Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

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Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Thu May 30, 2002 3:40 pm

"Bill Caroselli (Q-TPS)" <QTPS@EarthLink.net> wrote in message
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"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:ad2sam$aqt$1@nntp.qnx.com...
"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:ad2rie$h6c$1@inn.qnx.com...
That's a good concept, but in your case you need something that's 100%
accurate and working; for mine, I can get away with stuff like "// add
your code here" :-)

I know....it's always so much easier to HAVE and idea than to implement
it.

I disagree. Give me legs and I'll make a computer dance like Fred Astair.

I can implement any well defined project. And if it's not well defined I
will define it and tell you the pros, cons and alternatives to each
decision. But my problem is being creative. I'm lousy at coming up with
ideas.
Well defined project? Sure, that's easy. But how many projects are really
that well defined? I'm including the definition as part of the
implementation. Me having a cool idea is not the same as defining it. For
example, how are you going to represent the 'sum total of all embedding QNX
knowledge' in such a way that an algorithm can take some parameters and
generate an optimal buildfile doing everything you need? Once you've
defined your data representation, algorithms and interfaces, the code often
writes itself but getting the correct definition is non-trivial.

Kris

Andrzej Kocon

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Andrzej Kocon » Mon Jun 03, 2002 5:29 pm

On 28 May 2002 18:17:00 GMT, nospam88@parse.com (Robert Krten) wrote:

Well, there are still two or three immortal questions, from
unde malum to software crisis, that have hardly been "done", and the
"Encyclopaedia of Ignorance: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About
the Unknown", being 25 years old, needs a new edition.

For a couple of things that haven't been done in our field see
for example EWD1304, "The end of computing science" (and EWD1305,
"Answers to questions from students of Software Engineering" ("the
approximate reconstruction of the questions is left as an exercise to
the reader")):
http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd13xx/EWD1304.PDF
http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd13xx/EWD1305.PDF

I haven't seen quantum (not Quantum) computers yet, but you
can download QCL 0.4.3, a programming language for those beasts to run
on conventional computers. Interesting claims about computational
complexity of quantum algorithms are made, and funny measures of
complexity are proposed (not time, not space, but energy for example).
Hope it won't end like the "5th generation computers" project...

ako
Remember the Simpson's episode with Homer on top of Moe's bar with his band?
Limo pulls up, George Harrison pokes his head out and says, "It's been done".

Well, that's kind of the way I feel about the current state of affairs in
the software field.

(...)

Anyway, I'm done. Anyone have any ideas on what would be "fun"? (apart from
restoring old computers, of course :-))

Cheers,
-RK
--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Doug Rixmann

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Doug Rixmann » Thu Jun 06, 2002 3:01 pm

Great insight Robert.

I think there's another result of "It's Been Done":

As a relative newcomer to the software industry, my feeling is that because
"it's been done", developers generally try to find new ways to do the same
thing making very simple code very complex. I'm a believer in the philosophy
of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) or as our politically correct Cub Scout
leader in our company says KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun).

We all want to be innovators but sometimes simple is the way to go.

Doug

"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:ad0his$p52$1@inn.qnx.com...
Remember the Simpson's episode with Homer on top of Moe's bar with his
band?
Limo pulls up, George Harrison pokes his head out and says, "It's been
done".

Well, that's kind of the way I feel about the current state of affairs in
the software field.

Remember when an "operating system" was something to fear and hold in awe?
How did those guys do it? What made it work? How did their memory system
work? Nowadays, it's "been done". POSIX says "this is the set of
functions
you will have". QSSL, to their credit, has done an excellent job in
implementing
the POSIX specs, leaving very little to the imagination. Sure, QNX 4 and
Neutrino
are really "clean" implementations of operating systems, taking tons of
talent
and so on to do, but... "it's been done".

The separation between filesystem, TCP/IP stack, device drivers, and core
OS
is again so well done that it leaves little to "wonder" at.

