[Oberon] Re: Oberon Digest, Vol 30, Issue 19

Rory Starkweather starkweatherr at mchsi.com
Fri Mar 24 12:37:19 CET 2006

Thank you all. I didn't expect to get such immediate and helpful 
response. I spent a month once watching a Sun Hardware newsgroup trying 
to find the answer for a question about SparcStation 5 NVRAM chips and 
ended up with a series of weather reports from Britain. ;}

 You've given me exactly the answers that I was looking for. I will take 
a look at Blackbox first.

 I downloaded a copy of Mike Spivey's application three days ago, and 
was up and running, with a working program, within a few hours. From the 
documentation it wasn't immediately obvious that it was different from 
the actual implementation. I like what he did with the compiler, though. 
Meaningful error messages are so rare that I was really impressed.

 I would like to spend a minute on ETH Oberon. My wife likes the idea, 
which is unusual for her, but she had the same problem I did. (We often 
work in tandem because our backgrounds lead to completely different 
approaches to problems, which can save a lot of time.) I hate to say it, 
but my main problem was in figuring out how to do things. There is a lot 
of documentation about the user interface, but I was never able to find 
an explanation of how to create a program in terms that were meaningful 
to me. Is that an unusual problem?

 I started programming in the late 1980s, using Borland Turbo C. I agree 
with the concept behind C++ but hate the implementation. I've had fairly 
late versions of C++ compilers for years, but use them only in 
emergencies. A quick look at D seemed to indicate that it was better 
than C++, but it still seems like a step in the wrong direction. After 
all these years I would have thought that even 10,000 monkeys could have 
come up with a better development path for programming applications than 
the ones that are being pursued.

 It seems implicit now that real programming, as opposed to scripting, 
is not meant to be understood, or used, by the masses. Most people seem 
to have never considered writing their own applications, or even 
utilities, because of the Microsoft monopoly and the complications that 
the Windows operating system adds to program creation. Visual Basic may 
not be taken seriously as a programming language, but at least most of 
the files that are part of a standard application have information in 
them that I might look at, for one reason or another. Applications 
created by MS VC++ 6 a a totally different matter.

 Anyway, thanks for your quick responses. I'll be back.

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