Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What Would Raskin Do?

Apple introduces a multi-button mouse. (Mighty Mouse? Apple brand names are often cheesy, but rarely this campy.) Jef Raskin, one of the forefathers of the Macintosh, was both lauded and derided for his insistence on the one-button mouse. But he might not be too upset about Apple's “innovation”. In Raskin's brilliant book The Humane Interface he wrote:
A better mouse might have two buttons, marked Select and Activate, on top and on the side, a button activated by a squeezing action of the thumb. This last button would be marked Grab. Some mice at present have a wheel on top that is used primarily for scrolling. Better still would be a small trackball in that location. (Raskin, The Humane Interface, Addison Wesley 2000, p. 209)
Looks like Mighty could be Raskin's posthumous vindication.