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Is the R3 GUI for businesses or consumers?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
28-May-2008 20:54 GMT

Article #0136
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There has been a lot of debate recently about VID, and what type of applications are intended to be built with it. I think some of this "confusion" came about because of requirements I've posted about the easy-to-use and easy-to-extend requirements of the R3 GUI design. But, we are talking about independent dimensions of the same domain, so let's try to unwind some of this confusion...

There are two main "camps" in the GUI debate: some want to build apps for businesses and others want to make apps for consumers.

I should point out that many years ago, there was a huge difference between these types of apps. However, with the popularity of the web as an application platform, the lines between these two are blurring. Consumer apps have been getting smarter, and business apps have been getting more user friendly.

There are good reasons for both trends. In general, as consumers learn more about using computers and other devices, they understand the more subtle interactions that they can have with the user interface. From web pages to cell phones to TV set-top boxes, the interface has become smarter and more powerful.

At the same time, businesses have noticed that most of their users are also consumers (outside the office), and have learned how to work things like cell phones and web site interfaces. Business users no longer run in fear when they see a background that's not silver or a button that's not gray. They have become more open to a variety of interfaces, and in fact, many modern business applications run within the web browser with more friendly interfaces.

So, what does this have to do with R3 and our VID GUI?

Simply put, I think R3 VID can do both. There is no reason to exclude one type of application or the other. First, the difference between business and consumer applications is not as great as you may think. Second, we're not going to remove the powerful features of VID that make business applications possible, nor are we going to delete those features that make consumer applications easy-to-write or more interesting to view. I'm certain we can do both quite well.

In R3 the differences in creating a business app and a consumer app will be where you, the application programmer, decide to direct your attention and efforts. If your focus is on functionality for businesses, then you will make sure that it works that way. You will use grids and drop down menus, whatever you need. Or, if instead you need fancy graphics for consumer appeal, that can be done as well. You can ignore grids and menus if you choose.

Running under both, the basic GUI engine, structures, functions, and events are really the same. It's just how you put them together and extend their features or graphical appearances that will determine the end user application style.

I fully believe that a GUI can be easy-to-use and easy-to-extend and also work well for business interface designers. I also think a GUI can include many powerful features that are not necessary to activate in every application, and consumer interface designers can decide what the need and don't need.

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