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Computing pioneer Alan Kay calls Apple's iPad user interface 'poor' - Page 3

post #81 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

His criticisms might carry more weight if they were more specific than, "a myriad of ways."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That's not the best counter-argument.

 

I'm all for him criticising the iPad, but I'd like to see what he'd change, specifically.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

This is the same Alan Kay that wrote…
Apple did that and they idealized the UI for the display. Clearly there is a lot more that can be done but it's considerably more than anyone else has done in this space. I think his "myriad of ways" and "disappointment in the progression of the human-computer interface" comments are less than helpful and don't see why he couldn't have detailed some ideas if he has them.
That isn't a good argument because Windows and netbooks are or were, respectively, selling so many.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The guy does not have a single constructive thing to offer.

 

Nor do you (in your berating of other posters). Why don't you tell us why you're "... all for him criticising the iPad"? What specifically would you criticize?

 

While I understand the interest in "hearing" more, it befuddles me why you would expect thorough details to be provided in a edited interview. This is not 5-part 60 Minutes series. Not a biography. Not a paper written by Kay to dissect the pros and cons. This is a tech-ignorant reporter asking pseudorandom questions, which Kay answered off the top of his head (and heart). Under the circumstances, the criticism that he didn't offer better ideas just doesn't stand on firm ground.

 

For a group of people so defensive about their own highly unqualified opinions, you lot seem rather restrictive on how a wondrously qualified person can offer his.

post #82 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

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. 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?

Yeah, but the thing is his criticism sucks.  He calls the iPad interface "poor", citing only the fact that the iPad is not a decent authoring tool as evidence.

 

While this is partially true, as I stated before, the iPad was never intended to be an authoring tool, and nobody has ever claimed it to be.  What Kay is doing is like me complaining that my toaster can't also boil water, so it sucks as a kitchen tool!  I mean, it's ridiculous.  

 

As I stated before, as a consumption and communication device the iPad and iOS are really, really good--to the point of making such technology more economical, more mobile, and much more simple to learn and use.  And I mean, much, much more simple, so that the devices can be used by millions more people.  

 

It's not that he hasn't had cool or interesting ideas.  It's that he's just flat out wrong on this point.  It's like he thinks the iPad is meant to replace all computers, and therefore it sucks because it's not super good using it to write or compile code, or edit feature length movies on, or whatever.  It was never meant for that stuff.

post #83 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I'll give you one...

I would like to be able to easily write simple apps for the iPad -- on the iPad.

I agree with this.

post #84 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Hard to argue that with the screen real estate of an iPad it could be used a little more wisely than currently. I wouldn't want iOS to fork into separate iPhone and iPad versions but it would be nice for Apple to come up with an innovative way to unleash the potential of the iPad while not breaking app compatibility. Far too much blank space. Scrolling long websites to the very bottom could also be smoother and quicker with less movement. OS X has received a lot of iOS influence the last few years I think it is time for iOS to get some OS X love in terms of some added functionality. Perhaps a modified finder for example optimized for touch where we could create folders for games, utilities, etc.. with quicker access and a sort function based on app size, when downloaded, last opened, list view alphabetically for example. When you know the name of an app it is easy to find, but if you don't know the name it can be a PITA to locate one if you have over 300 apps like me.  

 

If they added a Finder to iOS it would be an app for viewing documents. Frankly I'd love to see that.

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post #85 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post

Big whoop.  What's he worked on lately?  He sounds like another Woz.  They love to criticize, but have they done anything lately themselves. 

And he's not just criticizing Apple, he's criticizing all computing in general (Android, Win8, Blackberry).  So it's not about being Apple fanatics. 

Why didn't his Dynabook thingy become "the" big thing if it's so great?
 

 
Kay is not another Woz. His legacy is far, far, far more significant. As for what he has done lately, he has been trying to stimulate education reform.
 
Why didn't the Dynabook become "the big thing"? Effectively, it did. The Dynabook was a concept developed in the late 60s, early 70s. Try and imagine processing power available then! Those were the days before Intel, before Motorola's 68000 or even the 6502. Yet, without knowing how much computing power could grow, Alan Kay could imagine something like the Dynabook. And some of the ignorant people here deign to mock Alan Kay for not shipping?
 
