Archy

7 Apr 2005 - 6:03am
9 years ago
6 replies
389 reads
J.P.
2005

Hey--
This is my first post to this list since I subscribed.

I'm not sure if everyone/anyone here has played with it yet, but Archy
(www.raskincenter.org) is working pretty well. The developers say
there's going to be a public alpha release "really soon" (like they're
not just joking). If you go to the site, buried in the Windows
install instructions are the CVS settings:

Server: cvs.sourceforge.net
CVS Root: /cvsroot/humane
Project: reducks
User Name: anonymous
No Password

Try it out. It's really cool.

-- J.P.

Comments

7 Apr 2005 - 12:37pm
Diego Moya
2005

I tried it a few months ago, and wrote a brief description of the
system in Wikipedia (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archy).

While it delivers some of the promised goods of Jef Raskin's "Humane
Interface", it still doesn't feel good enough. My biggest concern is
its lack of relative movement, more specifically, relative to the
current viewport. You can't leap to the "next page". This forces you
to actually need to know what is in the next (hidden) page before
seeing it, if you want to jump there.

That, and the fact that it the current form it doesn't provide any
discoverability of available functions. It doesn't have application
menus nor context menus (how are you supposed to discover what
commands can be applied to the selected object or document?).

Other than that, the habit-forming is something that I like. A really
new experience in our field full with rehashes of old concepts.

On Apr 7, 2005 1:03 PM, J.P. <jtuttle en gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Hey--
> This is my first post to this list since I subscribed.
>
> I'm not sure if everyone/anyone here has played with it yet, but Archy
> (www.raskincenter.org) is working pretty well. The developers say
> there's going to be a public alpha release "really soon" (like they're
> not just joking). If you go to the site, buried in the Windows
> install instructions are the CVS settings:
>
> Server: cvs.sourceforge.net
> CVS Root: /cvsroot/humane
> Project: reducks
> User Name: anonymous
> No Password
>
> Try it out. It's really cool.
>
> -- J.P.
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss en ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists en ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

11 Apr 2005 - 1:56pm
Brad Lauster
2003

Hi Diego,
Thanks for that wikipedia link. I hadn't seen it before.

Actually, you can leap to the next page, provided you've inserted page
characters into your Archy text. To insert a page character, type a
tilde (~) into your document. The page separator can be leaped to, just
like everything else in Archy.

Regarding the discoverability of available commands: Archy will
generate a list of all the available commands if you hold down the
command key (caps lock) and type commands. There is also a document
with the title,
H E L P -- C O M M A N D S, which describes each of the commands. You
can leap to that document and then use up and down arrow keys to see
all of the command descriptions.

The Alpha release of Archy will contain tutorials to guide you getting
started with all of this.

We definitely still have a lot of work to do before Archy delivers on
everything described in Jef's book, The Humane Interface, but we're
getting there.

I hope you'll give the Alpha product a try when we release it, which
like J.P. said, will be "really soon."

Cheers,
---
Brad Lauster
Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces
http://www.raskincenter.org/

On Apr 7, 2005, at 10:37 AM, Diego Moya wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> I tried it a few months ago, and wrote a brief description of the
> system in Wikipedia (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archy).
>
> While it delivers some of the promised goods of Jef Raskin's "Humane
> Interface", it still doesn't feel good enough. My biggest concern is
> its lack of relative movement, more specifically, relative to the
> current viewport. You can't leap to the "next page". This forces you
> to actually need to know what is in the next (hidden) page before
> seeing it, if you want to jump there.
>
> That, and the fact that it the current form it doesn't provide any
> discoverability of available functions. It doesn't have application
> menus nor context menus (how are you supposed to discover what
> commands can be applied to the selected object or document?).
>
> Other than that, the habit-forming is something that I like. A really
> new experience in our field full with rehashes of old concepts.
>

** SNIP **

12 Apr 2005 - 5:46am
Diego Moya
2005

Hi Brad.

On Apr 11, 2005 8:56 PM, Brad Lauster <lists en bradlauster.com> wrote:
> Actually, you can leap to the next page, provided you've inserted page
> characters into your Archy text. To insert a page character, type a
> tilde (~) into your document. The page separator can be leaped to, just
> like everything else in Archy.
>
I knew that, but it still requires you to put those characters in
advance. What I miss is the functionality of the next/prev page keys,
which where broken in the prototype that I tried. There is no way to
leap to the "next line wich is currently not visible", and thus it's
difficult to read a long document. There's no simple way to continue
with the following text after you finish reading what is visible. You
have to leap to a hidden place. Also you can't do a quick leap to "two
screens ago", you only can quickly navigate a document if it contains
the special page characters.

> Regarding the discoverability of available commands: Archy will
> generate a list of all the available commands if you hold down the
> command key (caps lock) and type commands. There is also a document
> with the title,
Does it show the most used commands in the moment you press the command key?

> H E L P -- C O M M A N D S, which describes each of the commands. You
> can leap to that document and then use up and down arrow keys to see
> all of the command descriptions.
But by having it in a separate document, you must lose the focus point
in which you where working when you want to read this help. Is there
something similar to the "back button" of web browsers which gets you
back to the previous working position?

13 Apr 2005 - 7:42am
Jerry John
2004

hey; somebody please tell me what should i do to Download this - sound's
interesting but can't see it. So instructions please...
- jerry

On Apr 7, 2005 1:03 PM, J.P. <jtuttle at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> Hey--
> This is my first post to this list since I subscribed.
>
> I'm not sure if everyone/anyone here has played with it yet, but Archy
> (www.raskincenter.org) is working pretty well. The developers say
> there's going to be a public alpha release "really soon" (like they're
> not just joking). If you go to the site, buried in the Windows
> install instructions are the CVS settings:
>
> Server: cvs.sourceforge.net
> CVS Root: /cvsroot/humane
> Project: reducks
> User Name: anonymous
> No Password
>
> Try it out. It's really cool.
>
> -- J.P.
_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
(Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

13 Apr 2005 - 9:45am
Diego Moya
2005

Jerry, the main page of Raskin Center has detailed instructions on how
to download and install it. See URL below:

http://www.raskincenter.org/#install

I managed to get it working under windows, but not under Linux
(problems with the Python $PATH environment variable).

On 4/13/05, Jerry John <jerry en netcontinuum.com> wrote:
> hey; somebody please tell me what should i do to Download this - sound's
> interesting but can't see it. So instructions please...
> - jerry
>
> On Apr 7, 2005 1:03 PM, J.P. <jtuttle en gmail.com> wrote:
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
> >
> > Hey--
> > This is my first post to this list since I subscribed.
> >
> > I'm not sure if everyone/anyone here has played with it yet, but Archy
> > (www.raskincenter.org) is working pretty well. The developers say
> > there's going to be a public alpha release "really soon" (like they're
> > not just joking). If you go to the site, buried in the Windows
> > install instructions are the CVS settings:
> >
> > Server: cvs.sourceforge.net
> > CVS Root: /cvsroot/humane
> > Project: reducks
> > User Name: anonymous
> > No Password
> >
> > Try it out. It's really cool.
> >
> > -- J.P.
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss en ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists en ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>
>

19 Apr 2005 - 10:50am
Diego Moya
2005

In the section showing Commands at www.raskincenter.org, there's a
mention to a "Leap Back" key that, as I understand it, would have
exactly the behaviour that I've described:

On 4/13/05, Diego Moya <turingt en gmail.com> wrote:
> A possible scenario: I'm writing an e-mail to the Interaction Design
> list, and while doing it I think of a new project that I would like to
> do next week. I want to leap to my Calendar document, write down the
> details of the project for next week, and then leap back to the
> precise point where I was editing the e-mail.
>
> Using the UNDO to go back to the mail would destroy the changes to
> Calendar. What I'd need is some kind of "Leap Undo" that goes back in
> reverse through my movements, but maintains my edits.

Here follows the text in your document. Sadly, the "Leap Back" key
isn't mentioned anywhere else, so I'm not sure what it does.

*LEAPBAR
A LeapBar (tm)(patent in process) has a computer interface (e.g. USB)
and adds a row of keys below the space bar, including Leap and this
system's Command keys. The minimum functions needed are: Leap>, Leap<,
Leap Again> (reuse the most recent Leap pattern, Leaping from the
present cursor location), Leap Again<, Leap Back (to the last place
Leaped to, and so on back through Leap history until some change in
the text makes it impossible to do so)

