16 Jan 2008
Software is too frustrating. There are a lot of choices in today’s computing world — what’s worse, most of them are too complicated. Hundreds of features, dozens of user preferences, unresponsive programs, inscrutable error messages, crowded toolbars, merciless disrespect for the safety of your data; all of these are problems that plague most of today’s software. We, as Humanized, are dedicated to tackling these problems and to making software effortless.
Mozilla is about making the web (which isn’t just the browser!) useful for, and usable by, everyone. Mozilla is in a unique position — not being beholden to any particular technology or the bottom-line — to push the web forward, past the boundaries of the browser, focusing foremost on people. Which is why I am excited and proud to say that we are joining forces with Mozilla to head up the user experience side of
Desktop apps and web apps are like isolated cities, each with its own customs and infrastructure. Both apps and isolated cities have a lot of needless redundancy. Cities have an excuse: they’re in physically different places and are forced to duplicate a lot of things. Applications don’t have such an excuse—they all share the same hard drive, processor, memory, net connection, and operating system. Yet despite such proximity, for the user, they are still don’t share their features. I mean think about it: even though Google has a great mapping app, you can’t actually insert a map into a Gmail email! What would it mean if we could unite all applications by letting them share infrastructure and customs?
Services and mashups are a start, but their utility is bottle-necked by the creativity of developers. As a user, if you want maps in Gmail, you have to wait until someone else implements them. I want to place the power of services and mashups into the hands of mothers and their non-programming teenage sons. I want to be able to use the features from one web app, in any other web app, without a developer having to think of my use-case first.
Towards this end, we made Enso entirely free (yes, we are thinking about open source as well). This is our first step in helping the ideas behind Enso — the linguistic command line and universal access to services — ubiquitous.
The next couple of months are going to be a transition period for us, as we work on charting the course for former Humanized projects in the Mozilla world.
It’s time to make computers fundamentally a better place. It’s time to make software less frustrating.
by Aza Raskin