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Back to the green screen

There has been a lot of talk here on Gui things recently.  As gui goes I tend to like Microsoft’s implementation the best.  The downside is the cost and compromise it brings to the business computing setting.  Pc’s are fine for people at home or who can’t afford a server, but for business they are a money Pit.  Capital “P” on that.

For business computing a centralized model of computing is the only one that is cost effective.  The number of pc’s in an organization compound the problem exponentially.  I think the gui has led to this problem.  Gui’s have made people think computers were user friendly.  Companies quickly bought into that idea.  Lets think about gui's for a moment.

As soon as you spec gui, your costs go up.  Gui's usually mean a computer at the users feet.  More bandwidth to display the application over a wan.  Slower response on a given bandwidth compared with a text based interface.  Higher administration costs due to specialized tools needed (pc anywhere, etc) to effectively administer pc’s and servers remotely.  I wonder if companies consider the bandwidth cost of gui's.  Paying for bandwidth is a fixed cost (assuming same circuit speed).  What do companies think they gain by going gui?.  It drives up costs and lowers data entry productivity because users have to use the mouse rather than simply key from field to field or menu to menu.

The gui has led to many of today's development issues.  Developers and others have come to realize that centralized computing makes sense when it comes to app deployment.  The whole internet works on this principle.  Just imagine if the internet ran like most businesses.  Yahoo would be on the phone with every person in the world that ever visited their site to upgrade client side software to implement new functionality.  Yes businesses are on a smaller scale than this, but why do they continue to suffer upgrading end user computers?  I think at some point businesses will realize that this whole business of giving users pc’s is a losing proposition.  It simply costs too much in time and money.  When will managers quit looking at marketing hype and use some common sense?  There has to be an end.  My hope is the current tough times help bring about the end of the fat client.  Of course, this would effectively kill Microsoft as we know it today.  They make a living giving computers to people that don’t know how to use them.  Back to the green screen!

Crusty.

Crusty Admin
Saturday, December 14, 2002

Crusty,

My counter-argument is that browser based applications are still unable to do alot of what a fat client can do.  "But we can have applets!" - sure but you have to make sure you have a compatible version of the JVM on the client.  "But .NET apps can be launched right from a browser!"  - same deal - only if the .NET runtimes are installed.  Then there are 14 versions of 2 browsers to support. 

At a large client of mine, there are 15,000 employees.  PCs are recycled every 3 years or so.  So today, they're still using NT 4 SP3 on alot of machines, newer machines have 2000...who knows which browser they have?  JVM? 

The only way to possibly solve this problem is to use something like Citrix MetaFrame.  But then you better damn well make sure that server (or cluster of servers) is up 99.999% of the time.  It's an option - but only if your users don't need to install special apps for their specific jobs (which is common in large corps.)  This works well for places like call centers.   

<<
Higher administration costs due to specialized tools needed (pc anywhere, etc) to effectively administer pc’s and servers remotely.
>>

You can use Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to manage other PCs/servers.  Otherwise you can get off your butt and walk to the machine ;-)  If it's a windows 2k server you can use terminal server (not sure on NT4 Server.)

<<
Developers and others have come to realize that centralized computing makes sense when it comes to app deployment.
>>

It make sense when everyone in your company has the same client pc/applications requirements or when you can justify the cost of X number of MetaFrame licenses.  The problem is, you still have to support the client PCs anyway.  So if you blow $100,000 on the Citrix software + licenses + X number of servers + hire a citrix admin, how can you justify the cost?  or calculate the savings?  If this were a no-brainer, everybody would be doing it.  I just don't see a clear-cut advantage. 

GiorgioG
Saturday, December 14, 2002

Crusty, I'm right there with ya baby. That's something I've been yelling about for ten years. We're making our own problems, and computers really aren't any easier to use now than they were then, GUI or not.

In the early 90s, I worked with secretaries and administrators day in and day out that used DOS apps and terminal apps, and they got plenty more done than they do now that they're fighting Windows and and everything else. Having all the options visible on the menus doesn't make it easier to use. Their keyboard templates got them through the learning phase, and it all became second nature to them. Apps it may have been a little harder to learn, but they were definitely easy to use.

I think we've made some really excellent computer and programming advancements in the past dozen or so years, but I don't necessarily think the mass GUI-ization of everything has been one of them.

