ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

Other Software > Developer's Corner

On HTML...


rather enjoyed this rant(?)


In summary, Web browsers are like quantum physics: they offer probabilistic guarantees at best, and anyone who claims to fully understand them is a liar. At this stage in human development, there are big problems to solve: climate change, heart disease, the poor financial situation of Nigerian princes who want to contact you directly. With all of these problems un solved, Web browsing is a terrible way to spend our time; the last thing that we should do is run unstable hobbyist operating systems that download strange JavaScript files from people we don’t know. Instead, we should exchange information using fixed-length ASCII messages written in a statically verifiable subset of Latin, with images represented as mathematical combinati ons of line segments, arcs, and other timeless shapes described by dead philosophers who believed that minotaurs were real but incapable of escaping mazes. That is the kind of clear thinking that will help us defeat the space Egyptians that emerge from the StarGates. Or whatever.

--- End quote ---

James Mickens is one of the smartest and funniest people around. I'm particularly fond of another article called "The Night Watch."

You might ask, “Why would someone write code in a grotesque language that exposes raw memory addresses? Why not use a modern language with garbage collection and functional programming and free massages after lunch?” Here’s the answer: Pointers are real. They’re what the hardware understands. Somebody has to deal with them. You can’t just place a LISP book on top of an x86 chip and hope that the hardware learns about lambda calculus by osmosis. Denying the existence of pointers is like living in ancient Greece and denying the existence of Krackens and then being confused about why none of your ships ever make it to Morocco, or Ur-Morocco, or whatever Morocco was called back then. Pointers are like Krackens—real, living things that must be dealt with so that polite society can exist. Make no mistake, I don’t want to write systems software in a language like C++. Similar to the Necronomicon, a C++ source code file is a wicked, obscure document that’s filled with cryptic incantations and forbidden knowledge. When it’s 3 A.M., and you’ve been debugging for 12 hours, and you encounter a virtual static friend protected volatile templated function pointer, you want to go into hibernation and awake as a werewolf and then find the people who wrote the C++ standard and bring ruin to the things that they love.

--- End quote ---

If there was a Pulitzer Prize for technical reference I suspect he would have one.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version