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Programming is not as much fun/more fun than it used to be.

 
 
Roedy Green
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      04-29-2004
On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:48:15 -0500, Jonathan Allan
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote or quoted :

>I said "starting"; I didn't say it was here yet. We're still
>a long way from "software ICs", but we'll get there eventually.
>And it'll be the same problem that forces us in that direction:
>systems needed will be too big for a single mind (or even a team
>of minds) to solve repeatedly and correctly.


There is something philosophically interesting happening with RDF.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/rdf.html

Instead of trying to get everyone to accept some common standard or
vocabulary, the emphasis now is on how do you automatically merge
information from two different schemes.

Fascists think the solution is to force everyone to do things one way.
Anarchists refuse to accept any standards.

The middle ground is for pools of people to do things the same way,
and somehow merge those consistent pools AFTER THE FACT.

The basic idea is, if you have clean consistent data, no matter how it
is represented, it will be a heck of a lot easier to reuse.
--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Roedy Green
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      04-29-2004
On 29 Apr 2004 08:17:06 -0400, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Bradley K. Sherman)
wrote or quoted :

>Have you done any maintenance programming recently?


It is a heck of a lot easier to maintain Forth/Abundance programs I
wrote back in the 80s than Java simply because when I change anything,
I have to change it in only one place. Java has SO much bubblegum you
can't encapsulate in one place.

Further there is just so much BULK. Every time I go back to a program
I have to make a detailed study the class structure again and dig
around in many places to find the code I'm after. It is like being
extremely near sighted. It is so hard to get a big picture of what is
going on just because there is so much fluff and housekeeping covering
up the business logic.

The most obvious flaw in the way business logic and display logic are
so closely interwoven. There is nothing akin to CSS style sheets to
handle your layouts. Every one is hand polished.






--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Victor B. Putz
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      04-29-2004
> Java and C# (and doubtless others) are everything a programming
> language/environment should always have been


Oh my goodness no (grin). I'll fall down heavily on the side of the "doubtless
others" point of view. Java and C# are certainly interesting steps, but while
Java for example did allow me to WRITE differently (and cleared up a bunch
of crud that no developer should have to deal with, like manual memory
management--unless you want/need to), it didn't really allow me to THINK
differently. Even with the new iterative sugar--which is nice, don't get me
wrong-- there are plenty of constructs in other languages that allow you
to approach problems differently (the anonymous block-passing in Smalltalk
or Ruby, or higher-order functions like OCaml, Haskell, and any other
functional language).

Of course, those languages don't have the libraries. But comparing
equivalent programs in, eg, OCaml and Java reveals a MASSIVE difference
in terseness, and I have to agree with Paul Graham that terseness can
be a very good thing.

Roedy's observation is more interesting to me though. What's the most
important "technology" on the web? Not java, or flash, or Zope--I'd give
the nod to CGI: it's simple and straightforward (with warts), but more
importantly it allows communication. It's the interchange of information
that's important, methinks.

-->VPutz
 
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Roedy Green
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      04-29-2004
On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:14:29 -0700, Peter Ammon
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote or quoted :

>
>Syntax sugar like Java 1.5's new looping construct, or code-generating
>IDEs, are a stopgap solution, and miss the point anyways.


I wrote a language years ago called JCLGEN that generated // JCL for
the IBM 360/370. It allowed users to feed files to various generic
utilities. By combining they could often do what they needed without a
programmer.

To my surprise, the users GOT it even before I did. Atomics in this
language were whole files. You could toss them around with the same
abandon that we programmers toss around an int or a reference to an
object. I was thinking of all the loops and processing going on
inside each utility. Users saw only a single keyword needed to invoke
a utility. They had no such inhibition. They could conceive of much
grander things to do with the tools than I.

For Java, what we need are operations on whole collections. You
should not have to write an explicit loop every time. When we get
this, I think it will revolutionise our thinking, so that we focus
more on the entire collection than the individual elements. We will
tend to think in higher level of abstraction.

I have done some work in that direction with
http://mindprod.com/products.html#SORTEDARRAYLIST

--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
Coaching, problem solving, economical contract programming.
See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html for The Java Glossary.
 
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Eric Sosman
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      04-29-2004
Roedy Green wrote:
> [...]
> For Java, what we need are operations on whole collections. You
> should not have to write an explicit loop every time. When we get
> this, I think it will revolutionise our thinking, so that we focus
> more on the entire collection than the individual elements. We will
> tend to think in higher level of abstraction.


