Higher level system interfaces
A synopsis of computer system structure is presented. It is suggested that the current user interfaces should not be regarded as ends in themselves, but as steps towards more intelligent interaction with machines. The importance of understanding the present levels of engineering is stressed: the potential impact of new technologies such as "computer on a chip" or "microprogramming" can best be judged by reference to the well established framework of design.
The conflict between software performance and system growth is examined. Some examples are given of how user interfaces are affected by limitations of the lower level engineering. A method of controlling software structures without loss of performance is described briefly, opening the way to more flexible and responsive language and data interfaces.
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