• BibTex

    author = {Olsen, Dan and Green, Mark and Lantz, Keith and Schulert, Andrew and Sibert, John},
    title = {Whiter (or wither) UIMS?},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the SIGCHI/GI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and Graphics Interface},
    series = {GI + CHI 1987},
    year = {1987},
    issn = {0713-5425},
    isbn = {0-89791-213-6},
    location = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {311--314},
    numpages = {4},
    doi = {10.1145/29933.275649},
    acmdoi = {10.1145/29933.275649},
    publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},


The subject of User Interface Management Systems (UIMS) has been a topic of research and debate for the last several years. The goal of such systems has been to automate the production of user interface software. The problem of building quality user interfaces within available resources is a very important one as the demand for new interactive programs grows. Prototype UIMSs have been built and some software packages are presently being marketed as such. Many papers have been published on the topic.There still, however, remain a number of unanswered questions. Is a UIMS an effective tool for building high quality user interfaces or is the run-time cost of abstracting out the user interface too high? Why are there not more UIMSs available and why are they not more frequently used? Is simple programmer productivity alone sufficient motivation for learning and adopting yet another programming tool? What is the difference, if any, between a “user interface toolbox”, a windowing system and a UIMS? What are the differences between a UIMS and the screen and editor generators found in fourth generation languages? In fact, exactly what is a UIMS?In order to discuss these questions and to reassess the state of the UIMS art, SIGGRAPH sponsored a workshop on these issues (proceedings will be published in Computer Graphics in 1987). The panelists represent four subgroups who have each addressed these problems from different points of view.