"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Accretion vs. Evolution

Also from James Robertson, on accretion of features in popular programming systems, if not most software.

Java/JVM and C#/CLR evolution is interesting to watch as compared to the history of Smalltalk and Lisp. Consider how drastically Lisp changed from 1960 to 1970 or so, and the same for Smalltalk from 1970 to 1980. They had real developers using them in real situations, but the pressure to stagnate or the pressure to accrete cruft rather than replace it was not there.

Not only did Lisp and Smalltalk languages and tools support evolution as well as backward compatibility, the culture and organization encouraged even drastic swings in features.

J/J and C/C do not have those benefits, neither technical nor organizational. They are ultimately doomed, so the word to the wise would seem obviously to get off those platforms ASAP. Invest in systems that have proven themselves already for decades.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.