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John Henry Thompson and IBM PC 1984

Thompson and a PC XT in 1984

John Henry Michael Thompson (born June 15, 1959), known among his peers as "J.T.",[1] is a Jamaican-American software engineer that was the chief scientist of MacroMind and its successor, Macromedia.[2]

Early life and education[]

Thompson was born to Jamaican laborers who frequently moved between cities for work. He credits his mother who "encouraged me to excel in school and taught me that education is a stepping-stone to financial and creative independence."[3]

Thompson earned a degree in Computer Science and Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. [2] His younger brother Jervis W. Thompson also pursued computer science and excelled as a student.[4]


In 1984, Thompson joined LucasFilm's Droid Works, where he worked on EditDroid, a pioneering non-linear editing system.[5]

Macromedia Director Lingo Workshop cover

Macromedia Director Lingo Workshop by John "J.T." Thompson

MacroMind and Macromedia[]

Thompson and Erik Neumann are credited with creating the Lingo programming language that was used by Macromedia Director.[1] Thompson's other projects included MacroMind VideoWorks II, VideoWorks Accelerator, MediaMaker, and Action!.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 An Unofficial Brief History of Director by Luke Wigley, Lingo Workshop. 2017-01-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 John Henry Thompson – invented lingo programming used in Macromedia Director and Shockwave – African American History Month 2015, Adafruit. 2015-02-26.
  3. Gift of Love by Liz Karagianis, MIT Spectrum. Fall 2001.
  4. DaLingoKid by Jervis W. Thompson, Jervo. Accessed 2020-12-17.
  5. An homage to John Henry Thompson, creator of the Lingo programming language and the interactive CD-ROM boom of the nineties by Joey deVilla, Global Nerdy. 2020-06-02.

External links[]

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