"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
"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."