On 02/13/2018 06:19 PM, Dan Ritter wrote:

Slack is a particular outlier, because it's not really an IRC
program.

No, it's an IRC program written in Javascript as a web
application... and bundled with a complete web browser to run it
in.

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 years?

-kb
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