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GNULinux.com: BeOpen Interview with Andy Hertzfeld of Eazel

Jun 15, 2000, 18:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

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"As a veteran of Steve Jobs' original MacOS team, Hertzfeld's participation in the development of both Linux and the GNOME graphical user interface has attracted more than its fair share of media attention. While some articles have painted Hertzfeld as the grown up coming to show the kids how to turn the free software operating system into a truly user-friendly piece of technology, Hertzfeld prefers to see himself as a "link in the chain," a tribal elder capable of bridging the remaining philosophical gap between the 1970s-era homebrew culture and 21st Century Internet hacker culture".

"The most exciting thing about the computer is that it's a meta machine," he says, alluding to both cultures' passion for customizability and configurability. "There's nothing, or very little, set in stone. You're building a world out of dreams. And so I want to empower every range of user to be able to customize it. I think the network gives us more of an opportunity than we've had in the past."

"Unfortunately, Hertzfeld notes, the network also introduces more problems as operating systems become less localized and more network-based. Instead of dumbing down or putting an updated Macintosh face on the Linux OS, Hertzfeld says the central theme of Eazel is to improve the three way relationship between man, machine and the network at large."

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