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[Axiom-developer] GUI paper worth reading

From: C Y
Subject: [Axiom-developer] GUI paper worth reading
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 19:41:16 -0800 (PST)

Anybody know Neil Soiffer?  It looks like he did a degree at UC
Berkeley, and then went on to work for Wolfram.  He is currently (I
think) Senior Scientist Design Science, Inc.  His thesis looks like it
might very well be the perfect starting point for a literate
programming GUI pamphlet (needs a fair bit of updating of course, but
he seems to have covered a good many of the basics we would need.) 
There is a PDF (unfortunately images only) located here:

Apparently he has copyright (how does this work at Berkeley?) so if he
is so inclined he might be able to release it to us.  Of course its
still valuable as a reference either way, but it sure would be easier
building off if it than starting from scratch and referring to it. 
Does anybody know him?

I suppose in once sense it might be better to start from square one -
just as with the Units paper, there is a large amount of territory
which should be covered before we have the knowledge of what the "best"
ideas for a GUI are.  His thesis is 259 pages - I suspect in the end
(particularly with source code) we will be over a thousand in order to
define a really good GUI both as a research project and a functional
interface.  The advantage (particularly if we do it in lisp and design
with an eye for flexibility) is that the same core code could serve a
wide variety of interfaces - for example, running as a server effective
line breaking code could generate (in theory anyway) MathML which was
line broken for display in a browser, given the browser is kind enough
to report its dimensions and resizing events.

The old symbolicnet site has stashed away on it a bibtex file
containing a fairly large collection of computer algebra GUI
references.  It needs some retooling I expect (I assume the various
"portal" sites can provide more fleashed out entries for the individual
references, for example) and unfortunately neither of the original
authors has responded to my requests for licensing status info, but it
will at least be an excellent guide.


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