... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Why is Sudden View so radical?

If you've tried Sudden View, you may be startled by how different it is. This may lead you to wonder why. But if you spend enough time to get a FEEL for it's methods, it will begin to make more sense.

Sudden View is a tool that puts the actual editing first by focusing on the primitives. My objective was to re-explore the very nature of the editing process, then create a UI (User Interface) that reflected these actions.

If you take an honest look at most text editors you'll see they are steeped in their own history. GUI editors are simply screen editors with menus. Screen editors were simply line editors for a glass Teletype. Navigating and altering text still uses the command / response model of ancient TECO. This creates a barrier between the user and his content.

When the Apple MacIntosh came along, Steve Jobs touted Direct Manipulation as a new method to make the user a part of the process. His paint program demonstrated this with impressive results. Unfortunately, he didn't apply the concept to his text editor. The only thing it Directly Mannipulated was the mouse cursor itself. That's when and why I decided to try something new.

With Sudden View I focused on what we do most with a text editor - enter, navigate and alter text. As with all good design, the most direct and effective controls should activate the most common functions. This means the mouse should be reserved for navigation and text manipulation.

I applied the right mouse button to do Direct Scrolling and I made it work ANYwhere in the text window, not just on the scroll bar. I replaced the scroll bar with a ViewBar so the user could simply point and click at where he wanted to go.

Next I applied Direct Manipulation to actually moving text around the screen. Finally I promoted Copy, Cut and Paste to mouse activation. All of this takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you tend to forget about HOW you are editing and focus on WHAT you are editing. Sudden View removes the barrier between the user and his content.

There are lots of other challenges to the standard GUI in Sudden Veiw. I'll discuss them in future posts. The point I want to make here is, Sudden View wasn't designed this way just to be different. It was done in order to find a better, faster and more natural way to edit text.
Let me know what you think.

Sudden Disruption

Sudden View...
the radical option for editing text

Beta test now in progress...

1 comment:

  1. "There are lots of other challenges to the standard GUI in Sudden Veiw."
    Pardon my ignorance but what is a GUI?
    I have finally taken the leap from writing code in Notepad to actually using a text editor I found; the name has something to do with spiders?
    It works okay but I am about ready to return to notepad.

    Also, what is the difference in shareware and freeware?