Remember compilers? This was something that was almost "godlike" in its
ability to "understand" C code and generate low level machine code.
Nowadays, "it's been done".

There are tons of other examples.

The database guys haven't progressed -- a database is still not some kind
of
wonderful, futuristic AI-like replacement for memory, it's just a set of
indexes
into files. Wheee... "it's been done".

The point of this tirade (and I did warn you-all it would be one :-))
is that I'm really kinda bored -- what's going to be
the "next" *exciting* thing in the software field that you can hold in awe
and terror (like OS's and compilers used to be)?

About the only thing that jumps out at me is the field of AI -- and this
is
because of two things: my own general ignorance of the state-of-the-art
in
the field, and my perception that it's all just the same old crap -- do
they
still use LISP? Are they any closer to making a truly artificial
intelligence?
I don't need something that looks and acts like a human -- if it is truly
"artificial" it could have its own way of looking at the world and
interacting
with it -- that's fine. It doesn't need to love, or express emotion, or
be
able to compose music (necessarily). It just needs to be able to do
something
that shows its intelligence.

Anyway, I'm done. Anyone have any ideas on what would be "fun"? (apart
from
restoring old computers, of course :-))

Cheers,
-RK
--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Robert Krten

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Robert Krten » Thu Jun 06, 2002 3:07 pm

Doug Rixmann <rixmannd@rdsdata.com> wrote:
Great insight Robert.

I think there's another result of "It's Been Done":

As a relative newcomer to the software industry, my feeling is that because
"it's been done", developers generally try to find new ways to do the same
thing making very simple code very complex. I'm a believer in the philosophy
of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) or as our politically correct Cub Scout
leader in our company says KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun).

We all want to be innovators but sometimes simple is the way to go.
That's a good point; I hadn't really considered the "innovation through complexity"
angle :-) We all know companies that have done that :-)

Cheers,
-RK
Doug

"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:ad0his$p52$1@inn.qnx.com...

Remember the Simpson's episode with Homer on top of Moe's bar with his
band?
Limo pulls up, George Harrison pokes his head out and says, "It's been
done".

Well, that's kind of the way I feel about the current state of affairs in
the software field.

Remember when an "operating system" was something to fear and hold in awe?
How did those guys do it? What made it work? How did their memory system
work? Nowadays, it's "been done". POSIX says "this is the set of
functions
you will have". QSSL, to their credit, has done an excellent job in
implementing
the POSIX specs, leaving very little to the imagination. Sure, QNX 4 and
Neutrino
are really "clean" implementations of operating systems, taking tons of
talent
and so on to do, but... "it's been done".

The separation between filesystem, TCP/IP stack, device drivers, and core
OS
is again so well done that it leaves little to "wonder" at.

Remember compilers? This was something that was almost "godlike" in its
ability to "understand" C code and generate low level machine code.
Nowadays, "it's been done".

There are tons of other examples.

The database guys haven't progressed -- a database is still not some kind
of
wonderful, futuristic AI-like replacement for memory, it's just a set of
indexes
into files. Wheee... "it's been done".

The point of this tirade (and I did warn you-all it would be one :-))
is that I'm really kinda bored -- what's going to be
the "next" *exciting* thing in the software field that you can hold in awe
and terror (like OS's and compilers used to be)?

About the only thing that jumps out at me is the field of AI -- and this
is
because of two things: my own general ignorance of the state-of-the-art
in
the field, and my perception that it's all just the same old crap -- do
they
still use LISP? Are they any closer to making a truly artificial
intelligence?
I don't need something that looks and acts like a human -- if it is truly
"artificial" it could have its own way of looking at the world and
interacting
with it -- that's fine. It doesn't need to love, or express emotion, or
be
able to compose music (necessarily). It just needs to be able to do
something
that shows its intelligence.

