Re: An open plea to the W3C (was Re: XInclude vs SAX vs
It's Tony Hoare you're quoting. "Steven R. Newcomb" wrote: > > About ten years later, another Turing Award Lecturer (don't have time > to track down the reference) complained about the complexity of Ada. > According to what I recall from reading about it in _Computerworld_ 20 > years ago, the complaint was different from Dijkstra's complaint about > PL/I (below). The complaint was not so much that programmers couldn't > handle Ada's complexity, but that reliably implementing Ada itself was > simply out of reach. The speaker worried that missile guidance > systems and other weapon systems running real-time Ada programs would > misbehave in various unforeseeable ways. He was horrified that the > U.S. military was trying to standardize on Ada. > > > From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...> > > Edgser W. Dijkstra/ Turing Award Lecture/ > > Communications of the ACM, Vol. 15, Number 10, > > October 1972 > > > > Finally, although the subject is not a pleasant one, I must > > mention PL/I, a programming language for which the > > defining documentation is of a frightening size and > > complexity. Using PL/I must be like flying a plane with > > 7,000 buttons, switches, and handles to manipulate in the > > cockpit. I absolutely fail to see how we can keep our > > growing programs firmly within our intellectual grip when > > by its sheer baroqueness the programming language - our > > basic tool, mind you! - already escapes our intellectual > > control. And, if I have to describe the influence PL/I can > > have on its users, the closest metaphor that comes to my > > mind is that of a drug. I remember from a symposium on > > higher level programming languages a lecture given in > > defense of PL/I by a man who described himself as one of > > its devoted users. But within a one-hour lecture in praise > > of PL/I, he managed to ask for the addition of about 50 new > > "features," little supposing that the main source of his > > problems could very well be that it contained already far > > too many "features." The speaker displayed all the > > depressing symptoms of addiction, reduced as he was to the > > state of mental stagnation in which he could only ask for > > more, more, more.... When FORTRAN has been called an > > infantile disorder, PL/I, with its growth characteristics > > of a dangerous tumor, could turn out to be a fatal disease. > > -Steve > > -- > Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant > srn@c... > > voice: +1 972 359 8160 > fax: +1 972 359 0270 > > 1527 Northaven Drive > Allen, Texas 75002-1648 USA > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an > initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this elist use the subscription > manager: <http://lists.xml.org/ob/adm.pl>
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