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

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Wed Sep 04 2002 - 19:37:18 MDT

Ben Houston wrote:
> Eugen Leitl said:
>>Software progress is stagnating, and the current software
>>model is locking in current hardware model.
> Not in my world. The new languages I love such as Java and C# do result

There is very little really "new" in Java. Garbage collection?
  Nope, it was around in Lisp more than 4 decades ago and in
Smalltalk for over 2 decades. It was perfected in both to a
level far surpassing the current or near term future versions of
Java. Byte code intermediate implementation aiding distribution
of code and portability? Again Lisp and Smalltalk and other
languages had that for quite some time. OO of course is quite
ancient compared to a new comer like Java. Java and C# are
static OO models. This is a serious and unnecessary limitation
on what is possible to code and how naturally.

> in higher productivity for me -- which in turn means I can write more
> efficient and complex programs with less effort and in less time.
> Modern languages have higher productivity for three main reasons: more
> precise/useful language constructs, managed environments, and better
> designed libraries. Both of these languages, C# and Java, are also

Compared to Smalltalk, which the Java libraries were designed to
partially duplicate, Java libraries are not any great shakes.
One thing I do like about Java is a very smooth integration of

> hardware agnostic in that they both compile into platform independent
> "bytecode". There are now versions of Cobol, C++, Eiffel, and Visual

Mentioned above.

> Basic that also compile down to platform independent "bytecode".

Multi-language implementations in a core language was done on
the Lisp machines around a couple of decades ago. C# and Java
seriously handicap the implementation of many languages that do
are not as static, many not be C-stack based, or may allow
significant departure from an OO, class-centric model.

> I think that software is doing a lot better that you believe. :-)

Nope. It isn't. If anything, I am overly optimistic. C# and
Java or any language alone cannot be fully responsible for
software being healthy of course. What C# and Java do have is
huge companies behind their adoption, for better or worse.

- samantha

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