Anyway, I'm done. Anyone have any ideas on what would be "fun"? (apart
from
restoring old computers, of course :-))

Cheers,
-RK
--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Thu Jun 06, 2002 3:24 pm

There's a bunch of things you can aim for in your code - readability,
efficiency (time and space), reliability, maintainability and the ever
elusive 'elegance'.

I think elegance is one of the coolest concepts in programming, the closest
to art. It's not even simple to define. I heard it once defined as, "the
shortest length of code to accomplish the desired task". By that standard
though, some pretty obfuscated perl code would be considered elegant. Maybe
it's like the old saw, "I don't know art but I know what I like." Quicksort
is elegant. Dijkstra's algorithm is elegant. I think microkernel
architectures are elegant. Does the beauty lie in simplicity of form and
utility of function? Perhaps our job is complete not when there's nothing
more to add but when there's nothing left to take away.

Kris

"Doug Rixmann" <rixmannd@rdsdata.com> wrote in message
news:adnsos$65a$1@inn.qnx.com...
Great insight Robert.

I think there's another result of "It's Been Done":

As a relative newcomer to the software industry, my feeling is that
because
"it's been done", developers generally try to find new ways to do the same
thing making very simple code very complex. I'm a believer in the
philosophy
of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) or as our politically correct Cub Scout
leader in our company says KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun).

We all want to be innovators but sometimes simple is the way to go.

Doug

Jerry Chappell

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Jerry Chappell » Thu Jun 06, 2002 5:20 pm

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:adnud7$bqc$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Perhaps our job is complete not when there's nothing
more to add but when there's nothing left to take away.
Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your mouth.
In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got something to
say to the world!

Jerry

Chris Wiebe

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Chris Wiebe » Thu Jun 06, 2002 8:18 pm

Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)
Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your mouth.
In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got something to
say to the world!

Sean Boudreau

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Sean Boudreau » Thu Jun 06, 2002 8:20 pm

Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got something to
:> say to the world!

Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Thu Jun 06, 2002 9:44 pm

Yeah. I knew I had heard it somewhere before. I probably should have said,
"Someone once said..." but it ruined the flow of the prose.

Perhaps now I should make another quote:

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool
than to open it and remove all doubt. "
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

cheers,

Kris

"Sean Boudreau" <seanb@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:adog70$ooc$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your
mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got something
to
:> say to the world!


Robert Krten

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Robert Krten » Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:59 am

Sean Boudreau <seanb@qnx.com> wrote:
Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.
Or, as discussed at the Ottawa QNX Users' Group :-) we decided this
was somewhat akin to Einstein's famous quote (paraphrased) "You should
make things as simple as possible, but no simpler" :-)

Cheers,
-RK
Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got something to
:> say to the world!


--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:00 pm

Coincidentally, our discussion about how to prove 0.99999... == 1 was
answered on Slashdot this morning.

Set x = 0.99999999...

Then 10*x - x = 9*x
But 10*x = 9.9999999...
So 10*x - x = 9.999... - .999... = 9

So 9*x = 9 => x = 1

Also, I found the link to the video speech by William McDonough.
http://www.npr.org/programs/npc/020424.wmcdonough.html.
His book is called, "Cradle to Cradle". I saw his speech about a month ago
but I haven't read the book. It was also reviewed a few days ago at
http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?si ... ead&tid=13
4

cheers,

Kris

"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:adp0i0$1uc$1@inn.qnx.com...
Sean Boudreau <seanb@qnx.com> wrote:

Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Or, as discussed at the Ottawa QNX Users' Group :-) we decided this
was somewhat akin to Einstein's famous quote (paraphrased) "You should
make things as simple as possible, but no simpler" :-)

Cheers,
-RK

Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your
mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got
something to
:> say to the world!




--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Robert Krten

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Robert Krten » Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:24 pm

Kris Warkentin <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote:
Coincidentally, our discussion about how to prove 0.99999... == 1 was
answered on Slashdot this morning.

Set x = 0.99999999...

