The Power of Reusable GUI Elements


One can manipulate any graphical element of the Squeak environment by bringing up its halo: a rectangular set of icons representing actions that one can perform on any object. At first I found it cumbersome to have to go through the halo in order to perform any action, like recoloring an object or changing its name. Later I saw that this method is incredibly powerful.

For example, in the EToys environment, I used the clone action of a halo to duplicate code snippets I needed in multiple places. And here is a use, I did not at first believe that would actually work. I had too many items on my desktop, and the menu I used for selecting them became longer than the height of my screen, with the items at its end disappearing beyond the screen's bottom. In desperation I brought up its halo, and selected the "rotate" action. Incredibly, this allowed me to rotate the menu, and pick the hidden items. When object-oriented systems are good, they are very very good.
rotated menu in EToys

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Last modified: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 3:53 pm

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.