The Magic Browser Website
The Magic Browser Website provides access to:
- The Evolutionary Series of Tools & Applications
- The Concept Demonstrators
- A Password Protected, 'Software and Technology Evaluation Resource’
Access to some folders is restricted at present to Invited Guests. Please email for further information and access.
A TIP for BROWSING THE WEBSITE
Use the ‘Index’ on the Bottom (Black) Bar to navigate to and from the Main Menu.
For example : when browsing through the Evolutionary Series, to select a Tool from the List, go to Index/Evolutionary Series.
The Evolutionary Series of Tools & Applications
The Magic Browser Website includes a narrative of the Programme of R&D Work between 1985 and 1999 - an evolutionary series of concept demonstrators, tools and applications across a wide range of subject domains - starting with 'The HNS Browser' and leading to the current 2012-2014 'Frameworks' Project & Tool. There is a browsable series of screen shots from each of the major steps in this series, along with some explanation and highlighting of significant design, interface and functional features."
The Evolutionary Series listed here includes the series of tools and applications built which interpreted my vision of “interactive hypermedia, information modelling & management and visual browsing”, based upon the technologies of open systems, UNIX/X11/TCP-IP and on the Object Oriented Paradigm and Object Oriented Technology which facilitated, generic design and user-driven evolution.
I was able to realise my vision with the assistance of a gifted software engineer : Colin Parrot - from the world of computer games. He joined me in the IMP Group.
The Evolutionary Series includes: The HNS Browser 1985/6; The GPE 1990; Media Language 1991; GARDEN 1992; “Paris” 1993; “Magic Browser” 1994 and “IMP FW” 1995/6. .
The Object Oriented Technology Colin identified around 1991 after the GPE project using C++ as an ideal candidate for this development was the Pure OOPL, “Eiffel”. C++ was in a number of respects found to be unsatisfactory.
We were engaged in the development of original and novel concepts and we wanted to design and construct good, effective, robust, elegant, open systems software - that could be evolved over tome and subject to use by real end-users.
Eiffel looked to us to be a good tool to support what we wanted to do. Eiffel was designed by Professor Bertrand Meyer as a mechanism for software engineering and providing a principal of “Design by Contract” in which software (here pure OO) is developed according to good formal principles which declared by the software writer are clear and apparent to other programmers (who may have to work, adapt, extend, evolve a large software project).
Andre Gauthier, a computing science graduate, assisted me in the realisation of IMPFW “IMP Frameworks”. Andre was at that time skilled in the use of Java, programming for MS Windows and scripting. He is currently a senior IT consultant involved in major enterprise projects. Andre is currently working with me on the new ‘Frameworks’ project.
Pragmatic; Politically Correct
We pursued the development of Open Systems including in the development of GARDEN.
As the IBM PC had once been the obvious conservative choice for for hardware - the Popular Choice for Software was - almost irresistibly - Microsoft Windows. If it didn’t run on MS Windows then ......................
So this explains why Paris and The Magic Browser were developed as MS Windows applications - although in displaying standard HTML1 documents, documents authored using Paris and The Magic Browser - would open and run perfectly well in a standard web browser.
The Concept Demonstrators
The Concept Demonstrators section includes representative applications which being part of the evolutionary series, illustrate the implementation of the various concepts and principles and includes: "The Spider Phobia Program", 1990/91.
‘The Spider Phobia Program’ was designed to illustrate the concept of simple interactive computer-based cognitive modelling applied to the investigation and modification of a simple animal phobia. It was also designed to create interest (using the popular “attraction” of spiders) in - and critically to attract support and funding for - the work. And this strategy certainly worked! There was world-wide media interest: many radio interviews in the USA, Canada, Australia etc and a Channel 9 Australian TV Documentary.
This program was subject to testing in a PhD study by a qualified clinical psychologist: See Hassan. A.A.M. Doctoral Dissertation (1992) “Comparison of and Conventional Treatment of Spider Phobia and Computer-Based Symbolic Modelling” The University of Leeds
The simple illustration here was constructed to convey the idea - where the original program is currently being adjusted to run on the latest MS Windows OS and Apple OS Please email for further information.
THE HISTORY of The Digital Window Initiative
The IMP Group was established at the University of Leeds in 1990 with major funding from IBM New Technologies Group at Hursley Park, Winchester UK
Between 1990-1994, the IMP Group pioneered software and application development implementing a vision of "interactive hypermedia" employing open systems UNIX/X11/TCP-IP and object-oriented technologies.
The Digital Window Ltd was set up and registered in 1995. It marketed the Microsoft Windows HTML Browsers, 'Paris' and 'Magic Browser' and the 'Technology Evaluation CDROM' (listing the evolutionary series of Unix/X11 and Microsoft Windows tools and applications from the IMP/CleverWare portfolio).
’Frameworks’ is the latest step in the evolutionary series currently under development - 2012/2014 - a box of SIMPLE & EASY TO USE tools for the modelling, management and communication of information
Peter Ward : Small R&D Team: Programmers & Graphical User Interface Artists
Peter Ward has recruited, employed and has been assisted by a number of programmers and graphic artists, at the outset by Nick Williams (medical student; who programmed the initial vision, ‘The HNS Browser’) and subsequently, to ‘The Information Modelling Programme’ at the University of Leeds, a gifted games programmer Colin Parrot (without whom the evolutionary series of software, tools and applications would not have been possible) and Steve Cain (pixel artist).
Latterly (in 1995/96), Andre Gauthier (a computing science graduate and who became aware of the work of IMP) was recruited to engineer the realisation of IMPFW - which was a distillation of some of the principal elements from the evolutionary series and returning to principles of open systems and object-oriented programming and to enable users to realise opportunities for information modelling and access to information resources within a logical and theoretically sound framework.
Andre has joined with me in recent years to review the IMPFW project and - within the current context of WWW, Web Based Systems, Big Data and The Cloud - and given his 15 years experience as a principal IT Consultant working on corporate information systems projects - to design and develop the latest stage in the evolutionary series of information modelling tools which is called: ‘Frameworks’.
Please contact Peter Ward for more information