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Re: backup archive format saved to disk

On Sat, Dec 09, 2006 at 08:10:24AM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 12/08/06 20:27, Douglas Tutty wrote:
> > On Fri, Dec 08, 2006 at 11:26:19AM -0500, hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:
> >> On Thu, Dec 07, 2006 at 05:23:16PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
> [snip]
> > 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.

-- hendrik

> > I'm glad you guys are taking the time to share your wisdom and
> > experience here.  Thank you.

Glad to do so.

-- hendrik

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