[Haskell-cafe] Re: In-place modification

Sebastian Sylvan sebastian.sylvan at gmail.com
Wed Jul 11 03:03:13 EDT 2007

On 11/07/07, ajb at spamcop.net <ajb at spamcop.net> wrote:
> 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
> case.
> (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.

Clarification. If you need to write something, and you have a choice
between C and almost any other language, then you probably won't
choose C for many domains, and I think that trend will continue. Lots
of people still choose C for games for example, but I think that's on
its way out (there are Xbox 360 games being written in C# as we
speak). So what I was trying to say is that asm and C are both tools
which nobody chooses to use willingly, whereas e.g. C# is.

Sebastian Sylvan
UIN: 44640862

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