On 02/13/2018 06:19 PM, Dan Ritter wrote:
Slack is a particular outlier, because it's not really an IRC
application... and bundled with a complete web browser to run it
Slack is not the biggest thing I noticed on my phone. I think Google's
spreadsheet program is 118MB.
Again, though the waste might seem bothersome, I think there is
something bigger that is wrong here. When something is this ludicrous I
think it is a sign of bad engineering. If that's not too generous a word.
Look up some old Rube Goldberg cartoons. His running joke is crazy
roundabout ways (frequently involving a chicken pecking or hamster in a
treadmill or monkey tempted by bananas) to do simple things. When the
actual way we build computer systems is as convoluted as a Rube Goldberg
cartoon, I think becomes obvious something is wrong. It underscores that
"software engineering" isn't really an engineering discipline.
As software invades everything note the results. As we computerize new
things, they become less reliable. (How many of you have had to reboot
your cars?) One feature of a Rube Goldberg machine from 1948 is how
amazingly unreliable it would be in practice. Part of that is due to the
unreliability of any given chicken, but 70-years later, even without
real chickens in the works, it is unnervingly familiar...
If your answer to my "This is ridiculous!" were "Yes, but it works.",
that would be one thing. But this stuff doesn't work particularly well,
and the more modern the design the worse the results. There was a lot of
stuff that was computerized in the late '80s that still works today. How
much of the stuff we are building now has a prayer of lasting just ten
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