7. User Interfaces

Earlier I covered abstraction application programming interfaces (APIs) such as Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX, Item 16) and the Netscape Portable Runtime Library (NSPR, Item 17). The use of APIs like these go a long way to making applications portable. What these APIs do not address is the important area of the user interface (UI). Nor are there any standards for user interface, or the toolkits used to create them, making the UI a thorny issue when it comes to portability. It is easy to explain why there is no standard user interface; the user interface has always been a major mechanism by which platforms differentiate themselves from one other. Since the early 1980s, operating system vendors (Apple and Microsoft, ...

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