Sunday, November 23, 2003

James Gosling's research into Visualizing Complexity seems like it might become very interesting.

Wish I could see some cool pictures though.

Update : Another interesting paragraph from the interview : In some sense, the brilliant thing that Tim Berners-Lee did was simply to say, "I don't care." For 20 years people had been failing to solve [problems of broken links] in any large-scale way. Berners-Lee decided to just do the simple obvious thing that solves the problem he needed, namely, getting ahold of a resource. And that's actually an easy problem. Coming up with those names, URLs, is a relatively straightforward thing. He did that, and that enabled a lot of what the Web is today. But the Web has all these problems. What happens if a Web page moves or gets deleted? That is exactly the problem of maintaining or managing the configuration of any large scale distributed system. On the one hand, the URL design has made the Web somewhat fragile. Broken links are all over the place. On the other hand, if they had tried to really solve that problem, the Web never would have happened, because the problem is just too hard.

My first thought. Gosling gets it. But doesn't seem to have got the analogous case of strong typing.

Second thought. Why do I think that forcing strong typing on people is like forcing them to manage the complexity of preventing broken links? It's a very strong intuition for me. But maybe I need to explore this further, and see if it's really true or not.

I'll probably do that on the wiki : Start here : ThoughtStorms:AgainstTyping.

Obviously it's something to do with one-way links. When you force strong typing on the programmer, you force her to pay that cost of managing the co-ordination of the typing in different parts of the program. And as the program gets larger and more complicated, so those co-ordination costs explode ... well keep watching the wiki, that's where this'll be developed.

No comments: