Re: software progress (RE: Hardware Progress: $319/GF)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Sat Jun 01 2002 - 13:45:06 MDT

On 6/1/02 11:45 AM, "Sam Kennedy" <> wrote:
>> I meant an awful lot more with software progress than just a bunch of new
>> languages (neither of them going beyond Lisp, a gold benchmark by which
>> every language is measured).
> That's a subjective opinion. C# is perfectly good for anything anyone
> would want to do. So is Java, or Eiffel, and so on.

These languages don't represent any kind of progress, they are the flavor of
the month. They are no better or worse than yesterday's leftovers.

> Why not? Take a look at or any similar project. Real
> things are getting done in a distributed way, more so than ten years ago.

"Distributed" means a lot more than how you are using it. And ten years
ago, we had systems capable of doing substantially more powerful ("powerful"
in an architectural sense, not in terms of available crunch) distributed
computing than In fact, I wouldn't even use the term
"distributed" for Maybe "cooperative" computing would be
a better term.

> Progress is being made. From the way you're talking, it seems that you
> just aren't up to date. Check out such things as the MOSIX project (I
> use this at home). Also, check out Microsoft .NET, and C#. Those are
> significant progress.

.NET and C# is as significant a bit of progress as, umm, well actually it
isn't. I can't think of a thing about it that actually represents real
progress in any meaningful sense. But at least it isn't Visual Basic.

> Do you have anything but your pessamistic curmudgeony old views to back
> that up? Ten years ago, there were no standards for applications running
> on PCs (I'm talking about MS-DOS). Now, it's possible to create reliable
> programs that will run on any set of platforms, and interoperate, share
> data, and so on in ways that hadn't been dreamed of ten years ago, or
> possibly even five. Code reuse is lightyears ahead of ten years ago.
> With .NET's CTS, whatever you write in one language can be used in any
> other with no problems.

This sounds a lot like historical myopia. Bytecode virtual machines go back
to at least the 1970's ("p-code" anybody?), and C has been the universal
assembler for a long time (a very large number of languages compiled to
C-code at one time or another in fact). The only thing I see written above
that isn't nearly as old as I am is .NET, which itself is about as original
as putting butter on toast.

> Sam Kennedy


-James Rogers

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