Re: backup archive format saved to disk
On Sat, Dec 09, 2006 at 08:10:24AM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
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> On 12/08/06 20:27, Douglas Tutty wrote:
> > On Fri, Dec 08, 2006 at 11:26:19AM -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> >> On Thu, Dec 07, 2006 at 05:23:16PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
> > I wish there was an interactive museum where old-tech guys like me could
> > go play with the old stuff. My sense is that programmers of your
> > generation wrote tighter code than is common today since you had such
> > limited (compared to now) memory, processing, etc, into which to
> > shoe-horn things.
> Remember, though, that (except for esoteric boxen like LISP
> machines) systems were simpler back then. Mainly libraries written
> in assembly language. And no OO or GUI gunk!!!
To a large extent, that was *because* of limited memory and processing.
Algol 68 was a very good basic conception, and -- after the initial
Report had been Revised (which took a few years) -- an exceppent overall
design. Its input-output system was overly complex, and there were some
lexical issues that had not been tied down completely (character set
chaos still reigned then), but my experience with it were good. I had
the opportunity to use it in the late 70's, and found that it was not
unusual to write programs with tricky data structures of a thousand
lines and more and have them run correctly the first time they got
through the compiler's static checks.
I have not seen the like until I encountered Modula 3 and Eiffel,
decades later. For reasons I have not yet understood, Java doesn't come
close in this regard, even though it has garbage collection and strong
static type checking like the others. Still, Java is far, far better
for writing reliable code than C++.
The things I miss in Modula 3 and Eiffel are
compactness of notation
any statement can be syntactically embedded in an expression.
These are primarily notational issues, yet a lot of virtual ink has been
spilled about the complete conceptual difference between statements and
I've noticed the same kind of disputes in natural languages. For
example, English speakers usually perceive a clear semantic difference
between "many" and "much". Yet it's possible to give a purely syntactic
rule to distinguish them -- you use "many" when modifying a plural noun,
and "much" for a singular one.
> > I'm glad you guys are taking the time to share your wisdom and
> > experience here. Thank you.
Glad to do so.