The best description of it is probably still in Licklider’s Man-Computer Symbiosis & Englebart’s Augmenting Human Intellect. However, this kind of symbiotic relationship is familiar to any developer who frequently does iterative development in a REPL — which is to say, almost everybody who develops in a scripting language on a unix.

I’ve written some specific recommendations here, with regard to bringing the expressive power & flexibility of command line interfaces to the GUI realm:

As for forces that oppose this, I’d have to just point at lack of political will, short-termism, a focus on marketability and backward compatibility, and a general lack of interest in empowering people when it doesn’t add to the bottom line.

(In other words, capitalism.)

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Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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