As a concept, the Dynabook was the precursor to the Alto, which engendered the Mac, which in turn evolved into the iPad. Smalltalk, which he developed for the Dynabook, was the precursor to Objective C. You can draw a straight line from the Dynabook to every single significant Apple product after Apple II. 
 
Get to know someone before you criticize them.


Hear, Hear!
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post #86 of 181
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Originally Posted by Mario View Post

The ignorance in these comments is astounding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Kay

He is one of the pioneers of the industry, a computer scientist, inventor, mathematician, innovator. He invented the object oriented programming and is the architect of the modern overlapping windowing graphical user interface (GUI). He even worked at Apple in the early days.

If people here achieved 1% of what he did, world would be a better place.

This is AI. The last thing people want around here is perspective ;-)

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post #87 of 181
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Originally Posted by igriv View Post

Here is his current project:

 

http://www.squeakland.org/

One word: UGH.

post #88 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

 

If there was no Alan Kay, there would be no Mac, no Objective C, no iPad or iPhone. Apple would be a footnote today.

 

 

 

So you know for a fact that there was no other person anywhere in the world other than Alan Kay that was working on the notion of a GUI. That there was no other person other than Alan Kay or even born after him, with the brains and imagination to think up the idea of a GUI. And thus there is no way that any of those things could have been created without him, which is why we should all bow down and praise him like a God and you his High Priest blah blah

 

Doubt those 'facts' to be true. Sorry that that means we don't worship your hero. But we are entitled to our opinions and while you certainly have the right to disagree with us, you do seem to be taking it to a pathological extreme with your insults etc. perhaps you could tone that down, a lot

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post #89 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


iOS is certainly lacking when you compare it to a Mac (although in some regards is better e.g no beachball). No ability to see the UI of two applications at once for example and restricted access to files, which limits its potential as a productive or authoring platform. It is categorized as post-pc and yet unless it can replace a PC in its entirety, PCs will still be required.

The issue of security is entirely valid to justify some restrictions though. It's easy to think of it in terms of an individual buying one iPad or iPhone but the reality is that 100 million people per year buy them. When that happens on the PC, they become a huge target for malware and that's why they have restrictive app stores and sandboxed operating systems. It's very difficult to make an OS flexible enough and secure enough for hundreds of millions of people and given that Apple has driven the choices of companies that have no reason to follow them, chances are they are the right decisions.

There are instances of symmetric authoring and consuming in spite of this. Someone can record and compose audio, video, images and author to the web on iOS and allow other iOS users to consume that. It can't run dynamic code but it can run a remote session on a server and do it there.

The fact that children can use the iOS UI without training is testament to how powerful it is as a human-computer interface.
Jobs dismissed that assertion in one of his interviews - he said 'ideas always have to win not hierarchy, if they don't then people leave'. That doesn't mean the ideas of the higher ups wouldn't be given a higher level of importance but they wouldn't have the products they have now if the ideas were dictated by only a handful of people at the top.
I don't think that's true. Film editing, music composition, animation, photography and so on are taught using computers. It's not restricted to programming and typing. It could be argued that a keyboard and mouse controls all of this for the most part and is unsuitable for it in a lot of cases. That's where the multi-touch UI can evolve and it is evolving on iOS as well as other platforms.

There has to be a recognition that there are inherent problems with making a productive machine with an entirely flexible human-computer interface though. Dealing with windows is one of the biggest problems and as mentioned the balance of power and security.

Despite the credentials, I'd agree with a lot of the criticism of his assertions. It's the easiest job in the world to find faults with the work of other people, the hard part is fixing them. Alan Kay should design a multi-touch UI that improves on the problems. It sounds like he'd put a desktop OS into a multi-touch computer with no sandboxing.

 

Amazing comment. One of the best I've read on here in a year.

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post #90 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by iObserve View Post

Funny, it was said with perfect English. In what part of my quote did I imply Alan Kay is dead? That I said Steve Jobs posthumously insulted him? A posthumous act is one performed after you've died.

