Friday, August 18, 2006

The so-called "computer revolution" and "information revolution"

Alan Kay, the recipient of 2003 Turing Award for his contributions to object-oriented programming languages and personal computing, points out that "the computer revolution" has not happened yet :
The printing press was invented in the middle of the 15th century, yet it took 100 years before a book was considered dangerous enough to be banned. 150 years before science was invented, almost 200 years before a new kind of political essay was invented…The commercial computer is now about 50 years old and is still imitating the paper culture… we could claim that the computer revolution hasn’t even started.


Although it may not be a revolution from the current aspect, the computer is changing our life to what we cannot even imagine. Among all the computer-related technology development, the emergence of Internet is most significant. The use of Email and World Wide Web (WWW, or Web) boosts the popularity of Internet, though they are not the original design goals of Internet. The web has changed so many aspects of human life such as mass media, business, entertainment, science, and politics. It even introduces new elements to languages and cultures.

It is Nick's and Joe's articles that remind me to post part of my recent writing here.

You can watch Alan Kay's keynote at OOPSLA 1997 titled "The Computer Revolution hasn't happend yet."