A Biblical Perspective

Certain parallels can be drawn between the end of the second millennium and 5,000 years ago. 5,000 years ago, established wisdom and practices clearly indicated that polytheism was the only way that man could relate to the Gods. It took Abraham, and many thousands of years, for monotheism to gain a following. In the last 20 years poly ui sm has proliferated, firstly in business and more recently in the home and leisure arenas. Computer magazines have articles entitled "UI Addiction" and "The GUI wars". People get involved in arguments: Java versus C++, IBM PC versus the Apple Mac, Word Perfect versus Microsoft Word, Excel versus Lotus 123 etc. etc. Do the champions of any particular system realise that they are preaching with religious fervor the merits of one User Interface over another? Is not their "bible" the user manual?

Objects / Events      5,000 years ago           End of second millennium              
Bible                 Old Testament             User Manual             
Incantations          Prayers                   a:                      
Gestures              Bowing & praying          Typing & mouse clicks   
If God is displeased  Plagues                   Bad command or filename 
If God is angry       Fire and brimstone        General Protection fault
Ideological conflict  Monotheism Vs Polytheism  Monouism Vs Polyuism    
God is on our side    War                       Litigation

Because business and economic needs played such an important role in the development of the international telephone system, mono ui sm has already been established with telephones; if it had not been, when you travel to another country you would have to learn a completely new set of commands to use a telephone control panel which bears no resemblance in layout, number of keys, or legends to the keypad you use at home. If you wanted to dial the USA you would need a specially installed USA telephone with a special direct connection to the USA. Yet today, nearly all computer systems and software are designed exactly like that!

Can anyone even begin to estimate the cost of not having compatible user interfaces in computers, cars, homes, offices, shops etc.?

Comments welcome! 

Page last updated 17 December 97 .

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