 

Stop the trolling and think before you post.

Good God, no! LOL!

post #91 of 181
He is knocking Apple's restrictions for interpreted languages since he believed children should be writing code to learn on the Dynabooks. Sorry Alan, the iPad blows away the Dynabook you butt hurt moron.

http://www.mprove.de/diplom/gui/Kay72a.pdf
post #92 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I don't think that's true. Film editing, music composition, animation, photography and so on are taught using computers. It's not restricted to programming and typing. It could be argued that a keyboard and mouse controls all of this for the most part and is unsuitable for it in a lot of cases. That's where the multi-touch UI can evolve and it is evolving on iOS as well as other platforms.
 

 

Many schools still don't have staff trained to do anything more than teach typing etc. but that is changing, even more with the iPad and similar in the classroom. That piano is not in the classroom but in front of every student. As are many other instruments, paintings etc. Lets see Kay create his 'better' DynaBook and show us how my nephew can practice French via FaceTime with a third grader in Toulouse, how my niece can view works of art in museums around the world, how my baby brother can do his frog dissection lab without vomiting from an allergic reaction to the preservatives etc.

 

these are cases of creating knowledge and experience and isn't that just as important as writing code, typing papers etc. especially for the young minds Kay claims he's forced on

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post #93 of 181
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Originally Posted by flippysc View Post

Kay's analogy of a computer as being similar to a piano in a classroom has a ring of truth. I have been in many classrooms where typically there is a couple of computers sitting in the corner gathering dust and with little to none educational use and purpose.

 

Thats an issue of training.

 

If the teacher doesn't know how to play piano or even read music then that piano all just get dusty too.

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post #94 of 181
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Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

Would you care to share some of these incredible things with us?

 

Ironic. You say just a message that 'we' should go looking for where Kay spells out his constructive points. 

 

And yet you want someone to hand you the 'more information' from their comment.

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post #95 of 181
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Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

And who the **** are you to dump on him?

 

Here is his current project:

 

http://www.squeakland.org/

 

Like it or not, he is doing pretty interesting stuff.

 

 

Aha! So that's why he mentioned Etoys, which almost nobody has heard about!

 

And that horrible website is his? The Dude shouldn't be speaking about UIs, with a really cheap website that looks like it was made by somebody with zero sense of design or skill. Whoever OK'ed that website is not qualified to speak about user interfaces.

 

So his gripes about the iPad are all personal grievances, and that further explains his gripes and his illogical viewpoints about the iPad, no matter how illegitimate they might be.

post #96 of 181

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 2:29pm
post #97 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post

Well said, but Mr. Kay should have been more specific, regardless of his history. I'm retired now but once had a boss who criticized me often. He was relentless, but specific and provided examples. He was a military fighter pilot who also received constant denunciation from a former senior officer. One day, my former boss confided that he wouldn't waste his time criticizing others who lacked the talent, drive, and potential. I was humbled, but never forgot his words and the confidence he inspired.

I believe that criticism and alternate points of view are welcome, but no matter who you are or whatever the legacy, your are ripe for rebuttal if your claims are nebulous and unsupported. I have enjoyed the use of Apple products going on 4 years now. As long as there is valid and constructive criticism, and hose who are willing to listen, Cupertino will continue to be successful.

Yes! I linked to the original article form the AI Article:

http://techland.time.com/2013/04/02/an-interview-with-computing-pioneer-alan-kay/


IMO, it was a very poor job of journalism -- and a very poor interview.

The interviewer would "Tell a loaded Question" to Kay (I assume, hoping to get a controversial response).

Kay would respond with a reasonably concise statement -- not a long-winded diatribe filled with details.

The interviewer would move on and "Tell another Question"... no follow to the original question, no "why" or "what, specifically"... just move on.

I suspect that Kay answered the way he did expecting follow-up questions -- and had answers at the ready (I would be floored, if he didm't).

But, no just move on with the interviewer's "Told Question" assuming more weight than it was worth.


Reminds me of the technique used by certain TV "journalists",
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post #98 of 181
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Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

For somebody who is supposed to be a "computing pioneer", he seems rather close minded and old fashioned.

