The same is true of the graphical user interface that so captured Jobsâ€™s imagination. Xerox PARCâ€™s innovation had been to replace the traditional computer command line with onscreen icons. But when you clicked on an icon you got a pop-up menu: this was the intermediary between the userâ€™s intention and the computerâ€™s response. Jobsâ€™s software team took the graphical interface a giant step further. It emphasized â€œdirect manipulation.â€ If you wanted to make a window bigger, you just pulled on its corner and made it bigger; if you wanted to move a window across the screen, you just grabbed it and moved it. The Apple designers also invented the menu bar, the pull-down menu, and the trash canâ€”all features that radically simplified the original Xerox PARC idea.
An oldie, but a goodie. I can’t get enough. Every time I read about this particular time in Apple’s history I get the feeling there are more bits in the hiding. For instance, I’d like to know how clicking an icon went from a pop-up menu popping up to launching a program or being able to drag it. It is common sensical in hindsight, but at that moment I’m certain there were many heated debates and a few aha! moments. Anyone know?