[Oberon] Re. Blackbox open source available

Douglas G. Danforth danforth at greenwoodfarm.com
Fri Dec 31 19:05:55 CET 2004

I'll respond once to your comments since I think each of us has their 
own preference and saying eat your broccoli just doesn't make it if you 
don't like broccoli.

So, I started with Oberon V4 in 1992 and loved the mouse clicks! 
However, I never was very good at them since keeping the cursor on the 
line and not have it jump to the line above while doing a delete could 
be very annoying.  I used V4, and S3 for about 5 years until I 
discovered BlackBox/Component Pascal.  And yes, I agree with you that 
the shift from a platform independent look and feel to a platform 
dependent one was (at first) a disappointment to me.  However, the 
number of mouse clicks were greatly reduced with BB/CP and surprisingly 
I didn't miss the interclicking.  That's one issue.

Overlapping windows, IMHO, are nicer than tiled ones.  I understand why 
Dr. Wirth used tiling for efficiency.

Pulldown menus greatly reduce the memory load on people and yes you can 
do this with V4 and I have many times created a development environment 
in unix just so I can executed the unix calls conveniently without 
having to type them.

There are too many reasons that are just personal preferences to list 

I think I can develop a working program faster in BlackBox/Component 
Pascal than I could (in the past) develop one in V4.


easlab at absamail.co.za wrote:
> Doug Danforth wrote:-
>>I like the Blackbox/Component Pascal interface.  
> IMO the 'interface' is THE most important aspect of a system.
> That it's not discussed is because the concepts are so fuzzy and
> dificult to quantify.     I've concluded that why I feel so comfortable
> [like taking the boxing-gloves off before starting to type] when I 
> return-home from having to use Micro$loth or Linux, is n-o's 
> 'interface'.
> Glancing through BlueBottle notes it seems that it aims to ape M$.
> I just can't understand it !!  
>>The source code has now 
>>been released.  I'd be interested in hearing comments about porting that 
>>code to the Native Oberon environment.  That is, call those functions of 
>>native that replace MS Windows calls and still retain the look and feel 
>>of Blackbox while running on Native and hence extend the platforms on 
>>which Blackbox will run.
> Can you try to describe this 'Blackbox/Component Pascal interface'
> please ?
> Here's my attempt at describing n-o's interface:-
> * cording allows the major actions: load-file, do-command, 
>    delete/copy/move-text ...etc. to be controlled subconciously
>   [by reflex].
> * there is no need to look back-and-forthe between screen & key-board,
>    [this aspect is recognised by fighter aircraft HCI, and they spent money
>   to get the best] except for "mark" <F1> , which Peter Easthope once
>   approriately ask to be included in the cording-vocabulary.
>   I.e. except for "mark" <F1>, the key-board is hardly necessary.
> * inputing visually and allowing the rest of the body to react 
>   instinctively as reflex output is efficient for humans.
> == Chris Glur.
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