Troy King
Saturday, December 14, 2002

This link has been posted once before, but it's worth another look:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/28/technology/28GIZM.html

J. D. Trollinger
Saturday, December 14, 2002

GUI is here to stay. People want the same type of user experience at work that they are used to at home.

Get with it. Quit your bitchin or get out of the business.

tired of all the whining
Saturday, December 14, 2002

"UI is here to stay. People want the same type of user experience at work that they are used to at home."

WHY do people need a rich user experience at work.  Its called work, not play.  If you want a rich user experience work on a computer at home.  Business needs reliability and productivity.  A thin client monoculture is the best way to achieve that.

People work for money.  I think haveing a rich user experience on their pc is way down on their list of things to like or dislike at work.  Besides, as someone else said, users were more productive on text based apps. 

Crusty Admin
Saturday, December 14, 2002

I've worked on five text-based mainframe app to GUI Windows app conversions over the last several years and without exception users on the GUI based apps were significantly more productive (as much as 50% more).

It is true that I have been lucky to have worked on projects that had pretty good business analysis/UI design. I have seen some projects where the designers just didn't have a clue and produced some sort of awkward, unusable mish-mash - halfway between mainframe and GUI. But if the analysis is done correctly the results can be impressive.

SM
Saturday, December 14, 2002

<<
Besides, as someone else said, users were more productive on text based apps. 
>>

Obviously,  you apparently live/think in the narrow-minded (interface-wise) Unix/Mainframe world. 

How about graphic artists, writers, editors, business-people who need to make presentations, meeting agendas & reports.  Or accountants, managers and the like who need to keep track of numbers and have to show pretty charts to the VP of Finance (the guy that pays you) - spreadsheets/Excel alone are a good reason for GUIs. 

Yes lotus 1-2-3 worked in DOS.  Was it easier to use than  Excel for Windows?  Hell No.  This is not about your comfort as a system/network admin.  It's about making the business man's life a little easier.  It's my belief that Microsoft is a powerhouse because that is their single raison d'etre when it comes to software.  It's easy to use.  Hands down.  Look at the success of VB for example (if you want a programming tool for an example.)  As much as I dislike VB as a language - nobody can deny that it was 10x easier than coding apps using C & the API.

Anyone remember DOS/*nix/Mainframes/AS400s as being user-friendly?  I don't think so.

Again, you could have dumb terminals + a terminal server/citrix setup, but you still have to maintain that stuff & license it.  You transfer the cost of 1 thing to another in this way.  Sure you gain some things like only having to re-configure the terminal servers when new versions of apps come out.  But you also lose in terms of flexibility & security plus now you have one massive single point of failure just waiting to happen (because all hardware will fail and business always tries to stretch it to the limit.) 

I don't think green screens are the answer.  As a tech support/customer service/sales rep for Iomega (while I was in school) - we used a text-terminal based app.  It was horrendously slow, difficult to maneuver around and in general - infuriating to work with.  We also had a terminal-server based  tech support case management system (Scopus) - it was great.  Unless the server was down.  Or the link to the Utah office was down.  And lets not even discuss laptops - which are becoming more and more worthwhile for businesses as they get cheaper to lease. 

GiorgioG
Saturday, December 14, 2002

I was referring to data entry type programs.  Not presentation or graphics functions. 

Crusty Admin
Saturday, December 14, 2002

"I was referring to data entry type programs.  Not presentation or graphics functions."

No offense, Crusty Admin but you never mentioned this fact in your original post.  In your second post, you stated a personal opinion "I think haveing a rich user experience on their pc is way down on their list of things to like or dislike at work" and you made a sweeping generalization, "Besides, as someone else said, users were more productive on text based apps."  Yes, in some situations power users probably are more productive using a text  based application.

You seem to like the centralized computing concept because it makes your life easier.  No shame in admitting that is there?

Dumb terminals make a lot of sense when you are talking about data entry type of work.  Browser-based applications make a lot sense when several hundred or more users need to use an application at the same time.  In many other situations, DTs and browser-based applications don't make a lot of sense .

one programmer's opinion
Saturday, December 14, 2002

My reply to Crusty was based on the assumption he meant data entry and/or word processing-type apps. I agreed with everything Crusty said, and I do not live in the unix or mainframe world -- I've been a Windows programmer since the early 1990s.

