Well, I have to agree with you there. I've been in this situation many times
- the situation where heads-down data entry is involved. And yes, a slick
GUI does not meet EVERY need in computing, much the same way green-screen
apps didn't either.

However, I can't say I'll ever go back to DOS. I'm finding that a lot of
data entry is being done in GUI (with simple entry fields) and the aid of
barcode scanners. Another big hit seems to be touch screen GUI apps (assuming
the system doesn't require major amounts of typing). Most restaraunts seem
to be using this format now.


"Tim Romano" <tim_romano@yahoo.com> wrote:
>The app you describe sounds very slick. But the hypothetical questions you
>raise might get answers others than those you'd expect. I used to develop
>multi-user applications in a database-oriented operating system called PICK.
>It existed in many flavors created by licensees, much like unix, but all

>them supported basic "vanilla" PICK standards while extending the
>functionality. I could develop the app on a laptop and run it, unchanged,
>on an IBM mainframe, or on a 386 used as a host (a 386 supported 16
>concurrent users with 8MB RAM!), or on various minicomputers. Sometimes

>did not even need to recompile, and could ship object code. These systems
>were great for "heads-down" data-entry because one could control cursor
>location and the flow. GUIs, by nature, are not for "heads down" data
>entry; the assumption is that the user will be looking at the screen, and
>that the user will be multi-tasking. Moreover, GUI applications tend to
>assume that the data already exists; the GUI application is a window onto
>the data, for viewing and manipulating the data. That's why many order
>entry systems, even those used by software mailorder companies specializing
>in ActiveX components, are DOS-based character mode applications! ;-)
>In many respects, I am happy not to be developing green-screen apps, but

>do miss the data-entry productivity, the simplicity of deployment, the
>stability, and the cross-platform compatibility.
>Tim Romano