My two cents....

Windows interfaces definitely have their place and in front of a "normal"
green screen isn't it.  However, they do "look pretty and new" when compared
to the clunky look of a 5250.

Their place is when click and drag is enabled and usable.  This takes some
imagination and changing the way we think of AS/400 screens.....

We are implementing a new payroll system with the pretty GUI for the casual
users.  I expect the heads down, get the work done people to turn it off.


Ed Tate (etate01@sun.hazelwood.k12.mo.us)
Coordinator of Technology
Hazelwood School District
15955 New Halls Ferry
Florissant, MO  63031
314-953-5090



> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-midrange-l@midrange.com
> [mailto:owner-midrange-l@midrange.com]On Behalf Of James W Kilgore
> Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 1999 5:02 AM
> To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> Subject: Re: GUI
>
>
> Paul,
>
> For the "heads down" folks, we just took the mouse.  There is always
> some casual user that needs a new one because theirs got gummed up with
> too much dust. :-)
>
> Tab, arrow, arrow, arrow, enter, sign on, stay on, sign off, go home.
>
> No mouse required, non offered.
>
> Personally I've seen an office staff double to handle the workload under
> a gimp interface.  Sure did look good.  Made it easy for the new
> people.  Pain in the A** for anyone there more than 30 days that wanted
> to get their job done.  Had to remind the newbies that they could
> actually -PRESS- F3 instead of pointing to it and clicking.
>
> Since they put the mouse w-a-a-a-y out of reach and had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h
> to get it, shake it once or twice to find out where the pointer was at,
> roll, pick up and roll again, (like a wind up toy) and carefully slow
> down the closer you get and then click! voila ... 5 seconds to make a
> single key stroke!
>
> Now -THAT'S- progress!
>
> Isn't data entry measured by keystrokes/hour anymore?  Must have
> converted to CPW.  Of course the "unconstrained" rating has to be green.
> :-)
>
> OK, so now that I've had my fun I'll talk up the good points.
>
> Let's take an application suite and an explorer interface.  The left
> window would list applications (authorized by user) with boxed + signs
> to indicate "more". Click the + box on, let's say Payroll, and a list of
> subjects may appear (employees, deductions, accruals, tax tables, etc.),
> click the subject you desire (like "Employee") and General Information,
> Pay-to, Assigned deductions, Earnings history, Pay history, etc. may
> appear on the right window.
>
> At this point, like Operations Navigator, you have replaced the menu
> function.  Beyond that, a "green screen" function may suffice your
> application requirements.  Finding it is the half the battle of using
> it.
>
> IMHO, a gimp interface is perfect for "after the fact" data extraction
> and infrequent access, but is not the appropriate tool for data entry
> beyond program loading.  Neither GUI nor green is "wrong", no more than
> using a sledge hammer is "wrong".  Unless, of course, you are trying to
> use it to hang a picture.  Inappropriate is the word that comes to mind.
>
> We can "have it all".  The best of both worlds.  In their proper place.
> Now "proper" is the point of lively debate! :-)  Does a drop down box
> replace F4 or is it just different? Modern? (whatever that means)
>
> Heck, I'm on a roll now so I might as well pick on Dean. ;-)
>
> Now, Dean, if I recall, you have been very pleased with the 5250
> enhanced subfile scroll bar.  This is a nice GUI concession, but let me
> ask you, just out of curiosity, have you studied how many people park on
> the arrow down, hypnotized by the scrolling subfile, vs the "page down"
> bangers, or "position to" users?  What is the average time (cost), by
> method, to obtain the desired entry?
>
> Actually, I'm not really picking on you Dean, it's just that you have
> posted a couple of kudos' for the enhanced 5250 display so I'm just
> using it as a point of discussion for GUI importance. IMHO, give a user
> a slower method, they will use it.  Sort of like a job expands to the
> time allotted, junk accumulates to the size of your garage, etc.
>
> As an old student of time/motion studies for increased efficiency and
> also a student of marketing, the struggle with GUI vs green will
> probably be a never ending balancing act.  Being German born, I have to
> admit that efficiency votes 51%.
>
> James W. Kilgore
> email@James-W-Kilgore.com
>
> P.S. In dealing with the pure capitalists, we count 20 users doing 200
> lookups, each, per day, at 2 seconds each occurrence, for 250 days per
> year, at a national average labor cost per hour equals $8,000 per year,
> total, compared to the training costs for a pure green environment and
> cost of GUI development.  Of course if you have 200 users, doing 400
> lookups each the math totally changes.
> Somewhere between number of users, number of lookups per day, labor
> rate, response time by method, turnover, training cost, etc. GUI
> justifies itself. Maybe.
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