Just because I (and presumedly Crusty) would like to see a return to that type of interface where it is appropriate doesn't mean I want to go back to things just like they were. We've learned a lot since then, and shouldn't go back and make the same mistakes.

Troy King
Saturday, December 14, 2002

This is a interesting subject.

As for comments about Terminal Server and thin client…what  use is up 400% and growing? It is not a no brainier for everyone, but purchasing a dumb windows terminal with no hard disk is in fact a way to reduce the total cost of ownership. I know companies rolling out windows XP  and office xp. The client pc are old p200 MHz pc’s. They absolutely fly, and they never had to upgrade memory, or disk or nothing on the pc’s. The pc’s will just sit their for the next 10 years. They never have to setup, or install stuff on a pc. The are truly 100% trouble free, since they don’t do anything.

Ok, now back to the issue about text based systems.

Straight text entry is generally better, but then that is due to poor GUI design in most cases.

One other person mentioned their experiences with converting a text based application to a gui.

I had a chance 3 years ago to convert a application of mine from green screen to a GUI.

The following is some observations on this project.

This was project to convert a tour reservation package from Pick to ms-access.

A few quick stats, and then I will outline the differences in a GUI system as compared to a green screen system.

Text green screen system (mv-basic lines of code):
  Albert                      20821 
  RIDES        28816
  Reports        16561
  KALLAL        11000
  AL.EDITS                3143

Total lines of code =  80341

Ms-access (lines of VB code)

  lines of code in Modules = 6959
  forms code                    = 14964
  reports code                  = 1976
  Class objects                  = 982

  Total lines of code = 24881

Ok, enough stats. For a detailed article on what I learned during the conversing you can read the following when you have some time.

  http://www.attcanada.net/%7ekallal.msn/Articles/fog0000000003.html

Advantages of GUI:

** GUI is cool!
    Now before you dismiss this, think about what I mean here.
The most amazing aspect of using a GUI in place of a green screen was the impression that the users have.  I cannot believe how impressionable users are. I often hear companies say:

      Oh, wow, you guys are using windows….we are still using some old DOS based system (it may not be dos…but the association with TEXT is most certainly that the system has to be old, and creaky).

Just last week on phone talking to a resort, the first thing the girl mentioned to me was they still use some old text based system. There was no complaints about the text based system, expcet that is seemed very old fashion. In fact, just the impression that the company makes on the employees when they walk in and see green screens. Staff will think they walked into a time machine.

I do not possess the proper English skills to convey how powerful and how often this issues of green screen, and old fashioned the company will seem to employees. Often of course these days the green screen in is a “window” on a pc machine, but the effect is the same.

If you are tying to sell a product, a green screen system with better features will in fact loose out to a GUI system. For sure, like clothes, cars, food or whatever, this impression is not to be ignored.  I don’t view software this way, but the general public most certainly does!

Of course the whole point here is not about impressions, but is all the trouble that GUI causes worth it? From a cost point of view, a GUI might not be worth it, but from a customer impression point of view….you HAVE TO have a windows GUI. The public has voted here, and even if I disagree with their vote…they want a GUI.

** Training
While a text based system is FASTER from a data entry point of view, GUI users DO NOT need any training for editing of data. This includes cut and paste, and general concepts of editing a screen. Most GUI systems are modeless, where a good many text systems have some type of “EDIT” mode.  The result is that the INITIAL first use of the product is a better EXPERAINCE with GUI systems vs text systems. (the discovery process is easier with a GUI since most systems follow a similar format).

People often confuse the issue of training required to use a system. Hence knowing HOW to use a system is the hard part, and I can’t say that GUI systems are necessary much easier in this regards. Thus, if you know a GUI, that does not mean you know a accounting program works (companies often make this mistake). I know of one company wanted to write a information system using Excel in place of a database system, since then there would be no training. (they said everyone already knew Excel). Forget it…if a accounting system is written in Excel, I still have to learn the accounting system. I seen spreadsheets that can take a month to learn. It is not Excel that is the problem, it is what you are supposed know before you enter data into the system that takes learning! The so called domain knowledge is what one needs to know to use the product.

Again, if you have  a great Text interface, or a great GUI it helps. A poor GUI is worse then a good text interface. However, I am finding that users discover, and even assume certain functions exist in a GUI system (such as a un-do option, and it is to be found under the Edit menu). GUI did bring consistency to applications.

