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Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarcer Than We Thought

gbooch Data drawn from relatively young Web-facing orgs (445 comments)

Interesting raw data, but be very careful about drawing broad conclusions from this fascinating but highly-self-selected set of companies: the spreadsheet lists mostly companies that are relatively young and almost entirely Web-facing.

The world of software development extends far, far beyond work that is clustered at the edges of the Internet.

about a year ago

What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

gbooch Re:Times change (704 comments)

OMG, please tell me you are not old enough to vote too.

We study influential software for the same reason we study the past in any domain: to learn of the forces that shape what is, the human stories that lead to these artifacts, the design decisions and the lessons learned therein. What you see on your desktop today is the current end of a long chain of "obsolete software" that includes MacPaint, and Whirlwind, and any number of earlier systems that bring us to current dominant designs. Economically significant and useful software intensive systems all have such a legacy, and your hubris in so quickly dismissing the value of understanding anything older than your professional lifetime is staggeringly depressing to me. May you never be on any development team that has to grapple with the refactoring of legacy code.

about 2 years ago

Why We Need More Programming Languages

gbooch It's Not The Programming Language, Stupid (421 comments)

Just be clear, I'm not calling anyone stupid (remember what Clinton said? no no no, not "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." the other thing he said. about the economy.)

Two thoughts:

First, in a way, this is a silly discussion. Of course we need new languages. All interesting software-intensive systems are full of little languages (we just write them ourselves in other standard languages).

Second, it really isn't about the programming language. Yes, different languages make you think/act/work/abstract in fundamentally different ways, but ultimately it is the programming model of the surrounding libraries that has a greater impact on one's productivity.

more than 3 years ago

Why We Need More Programming Languages

gbooch Re:Pffft. (421 comments)

I had the pleasure of conducting an oral history with the late John Backus. He reported that functional programming was a failure for the general case, for it was easy to do hard things but hard to do easy things.

I don't know what war you think functional programming is winning, but it only shows up on the minor sideline of the wars i'm engaged in.

more than 3 years ago

The Second Coming of Virtual Worlds

gbooch business value of virtual worlds (117 comments)

Over the past two years, I've conducted close to 50 lectures and business meetings in Second Life. This has save me time - I can easily appear "live" to an audience half a world away without the attendant cost of time to get there - and it has saved IBM money - I'm shipping my bits, not my atoms. I created an avatar that looks very much like me in real life, and by using voice inside Second Life, the overall experience for those with whom I interact is close enough to real life to be good enough for real business use, especially given the economic benefit. Before the end of the year, I'll have started a virtual office on one of the IBM islands where I'll be holding regular office hours - something that many Lindens already do - for we do have an in world community that spans the world, and this will actually extend my reach.

So, it's not about the economics of buying and selling virtual things in world; for me, it's using a virtual world as an extension of my real world. Being in world is subtly better than NetMeeting (which works ok for point meetings but not so well with multiple attendees...and besides, I prefer to use real operating systems, so I only have Mac and Linux machines around) and - especially when I'm connecting to places where the network infrastructure is less well developed - requires no special equipment on the distant ends. When all the folks with whom I'm interacting are in world, social interaction carries out much like in the real world, with small groups forming and reforming. This is better than video for me, as it to some degrees encourages serendipitous communication and addresses the watercooler problem.

Lest you think I'm a shill for IBM, please note that I'm only a minor player in the larger metaverse community that has evolved at our grassroots. There's more going on than I can describe here, with regard to IBM's internal use of virtual worlds (as one brief example, we just held our first Academy meeting entirely in world; additionally, given these economic times, a life Academy meeting had been cancelled - but in its place there will be, among other things, an in world meeting).

With growing energy costs, conducting business in world as an extension of the real world is where I, for one, am reaping economic value.

more than 6 years ago



Apple II DOS source code released

gbooch gbooch writes  |  about a year ago

gbooch (323588) writes "The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, is not just a museum of hardware, but also of software. The Museum has made public such gems as the source code for MacPaint, Photoshop, and APL, and now code from the Apple II. As their site reports:

"With thanks to Paul Laughton, in collaboration with Dr. Bruce Damer, founder and curator of the Digibarn Computer Museum, and with the permission of Apple Inc., we are pleased to make available the 1978 source code of Apple II DOS for non-commercial use. This material is Copyright © 1978 Apple Inc., and may not be reproduced without permission from Apple.""

Link to Original Source

Source code for Photoshop 1.0

gbooch gbooch writes  |  about 2 years ago

gbooch writes "With the permission of Adobe Systems, the Computer History Museum has made available the source code for Photoshop version 1.0.1, comprising about 128,000 lines code within 179 files, most of which is in Pascal, the remainder in 68000 assembly language.

This the kind of code I aspire to write.

The Computer History Museum has earlier made available the source code to MacPaint (which you'll find here http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/macpaint-and-quickdraw-source-code/)."

Link to Original Source

MacPaint Source Code Released

gbooch gbooch writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gbooch (323588) writes "The Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View, California, is not only a museum of hardware but also a museum of software. As reported by Arik Hesseldahl of Bloomberg today, with the permission of Apple Computer, the Museum has made available the original source code of MacPaint as well as the underlying QuickDraw graphics library.

MacPaint was written by Bill Atkinson, a member of the original Macintosh development team. Originally called MacSketch, he based it on his earlier LisaSketch (also called SketchPad) for the Apple Lisa computer. Bill started work on the Macintosh version in early 1983. He also created QuickDraw (then called LisaGraf) for the Lisa. Andy Herzfeld, another key member of the team, considers QuickDraw "the single most significant component of the original Macintosh technology" in its ability to "push pixels around in the frame buffer at blinding speeds to create the celebrated user interface."

MacPaint was released with the Macintosh in January, 1984. The application was written in Apple Pascal and was packaged in a single file of only 5,822 SLOC, together with an additional 3,583 lines of assembly code for the underlying Motorola 68 microprocessor, used to implement routines needing high performance as well as certain interfaces to the operating system. QuickDraw was the Macintosh library for creating bit-mapped graphics and was used by MacPaint and other applications, and consisted of a total of 17,11 lines of 68 assembly code packaged in 36 files."

Link to Original Source


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