“Born in 1940, computer scientist Alan Curtis Kay is one of a handful of visionaries most responsible for the concepts which have propelled personal computing forward over the past thirty years — and surely the most quotable one,” Harry McCracken reports for TIME Magazine.

“Above all, however, Kay is known for the Dynabook — his decades-old vision of a portable suite of hardware, software, programming tools and services which would add up to the ultimate creative environment for kids of all ages,” McCracken reports. “Kay says that some gadgets with superficial Dynabook-like qualities, such as the iPad, have not only failed to realize the Dynabook dream, but have in some senses betrayed it. That’s one of the points he makes in this interview, conducted by computer historian David Greelish…”

For all media, the original intent [of the Dynabook] was “symmetric authoring and consuming.” Isn’t it crystal clear that this last and most important service is quite lacking in today’s computing for the general public? 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.

Apple’s reasons for this are mostly bogus, and to the extent that security is an issue, what is insecure are the OSes supplied by the vendors (and the insecurities are the result of their own bad practices — they are not necessary)…

The current day UIs derived from the PARC-GUI [the interface developed in the 1970s by Kay and his colleagues at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center] have many flaws, including those that were in the PARC-GUI in the first place. In addition, there have been backslidings — for example, even though multitouch is a good idea (pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte’s ARCH-MAC group [a predecessor of MIT’s Media Lab] in the late ’70s), much of the iPad UI is very poor in a myriad of ways. – Alan Kay

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And, “the original intentions of the entire ARPA-IPTO/PARC community in the ’60s and ’70s” are sacrosanct in 2013 because…?