tool development flow


      I'm going to go through some of the issues that I think are interesting. Tool development culture. In the mid 80s, there was a guy who wrote an article on logics about technical culture that competed with the user.

      One of the foremost issues is

you're really designing for another culture.

      After a certain point, probably about 1978 or '79, maybe later in some fields, technicals were no longer writing software for technicals. They were writing them for other people. Artists or engineers or graphic designers. Or you know, scientists, chemists, whatever.

      A lot of things flow from that one. Enabling technologies have to be developed to make things work. There's an intellectual genealogy to every tool. Things that it's descended from.

      We are underdeveloped in terms of the glue people, the people who translate between the users and the technicals on the project. There's still a lack of coherence, and also, just a lack of programs in terms of training graphic user interface developers, designers and researchers.

      Let's look at the research pipeline.

        Where does money come from for developing new tools and new technologies?

      One of these is big corporate research that goes for what's called computer supported cooperative work.

How people work,
how they operate in organizations.
All this is really important,

and kind of transparent.
        It doesn't get the high profile kind of attention that entertainment applications do. But it's a big issue.

      The companies such as Olivetti, AT&T, Xerox, have major research programs to figure out like why are people wasting all their time walking around the halls looking for each other. And what can we do about that?

      Simple little things like that that waste money. And it's a lot of money when you're a huge corporation. Maybe even a global corporation.


      About 60% of our brain is dedicated to visual processing. We take in visual information, store it faster, and more compactly, and we retrieve it faster than any other kind of information.

So this is not just a matter of
pretty pictures to entertain us.

        This is a matter of making people operate more efficiently.

And given that we have too much information at this point, we need more efficient ways to do deal with it, to leverage our brain's capacity to process graphics.

So that's the how we work stuff.

Government and industry funding --
specific applications.

This is where somebody is interested in translating some real world operation or a set of tasks into a computer operation.

And big consumer markets.

The prospect of selling things to huge consumer markets is another one. And these all contribute to research funding. < And that funds research.