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User interfaces

In 1996, Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen wrote an article titled The Anti-Mac Interface in the Communications of the ACM on what they considered a better direction for interface design. Fifteen years later, the WIMP interface seems ubiquitous and no change in sight. Nor why should it as the overhead of breaking the mold is high and it seems to do the job. Still, the Anti-Mac Interface is an interesting idea that's alive and well today, most notably in the seemingly indestructable command line interface.

By exploring alternative interfaces that transcend the principles behind conventional graphical interfaces, a human-computer interface emerges that is based on language, a richer representation of objects, expert users, and shared control.

For a slimmed down window manager that doesn't bother hogging your machine or screen real-estate with frills of limited uses, see for example wmii from Suckless.

No-nonsense software includes of course the mutt for all your email needs.