Tuesday, June 27, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Alan Kay


American computer scientist known for his early pioneering work on object-oriented programming and windowing graphical user interface design.
Alan Kay
Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible.
Kay quotes
Sun Microsystems had the right people to make Java into a first-class language, and I believe it was the Sun marketing people who rushed the thing out before it should have gotten out.
Kay
I invented the term Object-Oriented, and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.




Kay Alan quotes
Perl is another example of filling a tiny, short-term need, and then being a real problem in the longer term. Basically, a lot of the problems that computing has had in the last 25 years comes from systems where the designers were trying to fix some short-term thing and didn’t think about whether the idea would scale if it were adopted. There should be a half-life on software so old software just melts away over 10 or 15 years.
Kay Alan
People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.
Alan Kay quotes
Perspective is worth 80 IQ points.
Alan Kay
The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, and to the extent that we do not violate any known laws of the universe, we can probably make it work the way that we want to.
Kay Alan quotes
... greatest single programming language ever designed. (About Lisp programming language)
Kay
The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs.
Kay Alan
Most creativity is a transition from one context into another where things are more surprising. There’s an element of surprise, and especially in science, there is often laughter that goes along with the “Aha.” Art also has this element. Our job is to remind us that there are more contexts than the one that we’re in — the one that we think is reality.
Alan Kay
Computing spread out much, much faster than educating unsophisticated people can happen. In the last 25 years or so, we actually got something like a pop culture, similar to what happened when television came on the scene and some of its inventors thought it would be a way of getting Shakespeare to the masses. But they forgot that you have to be more sophisticated and have more perspective to understand Shakespeare. What television was able to do was to capture people as they were. So I think the lack of a real computer science today, and the lack of real software engineering today, is partly due to this pop culture.




Alan Kay quotes
Technology is anything that wasn't around when you were born.
Alan Kay
I hired finishers because I’m a good starter and a poor finisher.
Kay quotes
I finally understood that the half page of code on the bottom of page 13 of the Lisp 1.5 manual was Lisp in itself. These were “Maxwell’s Equations of Software!”
Kay Alan
A change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points.
Kay Alan quotes
The flip side of the coin was that even good programmers and language designers tended to do terrible extensions when they were in the heat of programming, because design is something that is best done slowly and carefully.
Alan Kay
By the time I got to school, I had already read a couple hundred books. I knew in the first grade that they were lying to me because I had already been exposed to other points of view. School is basically about one point of view — the one the teacher has or the textbooks have. They don't like the idea of having different points of view, so it was a battle. Of course I would pipe up with my five-year-old voice.
Alan Kay quotes
Actually I made up the term "object-oriented", and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind.
Alan Kay
However, I am no big fan of Smalltalk either, even though it compares very favourably with most programming systems today (I don’t like any of them, and I don’t think any of them are suitable for the real programming problems of today, whether for systems or for end-users).
Kay Alan
The real romance is out ahead and yet to come. The computer revolution hasn't started yet. Don't be misled by the enormous flow of money into bad defacto standards for unsophisticated buyers using poor adaptations of incomplete ideas.


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