Bill Joy, formally William Nelson Joy

Joy, formally William Nelson Joy

American Technologist, Computer Scientist and Futurist, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems

Author Quotes

I think it killed the performance on a lot of the systems in the Labs for years because everyone had their own copy of it, but it wasn't being shared, and so they wasted huge amounts of memory back when memory was expensive.

My goal in 10 to 15 years is to have a $10 device everyone can have. Whether people find the time and have the mentors to use the information and education themselves is another question, but the phenomenon is on the way.

I think multiple levels of undo would be wonderful, too.

So Chuck and I looked at that and we hacked on em for a while, and eventually we ripped the stuff out of em and put some of it into what was then called en, which was really ed with some em features.

I think one of the interesting things is that vi is really a mode-based editor.

Systems are going to get a lot more sophisticated.

I think the hard thing about all these tools is that it takes a fair amount of effort to become proficient.

That lack of programmability is probably what ultimately will doom vi. It can't extend its domain.

Although humankind inherently desires to know, if open access to, and unlimited development of, knowledge henceforth puts us all in clear danger of extinction, then common sense demands that we re-examine our reverence for knowledge.

I think the Macintosh proves that everyone can have a bitmapped display.

The fundamental problem with vi is that it doesn't have a mouse and therefore you've got all these commands.

As far as I know we also almost bought Apple once. We almost merged with Apple two other times.

I think the wonderful thing about vi is that it has such a good market share because we gave it away.

The next step after cheap is free, and after free is disposable.

Bitmap display is media compatible with dot matrix or laser printers.

I think Unix is a great system -- especially for running data centers -- because it is very mature, very reliable, very scalable. But when I want to go out and populate small devices, I think Java.

The Open Source theorem says that if you give away source code, innovation will occur. Certainly, Unix was done this way. . . However, the corollary states that the innovation will occur elsewhere. No matter how many people you hire. So the only way to get close to the state of the art is to give the people who are going to be doing the innovative things the means to do it. That's why we had built-in source code with Unix. Open source is tapping the energy that's out there.

But no, I don't generally have trouble with spelling mistakes.

I was surprised about vi going in, though, I didn't know it was in System V.

The point is that you want to have a system that is responsive.

But with Interleaf I don't even have a spell program.

I wish we hadn't used all the keys on the keyboard.

The reason I use ed is that I don't want to lose what's on the screen.

Document preparation systems will also require large screen displays.

In a world of millions of devices, what you want to be able to do is send new bits of code and have them interlink. Ideally, the code would have flexible linkage -- flexible linkage is, in fact, the hardest bit of the job. C and all the programs related to it don't solve the programming problems of this world. They did not anticipate a world of millions of devices.

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Joy, formally William Nelson Joy
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American Technologist, Computer Scientist and Futurist, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sun Microsystems