Those who forget Lisp are condemned to re-invent it ...

--
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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EventHelix.com
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      04-30-2004
Well prepare for the next round of changes. Programming is going
to become more and more declarative. As I see it there will be
two types of programmers:

- Persons that specialise in the declarative aspects of applications.
These persons will have skills in HTML/XML etc. Microsoft has something
called XAML that falls into this category.

- Conventional programming with languages like C, C++, Java, C# etc.

Sandeep
--
http://www.EventHelix.com/EventStudio
EventStudio 2.0 - System Architecture Design CASE Tool
 
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Richard Riehle
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      04-30-2004

"Victor B. Putz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Java and C# (and doubtless others) are everything a programming
> > language/environment should always have been


.... after commenting on several other languages,

> Of course, those languages don't have the libraries. But comparing
> equivalent programs in, eg, OCaml and Java reveals a MASSIVE difference
> in terseness, and I have to agree with Paul Graham that terseness can
> be a very good thing.


We need to be careful what we are evaluating. True, Java has a large set
of libraries. However, when evaluating a language, on its own merits, Java
does not offer much of interest beyond what some other languages offer.

Java, as a language, along with its environment, does offer quite a bit for
the contemporary developer. Even with that, the Java libraries are
accessible
from other languages such as Ada.

One of the most important properties of a language, for me, is a capability
for interfacing with source code and libraries in other languages. This is
one of the more powerful features of Ada In fact, with Ada, one
has access to the libraries for C++, MS-Windows, etc, along with
a fairly powerful set of libraries in its own source code for data
structures and algorithms.

Other languages, such as Eiffel, have some of the same capabilities.

More to the point of the original post, reuse, through genericity, has
been around for a long time, with Ada being one of the earliest
languages to include it as a language feature. Reuse through inheritance
has also been around for quite a while. And let's not forget the
contribution of generative programming, aspect-oriented programming,
and delegation as contributors to the more sophisticated models
of software reuse.

Richard Riehle

..


 
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Peter Ammon
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      04-30-2004
Roedy Green wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 12:14:29 -0700, Peter Ammon
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote or quoted :
>
>
>>Syntax sugar like Java 1.5's new looping construct, or code-generating
>>IDEs, are a stopgap solution, and miss the point anyways.

>

[...]
>
> For Java, what we need are operations on whole collections. You
> should not have to write an explicit loop every time. When we get
> this, I think it will revolutionise our thinking, so that we focus
> more on the entire collection than the individual elements. We will
> tend to think in higher level of abstraction.
>
> I have done some work in that direction with
> http://mindprod.com/products.html#SORTEDARRAYLIST


Interesting stuff. The implementation I favor is Marcel Weiher's Higher
Order Messaging. It allows you to operate on collections as if they
were the type of object they contain in various ways, such as applying a
method to each one, collecting the result of applying the method in a
new collection, etc. For Objective-C or Smalltalk only at this point.

http://www.spiritshigh.com/programmi...jects/hom.html

also see <http://wiki.gnustep.org/index.php/HigherOrderMessaging> for
some examples.

--
Pull out a splinter to reply.
 
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Andy Fish
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      04-30-2004

>
> Syntax sugar like Java 1.5's new looping construct, or code-generating
> IDEs, are a stopgap solution, and miss the point anyways.
>

code generating IDEs are a terrible thing in my opinion.

just about the worst thing about c# is that when you define a form and plonk
some controls on it, that just generates a load of code. the form definition
should be in a resource file (and preferably read at runtime).

I think the NeXT platform got a lot of things right with its concept of
"nib" files. basically you had a resource file with the program that
contained a load of serialized objects - including visual elements but also
things like database connections and your own objects. when the app
initialised it would just deserialize them (including the pointers from one
object to another obviously) which cut down on a lot of tedious constructor
code.


 
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David Hinkes
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      05-01-2004
On Fri, 30 Apr 2004 18:49:21 +0000, Andy Fish wrote:


> just about the worst thing about c# is that when you define a form and plonk
> some controls on it, that just generates a load of code. the form definition
> should be in a resource file (and preferably read at runtime).



Do you like libglade? A graphical program (Glade) is used to generate
forms and etc (similar Visual Studio) and an xml data file is generated.
This data file is opened at run time, and the libglade library sets up the
visual environment and signals according to the data in the file. Thus,
no code generation is used, but you get the ease of "drag-and-drop" GUI
layout.

It sounds like something you would like.

-Dave
 
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