(Re: “Top five cool things from Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne”), the long-held view of the Holy Grail of software has been to remove coding to build custom business solutions? Well, it was what Bill Gates said in 2008: “Most code that’s written today is procedural code. And there’s been this Holy Grail of development forever, which is that you shouldn’t have to write so much [procedural] code… We’re investing very heavily to say that customization of applications—the dream, the quest, we call it—should take a tenth as much code as it takes today… You should be able to do things on a declarative basis… We’re not here yet saying that has happened and you should write a ton less procedural code, but that’s the direction the industry is going. And, despite the fact that it’s taken longer than people expected, we really believe in it. It’s something that will change software development.”
All this was said with the knowledge that removing code had been achieved, and Gates was right to say that it is a real game-changer. The U.K. pioneered this with a new, business-driven design philosophy that separates business logic, which never changes, from delivery technologies. Maybe some day Oracle will “get” this!
Functional programming? Overrated
There is no functional programming bandwagon (“Code Watch: Here comes functional programming”). Functional programming does sometimes influence mainstream programming. But overall, for more than 50 years, mainstream programmers always prefer a non-functional language. If you have tried to write non-academic programs in a functional language, you’ll know that they present all kinds of hassles when dealing with simple things like files and file systems. These things break the “no side effects” principle of functional programming, a principle that doesn’t exist in the real world.
Functional programming can be good to simplify really complex problems, such as airline ticket pricing and route planning, but for typical business applications, functional programming is much more difficult than with procedural and object-oriented languages.
SUBHED: Clearing up Windows 8
I believe the only mysteries left (re: “Industry Watch: Microsoft’s Windows 8 mysteries,”) are if Microsoft will provide an easy way for porting x86 codes to ARM, the depth of the new WinRT when compared to Win32 (at least for me), and if the desktop and Metro will behave more cohesively both in function and look. Finally, I believe they have a clear direction and view of where they’re headed, and after accessing the developer preview, it seems to be the right track.