No silver bullets? (was Re: Could Python supplant Java?)

Terry Hancock hancock at anansispaceworks.com
Thu Aug 22 10:52:51 CEST 2002


> Aahz wrote:
> > >* Silver bullet defined as that which can deliver an order-of-magnitude
> > >improvement in productivity, reliability, and simplicity, per comments
> > >I saw in the linked article:
> > >
> > >http://www.virtualschool.edu/mon/SoftwareEngineering/BrooksNoSilverBullet.html
> >
> > Enh.  If you're referring to
> > http://www.virtualschool.edu/cox/AmProTTEF.html
> > then I'm not so sure.
> 
> I wasn't.  I've never seen that before.  Maybe I will read it now.
> 
> > Brad Cox talks about the glories of the
> > capitalist system for regulating the manufacture of goods; while much of
> > what is he says is correct, he ignores the fact the current system hides
> > much of the actual costs (particularly to the environment, but also the
> > human cost).  That makes his argument much less compelling to me.
> 
> Agreement.  Maybe I won't read it after all. :)

Hmm. I read it. Did I just see the idea of a license
manager presented as if it were a Bold New Idea?

Seems to me they're an economic reality, and not a
very pretty one. I have the task of deploying Python
for scientific applications largely because of the
monopolistic price-gouging of certain companies who
make such use-charged software.  I can't say I really
find it enlightened.

Or perhaps there's some distinction I missed?

I like the free software idea a lot better.  I'm not
sure if it's a "silver bullet", but it sure seems
like it does exactly what Cox wanted (i.e. hide
complexity by making it possible to build on pre-existing,
but highly-encapsulated complexity). Seems to me
this is the point of things like the Python standard
library.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Cheers,
Terry

-- 
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Terry Hancock
hancock at anansispaceworks.com       
Anansi Spaceworks                 
http://www.anansispaceworks.com 
P.O. Box 60583                     
Pasadena, CA 91116-6583
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