Friday, January 11, 2008

War on Bad Software Paradigms

(Moved here from the introduction to the Total Saving post, because most people wouldn't be interested in this part.)

Most common programs available today are buggy and badly designed and implemented. But these are relatively minor issues - by dint of lifelong indoctrination we manage to tolerate and even ignore their failings in everyday use.

Bad OS and UI paradigms are far worse than mere bugs or design problems. Almost all end-user programs that exist today are built on many layers of fundamental architectural mistakes. Some of them made better sense when they were introduced with Unix and the Internet, thirty or forty years ago. All have remained unexamined and unchanged in mainstream software ever since.

I've had enough of bad computing paradigms. This is my declaration of war on stupid software. Every year we spends man-aeons on faster, safer, more featureful and glittering implementations of the same fundamentally broken designs. We build mousetraps so good that only intelligence-augmented rats can avoid them, but it's time to remember that what we really wanted to catch was a dragon.

This is the first in a planned series of posts that will outline the basic design issues as I see them with some common classes of end-user software - editors, file managers, browsers and the like - and in about eight months (when I plan to go to university) I'll start work on implementing these ideas in earnest. I feel I wouldn't really enjoy working on anything else before I build myself a set of better tools to do it with.

It's said that every aspiring C programmer wants to write their own OS. I prefer Python (which is still far from perfect) and would rather write my own UI - preferably, one that would allow a very high percentage of my computer use with just a few simple but powerful paradigms. Is that just a dream? Time will tell.

And so, on to the first post about Bad Software Paradigms: manual data management vs. Total Saving.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like and interesting series.
    I would like to read more of what you have to say about this subject...