jose"
<noh.way.jose@dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
I'm new to this community, so please forgive me if the topic I'd like to 
discuss has already been aired.

To set the scene, first a bit of summarised, probably partisan and
probably

only partially accurate context. I point this out because I wouldn't want
the 
thread to spin off into pedantic historic details and corrections.

Having been around the computer industry for many years now, I have kept 
abreast of computing advancements by reading the industry news,
developing 
products and using them. A pattern of acquisitions, mergers,aggregations,
best 
practice, standards and plain copying has been going on so relentlessly
that I 
believe that the fruits of these enterprises no longer adequately meet
users 
needs as well as can be. 

The original modern interface (Xerox Star) didn't differentiate by
application 
but by  objects familiar to users. The application rot started with the 
commercial versions of this approach but really got application centric
with 
Windows '95. My rough recollection is that MS Office started as a bunch
of 
acquisitions that map pretty much to the applications we see now, whether
MS, 
OOO or LO. That is; a word processor, a presentation manager, a
spreadsheet

and a database. Leaving the DB out of the argument for the moment, as a
non

presentation centric technology, I'd like to propose Libre Office
consider
a 
mid to long term strategy to ditch the artificial boundaries between 
applications. Let us return to the idea of supporting users' needs
without 
filtering them through artificial application capabilities!

Instead of applications, let's have a document, a variety of choices of 
rendering the document (print, screen, presentation, web, edit,
collaborative 
edit, &c.) and tools. The tools can still be categorised, but not as they
are 
in applications, where the application is a hard boundary. The tools here

could all be used, irrespective of the presentation mechanism.
Categorisation 
of the tools need only be done as a means to support user tasks, perhaps
along 
multiple dimensions, using tags. This proposal means only having to
develop
a 
tool once and allowing the concurrent availability of tools that the 
artificial applications boundaries would normally exclude. For example,
DTP

tools, such as layout grids and text flow, which could be used alongside
more 
traditional word processing tools in documents, presentations and other 
formats.

Of course, the toolset and the rendering mechanisms could be extended in
a 
modular way, making the development time-line much more appropriate to an
open 
source community, with competition for tool developers to build a better
tool. 
If the core design team act in an editorial and standards capacity, then
the 
result can hang together seamlessly. (Apple seems to have cracked this a
bit 
;o)

Enough rambling from me. I'd be really interested to see if there's
anyone 
else who gets what I'm on about and whether there's enough interest to
start 
investigating in more detail. If on the other hand you think I've got it
all 
wrong, I'm happy to defend my views or admit defeat, depending on the 
feedback.

If you read this far, well done :o)

Cheers,

Greg

-- 
Mike Houben
UI - Coding - Animation 

http://www.crazyhstudio.net

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