The Meaning Gradient
Buttons should speak, not process
Issue: 9.4 (May/June 2011)
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 17,019
Starting Page Number: 38
RBD Number: 9407
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Excerpt of article text...
Software is made to provide a user with solutions to problems. But a machine just reads and writes binary patterns and does low-level logic or mathematical operations on little pieces of those patterns. What is between the meaningful world of a user and the machine-world of low-level code?
That's where we find the Meaning Gradient. The Meaning Gradient reveals what is happening within the various levels of meaning within your program (from GUI to machine-level).
If you can see the Meaning Gradient, designing and debugging is a joy because you can see the context of a low-level operation. If you can't see it, it can be really hard to do further development or maintain the program. This article is about making the Meaning Gradient more obvious for developers. (See Figure 1 for an overview chart that may make it clearer. You can also read the "Terms" sidebar for some definitions of vocabulary we'll be using throughout this article.)
The concepts here are a little abstract, so bear with me. Note that the Meaning Gradient is a structure inside the labels of your code, not a technical structure.
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