Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Look and feel
Look and feel refers to design aspects of a graphical user interface - in terms of both colours, shapes, layout, typefaces, etc (the "look"); and, the behaviour of dynamic elements such as buttons, boxes, and menus (the "feel"). It is used in reference to both software and websites.
Apple Computer was notable for the use of the term in reference to their Mac OS operating system, trying, with some success, to block other software developers from creating software which had a similar "look and feel" to theirs. They argued that they had a copyright claim on the look and feel of their software, and even went so far as to take Microsoft to court, alleging that their Windows operating system was illegally copying their look and feel.
Despite arousing a large angry reaction from the software community, and causing Richard Stallman to form the League for Programming Freedom, the expected landmark ruling never happened, as most of the issues were resolved based on a license Apple had granted Microsoft for Windows 1.0. See: Apple v. Microsoft
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