 

The iPad and iOS devices have opened up computing to whole new groups of people, people who would never even interact with computers before. iOS devices are being used by everybody from babies to senior citizens, groups who would never even go near a computer in the past.

 

And one of the reasons he gives for the iPad being poor is that people can't download an Etoy?lol.gif

 

At first I thought to myself, what the hell is an Etoy, so I quickly found out what it was.

 

This is one of the most amateurish sites that I've ever seen, and it looks like it hasn't been updated in many years. Seriously, who gives a shit about Etoys? Screw Etoys.

 

http://www.squeakland.org/

 

Apple with the iPad and iPhone goes even further and does not allow children to download an Etoy made by another child somewhere in the world. This could not be farther from the original intentions of the entire ARPA-IPTO/PARC community in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

And who gives a shit about what the original intentions of what some group thought back in the 60's in the 70's, probably wacked out of their minds on LSD? If they don't like it, let them make their own device. If somebody doesn't like the state of current computing, then go change it, make your own. Don't sit around reminiscing about ancient times and whining about the present, because it only makes somebody look real old and extremely out of touch.

 

 

If the site were updated to an HTML based web app, then it would work and would have worked on an iPhone in 2007.

 

Maybe Kay should take off his blinkers.

 

Connected devices controlling servers running anything you could possibly want remotely, is what Kay has overlooked.

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post #99 of 181
What most of you don't realize is that he was the original creator of the Internet. Just about everything all of you do, including get on a forum like this is possible because of his tireless work & contributions. Even your daily breakfast was influenced by his early work...he invented the toaster. Prior to that he invented the electrical outlets that modern homes use today.
post #100 of 181

Sorry all you little whiners, but Alan Kay was visionary before Steve Jobs even thought about a carrot only diet.   

 

And Alan Kay is 100% correct - the iPad is not designed for creation and sharing, it's oriented for consumption. It really is crippled.

 

And I have been buying Apple products since 1982 when I got my Apple II. 

 

When you look at Kay's contributions to computer design, user interfaces, and object oriented programming, he set the groundwork for what most Apple technology is based on today.  

post #101 of 181

All I see are ridiculous strawmen.

 

Who said that he hasn't accomplished a lot in the past? Ok, his past achievements are great. Now, let's talk about the present and his current statements.

 

Instead of avoiding the topic in a pathetic and amateurish attempt at deflecting away from legitimate criticism, why don't the people who agree with him make an argument as to why the iPad UI qualifies as 'poor', and also what is their idea of a 'good' UI. 

post #102 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

And I have been buying Apple products since 1982 when I got my Apple II. 

Groan....

post #103 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle172 View Post

So this poor design is why they are selling so many iPad's?

McDonalds and Burger King sell a lot of burgers...
post #104 of 181
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Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Apple 
[" url="/t/156798/computing-pioneer-alan-kay-calls-apples-ipad-user-interface-poor#post_2304418"]
And one of the reasons he gives for the iPad being poor is that people can't download an Etoy?lol.gif

At first I thought to myself, what the hell is an Etoy, so I quickly found out what it was.

This is one of the most amateurish sites that I've ever seen, and it looks like it hasn't been updated in many years. Seriously, who gives a shit about Etoys? Screw Etoys.

http://www.squeakland.org/


 

I thought that project was all about motivating an teaching kids, giving them a way to be creative etc.

all of which can be done, better than their way, with the current apps 

so is he really about the children or about his ego in wanting folks to agree with him etc

I believe it really is about the children... and assisting them to be creative by being creative... He used "authoring" while "consuming" as an example...

Why shouldn't you be able to do that... In some ways, you can with apps by Apple, Adobe, and Avid... like iMovie. There even is an app that lets you make cuts and color corrections, from your iPad to Final Cut Pro X running on your Mac.

While there are some limitations to the multitouch UI on the iPad -- there are many things, if implemented properly, would let you "get your hands" dirty.

I don't do it much any more, but when I first started using the iPad -- I would go back to the comfortable mouse/kb interface on the iMac... I would notice something I wanted to move -- so I'd reach up to the iMac screen trying to move it with my finger (then blush, and look around to see if anyone was watching).

