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June 6, 2008
design of the late 70s
and 80s was obsessed with Could one argue that this was
a certain conception of itself a meta-metaphor, an
"metaphor". attempt at relating UI design
to art and literature.
The idea was that you
could write software
that people would
understand by creating
constructs that behave
something like familiar
So people would talk about
"the desktop metaphor"
And yet, an actual desktop out
there in the nominally real world
does not normally have a bunch of
windows piled up on top of it.
And you don't choose which one to
work on next by whacking it with
A Ted Nelson complaint (that I picked up
from the "World Enough" lectures) was NELSON
that the "clipboard" as implemented by
Apple is in fact nothing like an actual
clipboard: the Macintosh-style "clipboard"
has a very tiny clip that holds only one
piece of paper. And when you slap another
piece of paper down on top, the old one
pops out of existence.
Nelson makes the point that you can
create things with computers that are
genuinely new "virtualities"; you do
not need to slavishly imitate
something else that exists already.
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