[REBOL] Re: [RSL/UHURU discussion]
From: gchiu:compkarori at: 26-May-2001 19:15
On Sat, 26 May 2001 06:46:25 GMT
Volker Nitsch <[agem--crosswinds--net]> wrote:
>So it has to keep »simple things simple« for mousers
>with limited time/interest.
>If it succeeds, these people will prefer to look at scripts
>instead of black boxes, because this boxes are highly
>abstract things which can't be touched, only documented.
If I understand you correctly, you are opposed to libraries
as they dumb down users who could potentially be learning to
be better programmers by examining scripts and building from
examples rather than using a black box.
If so, then that view is shared by some eminent programmers
including Charles Moore, the inventor of Forth.
This is taken from his annual fireside chat:
Now, I would like to address why this is, if this is, and
particularly what we can do about it. There was a movie on
one of the channels last night, It Conquered the World.
(1956) This creature had flying bats that went out and bit
people on the back of the neck, this is a very dangerous
place the back of the neck, and turned them into slaves. I
think it actually bit six people and that's what it means,
conquered the world."
But nobody realized what was going on with this kind of
threat, its insidious. You don't realize that it is a
serious "conquer the world" threat. Well it occurred to me
that we are subject to that kind of attack. That somehow
someone slipped into the software industry and has been
taking over the world. And everybody has been going along
with it accepting that this is the way things are in
software and that forty mega lines of code is needed to do
One of the things that happened, I guess twenty years ago,
was that we had the concept of automatic code generation
otherwise known as a compiler. And this did not let anyone
write code that could have been written before but it did
let less skilled people write code than what people were
used to. So we introduced into the profession a very very
large number of very very unskilled coders. You hardly can
call them programmers.
Now this may just not have hurt a little bit it may have
destroyed our civilization. The same thing is happening in
VLSI design. The silicon compilers are attempting to do the
same thing. Let lesser skilled people do what a small pool
of experienced expensive people used to do. It isn't
cheaper. It isn't better. It's just different.
This is what the bureacrats, the executives want. They want
industrial scale workforces. Ten times as many people
earning one tenth as much. The only justification is
redundancy It is certainly easier to manage a large group of
dumb people than a small group of smart people. You can't
replace the smart people, but you can replace the dumb
What our culture is doing is trying to do is build a
reliable system from a large number of unreliable parts. And
to do that you need a large number of unreliable parts.
Of course, such opinions haven't help popularize Forth!