[linux-elitists] Get off my lawn.
p.mayers at imperial.ac.uk
Sun Mar 13 08:12:25 PDT 2016
On 12/03/16 18:53, Don Marti wrote:
> Database as a service, function calls as a service, and
> of course storage and CDN as a service. All tied
But, but... my years of now-obsolete experience?!?!
I'm sure the industry will keep clinging to the best the 1970s has to
offer for a few more years yet. After all, there's no reason IT should
be any different to any other human endeavour :o(
Sarcasm aside, I wish them luck - our current approaches work well for
some problems, but badly for others. Even if their approach fails, the
manner of failure should be instructive, and we desperately need to
start thinking as a profession about the long-term endpoint of our efforts.
I'm not sure if it'll happen or if I'll live long enough to see it, but
if hardware performance eventually tops out and we reach a stable
saturation point of computing for any length of time - say a couple of
human lifespans - I suspect we'll see one of three outcomes:
1. A software engineering discipline with well-accepted principles of
design, widespread commonality of tools and standards, and a few well
accepted ways to attack a given problem - sort of like Civil
Engineering, but for code.
2. What Vernor Vinge called a "mature programming environment" - this is
not what you might think if you've not come across his work. "Programmer
archaeologist" is a job title. Bugs lurk dozens of layers deep in code
centuries old. And given the volume of code, ground-up rewrites are,
3. Software written by software written by software written by... Either
AI or something so close to it that the resultant code is as
incomprehensible to an unaided human as the full DNA code of a living
FWIW my money is on #2 - half my job already feels like archaeology, and
if I have to spend another half-day doing something as apparently simple
as deploying a WSGI application, I might quit and become a plumber. At
least it's up-front that you have to deal with s**t.
So good luck to 'em - maybe it'll steer us towards option #1.
Quite how they'll license it to avoid widening the already substantial
power-gap between infrastructure owners and users however...
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