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Re: Ledgard on OO

Greetings -

After following the discussions here on the problems with objects, and sitting
through the
presentations at Bristol, the phrase "the emperor has no clothes" kept popping
into my
head - for some reason. Opening up the October issue of Communications of the
I find an article with nearly the same title by Henry Ledgard, discussing the
problems of OO
and the lack of any serious efforts at measuring its relative productivity.

A couple of quotes:

p. 127: "The reality is, OOP is difficult to learn, taking the average
programmer about two
years to master. With the world of software persuaded to move to this new
programmers who make the required career learning investment quickly become
(indispensible), particularly after they write some important code. No one else
understand it. If one wants a raise, one threatens to leave."

p. 127, commenting on claims of increased productivity using OO: "...In fact,
studies have
shown software producitvity as a whole has been in a decline for more than a
decade. The
five years prior to 1996 (the heydays of OOP), a period of general growth,
productivity was negative, more negative than any other industry [2]".

[2] Cave, W.C., Software survivors, Software Developer and Publisher,

When we were graduate students, we used to joke that job security within a
research group
was obtained by writing an obscure piece of code that was absolutely necessary
to the
success of the project.

An additional reference lists Ledgard as one of the authors of a 1975 Comm ACM
entitled "The Natural Language of Interactive Systems". (Comm ACM 18, 11).

The bulk of this issue is devoted to Aspect Oriented Programming - which seems
like it
might run on top of OOP. Maybe it's time to retire. Or change majors.


Dyke Stiles
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Utah State University
4120 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-4120
Voice: +1-435-797-2840                          FAX:   +1-435-797-3054
Work:                http://www.engineering.usu.edu/ece/research/rtpc/
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