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Code longevity

I recently wrote about the impending centenary of applied computing; a time when we could reflect on the first hundred years to make it easier for people to progress beyond our position into the second hundred years. This necessitates looking at the things we’ve tried, the things that succeeded and the things that failed. It […]

Preparing for Computing’s Big One-Oh-Oh

However you slice the pie, we’re between two and three decades away from the centenary celebration for applied computing (which is of course significantly after theoretical or hypothetical advances made by the likes of Lovelace, Turing and others). You might count the anniversary of Colossus in 2043, the ENIAC in 2046, or maybe something earlier […]

Intuitive is the Enemy of Good

In the previous instalment, I discussed an interview in which Alan Kay maligned growth-restricted user interfaces. Here’s the quote again: There is the desire of a consumer society to have no learning curves. This tends to result in very dumbed-down products that are easy to get started on, but are generally worthless and/or debilitating. We […]

How much programming language is enough?

Many programmers have opinions on programming languages. Maybe, if I present an opinion on programming languages, I can pass off as a programmer. An old debate in psychology and anthropology is that of nature vs nurture, the discussion over which characteristics of humans and their personalities are innate and which are learned or otherwise transferred. […]

On too much and too little

In the following text, remember that words like me or I are to be construed in the broadest possible terms. It’s easy to be comfortable with my current level of knowledge. Or perhaps it’s not the value, but the derivative of the value: the amount of investment I’m putting into learning a thing. Anyway, it’s […]

Some so-called expert

There’s a comedy sketch being frequently tweeted called The Expert. Now, all programmers will be aware that there is nothing funnier than interpreting a joke literally and telling everyone the many ways in which it’s wrong, and that there is no way to be seen as a more intelligent and empathetic person than to do […]

The Software Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes viewed society as a meta-person, a gigantic creature whose parts were human and which was in the service of those humans. Left to their own devices, people would not work well together as their notion of individualism and search for personal gain leads directly to conflict: strong government is needed to instil a […]

Where am I going with this?

I recently asked how people would describe this Secure Mac Programming blog were they trying to tell someone else they should read it. Of all the answers, the one that most succinctly sums up the trouble with the old name is from Alan: @secboffin Not Just Secure, Not Just Mac, Not Just Programming. I’m probably […]

My use of Latin: a glossary

i.e.: I Explain e.g.: Example Given et al.: Extremely Tedious Author List op. cit.: Other Page Cited It Too ibid.: In Book I Described etc.: Evermore To Continue a.m.: Argh! Morning! p.m.: Past Morning ca.: Close Approximation sic.: See Inexcusable Cock-up

Depending on the self-interest of strangers

The title is borrowed from an economics article by Art Carden, which is of no further relevance to this post. Interesting read though, yes? I’m enjoying the discussion in the iOS Developer Community™ about dependency of app makers on third-party libraries. My main sources for what I will (glibly, and with a lot of simplification) […]

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