• « The Future of Programming » - Bret Victor

    excellente conférence sur la #programmation, retro-style


    “Why did all these ideas happen during this particular time period?”

    There may be a number of reasons.

    The story I told in the talk — “they didn’t know what they were doing, so they tried everything” — was essentially that programming at the time was in the “pre-paradigm phase”, as defined by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (...)

    But there’s another story, which has to do with funding models. Much fundamental research at the time, including Engelbart’s NLS and the Internet, was funded by #ARPA, an agency of the US Defense Department which had been given significant resources due to the cold war.

    ARPA ushered in an era of abundant funding for university projects, offering far more in terms of funding than any other research funds at the time. Where institutions such as the National Science Foundation and the Three Services Program provided funding to research programs at the level of tens of thousands of dollars, ARPA was willing to throw millions into the creation and support of promising research efforts.

    Part of what made ARPA funding so successful was that its directors (such as J.C.R. Licklider and Bob Taylor) were free to aggressively seek out and fund promising individuals with “no strings attached”.

    #recherche #silicon_army

    Avec le même titre, mais une approche différente, un autre article très intéressant sorti le même jour :

    The future of programming - O’Reilly Radar

    it’s worth examining the house of cards we’re building with our current approach to software development. The problem is simple: the brain can only fit so much inside it. To be a programmer today, you need to be able to execute the program you’re writing inside your head.

    When the problem space gets too big, our reaction is to write a framework that makes the problem space smaller again. And so we have operating systems that run on top of CPUs. Libraries and user interfaces that run on top of operating systems. Application frameworks that run on top of those libraries. Web browsers that run on top of those. JavaScript that runs on top of browsers. JavaScript libraries that run on top of JavaScript. And we know it won’t stop there.

    We’re like ambitious waiters stacking one teacup on top of the other. Right now, it looks pretty wobbly. We’re making faster and more powerful CPUs, but getting the same kind of subjective application performance that we did a decade ago. Security holes emerge in frameworks that put large numbers of systems at risk.