Friday, September 28, 2007

WIMP no more?

As I was about to fall asleep last night, the acronym WIMP came up in my steam-of-consciousness mental meanderings. For those of you who haven't been around sufficiently long to remember WIMP, it stood for (I believe, and assuming my senility isn't too far advanced) Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer. While everyone takes this type of user interface for granted today, it was all the rage when personal computers first got sufficiently powerful to sport GUIs.

Anyway, back to last night. It occurred to me that my use of windows and menus has fallen precipitously over the past few years and is in danger of disappearing altogether. As I do more and more of my daily computing on the web, some curious things have happened.

Things that I used to accomplish by switching windows I now do by switching tabs in my browser. My personal email, to-do lists, news, reading material, etc. are all accessed via the web now. In fact, on a typical day I only spend non-trivial amounts of time in 4 different windows: my web browser, Lotus Notes (which I wish fervently I didn't have to use), a command line window and emacs.

Similarly, I almost NEVER use menus anymore. I long ago learned the mouse-click or keyboard shortcut for everything that I typically do and I find myself annoyed whenever I have to actually LOOK for something in an application's menus. Since web pages don't have the luxury of adding items to the browser's menus, web designers have found other ways to expose their functionality (rollover text, GUI's that morph in real-time, etc.).

So for me, at least, WIMP is dead. Long live...uh...TIP (tabs, icons, pointers)!...or WILT (web apps, icons, links, tabs)!...or something else!

11 Comments:

At 9:55 PM , Blogger Mike Burr said...

Apparently this post is a magnet for Asian porn websites. I try to keep the spam deleted, but please don't click on links in any comments that are not in English.

 
At 3:09 PM , Blogger Mike Burr said...

Wow, the spammers are getting smarter. Now the comments have irrelevant English(y) text in addition to the links to Oriental skin sites. Please just ignore ANY link posted in these comments.

 
At 8:14 AM , Blogger 淑成李李淑成李李 said...

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At 2:12 AM , Blogger 王辛江淑萍康 said...

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At 4:08 AM , Blogger 淑張福 said...

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At 10:31 AM , Blogger 文滢 said...

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At 5:28 PM , Blogger 國林林林林維 said...

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At 11:21 PM , Blogger 佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

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At 10:26 AM , Blogger 黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

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At 2:03 PM , Blogger SadeRa盈君iford0412 said...

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At 1:33 PM , Blogger SeanDoe said...

Haha I get the same problem! I am not a spammer though, and I liked the content of this post. Can you imagine what the future will hold? I am sure WILT has the same destiny as WIMP - to be replaced.

 

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