strangest systems I've sent email from

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Apr 26 09:41:23 CDT 2016

On 25 April 2016 at 19:00, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> Hmmmmm.  Are you sure your personal interest in the topic hasn't pushed you
> to be a little sensitive about it ?


Because I was a support guy, and now am a writer, not a programmer. I
have been researching programming languages and operating systems for
decades now.

The #1 problem of the IT industry is not any language, not processor
design, not software or OS design.

It's culture.

Computers are built by people, and software for them is written by
people. And as people, we live in cultures. Some things are cool, or
desirable, or trendy. Some things give quick results, or are fun, or
are inherently fast but risky and unstable.

Others are hard, or are from the wrong college or company or country,
or need too much up-front effort, or are slower but safe.

And consistently, for decades, technically-illiterate managers have
chosen to spend money on things that are cheap but quick, that give
quick and dirty fixes.

As a result, what we have today are the descendants, not of the best
computers we have developed, but of the quickest-and-dirtiest lash-ups
that could be made to work long enough to get through a sales demo.

As a result, there's been a mass-extinction event of actual good code
written by smart people who defy convention. Instead, we have a very
small number of architectures and OSes, and layered on top of these
unsound foundations are a profusion of tools which try to piecemeal
fix the problems of the layers underneath -- and inevitably failing.

But that's what we use, and so people choose sides and mock the other
side. Unix people mock Windows people, and vice versa. Perl people
dislike Python, Python folk don't see the need for Ruby. C types look
down on all of them and desperately play down the stories of buffer
overflows and stack smashing.

And the industry is now huge, much comprised of people trying to fix
the screw-ups of others in other places. Massive amounts of code and
resources are devoted to keeping unstable stacks of unstable code in
unstable languages more or less standing and running, at least in

Swift, you have provided a superb example of this mockery. And now
you've been called on it, you are, in natural human fashion, lashing
out in return.

It's natural, it's human, and it's exactly why we have the stinking
pile of crap that we do today instead of tools that actually work.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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