Found in 9 comments on Hacker News
jonahx · 2019-02-12 · Original thread
Something similar to this is discussed and championed in The Humane Interface:

Jef Raskin was a computer/ui designer who worked on the Canon Cat before becoming the leader on the Macintosh program at Apple. Steve Jobs took over the program and Jef was, by some accounts, forced out of the project. He expressed strongly opinionated ideas about what computer interfaces should be in a way that many see as rants about what might have been.

His book, The Humane Inerface ( does have some interesting thoughts on how novice and expert users have completely different ways of interacting with machines.

GuiA · 2013-10-05 · Original thread
Plan 9's UI works in a quite similar way. I'm not up to date on my history of those systems, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is heavy cross pollination between the two.

Additionally, the fact that the writer of this post mentions Oberon's zooming user interface and the Canon Cat means I have to encourage anyone interested in this topic to read this wonderful book:


The article linked to at the very beginning is not available on the original site. Here is an link:

cschmidt · 2013-07-16 · Original thread
Your comments remind me a bit of the interface for the Canon Cat designed by Jeff Raskin. You may be familiar with his classic book...

aidos · 2013-07-09 · Original thread
For anyone who hasn't read it, Jef Raskin's The Humane Interface is a great book. Makes you really stop and think about how we interact with objects around us - physical and virtual.

jaysonelliot · 2011-12-27 · Original thread
I own two Canon Cats, which I bought after reading Jef Raskin's book The Humane Interface.

While technologically they are decades out of date, from a UX perspective, there is a lot to be learned from using one.

Some of the concepts, such as a document-oriented system that never requires the user to launch or quit an application, nor to "save" their work, would still represent a leap forward today.

I'd love to see a modern OS built with the concepts of a humane interface today. Even the iOS and Android systems carry legacies of the WIMP interface instead of Raskin's humane approach.

I've spoken at the BIL Conference about the idea of bringing Jef Raskin's (and others) ideas into the modern age:

This is a great historical repository, but worth reading for the ways some of the concepts can be used today.

And of course, anyone who's interested in what made the Cat special should read Jef Raskin's book:

artsrc · 2011-01-26 · Original thread
Raskin described a plug like that in his human factors book that I read. Probably:

perplexes · 2010-08-06 · Original thread
This is great! It reminds me of Zoomworld, described by Jef Raskin in his book The Humane Interface, and even the Demo picture on the front page demonstrates some of those ideas.

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