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Channel 9 Live at MIX10: Bill Buxton & Erik Meijer - Perspectives on Design

29 minutes, 38 seconds


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Bill Buxton and Erik Meijer are both highly respected scientists in very different fields. Erik is a programming language designer and creator of LINQ, “Volta”, Rx and other things we can’t share publicly yet. Bill is a user experience design researcher, musician and a celebrity in the design community.

We figured we should put them together, roll the cameras and see what happens. The topic: different perspectives on the essence of design, regardless of specific domain.

It turns out that Erik and Bill have many similarities including an interesting Dutch connection. This is a pure Channel 9 conversation that happened in real time at MIX10, broadcast live.

So, what happens when you put two masters of different domains together for the first time, on stage, live? Tune in to find out.


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  • Nic Fillinghamnic Easily Distracted

    Apologies.... the audio is out of sync for some reason. Will leave the video up for now whilst we attempt to fix.

  • One of the most awesome quotes I've heard in quite a while... "The design isn't finished when there's nothing more to add, it's finished when there's nothing more to take out".  Love it.  I think I've just found my new sig line.


    Love the discussion.  Two of my favorite engineers/researchers.  Both brilliant, and both brilliant at explaining and making conversations lively and interesting.


    Thanks for the video!

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    I agree completely. We need to get Erik and Bill together again. I really like what they talked about in terms of the unifying nature of the essense of things, the conceptual kernel of an idea, which eventually becomes some form of experience.


    C9 Live rocks,


  • Joshua RossJoshRoss Drinking Ovaltine since 2004

    As far a languages that share more than theoretical underpinnings with mathematics, Erik what do you think of Fortress, a language that has the idea of typesetting as a first class mechanism to encourage interaction between computer scientists and mathematicians?


    It seems strangely asymmetric, to me, that computer scientists are eager to use mathematics to augment the fruits of their labor, while mathematicians are less enthusiastic to reciprocate. I suppose it comes down to what assumptions one is willing to endure in order to progress.



  • I do believe that computing has inspired beautiful mathematics, for instance Scott domains and process algebras to name just a few examples. And I'd argue that computers have become indispensible tools for mathematicians, whether it is to typeset their papers using LaTex, or to help prove their theorems using Coq for instance.


    Fortress is a very interesting language, for me not so much because of the syntax, but because it embraces "categorical design patterns" such as catamorphisms to enable sophisticated optimizations.


    But as I always say, mathematicians are much smarter than me, so I am happy to steal their work Wink

  • That Aviator that Bill Buxton was talking about is probably more well known as an Author: Antoine Marie Roger Vicomte de Saint-Exupéry, French Author and Aviator. The quote is from the book Terre des Hommes (Wind, Sand and Stars):

    Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher.
    It would seem that perfection is attained not when no more can be added, but when no more can be removed.
  • Thanks Joerg.

  • Suril Aminsurilamin Jimi Hendrix

    Really enjoyed this video.  Two great minds sitting togther and a great conversation entailed.  We need to get these two together again, Charles!

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    We will! Next time Bill and Erik are in Redmond at the same time, we'll film and episode of Expert to Expert. I know Bill and Erik are game.


  • HarlequinHarlequin http:/​/​twitter.​com/True​Harlequin

    Can we get a 'bump' when the video is fixed and uploaded?

  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change

    Still working on the sync issues. Turns out it's not easy to take smooth streaming goop and turn it into WMV with synched audio/video streams....


  • This is a great moment to see both of them sharing the same pixel space.  Thanks a lot for sharing.

    And for your french speaking community, here is a humble resume.




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