Jef Raskin is loading up on sour grapes again

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by sigamy, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I shouldn't even give him the plug via this link but here it is. Raskin just hates Jobs (I think the feeling is mutual) and every so often he gets on his soapbox and tells us all how much computer UI's still suck.

    Hey Jef, why not design the "right" interface for us all?,,1331536,00.html
  2. tveric macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    That guy reminds me of a lot of people on this board.

    Actually, a lot of people on almost any internet bulletin board.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Glad to be writing this on the 'mess' that he suggests the Mac has become...

    It must be hard knowing your best work is behind you.
  4. relimw macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2004
    He does have one good point:

    Having written programs in BASIC way back when, I can see similar slow downs in modern programming languages, I imagine this is mainly due to the "lazy programmer: People have got all the cpu and memory a guy could ever want" syndrome. :D Does anybody remember when 64k bytes was a huge amount of memory? A processor that can go faster than 4kHz!?

    Ah well, showing my age again ;)
  5. tveric macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    I don't think that's a good point at all - I had an Apple //c and yeah, some of the programs ran faster than programs today on a G5, but what good are those old programs today? Hell, they were barely worth anything back THEN.

    A programmer has to find a balance between a) how much today's hardware will allow them to do with a new program and b) how much "pause" or "slowdown" is acceptable in relation to what you're getting for that pause or slowdown. Yeah, it takes me about 3 or 4 seconds to load up Word - but I'm getting a full-featured word processor for that 3 seconds and it's well worth it. In fact, come to think of it, word processors on the Apple II didn't run all that fast anyway! Now look at how long it takes Photoshop to load - 5 seconds? 10 or 15, depending on your current hardware? Compare that to - oh wait, there WAS no Photoshop on the Apple II. I guess I'll trade that 5 seconds, once again, for what I'm gettting.

    That statement by Jef is just a bitter, old man's way of saying "back in MY day...!!!" - Maybe when he says programs he wrote in BASIC ran faster he's talking about

    20 GOTO 10

    Personally I'll sacrifice a few seconds here and there for all the cool crap I get on my Mac today.

    A note to the censors - how come I can type "crap" but I can't type "sh*t" in full? What, the word "sh*t" is gonna damage some 12-year-old that's been saying the word anyway since he's 9? Come on, get a grip.
  6. Hemingray macrumors 68030


    Jan 9, 2002
    Ha ha haaa!
    Someone over at MacNN asked why Jef's name was only spelled with one "f". Classic response:

    That cracked me up! :D
  7. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
  8. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2004
    The fact of the matter is im 21 years old and just like other consumers my age i dont care what old computers could or could not do i want to know what they are going to do better in the future and what they can do better for me now hahah, no offense :)
  9. tace macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    I remember!

    Having written programs when 16K was a big deal, I see your logic to be absurd. I also remember that it took forever to save/load those programs and most programs lacked many basic features we take for granted today.

    Also when was the last time you wrote a major piece of software in BASIC on your PC and dropped it on a commercial server and ran without having to recompile/test extensively.

    I have learned some valuable things from Mr. Raskin, but like everyone in this field, one has to take what he says with a grain of salt.
  10. reckless_0001 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2003
    Sounds a little like Jef Raskin has a grudge against Apple or even the world. How can he say the Mac is a mess. Personally I think the Mac OS is doing better than ever before and he's just "sour" because he's not taking part in the new OS. I'd advise to steer away from anything this guy says. Any further attention to his mind farts will probably hurt Apple. :)
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    The trouble is, a lot of current programmers feel the same way and they repeat old problems because they do no research and do no thinking beyond the surface of the problem to be solved.

    It's easy for many of us who have programmed for a long while to say that people have forgotten efficiency simply because it's 100 percent true. On the other hand, with Object-oriented programming methods, we get to a better solution more quickly, even if it does take megabytes to solve something that took kilobytes in the past.

    Jef Raskin would be much happier if they'd renamed Mac OS to something else so it wouldn't impinge on his ideas and their realisation. In a lot of ways, he's right. The Mac OS X interface was designed by committee and looks it. What was the adage about too many cooks?
  12. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Raskin's written a book on what he considers the best interface, it's called "The Humane Interface". In it he states many principles which are very good ones. He also describes what he considers the ideal interface. This is a keyboard-/text-based interface which was implemented in a machine called the Canon Cat.

    Frankly, I think the design would make some things much easier than with a GUI, and other things vastly more difficult. It is very text-centric, so while word processing would be quick and easy, dealing with graphics and music would be cumbersome. Further, there's the old Ted Nelson "mega-document" containing all the text in the user's world. It's reminiscent of the APL workspace concept. I don't like it; moving blocks of data between workspaces is difficult.

    Certainly the Mac UI could be considered a "mess" in that it incorporates many different ideas from many different people. Lots of things in the world are like that. It's not necessarily a bad thing.
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I feel kind of sad for the guy every time he gets a public soap box from which to yell.

    In one way, he's actually correct; the computer UI could have gone a lot of places since 1984, but it hasn't gone nearly as far, or nearly as efficiently in the right direction, as it could have.

    And he's also partially right that the current iteration of the MacOS interface is a bit sloppy; it draws from several different design lineages, and contains an unfortunate amount of inconsistency--you have a mix of the OS9 era finder window with icons plus menubar interface, then you have some apps with the classic Photoshop-style floating toolbar, then you have the early-vintage OSX icon menus at the top of windows, plus the iTunes Drawer concept, plus the "appliance" style of more fixed interface with the brushed metal. Almost all good ideas, but no, neither invisible nor entirely consistent.

    However, what theoretician Jef apparently fails to grasp is that it's an evolution, and a hugely extensible OS with 10 years of legacy following it around (Adobe isn't about to completely reenvision Photoshop) isn't the same thing as a car or a microwave. OSX, as it is now, is quite useable, and getting consistently better; the various different design lineages are slowly merging (Tiger previews are showing this progression) into something more consistent and efficient--we're evolving in the right direction, so to speak.

    Theoretical types sometimes have great ideas, and their concepts can drive people in the right direction when applied properly. But in most cases they also fail to take into account the fact that we live in a real world where, in this case, a thousand different developers make ten thousand different apps, some with code bases more than a decade old. It is neither unified nor perfect, but in many cases it is the most efficient--in terms of development time and learning curve--way of doing things.

    Go take a vacation or something, Mr. Raskin--maybe you'll feel better after you've stared at some trees for a while.
  14. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Wow, surprising how many people are ready to jump all over him.

    I can see where he is coming from though. The original Mac OS was simplicity itself. Everyday use was easy, installing & uninstalling was easy, etc. By the time Mac OS got up to 9, you had zillions of prefs, control panels, and extensions. It made things more confusing and ultimately unstable ..just ask most people's opinion on OS 9.

    With OS X it's now built on top of BSD Unix, but there are new things like permissions, prefs, the Library folder and so on. Yes it's simple and easy to use, but not like the very first versions used to be (the original Mac OS that is.) I don't agree that the OS is junk now though, I think OS X has matured enormously since its introduction and will keep getting better.

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