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I still say one of the weirder criticisms of software is "it's old". Ok? It's not like it literally rots. Like, I get that as software ages, sometimes it seems like it rots because the context it was written for moves forward and the old software can become fragile

But I've seen people complain about actively maintained software because it's old. And even unmaintained old software isn't automatically fragile: lots of it works perfectly fine

@urusan @calcifer But it's not like new software's any good. Every new program, especially if it's a remake of old stuff, is 100x worse each generation, like fax over a noisy line.

I don't think I have a single "new" program that's as good as the thing it replaced.

So mostly I use 30-40 year old software.

I keep trying to find better editors than 30-year-old Vim or BBEdit, and there aren't any. And STeVIe was 100x smaller & faster than Vim.

@urusan @calcifer So I have used notebooks, but you know what we had in the old days?

FORTRAN. You could use a program from Numerical Recipes, unchanged for 50 years, FORMAT your output into tab-delimited files, analyze them with any spreadsheet like VisiCalc, or pass it to any other program that can parse tab-delimited data.

Notebooks are silos, they don't interact with anything else, and they're interactive, you can't automate the whole thing.

@urusan @calcifer Now you're putting a *web server* in your numerical recipes math program. Don't you see how that's stupid, 1000x more resource waste than just running the math program?

THIS is the kind of absolute nonsense I'm getting at. The job to be done has been completely forgotten under bells and whistles.

@urusan Back in the day, the FORTRAN compiler I used fit in a 64K segment, because of course it had to. Modern F-2018 I'm sure is as bloated and ridiculous as all modern software.

@urusan See, that's just my point. Every program is worse than the 30-year-old stuff it tries to replace. Stick with F-77 and get your work done in a tiny fraction of the resources, KB instead of GB.

@urusan … No? It was to automate cracking Enigma and Jade in WWII. And of course:

> When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.
—J. Robert Oppenheimer

@urusan @calcifer And you know what we say about things that have to call themselves "science", like "food science", "computer science", "christian science"? NOT SCIENCE.

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hackers.town

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.