User I/O & Publishing
Useful assumptions, concepts and terms
The frame of reference of this paper is not language or platform specific.
While for convenience we may use terms that have very specific meaning,
the meaning for this paper is always the general conceptual meaning.
For example, an MDI form is a Windows concept wherein an application is
presented with a two-tiered menu structure. In Excel, the "first level children"
are "File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Data, Window, Help". Each presents
the next level of the menu with what we'll call "second level children". While
our language is Windows specific, conceptually this idea can work on any platform
and in any language. Whatever adaptations make sense so that the user's
approach is "non-linear" or "event driven" are assumed within our meaning.
If the functionality of an application can be separated from its user interface,
the ideas in this paper are more relevent. If the user interface is so intertwined
with the functionality that they cannot be separated, then this paper is less
relevant. We do not come from the school that says "the medium is the message".
The format of this paper is that it will be developed as the home page of a website.
The ideas that inspire it, expand on it or that provide documentation of the
approach will be presented as additional pages in the website. In addition,
a demo is being prepared providing availability on a CD (pending agreement from
others whose proprietary software will hopefully be included).
We believe that object oriented achievements by contemporary software developers
combined with certain disciplines make rapid application development possible
at a remarkable level. We are developing an approach we call QScript whereby
functions and forms can be described in terms of their desired functionality
with the ability to then render the idea in any of several platforms including
Windows and the world wide web. This approach builds upon many efforts; some
are quite far along; some haven't begun. So, some paths for commercial use of
these ideas are closer to reality than other paths.
The Plain Vanilla Magical Machine 2003
The Plain Vanilla Player