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jef raskin Quotes

Jef Raskin Quotes

Date of Death: 2005-02-26 (Saturday, February 26th, 2005)



    • Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining.
    • It would be wonderful if we could just tuck in a few loose ends and change a handful of details of present systems to have them work properly. Unfortunately, we have learned that the GUI concept has fundamental flaws that cannot be corrected by small changes. These flaws have to do with incompatibilities between the designs of both GUIs and command-line interfaces and the way our brains are wired. As we cannot change the way our minds work, we must change the interface design.
    • Right now, computers, which are supposed to be our servant, are oppressing us.
    • I am only a footnote, but proud of the footnote I have become. My subsequent work - on eliciting principles and developing the theory of interface design, so that many people will be able to do what I did- is probably also footnote-worthy. In looking back at this turn-of-the-century period, the rise of a worldwide network will be seen as the most significant part of the computer revolution.
    • Once the product's task is known, design the interface first; then implement to the interface design.
    • Users do not care about what is inside the box, as long as the box does what they need done.
    • As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.
    • The system should treat all user input as sacred.
    • A computer shall not harm your work or, through inaction, allow your work to come to harm.
    • A computer shall not waste your time or require you to do more work than is strictly necessary.
    • An interface is humane if it is responsive to human needs and considerate of human frailties.
    • Now there is little difference, except packaging, between a Mac and a Windows machine. Not no difference, but at home we have- along with six Macs (one for everybody plus my travelling iBook)- three PCs and one Linux box, and I can move from one to the other without having to think about it much. What used to be a night-and-day difference in usability has become a small increment in Apple's favor (or favour for you Brits).
    • I've moved on, grown and learned in the years since then, and am designing interfaces that make the Mac's GUI feel as clumsy to use as the Mac made the old DOS-based systems feel primitive.
    • I'm developing cross platform now, and I'm as interested in helping as many people as possible to have a better experience when using computers. Morality demands that I write for Wintel machines first (Linux comes along free), and port to Macs when there is time.
    • MacUser: Which person do you most admire? Jef Raskin: For what attribute? Once again you ask a question that linearises a complex matter. I can name many. Let's start with people named George: George Cantor for moving infinity out of philosophy into mathematics, George Washington for showing how a leader should relinquish power, and George Bernard Shaw for his humanity... Or we can do it by subject and admire Aristotle, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein for their pulling from nature comprehensible laws; or Euclid, Gauss and Godel for their contributions to mathematics; or people who have influenced me very directly, in which case I'd mention my very admirable parents and the teacher who taught me to be intellectually independent, L R Genise; or how about Claude Shannon without whose work on information theory I would have been lost.
    • MacUser: If you could change one thing, what would it be? Jef Raskin: To not have people assume you can rank every-thing one dimensionally. Or have everybody realise that killing people is not a way to solve problems.
    • If books were sold as software and online recordings are, they would have this legalese up front: The content of this book is distributed on an 'as is' basis, without warranty as to accuracy of content, quality of writing, punctuation, usefulness of the ideas presented, merchantability, correctness or readability of formulae, charts, and figures, or correspondence of (a) the table of contents with the actual contents, (2) page references in the index (if any) with the actual page numbering (if present), and (iii) any illustration with its adjacent caption. Illustrations may have been printed reversed or inverted, the publisher accepts no responsibility for orientation or chirality. Any resemblance of the author or his or her likeness or name to any person, living or dead, or their heirs or assigns, is coincidental; all references to people, places, or events have been or should have been fictionalized and may or may not have any factual basis, even if reported as factual. Similarities to existing works of art, literature, song, or television or movie scripts is pure happenstance. References have been chosen at random from our own catalog. Neither the author(s) nor the publisher shall have any liability whatever to any person, corporation, animal whether feral or domesticated, or other corporeal or incorporeal entity with respect to any loss, damage, misunderstanding, or death from choking with laughter or apoplexy at or due to, respectively, the contents; that is caused or is alleged to be caused by any party, whether directly or indirectly due to the information or lack of information that may or may not be found in this alleged work. No representation is made as to the correctness of the ISBN or date of publication as our typist isn't good with numbers and errors of spelling and usage are attributable solely to bugs in the spelling and grammar checker in Microsoft Word. If sold without a cover, this book will be thinner than those sold with a cover. You do not own this book, but have acquired only a revocable non-exclusive license to read the material contained herein. You may not read it aloud to any third party. This disclaimer is a copyrighted work of Jef Raskin, first published in 2004, and is distributed 'as is', without warranty as to quality of humor, incisiveness of commentary, sharpness of taunt, or aptness of jibe.
    • His role on the Macintosh was the initiator of the project, so it wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. ~ Andy Hertzfeld
    • Making technology work simpler, he was at the heart of that from the first days at Apple. Jef Raskin is one of the most important people in personal computers, to this day. ~ Steve Wozniak
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