[Haskell-cafe] Re: In-place modification

ajb at spamcop.net ajb at spamcop.net
Tue Jul 10 20:40:47 EDT 2007

G'day all.

Quoting Sebastian Sylvan <sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com>:

> Depends on your definition of "widely used".

There are more digital watches, freebie four-function calculators,
irritating-music-playing doorbells and furby-like toys pumped out
every year than there are PCs, servers, routers and mainframes.
That's the sense of "widely used" here.

> You'll always need some
> low-level stuff at the bottom (e.g. for the page manager in an OS),
> and if your device is nothing but "the bottom", well then that's what
> you get.

Old platforms never die, they just get pushed down the food chain.
Today's PC is tomorrow's peripherial, which is the day after's handheld
PDA, which is the day after's elevator controller, which is the day
after's smart card, which is the day after's Happy Meal(R) give-away toy.

Me?  I write firmware for nanotech devices.  There's no point making the
world's smallest strain gauge if it needs to be attached to an ATX-sized

(I should point out, though, that embedded systems are not created equal.
The issues in writing software for a heart pacemaker are very different
from those of a stopwatch or a factory management/control system.)

> Doesn't mean that assembly isn't "dead" in the most reasonable sense
> of the word for the purposes of a discussion like this (i.e. nobody
> chooses to use assembly when they don't need to).

Only foolish engineers choose ANYTHING if they don't need to.  Heck,
don't even write a program in the first place if you don't need to.

Andrew Bromage

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