This morning I read the news that Jef Raskin died over the weekend. It affected me in ways that celebrity deaths rarely do. Raskin was something of a celebrity in the geeky world of the computer industry; he was one of the original Xerox researchers who helped develop the graphical user interface we all take for granted.
It’s sad and meloncholy; I’ve read a lot of his work and enjoyed the results of his work in an industry most people regard as mysterious and geeky. Raskin was never as concerned with “technology” as much as the people who use it. He worked to discover how their lives could be enriched by their tools, rather than training people to behave like good little tool-using cogs. The title of his magnum opus, was, tellingly, The Humane Interface.
He’s a voice that many of us will miss. Rest in peace, Jef.