====== various graphical user interface features======
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A program interface that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use. Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages. On the other hand, many users find that they work more effectively with a command-driven interface, especially if they already know the command language. The first graphical user interface was designed by Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s, but it was not until the 1980s and the emergence of the Apple Macintosh that graphical user interfaces became popular. One reason for their slow acceptance was the fact that they require considerable CPU power and a high-quality monitor, which until recently were prohibitively expensive. In addition to their visual components, graphical user interfaces also make it easier to move data from one application to another. A true GUI includes standard formats for representing text and graphics. Because the formats are well-defined, different programs that run under a common GUI can share data. This makes it possible, for example, to copy a graph created by a spreadsheet program into a document created by a word processor. Many DOS programs include some features of GUIs, such as menus, but are not graphics based. Such interfaces are sometimes called graphical character-based user interfaces to distinguish them from true GUIs.
Precursors to GUIs
The precursor to GUIs was invented by researchers at the Stanford Research Institute (led by Doug Engelbart). They developed use of text-based hyperlinks manipulated with a mouse for the On-Line System. The concept of hyperlinks was further refined and extended to graphics by researchers at Xerox PARC, who went beyond text-based hyperlinks and used GUIs as the primary interface for the Xerox Alto computer. Most modern general-purpose GUIs are derived from this system. For this reason some people call this class of interface a PARC User Interface (PUI) (note that PUI is also an acronym for perceptual user interface)..
Evolution of graphic user interfaces
The GUI familiar to most of us today is either the Macintosh or the Windows operating systems. Their applications originated at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Laboratory in the late 1970s and were designed for Apple who used it in their first Macintosh computers. Later, Microsoft took aboard many of Apple's ideas in their first version of the Windows operating system for IBM-compatible PCs.
Examples of systems that support GUIs are Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Windows, NEXTSTEP and the X Window System.
An example of KDE, one of the X Window System's many graphical user interfaces available for Unix-like systems
An example of the graphical user interface in Apple's Mac OS X
An example of GNOME, showing the Evince document viewer and the gedit text editor
An example of the graphical user interface in Windows XP
Types of GUIs
GUIs are important parts of many operating systems, where the user uses a mouse and pointer to move an on-screen object, click on icons and other objects.
GUI design is also an important part of application programming. The visible graphical interface features of an application are often referred to as chrome. They include buttons, menu items,...
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