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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary (also found in English - English (Wordnet), )
Graphical User Interface
Jump to user comments
operating system (GUI) The use of pictures rather than just
words to represent the input and output of a program. A
program with a GUI runs under some windowing system
Acorn RISC OS, NEXTSTEP). The program displays certain
the screen and the user controls it mainly by moving a
pointer on the screen (typically controlled by a mouse)
and selecting certain objects by pressing buttons on the mouse
while the pointer is pointing at them. This contrasts with a
command line interface where communication is by exchange of
strings of text.
Windowing systems started with the first real-time graphic
display systems for computers, namely the SAGE Project
SRI in the 1960s developed the On-Line System, which
incorporated a mouse-driven cursor and multiple windows.
Several people from Engelbart's project went to Xerox PARC in
the early 1970s, most importantly his senior engineer, BillEnglish. The Xerox PARC team established the WIMP concept,
which appeared commercially in the Xerox 8010 (Star) system
in 1981.
Beginning in 1980(?), led by Jef Raskin, the Macintosh
team at Apple Computer (which included former members of the
Xerox PARC group) continued to develop such ideas in the first
commercially successful product to use a GUI, the Apple
Macintosh, released in January 1984. In 2001 Apple introduced
Microsoft modeled the first version of Windows, released
in 1985, on Mac OS. Windows was a GUI for MS-DOS that had
been shipped with IBM PC and compatible computers since
1981. Apple sued Microsoft over infringement of the
look-and-feel of the MacOS. The court case ran for many