July 12, 2012, 11:34 AM —
Free-wheeling talk covers Kay's appreciation of technology history, the Internet, and why the Web "is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs."
At the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) conference celebrating Alan Turing's 100th birthday, Dr. Dobb's Andrew Binstock interviewed Alan Kay. Famous for being the pioneer of object-orientation, revolutionizing UI concepts, and co-designer of Smalltalk, Kay also read more than 100 books before the first grade, leading him to realize his teachers were often lying to him.
Regarding computing as "complete pop culture," Kay believes the Internet was so well done "people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made." And PowerPoint? "PowerPoint is just simulated acetate overhead slides, and to me, that is a kind of moral crime."
Alan Kay is a brilliant guy, but I really wish he could open his mouth without shooting it off. In particular -- to speak to my own domain -- he bleats about "feature creep" in an operating system with absolutely no demonstrated understanding for a modern OS.
bcantrill on news.ycombinator.com
He doesn't seem to get that what makes the web amazing is the data and people connected to it. That's generally far more interesting to users than novel interfaces or whiz-bang features.
staunch on news.ycombinator.com
If you appreciate the history of computing, which pioneer would you most like to have dinner with and talk to for a couple of hours?