[FoRK] KK: the art of endless upgrades

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue May 17 08:52:44 PDT 2011

Exactly.  On the software side, it is surprising the kind of technical fragility that many go for, out of ignorance of trends and 
history (I hope).  There have been many orphaned Windows and mobile software packages, plus browser hacks, that didn't last past the 
next upgrade cycle.  On the Android-ndk mailing list there is a company that hacked together a precise-touch mouse capability, which 
is cool, except that they completely immersed themselves in low-level hacks that are different on every single Android phone build.  
This is the exact opposite of what is intended in the Android design with specifically stable published APIs.  The company is 
soliciting (development) people to download a test app, compile it until it works on their phone, then upload results so they could 
create yet another build.  How crazy.

The best choices are usually those that are easiest to evolve, extend, and change while reusing the best of the past.  If you make 
technology choices that way, you'll usually be much happier.  Stuff built on technology that is not the best in fundamental ways 
doesn't often eclipse those things that are, not in the long run anyway.

Just like knowing that certain brands of caulk (DAP) eventually get you in a disintegrating, gooey mess where others remain in near 
perfect condition until they age out (GE silicone), you get a feel for technology that you can trust (Unixen (now, really, Linuxen), 
C++/Java, Emacs (and now Eclipse), IETF-based protocols, uninfected (WS*) W3C formats (XML, HTTP)) vs. (to various extent) crapware: 
(MS*, VB*, ...).


On 5/17/11 7:20 AM, Gregory Alan Bolcer wrote:
> Mr. KK simultaneously discovered entropy theory and software bitrot?
> Greg
> On 5/17/2011 7:04 AM, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>> http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2011/04/the_art_of_endl.php
>> The Art of Endless Upgrades
>> When we first moved into our current house, newly married, I had some
>> caulking to do around the place. I found some silicon caulking that boasted
>> on the tube that it was warranted for 20 years. Cool, I thought. I'll never
>> have to do this again.

More information about the FoRK mailing list