[Oberon] Reflex usage traps.

Chris Glur easlab at absamail.co.za
Sat Aug 21 14:49:43 MEST 2010

Re: System.CopyFiles - between partitions

On Mon, 16 Aug 2010, Aubrey.McIntosh at Alumni.UTexas.Net wrote:
> > Some former employees used the Oberon environment at my
> > instigation.  They were resistant at first, but after a few
> > months, I asked if they ever tried to inter-click to make
> > things happen when they were working in other environments (yes)
> > and if they ever tried to use the other environment's methods
> > to do things in Oberon (no).  I'm not sure that suggest it is
> > more intuitive, but it was clearly the subconscious's method
> > of choice.

Duke wrote:
> As far as I'm concerned, inter-clicking _is not_ intuitively learned. 
Lacking formal training in psychology, I must rely on self observation.
"intuitively learned" seems not to be a 'good term' ?

> Looking at the command on the screen, does not give you any hints 
> about using MR/MM, ML/MM, MR/ML, whatever! 
> You have to be taught that. If you observe a 3-D button on the screen 
> however - and you know about a mouse, and how it works - a dumb 
> monkey would probably soon figure out to click on the button. 
> That's what I meant by intuitive.
Yes, me too. But I'm talking about 'becoming a reflex action'.
eg. few people KNOW how to ride a bicycle but billions can.

> Now, whether some actions can _soon_ become 2nd-nature to people, I
> guess that depends on the person. I have a very large hand, with
> fingers like sausages. So inter-clicking tends to be - so far - a bit
> of a challenge. However, I'm at the same time very dexterous - I tie
> my own fly-fishing flies. So, there's still hope for me, on getting
> comfy with NO inter-clicking. ;)

A very interesting [to me] language poplog was useless, because
when I came back to it after 2 months absence, I had no automatic
reflexes to build on, and had to start at the beginning again, until I 
accepted that I'd have to make my own menu.
ETHO recognises this 'fact' and deals with it well by the Tool concept.

So 'intuitive' is about easy 'getting started'; ie. for baby-steps.
But 'reflex building' is for heavy-duty/speed usage.
After one has invested in klux-exercising, the fluency pays dividends
for always - in future.
OTOH I was reminded of assumed familiarity which gave bad results:
A TextFrame can be saved to a different file by merely changing its
<name-plate>. But if you try this with a DocumentFrame, problems
can arise, especially if you've got the SystemLog covered, while
working on a stressfull problem.
FontEditor.Panel is a truly remarkable utility [except that the 
256-char lay-out should be arranged as 16 x 16 instead of
20 x 12  + 16 ) ASCII is based on hex - not decimal!].
Years ago, I though ETHO could be introduced to India, by
first getting school-kids of some of their many different 
'scripts' [I first did some work on Cyrillic, and am now
wondering/fascinated at A2's Chinese ?!] to build the 
appropriate *.Scn.Fnt
I didn't succeed, partly because when I wanted to save the
'renamed' DocumentFrames, and the SystemLog was covered
by all the frames needed, I wrongly saved to the original
fileName.  John Drake said he had no such problems, and I 
never knew if that's because he's using the Win-version, or
if he has a reflex to <push Return of F9> to have the newly
entered string accepted. As you will have learned: when we
enter a string to a TextFrame, it's "there" if you can see it.
Our fingers know that they don't need to push <enter>.


== Chris Glur.

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