[Baypiggies] Chompapps Position - from Issue 31

Delbert Franz ddf at iqdotdt.com
Fri Oct 30 18:24:52 CET 2009

On Friday 30 October 2009, K. Richard Pixley wrote:
> Dennis Reinhardt wrote:
> Of course most of these technologies are under active development or at 
> least active maintenance.  So it's not entirely accurate to say that 
> we're using 40yo technology.
> My point here is that I'm working on a very modern project and yes, a 
> significant portion of the technology involved extends back 40 years or 
> more.
> --rich

Great point!  I have always taken those statements about the rapid 
change of "information" with a grain of salt:) Trying to pin down a 
good definition of what each author even means with the word 
"information" is nearly impossible.  Much of what we use every day has 
roots many years ago and much has not changed but  some has.  In 
my opinion much of what is called "information" today is what is 
really ephemeral--here today gone tomorrow and probably so much the 
better.  That covers much of the news, product announcements, 
predictions of the future:), all the mountains of "information" 
collected by web browsers, etc.  It might be useful for some group but 
most of us have no need of it.  

I work in mathematical modeling of water flow in rivers, canals, 
sewers, etc.  The conservation principles on which this is based are 
old, really old, and they have not changed at all:) The manner in 
which they are represented in the computer may have changed but most 
of the fundamental knowledge we learned in school is still "alive and 
well" today.  So, "Bah Humbug" on all this talk about "knowledge" 
going out of date in five years.  I have been writing sofware since 
1963 and most of the skills needed then are about the same as the 
skills needed now: how to abstract what is important from some 
physical understanding of the world and express that in the 
programming language at hand in a way that is useful, maintainable, 
and can be expanded over time.  The core design of my main piece of 
software was created in 1976 and has changed little since.  The code 
has expanded from about 2000 lines of Fortran executed on a 
mini-computer with 64kB of code space and 64kb of data space--yes kb, 
not mb, nor gb.  I have not bothered to count the lines of code now, 
who cares, but it is many times the original 2,000!  Also the Fortran
of today is far from the Fortran of 1976 which is one of the changes
that is a "good thing"! 

My $0.02 on the "information" explosion!


More information about the Baypiggies mailing list