Not understanding Hypercard was one of Apple's largest mistakes in the world of end-users. It was a real breakthrough in something that end-users could really handle and be usefully programmable by them. Besides not understanding its significance on the Mac, we (old Parc hands) pleaded until we were blue in the face to make HC the basis of a really good web browser (it was a great model of a symmetric author-consumer media tool). Missing the latter was a tragedy.
In the light of the first comment, we could then contemplate an end-user system that combined what was great about Hypercard, Smalltalk, and some other experience from the 80s (e.g. the use-cases from Ashton-Tate "Framework", etc.).
>Who Should Manage the Windows, X11 or NeWS?
>This is a discussion of ICCCM Window Management for X11/NeWS. One of the horrible problems of X11/NeWS was window management. The X people wanted to wrap NeWS windows up in X frames (that is, OLWM). The NeWS people wanted to do it the other way around, and prototyped an ICCCM window manager in NeWS (mostly object oriented PostScript, and a tiny bit of C), that wrapped X windows up in NeWS window frames.
>Why wrap X windows in NeWS frames? Because NeWS is much better at window management than X. On the surface, it was easy to implement lots of cool features. But deeper, NeWS is capable of synchronizing input events much more reliably than X11, so it can manage the input focus perfectly, where asynchronous X11 window managers fall flat on their face by definition.
>Our next step (if you'll pardon the allusion) was to use HyperNeWS (renamed HyperLook, a graphical user interface system like HyperCard with PostScript) to implemented a totally customizable X window manager!
>What is HyperLook? It's a user interface environment for NeWS, that was designed by Arthur van Hoff, at the Turing Institute in Glasgow. HyperLook was previously known as HyperNeWS, and GoodNeWS before that.
>Open windows with HyperLook
>HyperLook is an interactive application design system, that lets you develop advanced multimedia systems, via simple direct manipulation, property sheets, and object oriented programming. It releases the full power of OpenWindows to the whole spectrum of users, ranging from casual users who want a configurable desktop and handy presentation tools, to professional programmers who want to push the limits in interactive mulltimedia.
>You design interfaces by taking fully functional components from an object warehouse. You lay them out in your own window, configure them with menus and property sheets, define their appearance in colorful PostScript fonts and graphics, and write scripts to customize their behavior.
>You can write applications in C or other languages, that communicate with HyperLook by sending high level messages across the network. They need not worry about details like layout, look and feel, or fonts and colors. You can edit HyperLook applications while they're running, or deliver them in an uneditable runtime form.
>HyperLook is totally extensible and open ended. It comes with a toolkit of user interface classes, property sheets, and warehouses of pre-configured components with useful behavior.