Jason (jcreed) wrote,

The last couple posts on lambda the ultimate are somewhat infuriating, but it may be in large part just because I severely dislike Alan Kay's half-laconic and flavorless speaking style in this video, which meant that I didn't get through it all. But all I heard during the first third or so before I gave up was flimsy analogies between programming the real world and smug complaining. I'm to understand this guy produced some terrific software back in the day, but I don't see any great understanding of how he wrote that software being communicated. I think he's developed bad intuitions from his experience, intuitions that specifically don't make any sense to me given later inventions and changes in the way we use computers.

I mean, how can you even talk to someone that thinks it's a bad idea that, (this is about 24 minutes in) say, there are formats in the world like HTML that, horrors, require a program that understands how to parse and interpret HTML? Who believes that instead you should just ship around untrusted code around the internet that "knows how to render itself"? Does he really think this is even bypassing the problem, as if you didn't have to standardize on the language itself, or does it not count as any effort if we all just standardized on his favorite language? Does he still think the internet is full of nice people that only want to communicate interesting ideas to you?
Tags: angst, web

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