is a HumanComputerInteraction
realized as a virtual 'desktop' upon which are scattered 'files' that one works upon one at a time - often working on the 'topmost' file, which overlaps other files on the desktop. When files aren't in use - 'open' and 'on the desk' - they are inactive entities. Files can be organized into 'folders' and tucked away into strange hierarchies never to be seen again, at least not without a good memory or the computer-equivalent of the card catalog - a good index.
is so pervasive today that most people outside OR inside the computing industry have no clue that there are real alternatives to it. But see DontModeMeIn
. But the mold is slowly being chipped away... with ServiceOrientedArchitecture
, AJAX applications, PublishAndSubscribe
architectures, RSS, and innovative projects like SeaDragon?
that combine individual 'files' into something much greater, GnuTella
and Ocean other forms of 'flat' distributed data storage with indexing & search, and mobile computing in the form of advanced cell-phones with services that users value (like the ability to listen to music and talk to one's friends and conduct business and get directions to the nearest four-star Indian food joint...)
Someday, I hope I'll have the pleasure to say this of the DesktopMetaphor
: 'Good riddance'. The DesktopMetaphor
tends to tie one to a keyboard and terminal, and tends to isolate people to their own little cubby-holes where they can't talk to anyone without double-clicking on some equivalent of the desktop's 'phone' (IRC or e-mail). What I want is PervasiveComputing
and communication where interaction and interdependence is the default, and isolation comes from building walls.