Then 10*x - x = 9*x
But 10*x = 9.9999999...
So 10*x - x = 9.999... - .999... = 9

So 9*x = 9 => x = 1

Also, I found the link to the video speech by William McDonough.
http://www.npr.org/programs/npc/020424.wmcdonough.html.
His book is called, "Cradle to Cradle". I saw his speech about a month ago
but I haven't read the book. It was also reviewed a few days ago at
http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?si ... ead&tid=13
4
Kewl! Thanks for the elegant proof and book ref.

Cheers,
-RK
cheers,

Kris

"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:adp0i0$1uc$1@inn.qnx.com...
Sean Boudreau <seanb@qnx.com> wrote:

Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Or, as discussed at the Ottawa QNX Users' Group :-) we decided this
was somewhat akin to Einstein's famous quote (paraphrased) "You should
make things as simple as possible, but no simpler" :-)

Cheers,
-RK

Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your
mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got
something to
:> say to the world!




--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:59 pm

"Robert Krten" <nospam88@parse.com> wrote in message
news:adp0i0$1uc$1@inn.qnx.com...
Sean Boudreau <seanb@qnx.com> wrote:

Or Antoine de Saint Exupery.

Or, as discussed at the Ottawa QNX Users' Group :-) we decided this
was somewhat akin to Einstein's famous quote (paraphrased) "You should
make things as simple as possible, but no simpler" :-)
In some ways it's related to Occam's Razor: always choose the simplest
explanation that fits the facts. Or, to paraphrase, choose the simplest
implementation that solves the problem.

Kris
Cheers,
-RK

Chris Wiebe <cwiebe@qnx.com> wrote:
: Nah, he's just ripping off Michelangelo... ;)

:> Geez Kris, I've never heard something so 'elegant' come out of your
mouth.
:> In fact, I still haven't. But your fingers--wow--they've got
something to
:> say to the world!




--
Robert Krten, PARSE Software Devices +1 613 599 8316.
Realtime Systems Architecture, Books, Video-based and Instructor-led
Training and Consulting at www.parse.com.
Email my initials at parse dot com.

Jerry Chappell

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Jerry Chappell » Fri Jun 07, 2002 1:05 pm

"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:adq6ql$41q$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Coincidentally, our discussion about how to prove 0.99999... == 1 was
answered on Slashdot this morning.

Set x = 0.99999999...

Then 10*x - x = 9*x
But 10*x = 9.9999999...
So 10*x - x = 9.999... - .999... = 9
It's not a real proof because that's not entirely true:
9.999... - .9999... != 9

9.99999...
- 0.99999...
------------
= ~9 (but not exactly, because you have to round at some point instead of
checking the next value which is 9, not quite 0). Sorry to disappoint.

Jerry

Kris Warkentin

Re: Tirade (offtopic) "It's been done"

Post by Kris Warkentin » Fri Jun 07, 2002 1:21 pm

Jerry,

I'm shocked and saddened that you would show such a poor understanding of
infinity. ;-)

9.9999... - 0.9999 is NOT approximately 1. It is precisely 1. Consider.
For each 9 to the right of the decimal in the first term, is there a 9 in
the second term to correspond to it? So at what point do they diverge?

cheers,

Kris

"Jerry Chappell" <jchappell@cyberus.ca> wrote in message
news:adqaj3$70u$1@nntp.qnx.com...
"Kris Warkentin" <kewarken@qnx.com> wrote in message
news:adq6ql$41q$1@nntp.qnx.com...
Coincidentally, our discussion about how to prove 0.99999... == 1 was
answered on Slashdot this morning.

Set x = 0.99999999...

Then 10*x - x = 9*x
But 10*x = 9.9999999...
So 10*x - x = 9.999... - .999... = 9

It's not a real proof because that's not entirely true:
9.999... - .9999... != 9

9.99999...
- 0.99999...
------------
= ~9 (but not exactly, because you have to round at some point instead of
checking the next value which is 9, not quite 0). Sorry to disappoint.

Jerry


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