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Appendix A. The One-Button Mouse: History and Future

Appendix A. The One-Button Mouse: History and Future

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Team-Fly



Human Interface, The: New

Directions for Designing

Interactive Systems

By Jef Raskin

Table of Contents



Appendix A. The

One-Button Mouse:

History and Future

Men loven of propre kynde newefangelnesse.

?span class="docEmphasis">Chaucer, "The

Squire's Tale"

I have been variously castigated and

applauded for creating the one-button mouse

and some of the basic methods for using it.

Questions from readers of drafts of this book

indicated that they thought that the way the

Macintosh worked was the way that earlier

mouse-driven systems from Xerox PARC

worked and were curious as to the

differences. This appendix describes the

mouse-based systems that I saw at Xerox

Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) when I

was a visitor there. The even earlier use of the

mouse at Douglas Englebart's group at the

Stanford Research Institute (SRI) was

embedded in a system that was decades

ahead of its time in many ways and contained

valuable ideas that have not yet been widely

applied. Englebart's software, however, was

often modal and was sometimes inefficient at

the keystroke level.

Few users of modern personal computers

remember what you had to go through to

make a selection with the PARC system, as

exemplified by its most popular text editor,

BRAVO. Tapping each of the three mouse

buttons on the PARC mice will be denoted by

L, M, and R (for left, middle, and right).

BRAVO did not use mouse button



Team-Fly



Human Interface, The: New

Directions for Designing

Interactive Systems

By Jef Raskin

Table of Contents



Appendix B.

SwyftCard

Interface Theory of

Operation

Some of the principles discussed in this book

were first published in the SwyftCard manual,

released in 1984. SwyftCard, which plugged

into the then highly successful Apple II, was

simple by today's standards. Appendix B of

its manual contained an unusual feature: Along

with the usual theory of operation of the

hardware, it also contained a theory of

operation of the software and what is

probably the first appearance of a user

interface theory of operation in any

commercial product. In a way, that appendix

was the beginning of this book. The quoted

material is from the second edition (Alzofon

and Raskin 1985).



The paradigms used in SwyftCard were

invented to cure a host of problems shared by

almost all current systems—most of them

small enough in their own right, but which

taken together make learning and using

conventional software far more

time-consuming than necessary, and which

make using computers a frustrating and

annoying process.



We have always wondered why, for example,

you have to format disks—isn't the computer

smart enough to see if a disk isn't formatted

and do it if necessary? We find cursor control



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