Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Complex things possible

I was once told by a local Human-Computer Interface luminary (who claims to have in-depth knowledge of the way NeXTStep's UI works) that it's not possible in any existing GUI to have lines connecting separate windows.
Allow me to introduce a decade-old piece of scotch mist.

5 comments:

Chris Ridd said...

Isn't that done using multiple thin windows?

Also hasn't Apple patented this?

leeg said...

Chris:

well yes, in that everything on the Quartz display is a window (similar to the way everything on the X display is a window), the line between the two (Aqua) windows on this screencap is indeed a set of (Quartz) windows. On NeXTSTEP, it was a lump of postscript drawn over the top of everything else's output.

And yes, Apple own a patent on it but in fact it's part of NeXT's patent portfolio, so Apple didn't patent it </pedant>. I mentioned to said luminary that this was why the technique was seen in NeXT/Apple apps and not in anyone else's (look at GORM, for instance); but he reiterated that it isn't possible to do this on NeXT or any other platform.

Chris Ridd said...

He's clearly a complete luminary!

leeg said...

as luminary as a hatstand.

Anonymous said...

17 years, actually.