Adam Greenfield about “Every User a Developer”
Adam Greenfield wrote two very insightful blog posts (and another interesting one) about how every user could be a developer (you can find them here and here). The stumbling block is the recent announcement of the Google App Inventor which allows non-developers to create applications for Android. To be honest, I wasn’t that excited about the Google announcement. I put it off as one of these graphical programming environments that are too scary for non-programmers. And, seriously, if you look at Google’s other user interfaces, I don’t think we can expect any miracles.
Anyway, Adam Greenfield’s blog posts are really cool because he shows how creating applications for non-developers contributes to “demystification and user empowerment”. I like how he uses Lego bricks as comparison. Imagine what it means if software was modifiable (and re-distributable) by everyone, and not just by software developers. And, with modification, I don’t speak about user interfaces, but about “deep” functionality and structure. It would mean that the four freedoms of FOSS would apply to much more people than only geeks. Potentially everyone who has access to a computing device could create, modify, and distribute their own software. It’s taking the concept of the read-write web to whole different level where people can create exactly the software they want by themselves.
Greenfield even goes a step further than that:
“One, two, many Facebooks. Or Photoshops. Or Tripits or SketchUps or Spotifys. All interoperable, all built on a framework of common tools, all producing objects in turn that could be taken up and used by any other process in the weave.”
Unfortunately, for this vision, we need to develop and respect standards or come up with a whole new concept for interoperability.
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