08 June 2007

One More Step

When you've been on a journey and you begin to see an end in sight, it is not uncommon for the travelers to begin to look up from the road and instead fix their eyes on the destination. This is not entirely without merit, excepting when you still have rivers to cross and jungles to wade through before your arrival. In those cases, it pays to keep your focus squarely on the steps directly in your path. When treading through the lava flows, it is the careful step that keeps you alive to enjoy the scenery.
I am a design chauvinist. I believe that good design is magical and not to be lightly tinkered with. The difference between a great design and a lousy one is in the meshing of the thousand details that either fit or don't, and the spirit of the passionate intellect that has tied them together, or tried. That's why programming---or buying software---on the basis of "lists of features" is a doomed and misguided effort. The features can be thrown together, as in a garbage can, or carefully laid together and interwoven in elegant unification, as in APL, or the Forth language, or the game of chess.
-- Ted Nelson
It is a lofty goal to produce elegance. Regardless of our aspirations, often as not, the measure of a design, like any art, is in the eye of beholder. With art that functions, it is primarily in the usefulness and fluidity of consumption that beauty and elegance may be found.

Nothing is more beautiful or elegant, then that which opens minds to be more, see more, create more, elegance.

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