Archy (formerly The Humane Environment, THE) is an operating system (OS), scalable interface for computers of many types, and a text editor. Coded in the Python programming language, it has many ergonomically determined productivity and usability advantages over conventional Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) using Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull down menus (WIMP). The ideas behind Archy are the result of decades of research, study, and thought, fully explained in a book about human interface design, The Humane Interface, by famous Apple Computer interface pioneer, original creator of the Macintosh, Jef Raskin. He originally led the project, but tragically died of pancreatic cancer, at age 61, 9 March 1943 - 26 February 2005, a Saturday. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones. Archy is partly open source, with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 license. Some are confused about whether Archy is an OS, or an editor. It is both. One way to view it is that Archy is an OS that provides editing services to all programs, as Pick is an OS that provides database services to all programs. OSs provide many services: consistent hardware access for programs; multiplexing hardware resources between processes, programs, users; application programming (or protocol) interface (API); memory and storage allocation; scheduling.
Related categories 5
Clear description of Archy (was THE), divided into interface components. [Wikipedia]
The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems
By Jef Raskin; Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN 0201379376. Guide to interactive system design, reflects author experience and vision, shows many extant interfaces are dead ends, making computers easier to use needs new approaches. [publisher website]
In Appreciation of Jef Raskin
Brief praise of Raskin, and critique of Archy zooming interface, with references, by usability expert Don Norman who was at Apple with Raskin, during the early years.
Jef Raskin's Humane Environment
SourceForge site, with description, download, bug reports, some old news.
ACM - Ubiquity: Crafting a Revolution
Interview of Aza Raskin on THE (Archy), and his father Jef. (July 27, 2004)
Raleigh News & Observer: Keeping Interface Simple
Summary of newspaper story, useful forum comments. [Linux Today] (February 20, 2003)
The Humane Environment
Brief news story, and forum comments in great abundance, more than usual. Many varied opinions. [Slashdot] (December 27, 2002)
The Humane Environment
Brief announcement of first THE (Archy) release, with over 50 forum comments. [OSNews.com] (December 26, 2002)
The Humane Interface
Book review of The Human Interface: New Directions for Interface Design, by Jef Raskin, and the usual mass of forum comments. Many varied opinions. [Slashdot] (May 12, 2001)
osOpinion: Raskin on 'Raskin on OS X'
Summary of newspaper story, useful forum comments. [Linux Today] (February 09, 2001)
Down With GUIs
By Jef Raskin. Article stressing that GUIs are not human-compatible. As long as we hang on to interfaces as we now know them, computers will remain inherently frustrating, upsetting, stressful. [Wired 1.06] (December 01, 1993)