[thelist] Re: philosophical or possibly somewhat OT

Carol Stein techwatcher at accesswriters.com
Mon Mar 24 08:07:04 CST 2003

Hi, Kevin, et al

> We don't, there's other technologies out there for RIAs.
Yes, that's why I asked the question... For what might we need an RIA?

>> We all know coding by committee stinks -- or to put it positively, the best
>> code is always (in my long experience) written by an individual
> I'd have to disagree with this completely.
> No major porgram can be completed by one person alone.
Now it's very interesting to me that you can say that. In my 25+ years as a
documenter, I'd have to say ALL the good programs I've documented were
written by a gifted individual, although sometimes he (usually was male)
had help extending it by the time I was hired for documentation/user
guides. I suspect, also, that the original PhotoShop, or at least the guts
of it, was written by the one programmer whose name appears on its opening

Back in 1980 or so, one man wrote an OS for the TRS-80 which would read any
file written in any OS for the Z-80, and write to the file format already
on the 5.5" diskette, or in any file format for any OS you wanted to use.
Around 1984 I documented a portfolio selection system written by one man at
a major brokerage firm -- it wasn't even his job! They called me in to
document what he'd done because his employer thought they could sell it to
other brokerages! Around 1987, one man (who had earlier worked for Bell
Labs) wrote a system of programs which would read statements archived on a
tape (which, as you may or may not know, could use a wide variety of
standard and non-standard formats), pretty much any kind of statement, and
archive them to large optical disks (back when they were new), in such a
way that the records became permanent retrievable statements that could be
accessed in almost any way.

The fact that you have never experienced the power of an application
written by a strong programmer indicates to me either that you are young
and quite inexperienced, or that we (or those in whatever country you
reside in) have lost a capability rather important to our age. Do the rest
of the Web developers on this list also have this misperception, that
programming is essentially a team sport???

> Software development is an extremely immature process and in time it will
> mature and grow and you will see group porjects work better.
Unfortunately, software development has been going BACKWARDS for at least
the past 15 years. I've met young would-be hackers (mostly in chess-related
chat areas) who didn't know what "hex" was, let alone how to read it.
Modular programming has been ignored in favor of "quick-and-dirty" since
forever, it seems. Most programmers dealing with databases wear the
blinders of SQL or its kin, and aren't even aware how blinded they are.

To return to the real topic: Can anyone think of something we can do with
an RIA appropriately?


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