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Re: [olpc-software] AbiWord, HIG

On Wed, Mar 15, 2006 at 04:34:50PM -0800, Alan Kay wrote:
> It's worth pondering just why large portions of the computer community 
> didn't build on the best designs (and still don't) ... This wouldn't be 
> tolerated in any real science or engineering discipline ...

History, and your assertion is definitely not true in engineering. Take
the railways for example. Rails are 4'8 3/4" apart. Way too narrow for
best performance - why - because pre roman cart wheels were 4'8 3/4" apart
primarily because thats the right width to fit around a horse.

So if railway tracks are still defined by a pre-roman horses arse I don't think
you can be too hard on the early web people.

There are endless examples like this in all industries caused by sound economic
decisions made at the time due to inter-operability requirements, switching
costs and first mover advantages.


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