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Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (was Re: Us

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]flexible for users, or flexible for developers? (was Re: User Interfaces)
Date: Sat, 06 Jul 2002 16:19:50 -0400

Rhys Weatherley wrote:
> > An example would be the ubiquitous picklist  where the user is expected to
> > pick one (and only one) item from a list of options.  Off the top of my 
> > head,
> > this could be implemented in a GUI as a dropdown, dial, radio button list,
> > or scrollbox with one highlight allowed.  Adding in portability
> > concerns, one could implement it in curses as emulation of the above.
> > To go to an extreme, if one is using a block-based terminal (e.g. 3270),
> > the best way to implement is as a numbered menu where the user enters
> > the number of the appropriate choice.
> Be careful.  Geoworks has patent 5,327,529 on something
> that uses a generic description of a UI and then renders
> it differently on different platforms.  Precisely what
> you are talking about here.  And they are known to wield
> this patent pretty heavily.
> I've been trying for 2 years to find sufficient prior
> art to knock this one over.  It exists, but finding the
> references for it is very hard.  It's safer to avoid it
> for now.
> Formats like glade describe the widget controls themselves
> rather than the purpose, and can slip past the patent as
> there is prior art for such formats: Windows .rc files,
> Apple resources, and X/Motif UIL.  But the more "purpose"
> you mix in, the more difficult things become.

Ironically, for a company that goes so far as to patent a UI abstraction
mechanism (ultimately what we're speaking of) -- they seem to use style
sheets that don't render well in all browsers...

Perhaps another example of the pompous foolishness of most of the
patenting companies in the tech world right now...

How would this apply to - say - WXWindows?


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