Separation of GUI and Application Status

It’s no fun if you need screenshots for documentation and then buttons change position and icons their color late in the game 😉

There’s the possibility of doing a graphical search-and-replace, but this only works for isolated details.

To really improve the situation, you would have to go beyond merely taking a bitmap representation of what is happening on the screen. Ideally there would be a clear separation between the state and the rendition of all running application represented on the screen. You could take a snapshot of that state and render a screenshot later on, with changed software, any theme and even a different language for all system/application-supplied strings.

Obviously there would be limits to how far the system and applications could be changed until a state couldn’t be rendered anymore.

The same architecture could also be great for scripting, alternative interfaces (various form factors, accessibility requirements) and on-the-fly GUI development and customization.

About thorwil
I'm a designer from Germany. My main interests are visual and interaction design, free/open-source software and (electronic) music.

4 Responses to Separation of GUI and Application Status

  1. Screenshots should be automated somehow using gui scripting tools.

  2. Musiclover says:

    that’s neat!
    dynamic relationship between documentation, guidelines and development.


    any mind maps or mockups of that?

    • thorwil says:

      Glad you like the idea. This post is pretty much everything I have to say about it, currently.

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