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Slashdot: Making Linux Easy With Eazel's Andy Hertzfield

May 15, 2000, 22:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by emmett)

"Make no mistake. Andy Hertzfeld, Eazel developer and Macintosh forefather, is an Open Source zealot. Forged in the fires of Steve Jobs and Bandley 3, Andy's leading the team to build a kinder, gentler interface for our favorite operating system. I got the opportunity to speak to Andy last week, and I learned a lot about the challenges and victories of thinking different with Linux."

"Tell us what you're doing now, and how it differs from your work at Bandley 3."

"Andy: What's similar about it is we're working on another revolution, trying to take usability to the next level -- it's different in that we have the network now. With the Macintosh, we were able to solve a different class of usability problems, but we really weren't able to get at some fundamental issues of system management and robustness. Now, with the network, it gives us the ability to address those."

"How is it, working on a hyped-up technologically advanced version of what you've done in the past?"

"Andy: I don't know if that's really true or not. There's a level of it that's similar, but it is twenty years later, and the possibilities are vastly different. Sometimes I stop and think about when I was working on the Macintosh, it seemed like 128k was a lot of memory, because we were initially trying to fit everything into 64k. Nowadays, 128k is lost in the noise, it's a rounding error. There are possibilities to do so much more than we ever could before. On the other hand, the original Mac prized simplicity, and some of that simplicity has been lost. The Mac has gone, in certain respects, downhill on the ease-of-use curve over the years, and part of that is the natural evolution of a system to order to fulfill the complex and varied needs of it's users. There's just a tendency in the world toward complexity. On the other hand, one of the things distressing me is the lack of innovation over time. Just your very question indicates that even though the hardware now is thousands of times more capable than what we had when we were working on the original Mac, the software paradigms have not advanced in the same way."

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