I gotta' admit that the iPad does pan and zoom better than any UI I've seen. And those video clips in events (or bins) are just begging to be finger-dargged to the timeline of the video editor.

But, bar none -- the best productivity app in the iPad is:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYpvC-dSTlY


it's not for everyone -- but it gives "a life" to those who need it.
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post #105 of 181

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Edited by MacRulez - 7/23/13 at 2:29pm
post #106 of 181

I agree with Alan, the user interface is poor.  But it is poor in the same way that capitalism is poor. ie, everything else is even worse.

post #107 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I'll give you one...


I would like to be able to easily write simple apps for the iPad -- on the iPad.
I agree with this.

I suspected that you might.... 1smile.gif
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post #108 of 181
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Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

All I see are ridiculous strawmen.

Who said that he hasn't accomplished a lot in the past? Ok, his past achievements are great. Now, let's talk about the present and his current statements.

Instead of avoiding the topic in a pathetic and amateurish attempt at deflecting away from legitimate criticism, why don't the people who agree with him make an argument as to why the iPad UI qualifies as 'poor', and also what is their idea of a 'good' UI. 

How many people here are qualified to agree or disagree?

To choose either position, one has to ponder the issue at length, try various alternatives, become acquainted with history, present and future (i.e. technology in development) of computing in order to offer a learned opinion. Regardless of background, who has spent that kind of time doing these activities? Oh yeah, that would be Alan Kay.
post #109 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario View Post

The ignorance in these comments is astounding:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Kay


He is one of the pioneers of the industry, a computer scientist, inventor, mathematician, innovator. He invented the object oriented programming and is the architect of the modern overlapping windowing graphical user interface (GUI). He even worked at Apple in the early days.


If people here achieved 1% of what he did, world would be a better place.
This is AI. The last thing people want around here is perspective ;-)

LOL!

...no [other] man is an @Ireland 1smile.gif
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post #110 of 181

Something a two year old can easily pick up and understand is definitely a failure in UI design¡

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post #111 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


I believe it really is about the children... and assisting them to be creative by being creative... He used "authoring" while "consuming" as an example...

 

But as you point out, there are already many good apps for children and for teaching and learning on the iPad, and the iPad is making strides in the classroom also.

 

It seems to me that his gripe is that his particular app or program does not work on the iPad the way that he would want it to, due to Apple's rules, and his criticism seems to be highly personal and business motivated.

post #112 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post
 Regardless of background, who has spent that kind of time doing these activities? Oh yeah, that would be Alan Kay.

 

You wouldn't know that by looking at his website. 

post #113 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by alcstarheel View Post

Something a two year old can easily pick up and understand is definitely a failure in UI design¡

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXV-yaFmQNk

1wink.gif

post #114 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

All I see are ridiculous strawmen.

 

Who said that he hasn't accomplished a lot in the past? Ok, his past achievements are great. Now, let's talk about the present and his current statements.

 

Instead of avoiding the topic in a pathetic and amateurish attempt at deflecting away from legitimate criticism, why don't the people who agree with him make an argument as to why the iPad UI qualifies as 'poor', and also what is their idea of a 'good' UI. 

Exactly, they are basically resorting to fallacious arguments. To the people who can't stand that anyone could disagree with Alan Kay: If Alan Kay said that the Windows 8 GUI was the best UI ever made would you unquestionably accept that statement?  If not, then why should anyone unquestionably accept his statement about the iPad UI?  Even if he is "right", he is not right simply because he's Alan Kay.  That is fallacious reasoning at its best.

 

Also, plenty of brilliant people have been wrong about things on numerous occasions.  Isaac Newton was exceptionally brilliant yet he believed that alchemy was real.  Albert Einstein was exceptionally brilliant but incorrectly dismissed things like Quantum Mechanics.  No matter how brilliant anyone is they can always be wrong.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post


How many people here are qualified to agree or disagree?

To choose either position, one has to ponder the issue at length, try various alternatives, become acquainted with history, present and future (i.e. technology in development) of computing in order to offer a learned opinion. Regardless of background, who has spent that kind of time doing these activities? Oh yeah, that would be Alan Kay.

