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Re: [feyerabend-project] The greatest programs no one knows about

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  • Uwe Zdun
    Erann, I think this is a great idea! I have a quite intimate knowledge of the Tcl internal C API which is used by quite a few projects as a generic component
    Message 1 of 12 , Nov 7, 2001
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      Erann,

      I think this is a great idea! I have a quite intimate knowledge of the Tcl
      internal C API which is used by quite a few projects as a generic component
      glueing and platforms independence API for C and C++. It is not exactly an
      unknown program, but this use is relatively little known compared to its use
      as a scripting language. But it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest and
      most useful C APIs ever written. And it is developed since 1987 ... so its
      quite old as well.

      If you like this idea and proceed with the book, I could supply a chapter
      quite quickly, say in 1-2 months ... I know a few of the Tcl core developers,
      perhaps I could convince them to work on it as well.

      Regards,

      Uwe



      On Tuesday 30 October 2001 11:44 pm, you wrote:
      > At the Feyerabend workshop the idea came up of putting together a book
      > about the great programs that no one knows about and that are therefore
      > being reinvented slowly and badly. The canonical example at the workshop
      > was the natural language parser that Richard described. My professional
      > situation is now settling down to the point where I could have time to
      > edit such a work (and perhaps write a chapter for it as well). I'd like
      > to guage the intereste among the Feyerabend crowd in contributing a
      > chapter to such a book. If you think you might be willing to contribute
      > would you please respond to me with a few-sentence description of the
      > program you'd like to write about. Please include the following
      > information: What was the program called? Who wrote it? When and where
      > was it written? And (briefly) what did it do?
      >
      > Some ground rules: the program should be at least N years old for some
      > value of N. I'm going to set N initially equal to 10, but I'm open to
      > arguments for other values. Also, the requirement that no one knows about
      > it shouldn't be taken too literally. It's OK if the existence of the
      > program is widely known. If there are technical details that are not
      > widely known but are applicable to contemporary concerns that's enough.
      > The main point is to have a book that presents old solutions to problems
      > that people are currently beating their heads against the wall about. So,
      > for example, a detailed description of the programming environment on the
      > original Alto machines would probably be OK despite the fact that the
      > existence of Smalltalk is widely known.
      >
      > Also please give me an indication of your enthusiasm and availability,
      > e.g., "I would like to contribute, but I'm busy and this will have to be
      > done in my spare time so don't count on me." or "This is the greatest idea
      > since the nand gate and I will move Heaven and Earth to get a chapter
      > written before the new year."
      >
      > Thanks,
      > Erann Gat
      > gat@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > feyerabend-project-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

      --
      Uwe Zdun
      Institute for Computer Science, University of Essen
      Phone: +49 201 81 00 332, Fax: +49 201 81 00 398
      zdun@{xotcl,computer,acm}.org, uwe.zdun@...
    • Uwe Zdun
      Hi, sorry for sending it to the whole list ... it was an accident. --uwe
      Message 2 of 12 , Nov 7, 2001
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        Hi,

        sorry for sending it to the whole list ... it was an accident.

        --uwe
      • Erann Gat
        We forgive you. BTW, Uwe is the first person to volunteer to write a chapter. So if you ve been thinking that it would be nice to do but you re too busy and
        Message 3 of 12 , Nov 7, 2001
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          We forgive you.

          BTW, Uwe is the first person to volunteer to write a chapter. So if
          you've been thinking that it would be nice to do but you're too busy and
          others will pick up the slack now is the time to change your mind. Unless
          a few more people step up to the plate it's not gong to happen.

          Erann
          gat@...
          gat@...

          On Wed, 7 Nov 2001, Uwe Zdun wrote:

          > Hi,
          >
          > sorry for sending it to the whole list ... it was an accident.
          >
          > --uwe
        • Pascal Costanza
          ... I think we can discuss this publicly, because this enhances the probability that others join. ... OK, I comit myself to a chapter about the Oberon system.
          Message 4 of 12 , Nov 12, 2001
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            Erann Gat wrote:
            >
            > We forgive you.

            I think we can discuss this publicly, because this enhances the
            probability that others join.

            > BTW, Uwe is the first person to volunteer to write a chapter. So if
            > you've been thinking that it would be nice to do but you're too busy and
            > others will pick up the slack now is the time to change your mind. Unless
            > a few more people step up to the plate it's not gong to happen.

            OK, I comit myself to a chapter about the Oberon system. I don't know
            yet where to take the time from, but I think it's possible for me to do
            this.


            Pascal

            --
            Deadline for the Second German Workshop on AOSD: December 1, 2001
            http://i44w3.info.uni-karlsruhe.de/~pulvermu/workshops/aosd2002/

            Pascal Costanza Email: costanza@...
            University of Bonn Roemerstr. 164
            Institute of Computer Science III D-53117 Bonn (Germany)

            Fon: +49 (0)228 73-4505 Homepage:
            Fax: +49 (0)228 73-4382 http://www.pascalcostanza.de
          • Brian Marick
            ... A thought: a few people who were interested in writing on systems they didn t know could make a dent in this project. I envision them reading some papers,
            Message 5 of 12 , Nov 19, 2001
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              At 11:03 AM 11/12/01, you wrote:
              >Erann Gat wrote:
              > >
              > > We forgive you.
              >
              >I think we can discuss this publicly, because this enhances the
              >probability that others join.
              >
              > > BTW, Uwe is the first person to volunteer to write a chapter. So if
              > > you've been thinking that it would be nice to do but you're too busy and
              > > others will pick up the slack now is the time to change your mind. Unless
              > > a few more people step up to the plate it's not gong to happen.

              A thought: a few people who were interested in writing on systems they
              didn't know could make a dent in this project. I envision them reading some
              papers, interviewing one or more of the people who know the system cold,
              and writing it up. It could be an occasional series, entries posted on a
              web site or perhaps in IEEE Software or the like, eventually collected into
              a book.

              So the model would be Organick's Multics book, but in miniature.

              For example, I think Keykos (a capability security system) is interesting,
              but it's poorly described. (At least, it used to be.) If I could learn more
              and also write something up, I would. But not this year.

              --
              Brian Marick, marick@...
              www.testing.com - Software testing services and resources
              www.testingcraft.com - Where software testers exchange techniques
              www.visibleworkings.com - Adequate understanding of system internals
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