Thu, 27 Nov 2003 13:17:54 GMT

From users to programmers. A few months ago Steven Garrity's blog was host to an interesting conversation on the gap between user and programmer.
I hope the computer environments of the future will enable ordinary
people to just “get things done” without encountering steep learning
curves, even when that involves choregraphing
the work of several applications. The growing adoption of scripting languages and availability of open interfaces
to services suggests things might indeed be evolving in that direction.

Reading through the discussion reminded me of Python inventor Guido van Rossum's currently-limboed

Computer Programming for Everybody initiative, and of Tomasso Toffoli's vision of the knowledge home. Alan Kay comes to mind, too.

The information objects we are manipulating, while they are meaningful in and of themselves, ought to become things that
have a more powerful and easily learnable interface than “view/save”. We're
stuck with trinkets that are nice to look at, but hard to combine in
new ways. We need tinkertoys and Mindstorms. In the information routing arena, this is the kind of direction I was getting at with that feed algebra idea.
[Seb's Open Research]