[rescue] NeWS (was: FS/FTGH: Sun kit)

Richard legalize at xmission.com
Wed Jan 18 21:57:37 CST 2006

In article <Pine.LNX.4.64.0601181714430.16927 at q7.q7.com>,
    Skeezics Boondoggle <skeezics at q7.com>  writes:

> [...]  And X11 has been around for _years_ longer, was "open" for 
> development by a far larger community, and yet NeXT - a small company - 
> managed to accomplish (IMHO) far more with far less.  Why?

Because when you control the universe you can make sure that all the
pieces fit like the stones in Machu Picchu -- extremely tight with no
gaps.  This is similar to the situation with the Mac classic.

However, you're stuck with whatever you are given by the "gods" and if
you don't like it, you're screwed.

The strength of the Apple II, the IBM PC and the Windows environment
is exactly that there is this huge ecosystem of hardware and software
that can be deployed -- most of which was not even *considered* by the
original designers.  This is also its weakness because all the pieces
don't come from the same place, so sometimes there are visible gaps
between pieces.  The X Window System is the same way.  X only defines
a set of tools for enabling applications, it doesn't specify rules for
how those applications must look or feel.

The closed systems are an egomaniac's dream (if you're the egomaniac
that is designing them) or an egomaniac's nightmare (if you're stuck
with the design from some other egomaniac that you can't stand).  Like
I said, these closed systems developed from whole cloth are like
Arcosanti -- how ironic that Arcosanti's web site boasts that the
architect was consulted for a film about a megalomaniacal architect
who wants to "rebuild" New York City!

I'll take the chaotic evolutionary ecosystem stuff over the
egomaniacal "vision" anyday.

> [...]  They 
> were all too busy writing their own toolkits instead of end-user apps?

To my knowledge once Motif was out, most people didn't bother making
toolkits and "applications" that come from hardware companies usually
have the problem of trying to serve two masters: the application user
and the hardware vendor.  They usually end up being a good demo point
for pushing more hardware and a lousy application for end users.

> ... what has happened to software engineering in the last 10 
> years?

They've optimized for the brain time required to create a solution,
which is the most expensive part of making software these days.  The
old paradigm of enslaving yourself to the hardware because it was
expensive are long over.  Now its the brain time that is expensive and
CPU cycles, disk space and even whole processors are cheap.
"The Direct3D Graphics Pipeline"-- code samples, sample chapter, FAQ:
             Pilgrimage: Utah's annual demoparty

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