** Screen Size
This is a real big one. The amount of real estate we have on a GUI screen is really nice. On the other hand, often the 132 character mode of green screen systems is not used (a good many people I knew writing green screen stuff did use the 132 mode..and it helped a lot). If we had larger green screens (text), then even more then 132 chars could be placed on a screen. I don’t think anyone could have known how big computer monitors where going to get.

Gosh…have you seen some of the new MONSTOER screens today? I can’t even see what the person looks like sitting at a desk anymore. All I can see is a big monitor!!

Hence, few text applications take advantage of the extra screen real estate these days.

Regardless, there is much more room on a GUI screen. The use of Tabbed controls is also nice. My text interface did have the equivalent of tabs anyway. At the end of the day, the freedom of  a GUI is really nice.  I often sit back, and say…wow…..using a GUI is just like painting, where as a green screen was like using a chalk board. The freedom to create nice screens is remarkable. As a developer, the freedom of screens is again a top issues. From a artistic point of view, I can express my self much better with a GUI. As a developer I need tools to express my designs. Software is my canvas. A GUI canvas for screens is MUCH better.

** Report prompts
I am not talking about reports, but the GUI to prompt the users for reports. Boy, this again is near the top of my list for a GUI. Here is some sample screens shots of report prompts (do take a quick look):

  http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn/ridesrpt/ridesrpt.html

The above is only a small sample of the prompt screens for reports. I would say this is one area where the GUI over text truly shines. Of course, everyone agrees that for reporting and selection of things a GUI is much better than text systems anyway. I don’t think this is new, but we are making a list of why GUI are better. The above screens turned out MUCH better then straight text counter parts of the old system. It also reduced the learning curve, since each report screen in fact has a LOT of options, and in a text system, you generally need to break out the above type screens into several screens. Too many report screens creates confusion.

** Reports
Here I am in fact talking about reports. Graphical displays, and report layouts again shine as compared to the text systems. Reports have much more flexibility. Even just placing a box around some fields as in the following example is much better in a GUI system:

http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn/test/bu1.gif

You will also notice that the above menu bar for the report has options for email also. (another GUI issue). Every report in the system uses that common toolbar I wrote.

However, the problem is MUCH more time needs to be spent to create reports when you have a zillion options for layout. (just choosing the fonts and colors can take more time then developing the whole report in text). They * can * cost more to make if you start getting fancy. However, again the need for visual communications today is real important. Just the freedom in font sizes alone is worth the jump to a GUI. You can design graphical stuff via a text interface (hey…ever heard of HTML?). However, again, for communication of ideas, and report layouts, a graphical system is far superior.


** Email
I suppose one could add email to a text based system (in the early days…all email was text…and it was around long before the GUI browser). However, email in fact was the #1 reason why this system was re-written. (Email did not even exist when the old application was written). Email works just about everywhere in this system.  Email is a standard means of communication in business today. Modern systems allow email to be integrated much easier then text based systems. This tour reservation product now has a very strong email part to it, and that is one area where I think again text systems fall down.  Buttons for emailing invoices, and just launching the email program when looking at customer is available everywhere in the application. We could have added email fields to the old system, but integration into email via templates etc would have been hard.

** Word
In fact, it is not really the fact of word, but the fact of com (object automation). I have a lot of word automation stuff in this application. What really is nice is how easy users can create their own templates. The client wanted to bring up a customer name or booking and print an envelope. Two mouse clicks, and they are looking at a word doc formatted as a envelop. Since every printer is different for envelops (side feed, center feed etc),  then it would be impossible for me to customize envelope printing. In fact, I just built a general template system. It is the user who makes the word documents for whatever purpose they want. Allowing users to create templates is another area where the GUI is very powerful. They can make a reminder letter, or just a template to print  single envelope.

I most certainly have worked on text based systems that did allow merge options to word perfect, or the whatever text based word processor they where using. However, this again is one areas where a GUI system allows a lot more CUSTOM options for the CUSTOMER!.  Just about every screen in my application has a word button that allows a SINGLE record to be sent to word. The button launches a standard template editor. From that they choose the letter, or create new one.  Users can easily share those templates between users in the office. This whole process just works way better when you have a WSYIG editor.

