Re: sj: programming, ethics, embodiment

Sounds religious, which is worrisome

It is religious in a way. I dislike proprietary standards because of how they can concentrate power and wealth. Knowing that there are people starving and dying because of how power is distributed bothers me and there is a moral aspect to trying to change things. In a world without scarcity I wouldn’t care who wanted to have control.

Also keep in mind what it means to be “open” — take for example, Mono. Mono does a really good job of running .NET apps. There are Frontpage extensions for Apache, that do some stuff (never used em; I don’t know, and I don’t care). One of Mono’s primary goals is to support ASP.NET, and Microsoft hinted that they may be supporting Apache ASP.NET integration in the future.

I don’t have gifs on my webpage even though unisys is not going to come find me. You can only send me messages in jabber even though aim is freely available. I believe that the clr is going to be a published and freely available standard the Microsoft will not change quickly. If I end up having to interface with an activeX control in the future for some reason I can see using .NET.

Part of it is that it is Microsoft. There is a real reason why they are in court for anti-competitive practices. Some companies might not leverage the power of a proprietary standard to the detriment of third party developers, but if Microsoft thought it would do them well I am pretty sure they would.

At least for me, Visual Basic has a HORRIBLE connotation: A programming language for idiots. The language claims to be high level yet it lacks much of the functionality present in truly high level languages like Modula-3, Lisp, OCaml. Just wondering if you don’t experience this same kind of prejudice.

I wrote VB for 6 months in Huntsville developing an interface and control code for a third party 3D control. I came to revile the language for technical reasons, but that is a separate issue.

The best way to learn something is often to start from the beginning; and I personally would much rather start from scratch than work with other people’s code.

It is not harder for anyone to start from scratch on their framework. Everyone is just like that pretty much. The reason for working on a project is, no matter how good you are, you can’t equal the productivity of a group of talented developers. You lose control when working with other people, but you get to help build something useful.

I submitted two patches to an apache project called torque today. It made my code work better and now it will make anyone who uses the project work better. Yesterday it was two bug reports on mozilla (I can get it to crash in 98.) These projects are of a complexity that I could not develop them on my own and still get my job done. I can however help improve them so they suit my needs and I make them better for everyone else as well. I could probably fudge something to fix my problems and get it done, but it is not as high quality of a solution (in the Pirsigian sense) in my opinion.

While you do have a support base from a large open source project, you also have the problems that come along with that: Buggy software, inadequate support for the features you need unless you code it yourself, and unless you want to dive into the code (which is very often poorly designed and “write-only”) you are limited to what the authors give you. And then when you do dive into the code yourself, you constantly have to manually kludge CVS or patch/xdelta/whatever to merge in changes from upstream.

Sounds like you haven’t found the right group to work with. =) I am working on some of the apache projects and there are many people there who know their stuff well and are very nice to work with.

Honestly, reading your post makes it sound like the project was doomed to failure.

M and I went out yesterday and did a neat little thing he knew about from reading game development sites. It was called a postmortem and we went over what we wanted to get done, what we did, what went right and what went wrong. It was really neat.

The three biggest problems were:

  1. He was setting out to do a framework; I was setting out to make webpages
  2. Our experience with the chosen language was widely disparate; I’ve been paid to write java for 3 years; he learned it last week
  3. I did not have time to experiment since I am under some serious deadlines in other work

It also smells like you may like Java religiously (and I must admit to thinking that Java is worth less than cold dog piss), and that makes me bigoted against you. Neither of you had a common ground to work from.

The thing is that we did. We think and decompose problems in very similar ways. We didn’t speak the same language, and though languages have nuances and expressions that matter alot, the issues in style usually matter more.

Java is certainly my primary language. I don’t know if I would say religiously or not. I’ve never written lisp though, so maybe I’ve just not found the right alternative yet. =) When I engineer software the object oriented paradigm works well for me. Java is certainly not the perfect language, but I do pretty well at getting my ideas expressed there. Also, web publishing wise the apache jakarta and xml projects have a huge quantity of software that is really useful in that area. There are things that I certainly don’t use it for.

Honestly I’m not qualified to argue this. I’m only now getting a project done that will see extended usage (more than 500 users maintained for probably more than 5 years). How my coding practices will play out has as of yet to be seen. I have high hopes, but in the end only time will tell. In general I have been wanting to talk to someone who I respect in the field. Not had much luck in finding someone who has done real work for use in the real world. I can tell that experience changes opinions and I don’t have the experience I think is necessary to have a well formed opinion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *