On Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:28:01 PM UTC+5:30, Roy Smith wrote:
> Rustom Mody wrote:
> > And yet programmers continue to be decades behind all other users of
> > computers. We continue to use flat text for our programs when all others
> > have moved on.
> It's not like we haven't tried. There have been a few attempts at using
> richer media to program (graphical UML editors, for example). They've
> all pretty much been failures.
In Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge starts by dilating on the length of time
1903 when the Wright brothers first flew and 1935 when the DC-3 ushered in
commercial air travel.
Five things were needed for that transition from pioneering to commercial:
| They were: the variable-pitch propeller, retractable landing gear, a type of
| lightweight molded body construction called "monocque," radial air-cooled
| engine, and wing flaps. To succeed, the DC-3 needed all five; four were not
| enough. One year earlier, the Boeing 247 was introduced with all of them
| wing flaps. Lacking wing flaps, Boeing's engineers found that the plane was
| unstable on take-off and landing and had to downsize the engine.
So maybe you are just being pessimistic when in fact we are in the (equivalent
that 30 year period?
Two more examples:
Dijkstra pointed out that it typically takes an idea a hundred years from
to mainstream. Think Cantor inventing set theory in 1880s, modern math entering
schools in 1970s.
A more extreme example: Europeans learnt first of Hindu-Arabic numerals in
1000 AD. IT took a good 500 years to give up on Roman numerals
> There *are* some places where non-text programming has won. The biggest
> example would be GUI builders. Nobody programs screen and window
> layouts by typing textual descriptions. They push boxes around in a GUI
And yet you routinely find people on this list recommending writing python to
On the one hand I am tempted to say "Sheesh!!"
On the other, maybe the builders are still too half-assed... Dunno
[BTW is there any equivalent for html?]