** Mouse to keyboard dance
Forcing users to switch between the mouse and keyboard is often a major criticism of a GUI based system. Well, that is simply because the GUI designer does not take the time to make the application * FLOW *  correctly. I always make sure that the common (most used) screens and data entry stuff can be done complete by the keyboard. For example, the following explains how users search for data…and I don’t make them use the mouse:

  http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn/Search/index.html

** Complex Operations are better with a GUI
In the following screen users can be moved from one booking to another. This kind of display is VERY HARD with a text based system. I did not use drag and drop, since several options must be set BEFORE the person is moved (the make new slot check box is an example). I found drag and drop too prone to errors. A display like this can be done in a text system, but again it is hard work.
 
  That screen:
  http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn/Rides/swap2.gif



At the end of the day:

The advantages of text systems tend to be that hands never need to grab a mouse, and no hassles/support occur on the client box. It is all on the server. While some of the software designs are easier (and cheaper) in Text based systems, you can do much more with a GUI. 

As a result, we do add more features with a GUI, since we can!

So, in conclusion , I think that the GUI is a much more expressive canvass for a developer to work with. The freedom I have with these screens is amazing. Perhaps we should adopt thin clients for pc client…but the GUI does have a true benefits.

The above is my own experience, and perhaps one’s mileage will vary.

Having written both complex text based systems, and GUI based systems…I now am like my customers:

I  also vote for the GUI.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Saturday, December 14, 2002

"You seem to like the centralized computing concept because it makes your life easier. No shame in admitting that is there?"

Not at all.  I like efficiency.  If that efficiency makes my life easier so much the better.  I try to be lazy in a way that improves value to the company.

I didn't mention specific apps or instances at first where I thought green screen was better, partly because I thought I'd get some better feedback if I ruffled some feathers so to speak.

I do see Citrix/Terminal server as a vialble option.  I don't necessarily oppose gui.  My biggest bitch is de-centralized environments.  I'll be the first to admit that gui has improved some things and some things can only be accomplished that way.  I guess I am disappointed that people always choose gui, even if it doesn't make sense.  Probably the best is a mix, but still stay centralized.

Albert, I think I made this same suggestion to you, along time ago when you were talking about moving a pick client to windows or at the time I think you were looking at Linux and open office.  What technology did you choose? 

An interesting note to some of you might be that I am in my early 30's and am not necessarily on the newer is better bandwagon.  I say that because I think many of you will look at my handle of Crusty Admin and think I am a 50+ year old that doesn't like change.  I embrace change if it improves things.  I know 50+ year olds that think I'm too dam conservative.  That's alright, takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.

Crusty Admin
Sunday, December 15, 2002

>>Albert, I think I made this same suggestion to you, along time ago when you were talking about moving a pick client to windows or at the time I think you were looking at Linux and open office.  What technology did you choose? 

Oh, we just picked up the phone and had them order a bunch of dell pc’s. They all came with office XP installed, and ready to go. They were those small work station models, and were a absolute bargain.  They were such a good deal, that several were ordered with flat screens.

So, we went with windows XP computers running Dell all the way. Just plug them in, and away they all they go. Too nice!

The server does run Linux, and they use Samba. The database application also of course runs on the same Linux  box (d3/pick).  Each PC uses a terminal emulation program (aka green screen!!) to connect to the legacy application running on the Linux/pick box. (we of course dumped the rs232, and connect via the standard network).

I wound up writing some VB code in Excel to interface to the database.  It works very well (we did not use odbc..but could have).

I have not heard a peep from them since mid summer,. …so all is very well.

I guess getting dell to deliver a bunch of computers was really the path of least resistance. So was having office XP pre-installed.

No time to play, and figure out what might work…..we just choose what does work.

This whole approach might sound a bit lazy, but then that is the reality of most situations when time is limited. We just have to maximize our time in these projects, and the above was the right approach. We were in, and then we were out real fast.

It will be interesting to see how the support and reliability of the whole system turns out. While all seems VERY good right now, I would think that each PC would have more maintenance then the ultra reliable old box that need a re-boot once very two years (I am NOT kidding here!!).

Regardless, the Excel interface to the d3/pick database worked well, and everything else is running a 100% trouble free right now.

I did hear that staff were caught playing solitaire, and boss always had thought computers were for staff to get work done. I believe they may have to remove the games.

They are also in the process of giving everyone the internet and email. So much for work productivity increases!

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Sunday, December 15, 2002

Green screens are OK but what if the power goes out? You lose all your data!

