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Re: [olpc-software] AbiWord, HIG

On Thu, 2006-03-16 at 07:57 -0800, Alan Kay wrote:

> In the middle ages anyone could be a scientist, they just had to get a 
> pointy hat.  The shame is that there was and is a literature. Let's be glad 
> that the youngsters who did the ARPAnet and Internet had the discernment to 
> read that literature and ask others -- the Internet RFCs (which are online 
> and quite beautiful) show how the "other youngsters" did things.

Let us not forget that before the web and the internet, getting one's
hands on such documents, or even finding that they exist, was a
difficult challenge in and of itself; one used to spend serious time in
libraries.  There are now many fewer excuses for not finding prior art
(though in some kid's views, including at the US Patent Office, prior
art starts in 1994. ;-(

Now the importance is shifting to teaching the kids how to use internet
search.  I once asked Raster why he wrote ESD (a pretty lame audio
server that is used on Linux), when there was a much better one (called
AF that friends of mine and I wrote in the early '90's) to start from
that could have been pretty trivially ported to Linux and improved from

Raster's defense was: `I searched on "audio server" and "linux"' and
didn't find anything.  Of course AF was written on UNIX, and Raster
didn't think to try that query.  We even won the best paper award at
USENIX that year.

				- Jim

Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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