Sentences; a Reflection

, a 1-minute piece by Dev Mukherjee Dev Mukherjee

Summer of 1994, my long-time friend and collaborator Samar Zutshi and I worked on what aimed to be a user-friendly word processor. Graphical interfaces were fast superseding the past; legacy text-based word processors were still around in scanty numbers.

The aim of the product was simplicity. It was called Sentences, a reflection of what we were to focus on.

Sentences was to have a concise set of features, built in such a way, that the interface would be instantly familiar to the user. Our litmus test; it would ship without a manual.

A little over a decade and a half later, the rise of Internet-connected applications (e.g Pages with iCloud integration) reminded me of Sentences' stellar feature. It masked the concept of files. An alphabetically sorted, searchable list was all the user ever saw.

Sentences never made it past the life of a research project.

It's a humbling reaffirmation that our thoughts were looking into the future.

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