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These are the first graphics primitives Atkinson wrote for LisaGraf, which was eventually renamed QuickDraw.
The initial user interface of the Lisa, based on a row of "soft keys," drawn at the bottom of the screen, would change as a user performed a task. These were inspired by work done at Hewlett-Packard, where some of the early Lisa designers had been employed.
The power and flexibility of patterns--the poor man's substitute for color, which, in the early '80s, was too expensive at the required resolution.