Originally Posted by igriv
The criticism of Kay is absurd. He has done enough really cool things to give him the street cred to criticize other people's work.
Street cred has nothing to do with how valid what they are saying is - statements stand on their own merit.
Originally Posted by igriv
Building a machine requires a huge organization and a lot of work, and at this point Kay is done building things, but he is not done thinking about them, and telling people his opinion. Should he provide more detail? Well, maybe he has elsewhere, have you looked?
The interview goes into more detail:
His issue with authoring is:
"Apple with the iPad and iPhone does not allow children to download an Etoy made by another child somewhere in the world."
which is not much better than saying it's bad because it doesn't run Flash. It does support HTML 5 just fine and kids can make far better etoys with that and they don't require his decoders. Judging by the Squeakland website, it's understandable that he might not have heard of this. Ironic for someone so into human-computer interfaces to continue using archaic presentation methods on his own site. The criticism that technology has moved on without him seems to be holding up so far.
He goes on to talk about the sandboxing of the OS:
"insecurities are the result of their own bad practices — they are not necessary"
To some extent I agree that security should be in software by design but it's not practical. He comes from an era where a program meant replicating a punch card. Software these days is far more complex and large projects have millions of lines of code. You can't guarantee that every part is secure because it requires distrusting and quarantining every input/output operation. Nothing would ever get finished if that was to be the case so sandboxing is a catch-all. It's not perfect but it's practical.
"The education establishment in the U.S. has generally not ventured into what is special about computing with reference to modeling ideas and helping to think about them."
Totally wrong. Like I said, how is Photoshop or Final Cut not an interface for modelling ideas outside of typing? These things are used in education.
For the iPad UI, he talks about the multi window view:
"we generally want to view and edit more than one kind of scene at the same time"
Like I said, he has to come up with a way to do that. Windows 8 has tried this split view concept and it just doesn't work well. He goes on to say "to compare different perspectives of the same model". Multiple views inside a single app isn't restricted.
"Pointing and dragging are likely to stick, because they are simple extensions of hands and fingers." Pointing and dragging is in there already.
"“Undo” should stick (for obvious reasons), but it is very weakly present in the iPad, etc." Undo is something that has to be developed into every piece of software, it's not a magical system-wide event and not a flaw of the iPad UI if it's not used.
"There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating." Again, partially agree but I'm sure he doesn't go out and hunt his own food or build his own transportation. Things are simplified for convenience. Supermarkets might mean that if you are lost in the wild you can't survive but we're not going to stop using them because of that.
Alan Kay is obviously a very intelligent person and has applied it to a lot of important things but when some of the statements he makes don't hold up then he is not exempt from criticism.