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wSaturday, May 17, 2003


Entropy!

"So the motive of a true program is a certain compact beauty and elegance and structuredness. But the reality of programming is that programs get old and they accumulate code over the years -- that's the only word I can use to describe it, they accumulate modifications. So old programs, after they've been in use 10 or 15 years, no one person understands them. And there is a kind of madness in dealing with this.

And with the new systems we're creating, even the ones that are running now, there's a tremendous amount of complexity. Right now, if you talk to people who try to run real-world systems, it is a struggle against entropy. They're always coming apart. And people don't really talk about that part much. The real-world experience of system managers is a kind of permanent state of emergency. Whereas programmers are kind of detached for a time and go into this floating space, networking people live in this perpetual now." - Ellen Ullman - Elegance and Entropy





posted by Weston at 5:40 PM



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