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Just taking it as presented. As I said, I know that's not
what he meant but that bit gets repeated too often and
actually, one should look at it. Duct tape is what we
use for broken technologies. (I've spent more of my
life on stage than in a computer lab but enough time
in both to know where the comparisons fall apart.)
The vision of the gleaming technology is older than
that. Go back to the thirties and even earlier for
the stainless steel buildings, art deco, etc. The
Empire State building is still standing. A lot of the
ticky tackys of the 50s aren't.
Raised floors hide the chaos. Facades hide the boilerplate.
A good designer enables upgrades. That is another reason
not to duct tape cables. It only works if the setup
isn't changed (ever have a drummer show up with a different
kit, a new drum, or the bass player and lead guitarist have
a fight in the dressing room and now want to be on opposite
sides of the stage?) Late bind the moving parts if you can.
And yes, that is why scripting is invaluable. The real
difference in what we do now and what we did in the 80s
is that objects are scripted in a thin client. Interpreters
have found their natural and effective role. On the
other hand, web clients never come up to the complexity,
reliability, and real workflow efficiency of thick
clients build with languages that are optimized for the
task at hand. Foxpro and its language are a good example
of application environments that refuse yield simply
because writing a SCAN statement is fast and hard to
screw up when compared to looping over a recordset
and keeping up with position.
It never completely settles down on a new paradigm
except where the environment is very very simple.
Tim still doesn't understand what information
ecosystem concepts really mean. It is all about
the predictability of environments and what to do
when they no longer are.
From: Adam Turoff [mailto:email@example.com]
> Only amateurs and desperate roadies duct tape mic cables.
I think you're reading too much into the duct tape metaphor.
On the one hand, there's a vision of an precision engineered system
where everything is well-designed up front, full of smooth polished
chrome and nary a stray line or unasthetically curved surface. It's a
vision of the future we had since at least the 1950s.
Then there's the hard reality, where things never work as flawlessly as
originally designed. This is the where the "duct tape" is visible, and
hacking is necessary to make things run in the real world.
Then there's the mix of the two approaches. In the real world, you
cannot avoid all of the chaos. So instead of ignoring it and dealing
with it at the last minute, you can support chaotic behavior by
installing raised floors and running all of the cable out of sight.
Perl, and the metaphor of the "duct tape of the internet" isn't about
amateurish use of immature technology. It's about accepting that shiny
gleaming COM/CORBA/SOAP/whatever components never work as flawlessly as
originally designed, and more often than not, someone needs to hack on a
system to make it work in the real world.