WYSIWYG is the abbreviation for What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get. It is a concept developed at Xerox PARC; it means that the display on screen corresponds to the printed sheet of paper – a quite radical idea in the early days of desktop computing.  According to Wikipedia the expression was “coined by John Seybold and popularized at Xerox PARC during the late 1970s.” – According to Alan Kay it was Charles Simony, who introduced the term.

Therefore it is quite stunning to hear the words in a totally different context. Tim Rice used the very same phrase for a chorus in Jesus Christ Superstar (music Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1970) in the piece The Temple.

what you see is what you get

Score of Jesus Christ Superstar, The Temple

Quite possible that John Seybold knew the song.

[Update 26-Apr-2017] I do not what to push this over the edge, but the following lines are kind of intriguing as well, once you switch the context back to computing:

No-one’s been disappointed yet – success rate, ease of use
Don’t be scared give me a try –  familiarity, robustness, undo, user experience
There is no-thing you can’t buy – Business goals; revenue comes from happy customers

[Update 29-Dec-2018] Alan Kay: What exactly is WYSIWYG?

protonet design hacks

If your only tool is a CSS hammer, the entire world wide web looks like a nail.

This time I’ve implemented a couple of CSS design improvements for protonet’s user interface. The average user experience of the sample user group went up from sort-of-ok to relieved and delighted.

The motivation of all the changes is pure usability design: better layout, contrast, color scheme, legibility, control element recognition, focus on notifications, less noise, less scrolling, semantic colours for the calendar, and much more. The page protonet design hacks summarises and explains the changes. I’ve also played a bit with JuxtaposeJS to provide before&after comparison.

before and after comparison at protonet design hacks

There is more in the pipeline regarding protonet – other enhancements of my design lab apply to the twitter stream and google’s search experience. Let me know if you are interested in the comments below.

hee saith shipp

Yeah – ship – what else should a seaman say? This is a wordle cloud based on the complete 70th volume of the High Court Admirality between the years 1654 and 1656. 1511 pages have been scanned, transcribed by Colin Greenstreet at al., published on a wiki, [here starts my involvement] downloaded as RDF, republished on one page with XSLT, pasted into wordle, and adjusted the parameters to generate the image above.

>> more info here


Reeperbahn Festival Conference Highlights

The Reeperbahn Festival Conference 2016 offers (at least) 3 intriguing sessions. They cover the design space between the virtual and the real world. So, if you attend the festival, don’t miss_

Fascination – The State of VR
Prof. Dr. Frank Steinicke, Uni Hamburg ~ /a well-knows speaker at RSE15

Space Oddity – VR & Arts
w/ Toby Coffey of the National Theatre in London

Smart Cities: How Tech Connects Citizens To Solutions

BTW Some photos from RBFC/NEXT15