[R] GUI's for teaching

Johanus Dagius jdagius at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 26 22:27:56 CEST 2002

Dear All,

There is no advantage of GUI over CLI, IMO. The real
issue is the answer to the questions: "What should I
do next?" or "What am I allowed to do here?"

A "nice" interface, not necessarily GUI, will offer
friendly answers: "I was expecting you to do _this_"
or "In this situation you are allowed to do _these

You see, it's all a matter of _expectations_, which
you statisticians are very good at computing. An
application interface is a language, a dialog really,
which has its own grammar and productions. A good
interface should be able to recognize (in this
dialog-language) the kinds of things you are trying to
do and respond with hints or corrections when your
inputs are incomplete or incorrect.

A command-line interface is much more flexible in this
regard because everything is a string and can be
easily scripted as sequences. [Mouse movements and
clicks are hard to model this way.] 

What is needed are more visual clues and responses
from the CLI to guide all users, expert or not, to
application paradise.

Johanus Dagius


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