Notes from Alan Kay: The Computer Revolution hasn’t happened yet

March 7, 2007

Notes from viewing the presentation given by Alan Kay at OOPSLA 1997.

HTML is terrible
A paraphrase of what was expressed. Yet, the important concept being expressed is the constructs of HTML presupposes the browser as the intended device. As a result, browser wars fought over interpretation of the language and, thereby, market dominance.

Every object on the internet should have a URI and an IP address. This is not much different from discussions I’ve had concerning the access of customer information from billing systems. Communications and navigation should be simple to the point accessing customer information requires a pre-defined URL (outside of security concerns).

The internet is an evolving organism
The original code from ARPNET is not apart of the existing internet. The technology evolved similar to a organism without any downtime. “A child grows six inches several times in their lifetime without any maintenance downtime”.

Universal Interface Language
“Objects need to learn what they think they can do” . Alludes to both UDDI and metaprogramming. 10 years later, I believe we still have not even cracked the surface of self describing/defining systems. The essential idea is java beans and corba do not allow a client to programmatically determine what the object is and what the object does.

Slogan: Look for the “Blue Thoughts”
Find ideas that define conventionality and do not simply re-innovgrate the old implementations with the new. Build new implementations with the new ideas.

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