On 4/13/05, Diego Moya <turingt en gmail.com> wrote:
> On 4/12/05, Brad Lauster <bradlauster en raskincenter.org> wrote:
> > Hi Diego,
> > Hope you don't mind that I'm replying off-list. My reply seemed to be
> > more about Archy than about Interaction Design...
> >
> > See below for my comments.
> >
> > By the way, I'm excited that some people (you) on the Interaction
> > Design list are interested in this.
> I have read "The Humane Interface", and fallen in love with the idea
> of a modeless interface and the whole system reachable at the
> fingertips. I see signs of this concept showing up in current
> interfaces, and a trend toward system-wide commands (mostly in Mac OS,
> where applications like Launchbar and Quicksilver provide quick access
> to all user information). Archy would be the final end of that trend;
> I think that it could be reached by incremental changes to the current
> WIMP paradigm.
>
> >
> > On Apr 12, 2005, at 3:46 AM, Diego Moya wrote:
> > This has probably changed since the version of Archy that you have, but
> > you can now Creep through the text using the up and down arrow keys.
> > This doesn't change the cursor position, but it is nice for reading the
> > text in Archy.
> >
> What I'm missing is similar functionality to allow creeping through
> the text screen by screen, (the familiar working of Page Up and Page
> Down keys) instead of line by line.
>
> I don't know whether this would detract from the habit-forming nature
> of cursor placement in Archy, but I feel that it's necessary for
> document navigation. I find that the current leaping interface is good
> for editing, but bad for scanning through a long document. The
> tutorial in the Archy prototype is a symptom of that: It constantly
> says "LEAP to ***... to continue reading". This shouldn't be necessary
> if there were a good interface for movement - after the first
> explanation, it should be obvious how to continue reading.
>
>
> > If you want to Leap to the next line that isn't visible, you can always
> > just Leap to the next return character. That is, hold the Leap forward
> > key and tap return.
> This movement is too slow for scanning the document if there are many
> paragraphs on the screen, or too fast if one single paragraph is
> several screens long.
>
>
> > > Also you can't do a quick leap to "two screens ago", you only can
> > > quickly navigate a document if it contains the special page
> > > characters.
> >
> > I think I need a scenario to understand why you'd want to do that. Are
> > you saying you'd like Archy to "show me what was on the screen before
> > the last two things I did"?
> > That can be accomplished by using the UNDO command twice.
>
> Only if you haven't edited the text in the current screen.
>
> A possible scenario: I'm writing an e-mail to the Interaction Design
> list, and while doing it I think of a new project that I would like to
> do next week. I want to leap to my Calendar document, write down the
> details of the project for next week, and then leap back to the
> precise point where I was editing the e-mail.
>
> Using the UNDO to go back to the mail would destroy the changes to
> Calendar. What I'd need is some kind of "Leap Undo" that goes back in
> reverse through my movements, but maintains my edits.
>
> Forcing the user to use a regular Leap to go back to the e-mail is bad
> design, because it forces the user to remember details of the text on
> which she was working, thus overloading short term memory.
>
> >
> > > But by having it in a separate document, you must lose the focus point
> > > in which you where working when you want to read this help. Is there
> > > something similar to the "back button" of web browsers which gets you
> > > back to the previous working position?
> > Yes, you must change your focus to read the Help document about
> > commands, but that's why we have the Commands command. It puts all the
> > available commands into your Archy text, right at the point of cursor.
> > Additionally, it keeps those commands highlighted so with a quick tap
> > of the delete key, they all disappear.
>
> Are you sure that throwing unrelated information into the working
> document is a good idea? I would always be afraid that some undeleted
> help info would remain unnoticed in my finished document.
>
> I would like to have a clear separation between the "dirty" command
> buffer and the clean "document draft" which will become the final
> document. Of course, I could do this by creating two different
> documents and having a way to quickly move from one to the other,
> without losing my previous focus point when I change context.
>
>
> > About the back button: If I understand what you're wanting to do
> > correctly, issuing the UNDO command will get you back to where you were
> > before.
> >
> > Another thing you can do is Leap somewhere to peek at some information
> > and Leap back to where you were before. This is done by Leaping to
> > something and while continuing to hold the Leap key, just mash a bunch
> > of keys so that Leap can't match the pattern you've typed. This will
> > cause the Leap the fail and will bring you back to where you were
> > before.
> This requires you to maintain the Leap quasimode while you're reading
> the info. Useful for a quick peek, but not for reading a whole help
> page. You could also use Undo, but only if you don't want to change
> anything in the destination point. So have seen three scenarios to
> "peek information" and go back to the original context:
>
> - leap to some info, then make an invalid search pattern.
> - leap to some info (and release leap), read the document, then use Undo.
> - leap to some info, edit it, then use "Leap Undo" ("back browser button").
>
>
> > > Does it show the most used commands in the moment you press the
> > > command key?
> > Nope. I'm not sure how that would be useful. If certain commands are
> > the most used, then you already know them because you've been using
> > them, right?
> I want to avoid the "blinking cursor" - "what the f*ck is this for?"
> syndrome which is common to all command line interfaces:
>
> $>_
>
> The user only has a "prompt symbol" as a clue that something can be
> done. A help command does somewhat alleviate this, but it still has a
> workflow of "user pursues information" instead of "sensible default
> possibilities are shown in advance".
>
> You're right in that most used commands is not the best possible
> information at that point. Maybe another possibility is this: use as a
> context menu the panel that shows up when you press the command key,
> presenting all commands that can be applied to the selected object. Is
> this how it works in the specification?
>
>
> >
> > Hope this has helped! Thanks again for your interest and keep in touch.
> >
>

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