Douglas Englebart RIP

[2013-07-04 Thu] Doug Engelbart died on Tuesday at the age 88 from kidney failure at his home in Atherton, California. Engelbart is best known as the inventor of the mouse. Let's just get it out of the way for those who haven't seen it. Here is the YouTube video of Engelbart's famous Mother of all Demos:

But Engelbart's vision and contribution went far beyond the mouse. Dave Crocker said it best on the IETF mailing list:

Besides the considerable technical contributions of Doug's project at SRI, theirs was a group that did much to create the open and collaborative tone of the Internet that we've come to consider as automatic and natural, but were unusual in those days.

Engelbart's real goal was to augment human intelligence. Bret Victor has an excellent post that dispells many of the misconceptions of Engelbart's work.

You can find an archive of all of his papers at the Doug Engelbart Institute. There is a very good page at CIS 471 which has collected a bunch of images and links that you might be interested in.

Here's the obligatory link to his wikipedia article. And obituaries from NYT, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Rueters and The Register.

Our very own BMF (Burr Metadata Framework) was largely inspired by several of Englart's papers. They are well worth the time spent reading them and we hope that his work will continue to be remembered and inspire others for many years to come. Thank you Doug Engelbart, we all owe you an enormous debt of gratitude.

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