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archy \*ar"chy\ [Gr. ?, fr. ? chief. See Arch-, pref.] A suffix properly meaning a rule, ruling, as in monarchy, the rule of one only. Cf. -arch.


a. arched


Archy is a software system whose user interface poses a radically different approach for interacting with computers with respect to traditional graphical user interfaces. Designed by human-computer interface expert Jef Raskin, it embodies his ideas and established results about human-centered design described in his book The Humane Interface. These ideas include content persistence, modelessness, a nucleus with commands instead of applications, navigation using incremental text search, and a zooming user interface (ZUI). The system was being implemented at the Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces under Raskin's leadership. Since his death in February 2005 the project was continued by his team, which later shifted focus to the Ubiquity extension for the Firefox browser.

Archy in large part builds on Raskin's earlier work with the Apple Macintosh, Canon Cat, SwyftWare, and Ken Perlin's Pad ZUI system. It can be described as a combination of Canon Cat's text processing functions with a modern ZUI. Archy is more radically different from established systems than are Sun Microsystems' Project Looking Glass and Microsoft Research's "Task Gallery" prototype. While these systems build upon the WIMP desktop paradigm, Archy has been compared as similar to the Emacs text editor, although its design begins from a clean slate.

Archy used to be called The Humane Environment ("THE"). On January 1, 2005, Raskin announced the new name, and that Archy would be further developed by the non-profit Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces. The name "Archy" is a play on the Center's acronym, R-CHI. It is also an allusion to Don Marquis' archy and mehitabel poetry. Jef Raskin jokingly stated: "Yes, we named our software after a bug." (a cockroach), further playing with the meaning of bugs in software.

Usage examples of "archy".

The mother hugged it with a wild embrace, which included Archy Stillman, the grateful tears running down her face, and in a choked and broken voice she poured out a golden stream of that wealth of worshiping endearments which has its home in full richness nowhere but in the Irish heart.

Dontchuknow, Archy could 've learnt something if he'd had the nous to stand by and take notice of how that man works the system.

At last, one day when off the Western Isles, they were boarded by a frigate, and the officer who came in the boat asked Archy what he was, and he replied he was an apprentice.

Well, Archy remained there for about six months, and found that a man-of-war was not so bad a place after all.

Now Archy was one of those sent in the boats, and by this time, being a man-of-war's man all over, he was just as eager to get the men as the others were.

Now Archy, who was up to the hiding-places on board a merchant vessel, goes down with his cutlass, and crawls about in the dark, until at last he gets hold of a man by the heels.

Karen explained, "We've been on tour in the south, and until last week, we've depended mostly on our stage manager and principal helper, Archy Sullivan, to supervise our contractors here.

Hassan of Aleppo was Archy Sullivan, the stage manager of whom the twins had spoken earlier.

For a moment there was shocked silence, then Archy, alias Hassan of Aleppo, said reverently, "Mysto the Master, the greatest of all!

Hassan, alias Archy, came from the wing with Tom, carrying what seemed to be white plastic sheets three feet wide and four feet long.

On stage, Archy and Tom brought out a rack on which about twenty fabrics in assorted colors were hanging, each by a comer.

He had also noticed the care with which Tom and Archy had not only placed the table, but pushed the rear legs down hard, perhaps to be sure the table was stable, but also, probably, to ensure good contact for power supply and control circuit, or both.