[plt-scheme] Perplexed Programmers

From: Robby Findler (robby at cs.uchicago.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 29 10:14:56 EDT 2007

On 8/29/07, Erich Rast <erich at snafu.de> wrote:
> >
> >> I'll tell you what I think the "software crisis" is.  It's that the
> >> difficult stuff is possible but virtually none of the easy stuff is
> >> easy.
> >
> > That's #1. And it is professionals like us who have failed to
> > bring across to the general public and to managers that
> > programming is not an 'idiot' job (though 'idiots' can write
> > things like programs for their own amusement and that nobody
> > else uses).
> >
> Probably counting as one of those 'idiots' (being mainly a hobbyist
> programmer), I find this comment somewhat arrogant and also quite
> misleading.
>  From my extensive experiences with it, I'd say that 'academic'
> software (mostly written by computer scientists) is among the worst
> when it comes to reliability and configurability, and I have grown a
> decent amount of frustration about the software and abandonware
> lurking around on university servers. In my experience, 'academic'
> software rarely runs out of the box. Installation and setup tend to
> be extremely tedious. And when you finally get the program to compile
> and run, you still can't use it, because documentation lacks or is
> inaccurate. Contacting developers is quite often not possible or they
> just ignore your decently formulated questions. I could continue this
> list for a long time...

Your general sentiment seems to be in line with the quote above,
perhaps even going further to observe that the very people who are
supposed to teach people how to program cannot themselves program
(something I also find to be quite true).


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