Issue No. 07 - July (1986 vol. 6)
Antony Williams , Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
The architecture described in this article evolved from an extensive research and experimentation effort in man-machine interaction in the Informatics Division of RAL. Its primary goal is to support research into improving user interface design. The architecture is based on the concept of direct manipulation without time-sequential user-machine dialogues. That is, the user forms his plan of action and carries it out in the sequence best suited to his needs. The system imposes no syntactic structure on the command language, and thus does not enforce particular time sequences. Such a model should extend to cover interaction with dynamic processes as well as simple modification of stored data. The long-term goal of this effort is to evolve the design of a truly general-purpose user interface management system as part of the client architecture. The activities at present include developing a window manager, including defining a client-server interface; developing a preliminary toolkit for user interfaces; and applying the toolkit to the development of an interactive post processor for viewing and manipulating the results of finite element analysis.
A. Williams, "An Architecture for User Interface R&D," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 6, no. , pp. 39-50, 1986.