Tesler grew up in New York City and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, in about 1961. He went to the Stanford University, where he studied computer science back at the 1960s, and worked for some time at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Additionally, Horace Enea designed Compel, a early single assignment language. That functional programming language is intend to making concurrent process natural and was to use to introduce programming concepts for beginners.
In the late 60s, he got involved in the Midpeninsula Free University, where he delivered classes about topics like How to finish the IBM Monopoly, Computers Now and Procrastination. From 1973 to 1980, he worked at Xerox PARC, where, among other things, he worked on the Gypsy word processor and Smalltalk. Copy and paste was first implemented in 1973-1976 by Tesler and Tim Mott, while he was working on Gypsy for Xerox Palo Alto Research Center.
In 1980, Tesler moved to Apple, where he held various positions, including Vice President of AppleNet, Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group, and Chief Scientist. He wasn't part of the Lisa team, but he was enthusiastic about the development of Macintosh, as the successor to Lisa.
In 1985, Tesler worked with Niklaus Wirth on adding object-orientated language extensions to the Pascal programming language, calling the new language Object Pascal. He was also involved in the development of the MacApp, one of the first class libraries for application development. Eventually, these two technologies became shipping Apple products.
Starting in 1990, Tesler led the efforts of developing the Apple Newton, initially as Vice President of the Advanced Development Group, and then as Vice President of the Personal Interactive Electronics division.
In 1991, he contributed the article "Networked Computing in the 1990s" to Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, September, 1991.
Tesler left Apple in 1997 to co-find Stagecast Software, which allowed him to 'use' his enthusiasm for kids' programming and use of computers, an enthusiasm he acquired mainly at Xerox PARC, where he worked in Alan Kay's Learning Research Group.
Tesler joined Amazon in 2001; in 2004, he became the company's Vice President of Shopping Experience. In 2005, he joined Yahoo! as Vice President of Yahoo!'s User Experience and Design group.
In November 2008, he left Yahoo to join personal genetics information company 23andMe, as Product Fellow. Since December 2009, he had been an independent consultant.
Tesler had a strong preference for modeless software, in which a user's action has a consistent effect, rather than changing its meaning depending on previous actions, as in the vi text editor. His Gypsy editor, for example, provided a 'click and type' interface in which the user could, at any time, enter text at the current insertion point, or click where the insertion point should be repositioned. Previously, most editors used the keyboard to enter text or to issue commands, depending on the current mode. To promote his preference, as of 2010, Tesler equipped his Subaru automobile with a personalized California license plate with the license number "NO MODES". Along with others, he had also been using the phrase "Don't Mode Me In" for years, as a rally cry to eliminate or reduce modes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Larry Tesler.|
- Tesler, L. G.; Horace Enea (April 1968). "A language design for concurrent processes". AFIPS '68 (Spring) Proceedings of April 30--May 2, 1968, joined computer conference in Spring.: 403–408. doi:10.1145/1468075.1468134.
- Wolpman, Jim. "Alive in the 60s: The Midpeninsula Free University". Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- Tesler, Larry (July + August 2012). "A Personal History of Modeless Text Editing and Cut/Copy-Paste". Interactions: 70–75. doi:10.1145/2212877.2212896.
- Larry Tesler personal home page, CV
- Crotty, Cameron (July 1, 1996). "Tesler attacks Internet (Apple VP Larry Tesler speaks at Worldwide Developers Conference about Apple's Internet strategy)". Macworld.
- "Yahoo! Appoints Larry Tesler Head of User Experience and Design". Business Wire. May 10, 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Origins of the Apple Human Interface by Larry Tesler, Chris Espinosa