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On 5 September 2003 I presented a rant at the AUUG 2003 conference, titled “Why I hate OpenOffice”. Despite the title, it was really a criticism of current GUI practice, in particular programs that can't be automated. I went back to basics, the beginnings of language, which I divided into four categories. Here's the first:

The most primitive form of communications, which predate speech and language, are gestures and grimaces, which can include physical violence. Most animals communicate at this level. It's true that people use these methods with computers as well, though few of them have any positive outcome. Some have been adapted, however: “point and click”. This level has the advantage of being easy to learn.

Since then, I've been referring to this interface as “point and grunt”, in deference to its origins.

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