Update!: the full length article based on this letter is here:Duckspeak vs Smalltalk: The Decline of the Xerox PARC philosophy at Apply Computers..A letter to the editor I wrote to the New Yorker is in this month. See it here or read it in replicate here:
"When Jobs visited Xerox PARC and saw the company’s Alto computer, the windowed environment that so impressed him was running a system called Smalltalk, invented by Alan Kay, Dan Ingalls, and others. It was designed specifically with children in mind, to make examination, modification, and extension of the system easy for non-technical users. For example, in most Smalltalk systems, any visible object can be clicked on, and its source code inspected, copied, and modified. In contrast, the iPad and other iDevices available from Apple hide the source code for the system (by both legal and technical artifice). This barrier effectively destroys the system as a platform for exploratory, educational use. The Apple / Xerox story isn’t just one of a nimble young company snatching innovation from the jaws of an aging dinosaur. It is also the story of a corporate entity neutering a design philosophy meant to empower computer users and replacing it with one meant to sell them things."
I'm writing a full length article on this subject which I may publish here. Wait for it!