No one ever had that problem with punch cards. Power goes out, no problem. The data's still there.

Efficient too, there are no typing skills needed - just a spongey pad and a sharp stick are needed to enter the data. This process is quite efficient once the data entry eporators get into the swing of things. The data can even be entered with no electricity at all. That can be a serious advantage. Once all the data is ready, then and only then do you bring in the technicians and fire up the machine. After all you don't want the machine to be running too many hours or the vacuum tubes will wear out.

Yep, punch cards are definitely the best way to do data entry. there are just too many advantages to ignore. Data entry can even be done underwater! Just try that with your tablet PC.

Sarain H.
Monday, December 16, 2002

Crusty Admin's desire to return to the green screen will in effect increase complexity.

The reason is that the company will have many departments that have a positive need for a PC, and programs that can run on it. Remember that PC's (most Macs actually) got into companies because managers started getting them out of their department allowances so they could do things dumb terminals didn't let them.

The truth is that the problem is often that companies grow their hardware and software in a disorganized fashion, and what is needed is for the sysadmin to put some order.

Choose a maximum of four or five hardware specifications. When you buy new machines always get a certain proportion of extra motherboards, graphics cards and  when the motherboards get to be obsolete buy processors and memory (if necessary). Then partition the hard drive and using unattended install set up one machine for each hardware configuration with the my documents and application data set to the D drive. Then put in the software for each set of users and make a clone of that.

Then when the users have a problem, you look to what clone version they have and tell them to put the reinstall disk in, because all their user data is on the D drive, and your only restoring the C drive. Sure, you'll have to ask them to install the anti-virus updates and service pack afterwards but that's all.

Thin client will only work if you have people accessing their computers for one or two boring repetitive tasks at most.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 16, 2002

For better or worse, GUI apps exist because they have completely kicked the ass of non-GUI client-side apps that they opposed in the market place.  The users have decided.  MSFT is very opportunistic, and if that prevailing wind should change, they will change office and IE to use the mouse less, so I would not forcast their doom just yet (at least for reasons related to the GUI).  Also remember that keyboard shortcuts make the mouse optional 98% of the time.  The GUI does bias users to use the mouse, but experienced users rarely reach for it.

Most users work experience consists of Office, IE, email (usually part of office) and a couple of customized data-related client/server (sometimes web-based) apps.  GUIs are generally laid out according to a common practice that requires a lot less training when users are retrained to user these custom apps.  We all know how radio buttons and combo boxes work, we all understand OK and Cancel, so intuition takes over pretty quickly.  Training in Client server apps is usually about covering workarounds for the defects that the developers did not address.  The basics are usually trivial.

Keep in mind also that modern productivity applications now have graphics production features, which do not work very well on green screens.  It is an advancement that untrained secretaries can now do the simple diagrams that a decade ago needed to be sent to graphics. 

Ran
Monday, December 16, 2002

The main reason that green screen is percieved to be better than GUI is user comfort. We have a number of die-hard AS400 users who hate Windows with a passion, but think that the green screen is cool.

They know that Shift+F6 = F18, so they are very happy doing that all day... but when it comes to 'Copy', well Ctrl+C is "just too much to remember"...

New hires don't understand what the fuss is all about.

My biggest headache about GUI's is that there is usually too many ways of doing the same job.

Lawrence Attrill
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Most "experienced users" don't use the keyboard instead of the mouse. It's most experienced DOS users that do that.

Those, like me that started with computers well after the release of W95 have only ever learned a few keyboard shortcuts - it simply wasn't necessary to learn others, even though the increase in productivity would no doubt be considerable.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Perhaps I overreached by saying 'most', however the original post complained that the mouse slowed down data entry.  People that I have worked with in desktop publishing and other situations where input speed was a factor DO reach for the mouse less and less.  When input speed is not a factor the argument is moot.

Most GUI apps are built to enable keyboard-only data entry.  (Keep in mind also that there are many times where the mouse is much faster.)  By itself, this is not a reason to bring back green screen apps.

Client side apps are a great enhancement to company productivity.  I would expect to see more and better ways to make computers EASIER to use, not harder.  Leave the green screens on the server side.

Ran
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Why not have the best of both worlds. Centralized administration and a nice GUI. As seen on /. City of Largo, FL.
http://www.caldera.com/skunkware/largo/
http://vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2002/12/24313.php

Doug Withau
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

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