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Yes, there are many parallels, but what people
like about the Symbolics and the Mac are fundamentally different.
Your informant cites
>user interface guidelines, its graphics
>orientation and its desktop metaphor
which are precisely the weakness of the Symbolics!
Or strengths, depending on your point of view. Belonging as I do to a
group that develops experimental interfaces, I perceive most interface
guidelines that are enforced by software and built-in physical metaphors
as hindrances because they force me to do more work rather than allowing
me to do less. Granted, for those who just want to quickly develop
conventional interfaces for their applications, these things may help.
P.S. Personally, I feel that most application interfaces would be
better built directly from scratch by interface hackers rather than
from nuts and bolts based in a particular interface style or physical
analogy. Too often, I see the style or analogy getting in the way of
natural, intuitive interaction. As applications and the domains they
target become increasingly complex, I think it becomes even harder to
create high-quality interfaces using predetermined look&feel pieces.