Showing posts with label GCGUINS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GCGUINS. Show all posts

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grant's Concise GUI Notation System (GCGUINS)

Have you ever noticed that many computer books are over two inches
thick but, by the time you finish reading them, you could swear there was only
about 3/4 of an inch of information in there? This is because all computer
books tend to be excessively verbose when describing how to achieve some task.
I have seen books take over two pages just to explain how to set a couple of
settings in a simple dialog box. Many authors go crazy cutting and pasting
hundreds of copies of various almost identical sets of instructions throughout
their books. After a while of trying to plow through all this verbosity,
hoping to glean a few morsels of actual new information, I often give up in
frustration.

As a former network manager and frequent Usenet poster, I found myself
doing the same thing. Repeating the same instructions over and over again for
fear that the user would not be familiar with the same instructions I had given
elsewhere. Even when I was taking notes for myself, I was forced to write out
all these instructions and it was hard for me to go back and quickly see what I
had meant by what I had written.

So, being the lazy bum that I am, I started using an abbreviated
notation for all these instructions. The organizational freak in me soon took
over and found a way to standardize those abbreviations into a cohesive system
and GCGUINS - it rhymes with penguins - was born. Why something like this has
not caught on already is totally beyond me.