Discussion in 'AK Polls' started by loopstick, Nov 23, 2017.
Cold Fusion. Hands down.
Simple as HTML as it is also a tag based markup language.
Oh dear, where to start? Our programming class in college still had to work with FORTRAN on an IBM 1130 with punched card reader. We would sneak down into the basement after hours and boot up the old Bendix G-15 (which took about 30 minutes) so we could play Eliza and Blackjack. It used a mechanical typewriter wired with solenoids as an I/O device. Its read/write storage was a metal cassette loaded with paper tape, and it kept dynamic memory on a rotating drum about the size of the one in a clothes dryer, circled with magnetic tape strips. The logic circuits were plug-in modules each containing multiple vacuum tubes; to access them, you opened up the machine like a refrigerator.
We barely got video terminals for our brand new PDP 11/45 before I graduated. Up till then it was all DECWriter and reams of paper to capture a session. I personally saw several students drop out of school because they got hooked on playing with the computers and quit going to class. Me, I was too busy collecting advertising pamphlets for the various new exciting audio gear which was coming out - and taking day trips to towns with stereo shops in hope of finding the perfect speakers.
In the ensuing 40 years, I worked with over 40 programming languages at one time or another. These days, assembly language is not designed to be coded by humans any more, which is a loss. I think PDP-11 assembly, C, and PL/M are probably the best programming languages ever developed; C++, Java, and the rest of the mob fell victim to the mistaken notion that object oriented programming is somehow better or more powerful. It has led to more laziness and inefficiency by programmers than any other single paradigm - and I say that, having programmed Java for 18 years.
Also, my wife attended a seminar given by Grace Hopper sometime back in the 80s; she was handing out nanoseconds to the class (little knotted pieces of string, about 1 foot long). Definitely a computing pioneer.
Absolutely agree in terms of OOP. Call me old school but to me, language evolution halted with C programming.
No one understands efficiency and pure elegance of machine coding anymore.
Anybody ever started up a machine by switch register? No more of that anymore (at least.)
You had to throw a couple of switches before loading the G-15, but it wasn't clear whether they set register values or just told it that it needed to poll the I/O devices. The PDP-11 we used to control some of our environmental test systems still needed to be started by loading the program counter with the boot address though.
I once had to write an 80-column board video driver for an Apple ][ that fit into 256 bytes; that took some thinking. One of the things I liked about PL/M was that its compiler optimizer produced better machine code than I could. Of course it was that ugly 8080-derived segment register language, but still... We wrote a control system for our airborne radar pod in less than 48 KBytes using that compiler, and we never found an error which wasn't due to the programmer. Contrast that with modern OOP code which will compile and then throw runtime errors because of poor documentation, and (even without a GUI) generates megabytes of code for simple logic constructions. Folks, you don't NEED to load every library in the world in order to add two numbers...
Sun proudly announces that billions of devices run Java, and my only thought is that when the crash comes, it's going to be devastating.
How ancient is fortran and Atlas...
I have an Imsai-88. You load that with switches.
I also have a PDP-1103 and a Heath H89.
It's interesting to read about some here disliking OOP, yet that is what the schools are pushing hard in their programming language classes. It's a required part of the coursework. Even in my limited sphere of knowledge, many are ridiculed if they don't use OOP in their programming. I still don't fully "get" OOP. Yet in the degree I got a few years back, I had to take a handful of different language classes, and much of it is the same structure--it all boils down to different syntax for each one.
I also agree with one reply above that hints at the flood of "languages" out there today. That is one reason I got out of doing the development work I used to do--new stuff was coming along just too fast, and each one sort of quartered itself off into little cliques. You had to invest a ton of money, get trained, specialize your work, then hope like hell you chose the right thing so it didn't get phased out a few years later.
I've had to use PHP and MySQL out of necessity due to the type of work I (used to) do. This forum is powered by PHP; WordPress is powered by PHP (and it powers many sites on the Web), so that is what I sort of specialize(d) in . I still dabble in it but only for support purposes. My days of doing anything from the ground up are long past. I can't concentrate long enough anymore to grasp it. I always had fun with MySQL though--I loved building queries. Along with these, I've had to use HTML, CSS and other related things. I still remember fighting my way around "procmail," setting up filters to stem the tide of ever-increasing spam back in the day--that was a language unto itself. And even today, I still try to grasp how the Apache web server is configured. I think I just get a handle on it, and then I break something else
The only language I putzed around with from the mid 80s onward was BASICA (Advanced BASIC), which came with an IBM-PC clone I had back then. Made a few silly programs, had fun with it. Made a Thiele-Small calculator for speaker design, based on formulas from the Speaker Builder magazine. I still have that on an old 5¼" floppy somewhere.
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