With all the excitement and, to be frank, disappointment that came with yesterday’s WWDC Stevenote, I haven’t seen anyone pick out the obvious with Apple’s innovative new GUI element Stacks, which allows users to cluster files that would otherwise clutter the desktop into a discreet pile of files that blow out into a scannable list with a simple click. It takes the super-janky right-click a folder in the dock movement we’re all used to now and replaces it with a sleek Dock launcher we can all get behind.
It’s really cool. It’s also a very old concept, one that Apple has had patented for 15 years. And this doesn’t look to be a great implementation of it. Way back in 1992, Apple called the Stacks content “Piles,” first demonstrating the new interface at the CHI conference. Gitta Solomon of Apple’s Advanced Technology Human Computer Interaction Group created the fascinating interview, which The Register mooted was finally destined for Mac OS X way back in 2003. Only four years too early — and 11 years too late. Click through to learn more about Piles.