[unrev-II] Interview with David Gelernter

From: Jack Park (jackpark@thinkalong.com)
Date: Wed May 23 2001 - 08:13:46 PDT

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    David Gelernter is the fellow who invented Linda, the tuple space paradigm
    now called T-Spaces (IBM), JavaSpaces (Sun) and so forth. He also created
    LifeStreams, a time-based metaphor for information management. This
    article is an interview with him. Here is a quote from the intro.

    "One of the most useful ways to detect potential new avenues in the
    software world is to observe the unusual ways in which people interact with
    their interfaces, pushing them in surprising directions and using tools to
    do things that they weren't originally designed to do. For the past year or
    so, I've found myself using my mail client, Eudora, as my default scratch
    notepad; when I need to jot down a number or sketch out a few quick ideas
    or take notes during a meeting -- anytime I'm doing quick, spontaneous
    writing -- I find myself doing it in an email message, and not a word
    processor or a notepad application. It took me a while to notice that I had
    developed this habit, but once I did, I tried to figure out what was
    drawing me to Eudora over more conventional tools.

    Partially, it's the auto-save function, and the fact that my email client
    is always open. But mostly, the appeal is that any notes I create in Eudora
    are automatically saved as part of a timeline in my out box. There, I can
    seen them all lined up chronologically, and when I'm looking for something,
    I don't have to think, "What did I call that document?" or "What folder did
    I put that file in?" I just think to myself, "Okay, I wrote down that
    number two days ago." Once you reach a certain threshold of data, which
    seems relatively low, the time-based metaphor trumps the spatial or
    semantic metaphors of the traditional folder system. "

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