• 1942 August 20
    (b.) - ?


An American computer scientist, born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, his father was Erwin Charles Rulifson and his mother was Virginia Helen Johns. He married Janet Irving on June 8, 1963 and had two children. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Mathematics from the University of Washington in 1966 and he earned a Doctorate in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1973. He joined the Augmentation Research Center, at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in 1966. He led the software team that implemented the oN-Line System (NLS), a system that foreshadowed many future developments in modern computing and networking. Although Douglas Engelbart was the founder and leader of ARC, his innovative programming was essential to the realization of Engelbart's vision. He was SRI's representative to the "network working group" in 1968, which led to the first connection on the ARPANET. He described the Decode-Encode Language (DEL), which was designed to allow remote use of NLS over ARPANET. Although never used, the idea was that small "programs" would be downloaded to enhance user interaction. This concept was fully developed in Sun Microsystems's Java programming language almost 30 years later. He left SRI to join the System Sciences Laboratory (SSL) within Xerox PARC in 1973. While at PARC, he worked on implementing distributed office systems. He worked for ROLM in 1980 as an engineering manager. In 1985 he joined the company Syntelligence in Sunnyvale, California. He worked for Sun Microsystems Laboratories, in Ivan Sutherland's lab since 1987. Sun was purchased by Oracle Corporation in 2010. In 1990, he won the Association for Computing Machinery's Software System Award for implementing groundbreaking innovations such as hypertext, outline processors, and video conferencing. In 1994, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery.
  • Date of Birth:

    1942 August 20
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  • Noted For:

    Leader of the team that implemented the Online System (NLS), foreshadowing future developments in modern computing and networking
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