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Re: [olpc-software] AbiWord, HIG



Hi Alan --

Yes, and doctors used to bleed people and worse. However most of them stopped (and were stopped) when better practices emerged. In this case, the better practices were already around. I much prefer to be fulsome in my praise of people who did much better than average, like Engelbart, the Internet designers, etc.

As I said to Jim, I don't have any drive towards personal attacks, but I think we should be more comprehensive about how knowledge should be used. If you were born in 10,000BC with a 500 IQ you are still not going to be able to do much. Pop cultures are all about IQ and not about knowledge. Computing was on the path towards becoming a real field until it got distracted by the personal computer and Internet commercialization.

Cheers,

Alan

At 04:23 AM 3/16/2006, Alan Cox wrote:
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.

Alan



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