May 04, 2007

Interview with Leslie Lamport


Mihai Budiu has an interesting interview with Leslie Lamport, the author of LaTeX among many other things.

I especially liked the part about his thoughts on how people think about and write software programs, using extreme programming, UML or other formal methodologies (I'm not too fond of either of these.)

The best of these methods trick you into thinking. They offer some incentive in the way of tools or screen-flash that sugar coats the bitter pill of having to think about what you’re doing. The worst give you a happy sense of accomplishment and leave you with no more understanding of what your program is supposed to do than you started with. The more a method depends on pictures, the more likely it is to fall in the latter class.

Posted by ovidiu at 01:05 AM | Comments (0) |

June 14, 2004

Richard Stallman at Google

Emacs | Google | People
Saint IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs

Last week Richard Stallman, the father of Free Software, visited Google. He gave an introduction to free software and what it means. He emphasized on the differences between free software and open source, and why Linux is really GNU/Linux.

Having followed his arguments for few years now, they sort of make sense. I can see however why people have so many problems with his personality and ideology. He tends to quickly dismiss most of the questions with a "it makes no sense" type of answer.

As a hacker however, all the respects to him, he has managed to get us a long way from where software was in 1984 to where it is now. Emacs, GCC, GDB, most of the standard Unix tools that run on Linux today are directly due to him.

Posted by ovidiu at 09:46 PM | Comments (2) |
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