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Amusement

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It never ceases to amaze me how foolish some people can be - or at least sound - when talking about computer programming. I used to think that intelligence was evenly distributed for any individual person, but in fact it appears that people can be incredibly good programmers or writers but utterly out of touch with the rest of the world.

Exhibit One: an article - now removed, but linked to by this summary - made the rather bizarre claim that 'college students' like PHP and Python but don't like ERP. I don't know which amused me most - the fact that someone found it noteworthy that developers are interested in easy and productive languages that can do a variety of interesting things, and are hardly interested in the boring financial and inventory-tracking workings of the average business, or the fact that they went on to say that "maybe one day, it will be different". Er, no. I'm sorry, but developers are developers because they want to develop things. They don't give a damn about your inventory management or interaction with suppliers, and why should they? I'm not saying every programmer wants to write shoot-em-ups, but let's be serious now - management minutiae has no inherent interest to people interested in software and will only hold interest proportional to the amount of money you pay someone to work on it.

Exhibit Two: this vacuous exposition on 'tuple-space'. "Tuple spaces get really interesting, though, because different collectives of users of the tuple space can each agree upon different sets of meanings for tuples--and the agreements exist outside of tuple space, so the space doesn't need reconfiguration for any particular new use. Meanwhile, the infrastructure supporting the sharing of the tuple space remains simple, and the interface remains the same. Because they don't know any better, tuple spaces can allow for all kinds of sharing and coordination that no one necessarily has to plan for ahead of time."

Err, yeah. You know, every personal computer already has an implementation of this. There's an area called 'memory' which is divided up into bytes, and you can use those bytes however you like, arbitrarily assigning meaning to them as necessary. It's scary how ignorant people can stumble across an old idea, and rebrand it as something new and interesting. Speaking of which...

Exhibit Three: "Enforcing Strict ModelView Separation in Template Engines" (PDF). "Java began supporting server development with Servlets. [...] The next stage of evolution was the introduction of Java Server Pages (JSP), which at first glance seemed to be a big step forward. While JSP was not the answer, it did put the idea of a template into programmers' minds."

Yes, someone from the University of San Francisco wrote a (reasonably high quality) paper on web templating without realising the existence of ASP or PHP, which came along quite some time before Sun jumped on the bandwagon.




More information on my programming in the near future, honest. That is, if I don't get sidetracked into another rant on the 'dangers' of over-designing a software project. Recently I finished my exams at university and have been working on portfolio pieces (eg. random maze generation, cooperative AI, etc) rather than my main tactical shooter project.
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Guest Anonymous Poster

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Err, yeah... call me vacuous if you like, but I'll call you ignorant. I didn't invent Tuple Spaces, and you've missed the point: Tuple Spaces are networked and shared between machines; RAM, not so much. Also, a lot of RPC/messaging systems demand predefined structures, but tuple spaces don't need to know structure to work. And, tuple spaces offer pattern matching on new tuples as they appear in the space as a means of loosely-coupled messaging. It was an idea that fooled Sun and IBM enough to launch their own research implementations. I'm guessing you didn't read the link:

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TupleSpace

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To be clear, I don't think you are vacuous, I just think the particular description was. Many other parts of your blog I find interesting.

I don't think tuple-spaces are necessarily without merit or use; I just find it frankly bizarre to describe the concept in such a way that almost entirely describes something that existed long, long, ago, and yet still make it sound like it's a new and special thing. Perhaps this was deliberate on your part to make the concept comprehensible to the legions of people who know little other than the statically-typed languages they use daily?

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Guest Anonymous Poster

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Bah, after posting that comment, I wished I'd left out the too-clever name calling-- especially since I realized you were calling the *post* vacuous and not me. Tuple spaces are relatively new to me. And, my vagueries were in trying to tie tuple spaces to blogging. And well, that's certainly fair game for mockery.

(l.m.orchard of http://www.decafbad.com)

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