[FoRK] A thought on Design and Quality

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Oct 8 00:03:11 PDT 2009


On Wed, Oct 07, 2009 at 10:38:20AM -0700, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

> Write your new scalable web app for the Apollo Guidance Computer:
> http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/

That is a straw man. Current mainstream hardware has some ugly warts, 
but you can pry it from dead, cold fingers.  
 
> I dug in to full-time development in the age of CP/M, Atari 400/800, and

Now you're cherry-picking turds from the crap pile. Unix is old, so
are bit-map displays, so is X/NeWS, antialiasing, and even hardware 
acceleration (SGI). OO, message passing, MPI.  

And of course we also have had http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolics

> the very first PC.  And Version 7 Unix / VMS / PDP-7 / PDP-11.  Teletypes,
> terminal-based command lines (curses et al), and most of the early
> windowing systems and networking.

You know, I'm writing this in a text window through ssh into
a screen session with mutt/vim (I'm currently moving back to
emacs, though). Why is the system running pointless services
by default? Why do I have to go in and have to harden systems,
turn of services nobody needs by default?
 
> There are many, many innovations.  There is really only superficial
> similarity between "then" and now.  Of course we are still using (or
> getting back to reusing) the best ideas from the past, however there is so
> much more in between that it really isn't the same thing at all.

What do you think is the great innovation (not hardware) in the last 10 years?
Last 20 years?

I'm not denying that they don't exist, but I'm genuinely curious to see
your list.
 
> Often these extra bits are philosophical sophistication.  REST for
> instance.  Message orientation.  (I was doing it at NCR in the 80's, and
> later at AOL and elsewhere, but it has only in the last few years become
> widely accepted and designed in.)

-- 
Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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