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Re: [tlug] Holy smokes, Unity and Gnome 3 suck worse than I ever could have imagined.

On Oct 18, 2011, at 4:03 PM, Martin G wrote:

> Yeah, people use fingers, but other than the fact that it bypasses an
> actual mouse device, you're still manipulating a pointer on a flat, 2D
> screen.

You mean your problem is the 2D flat screen ? That's not what I got from the original mail.

But in any case, you're wrong. The finger does not "bypass" the mouse, it does what the mouse can't. The finger does what requires a mouse _and_ a keyboard (or a very elaborate contextual menu) at the same time. Because the finger is potentially 5 (or more) pointing devices working at the same time and the hand cannot possibly manipulate 5 (or more) external pointing devices at the same time. So, we are entering a new realm of possibilities here. Still limited by the underlying software, but quite limitless when you think what humans have been able to do with their hands since the beginning of times...

> The real interface changes on iPhones and Androids have to do
> with limited screen space. An iPad, for example, doesn't do much of
> anything different from a mouse.

Except that the finger is a natural extension of the body. Also, a keyboard is mostly here to input text and there are plenty of text input devices that do not use fingers at all. Think about voice input (dictation software) or input for people with disabilities.

Those things exist. And are used a lot by people who type lots of text.

> Let me know when I can just turn to my computer and say "Hey, computer, play my
> favourite songs in random order."

Go to an Apple store today and get your iPhone 4s. No kidding.

And if _that_ is the requirement, I don't see what Unity or Gnome2 or whatever has to do with that. Obviously _that_ level of computing can be handled by any kind of interface, and the simplest, the best.

> I hear what you're saying that changes are a'comin', but it's a long
> way still before were using something that isn't based on the same
> principles as the original Xerox concept.

Puleaze ~ Let's not rehash that Xerox concept over and over again. Steve is dead, we know he stole everything, let's move on.

People don't use Xerox machines. People use Linux/Windows/OSX boxes. And touch panel devices. And there are going to be more touch panel devices than desk computers in the world very very soon. Interfacing with the machine the way you know it is going to feel very old to people who started with touch devices.

And it is likely that voice interfacing with the devices is going to be the next huge thing in the coming 2-3 years. Japanese phone makers had it before Siri (I don't know for other countries because I don't live there), now Siri is here and it is going to change things in a very profound way.

I can very easily see that besides for specific data entry uses (including programming code),  all the people need is a voice interface to handle most of their "computing" needs. And that is on the market now, although in beta form.

Jean-Christophe Helary
work: (ja/en > fr)

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