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The modern GUI of desktop application has to deal with the limited screen estate. Windows, Icons (aka button) and Menubar are the basic unit, was invented back to the day of Xerox PARC.

Apps come with more function over time. Organization of similar function help clean up the mess. Similar function can be grouped together. Hence, we have the Floating Pellets, exemplified by the Adobe SC. MS Windows Office takes the metaphor of office a step further, here comes the Tags.

As the resolution and viewing area increase, the accessibility of frequent used function take the priority. The app interface within a window is more like the old Windows 3.1 that different app in a tiled arrangement. That is, a window is partitioned into different area according to the tasks and function. The best example is Apple iTune. Apple calls it Sidebar (I believe MS introduce the elements, or even in the date of X Windows?) Sometimes, an area reveals itself after a mouseover in swift animation, see Apple’s webpage. The old tiled app idea is really resurrected in Apple Final Cut Pro. 

Of course, the pro like keyboard shortcut.

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