Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Feb 2010 23:25 UTC, submitted by Chicken Blood
Apple The beauty of the internet is such that every opinion has become worthless; this goes doubly so for those with publish buttons on (relatively, we're humble) major websites. For every opinion, there's a matching counter-opinion, and that's great. Yesterday, we linked to an article by Mark Pilgrim about tinkerers and the iPad, and of course, someone was bound to disagree with that one.
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RE[3]: Now that's Sniveling!
by cb_osn on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Now that's Sniveling! "
cb_osn
Member since:
2006-02-26

I also reject the patently absurd idea that the computer industry has ever stagnated. That's ridiculous.

The science has certainly progressed. Hardware has become exponentially more powerful. Research in programming languages and algorithms has grown by leaps and bounds. Yet the interactive and conceptual models that we use today are still fundamentally identical to those developed at Xerox PARC and introduced with the original Macintosh in 1984.

Applications are still massive walled gardens that operate on isolated documents. We're still stuck digging through dozens, hundreds or thousands of menus and submenus to access features. Data is still stored as untyped, unstructured buckets of bits that carry a single piece of metadata and are presented in a hierarchical folder structure that is the direct analog of a physical filing cabinet.

That was the paradigm that was introduced with the original Macintosh, and 26 years later, even with all the staggering advances in technology, nothing has changed.

I call that stagnation and I also find it patently absurd.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The science has certainly progressed. Hardware has become exponentially more powerful. Research in engine efficiency and safety has grown by leaps and bounds. Yet the interactive and conceptual models that we use today are still fundamentally identical to those developed at Cadillac and introduced with the Cadillac Type 53 in 1916 [1].

Cars are still massive dangerous objects operated by flawed humans. We're still stuck taking expensive driving lessons, learning hundreds of road signs, traffic controller signals, and what not. Cars still operate as individual, unlinked objects, even thougn roads have clogged up and are infinitely more busy than they were in 1916.

That was the paradigm that was introduced with the Type 53, and 94 years later, even with all the staggering advances in technology, nothing has changed.

I call that stagnation and I also find it patently absurd.

[1] http://tviv.org/Top_Gear/Season_10_Episode_8#Search_for_the_Modern_...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Now that's Sniveling!
by cb_osn on Wed 3rd Feb 2010 10:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Now that's Sniveling! "
cb_osn Member since:
2006-02-26

Impressive work for a car analogy, Thom.

Ignoring the fact that the functionality necessary for operating a vehicle is at least an order of magnitude less complex than that of an average modern computer program, I find issues with the automotive industry as well. We could discuss things like electric motors and continuously variable transmissions. Both have been available for years, provide increased efficiency and lower maintenance costs due to less wear of mechanical parts, yet both are still exceedingly rare on the streets.

Still, the deficiencies of one industry cannot excuse those of another.

Though I have to admit some confusion at your response. At the very least, I know you agree with me that organization, search, and sorting of content should be handled at the fundamental storage layer rather than having to rely on applications like iTunes and iPhoto. This same type of thing can be extrapolated to just about every area of contemporary user interfaces and data models where we find ourselves fighting against our computers to do things that at this point, the computers should be doing for us. At this time, Apple seems to be the only organization willing to begin addressing these sort of things. I won't say that they've been solved, but at least we're seeing some movement towards new solutions.

Coming back to the topic. I certainly don't wish for Apple branded devices to overtake the whole of computing. I too like to tinker and they are obviously not known for openness. But they are succeeding at breaking down a lot of long-standing barriers. And for that, I am appreciative.

Reply Parent Score: 2