A series of concrete examples of how I think around text, ranging from smaller interaction ideas such as iMessage Audio to Text, to a new infrastructure for published documents:
- Infrastructure for Robust metadata for published documents for rich interactions, as implemented as Visual-Meta
- Concept Map & Writing integration as implemented in Author
- Copy & Paste Citing as implemented in Reader
- Interactive text in any application as implemented in Liquid
- Advanced Navigation as implemented in Reader enabled by Visual-Meta, including arrows for sections
- Binding documents on the fly
- Reading in VR experiments and experiences
archives (dating back to the late 1990s)
There is a record of this work on the Internet Archive when the site was liquid.info and liquid.org. The articles are currently on liquidinformation.org and liquid.info is frozen, with a blog which was used for many years and then hacked (another reason I prefer document based systems, not server).
I have long advocated the Importance of Better Text Tools. The articles below go into specifics:
- Automatic Hypertext, which would become ‘Hyperwords and finally ‘Liquid’
- Better Overview & Transparency for icons to aid usability, in conjunction with text. Icons are definitively useful, even in a text environment, as highlighted in the critique on the Mac’s Aqua Interface: Death of An Icon
- Calendar using more spatial display
- Systems for determining how messages should be dealt with.
- Thoughts on Linking being ‘Direction‘
- No Open/Save dialog using just a change of cursor. Bruce Horn later told me they had to build the Open/Save dialog because of resource issues, so it might never have been invented. Further thoughts are also on the Open/Save dialog
- Liquid Mail. Server based email service from 1997 which featured a dynamic Inbox, newsgroup integration and Views instead of static folders. Email suggestions for standard systems were also designed
- System Wide Scratch Area which has been implemented as Cuttings in Author and which relates to Apple’s ‘Freeform’ app
- Find in Folders years before similarly implemented in macOS. Other suggestions which were later realised in macOS included a simple Safari Share option
A few hardware ideas, such as removable laptop screen and a desktop display which folds all the way down to be a tablet, or a laptop which folds around, have been implemented in various guises. A more ambitious notion of a M.A.P. was also designed.
For macOS specific issues and suggestions, I hosted appleblunders.com for a number of years.I was not fond of a lot of aspects of OS 8, that’s for sure.
For Doug Engelbart I made his ‘Purple Numbers‘ interactive on the web. That was quite a time…
At the end of the day, Ownership is what we need in order to improve how we think and work which matters when the computer system acts as a Mirror to our minds.