Sunday, January 28, 2007

Enso Released: In Memory of Jef Raskin

Aza Raskin launches new products in memory of Jef Raskin ...

"It all started with one man's dream for a computer that worked the way people did; a dream for a computer that he could compose music on. That man was Jef Raskin. And the dream became the Macintosh.

Jef never could accept the status quo. When something did'nt make sense to him—whether it was in mathematics, aerodynamics, nursing, or musicology—he pressed until he either understood it, or discovered that it actually didn't make sense. This is how he was able to formulate the philosophy underlying the orginal Macintosh design: that computers should make tasks easy for people, not the other way around. Jef's talent was in realizing when something was flawed, challenging it, and inventing something significantly better.

Jef did not dwell in the past; he focused his energy on moving forward. He felt that, while inventing the Macintosh was laudable, there was much work left to be done and many ways to make computers more humane.

After the Macintosh came the Canon Cat, a pinnacle of design that did text editing so well that, if Canon hadn't canceled the project prematurely, both Emacs and Vim users might have come to a truce under a common editor. Then, after a decade studying cognitive psychology, Jef established a scientific basis for the design of man-machine interfaces, bringing interface design out of the mystic realm of guruism with his book The Humane Interface. Finally came Archy, an open source incarnation of the Canon Cat. Jef died while Archy was still in its infancy.

Enso is the next step (but not the last). It extends his vision to the desktop as it stands now. It helps computers get out of your way so that you can concentrate on what you are actually doing. It brings Windows closer to being a nice place for people to work. Take a look."    (Continued via Humanized)    [Usability Resources]

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