"A legendary user interface design guru at Apple, Andy Hertzfeld
got his first look at Linux in the summer of 1997 while visiting
science fiction writer Neil Stephenson. Little did he know that
three years later, he would be working late nights with some old
friends from his days at Apple, developing one of the most
ambitious components of the Linux OS -- the Nautilus file manager.
Hertzfeld's company, Eazel, hopes that Nautilus will eventually
become the platform for a new generation of easy-to-use
Internet-enabled services and applications and that their GUI
know-how will help bring Linux to the masses. Linux Magazine's
Publisher Adam Goodman and Executive Editor Robert McMillan met
with Hertzfeld, Eazel CEO Mike Boich and Hertzfeld's former boss
and Eazel CTO Guy "Bud" Tribble in Palo Alto recently."
"Linux Magazine: Who came up with the idea for
Andy Hertzfeld: It was mine, more or less. ...
I got interested in free software in January of 1998... I thought:
"Boy, the GPL [the GNU General Public License] allows the common
infrastructure to be shared and owned by the community. That fixes
all the problems." Potentially anyway. There are new problems
created, but it could be a much firmer basis for an open, fair, and
free software industry. So as soon as I understood that, I thought:
"This is something I should work on." ..."
"LM:What was the reason for choosing to
work on the GNOME rather than the KDE windowing
Hertzfeld:I think that GNOME has a better
architecture when it comes to the component model, which is very
important to what we're doing with Nautilus. But beyond that, KDE
seemed to be trying to clone Windows. That was unappealing to
"LM: ... When you start talking about desktop
software like Nautilus or Mozilla, the users are less technical. So
how do you leverage open source then, when the users are not going
to be able to contribute?
Bud Tribble: In the early days of any
technology, you have this phase where the toolmakers are making
tools for their own use. ... However, as technologies mature, they
go into this phase where the toolmaker is making tools not just for
himself but actually for a broader set of people. That's the area
where I get excited, I think that's what excites Andy. That's what
drove the Mac team, I think that's a lot of what's driving Eazel.
It's the open source Linux world expanding beyond the point where
toolmakers are making tools for themselves and making tools for the
broader world. And it takes a certain type of aesthetic or empathy
to do that."
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