Everyone is qualified to agree or disagree.  Your post is nothing but pure fallacy.

post #115 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCProfessor View Post


Or young and naive. Getting to see both sides of that coin.

I'm in the middle, neither young nor old, so I consider myself immune. lol.gif

 

I do agree with you on the young and naive part though. Kids today are dumber than ever, IMO, and I even saw on the news recently that about 80% of NYC high school seniors lack basic skills like reading, writing and math.

post #116 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Applelunatic View Post

No matter how brilliant anyone is they can always be wrong.

 

True, I agree fully!

 

Even Steve Jobs was wrong from time to time. Nobody is perfect.

post #117 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

All I see are ridiculous strawmen.

Who said that he hasn't accomplished a lot in the past? Ok, his past achievements are great. Now, let's talk about the present and his current statements.

Instead of avoiding the topic in a pathetic and amateurish attempt at deflecting away from legitimate criticism, why don't the people who agree with him make an argument as to why the iPad UI qualifies as 'poor', and also what is their idea of a 'good' UI. 

I'll give you one...

I'd like to have 2 apps or 2 windows of the same app on the display at the same time so I could copy/paste or drag and drop between them...


Say, I'm on AI, replying to a post and I want to locate another post by the originator and copy it into my reply.

Yes, 2 windows are enough -- and the implementation need not be overly complex.


I once applied for a job at a company, C.F Braun, who constructed petroleum refineries -- their facilities were spotless down to the factory floors and parking lots. They had a corporate policy that you could have only 1 piece of paper on your desk at any time... I wondered how they copied anything...
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post #118 of 181
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Let's look at this another way:

Do you honestly believe the iPad is perfect, and cannot possibly be improved?

Great example of a straw man. No one said that the iPad couldn't be improved.

OTOH, Kay criticized it simply because it's not what HE would have done. BFD.

If he wanted a rational discussion, he'd outline exactly what he thinks can be changed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Sorry all you little whiners, but Alan Kay was visionary before Steve Jobs even thought about a carrot only diet.   

And Alan Kay is 100% correct - the iPad is not designed for creation and sharing, it's oriented for consumption. It really is crippled.

In that sense, every single product in the world is 'crippled' because it doesn't do everything that anyone could ever want it to do.
A Ferrari is flawed because it won't tow a 7,000 lb trailer.
A Ford F150 is flawed because it won't go 170 mph.
A Corvette is flawed because it won't carry 6 passengers.
A Volvo is flawed because it won't withstand a 100 mph head on collision with a tractor trailer.

Similarly, the iPad was never intended to be primarily a content creation device, so criticizing it for not being one is silly.

The iPad IS used extensively for creation, though. There are millions of people creating things on their iPads, so claiming that it can't be used for creation and sharing is flat out wrong. That said, it IS primarily intended as a consumption device. The technology just isn't there yet to give you a full blown computer in a thin, lightweight tablet. What's wrong with it being primarily a media consumption device? That doesn't make it BAD or crippled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

And I have been buying Apple products since 1982 when I got my Apple II. 

When you look at Kay's contributions to computer design, user interfaces, and object oriented programming, he set the groundwork for what most Apple technology is based on today.  

That's nice. So what?

The fact that he contributed to UI development 40 years ago does not make him the world's expert on today's UIs or products that didn't exist when he was working.

As I said, by your logic, the Wright Brothers (if they were still alive) should be the world's experts in aeronautics and we should listen to their complaints about the Boeing 787 or Space Shuttle.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #119 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasslehawf View Post

He does sound really butthurt. It doesn't come off as constructive criticism. Like "we invented the mouse because it was THE future. Everyone is failing because they move past it".

Could you actually read the article? His criticism is that they DIDN'T move past the original concepts of Xerox/PARC. The flaws that were in the original GUI are still there, plus some new ones.

post #120 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

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:

http://techland.time.com/2013/04/02/an-interview-with-computing-pioneer-alan-kay/

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.
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  • Computing pioneer Alan Kay calls Apple's iPad user interface 'poor'
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