Life Bits

A grab bag of terms floating in the techno-ether.

3 min read

Photo: Brian Stauffer

I've had the pleasure of working with Gordon Bell through the years. He has earned my respect and admiration with accomplishments such as leading the development of Digital Equipment Corp.'s VAX computer and shepherding the Internet at the U.S. National Science Foundation during a critical time in its maturation. Now he has gained a new and unique status in my eyes as the guinea pig in a fascinating experiment at Microsoft Corp.'s Media Presence Research Group in San Francisco, called MyLifeBits. It is an attempt to record digitally everything that Gordon reads, types, and hears, as well as a lot of what he sees.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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