Getting to the core of the Apple Mac mess (28 Oct 2004)
Even the people who invented the GUI had reservations about it. Alan Kay, for example, once told me they would have liked to use software agents. However, they didn't know how to do an agent interface, but they did know how to do a GUI.
GUIs certainly have some disadvantages. One is that they are inherently slow, and they are not much faster even when you get to know them well. Experienced users soon start to use keyboard shortcuts that can not only be entered quickly but can be done in "motor memory". You no longer have to look at or think about commands, because they become automatic.
The mouse is even more of a hazard: it can lead to physical harm from RSI (repetitive strain injury).
When Raskin named the Macintosh project after his favourite Apple, it wasn't going to have a mouse or cursor keys: it would have "leap" keys instead. Sadly for him, when Steve Jobs was kicked off the Lisa development at Apple, he took over the Mac, and Jobs had other ideas. Raskin left the team in the summer of 1981, long before the Mac's launch in January 1984.
Article URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,1336991,00.html
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