Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Something suspect with David Gelernter? I too rea…

Something suspect with David Gelernter?
I too read this article by David Gelernter (via AvantGo) and thought there was something odd. He tends to have articles published once or twice a year on the same topic: My interface is better than yours. And you know what? He probably right but I don’t have to pay extra for the one I’ve got. The day his Scopeware product is offered in a free version is the day I start using it. The day someone implements something like Scopeware for Linux is the day I switch.


Three things stike me as suspect about David’s articles: They are always about his own products, they always slag off Microsoft and then the rest of the article apologies (Microsoft isn’t that bad - just not a good interface, Linux is pointless). I wonder what influence Microsoft has over him? Shares, favours, or is he just trying to keep them happy so they’ll stay out of the “reinventing the GUI market”?

If David really cared about making a change in the way we interact with computers he’d give away lite versions (free, not crippled) to the people he needs to form a market - the users. Expense is a real barrier to adoption for this type of technology and a 30-day demo is not enough. Why invest 30-days getting used to a product you know you can live without (and 30-days is not enough to change that) and that will cost you money? He could develop it for a platform not used by secretaries (who don’t care about more productive interfaces if it means they’ll have to learn something new) but instead release an open-source platform into the playground where other’s can write add-ins, tweaks and hacks and get some viral interest going. I don’t see Scopeware ever being a success without the model changing.

[I wish I could find the other of his articles which I’d read and followed this stucture… I can’t remember where it was but I remember this being the impression I took away from it.]

P.S. Did they get Slashdotted? Their pages have been replaced by low-bandwidth text pages