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RE: Intel: timely article
(I'm copying this to occam-com too, just in case there's someone that's on
that and not java-threads.)
I agree, Neil, about using "process-oriented" EVERY time we deal with
someone who may be outside our circle. Then, we can go on to point to a
subhead (like CSP, or concurrency-oriented, or resource-oriented - the
last is my own invention, I think).
Getting it out there: See my early submissions in my thread "Is OO a
deliberate fraud?". We are fighting against people who steal terminology
relevant to making our case, and then apply it to non-working
irrelevancies, and do so much more loudly than we can. Our target audience
suffers from sensory overload from all the conferences, forums, etc, so I
think the "broadcast" approach is, like dissuading a marching army,
foredoomed to failure.
What I believe has hope, and what I think Marc Smith and Tony Gore were
originally getting at, is PERSONAL CONTACTS... i.e. get a proposal
accepted somewhere, with Intel or whomever. I tried this with Sony and the
Cell, got considered but was turned down. Everyone else should peck away
on their own initiative (but reference each other!). If dozens of
independent tries are made, sooner or later one will somehow get through
the wall. We can then support that breakthrough. AT THAT POINT, our
technical superiority will hopefully lead to a snowball effect.
IMHO our tries should NOT water down our concepts or try to merge with
current buzzwords in order to get approval. That creates technical
monstrosities and project failures, and puts us back in the shouting
crowd, making us actually less likely to be noticed. We need to be
countercultural, but in a very coherent, goal-oriented way (and the idea
of pointing to code security is excellent as an example of that).
> First of all, thanks to Marc for his article. As we have been reminding
> ourselves recently, there is a real need for what we do, fast
> approaching with the advent of multi-core processors. Some of us
> believe that it is best approached from the low end (Electronic
> Engineers and the like), while others believe that it is best
> approached from the high-level end (GUI and network programming).
> Either way, we all agree that our ideas are applicable. We can take
> heart from this.
> The problem seems to be getting our work out there. There do seem to be
> trends of people inventing something like what we do to solve these
> problems. (Unknowing) imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but
> we want them to use the real deal! We need rational advocacy of the
> benefits of our approach in order to attract interest and, let's be
> honest, investment.
> You may notice my term "what we do" above. One of the problems of our
> ideas is that there is no coherent name. If I say CSP, those in the
> know reply "oh the formal method?". Not all of you will agree, but I
> don't believe that the formal method aspect relates very well to actual
> tools like C++CSP/JCSP that we hope to get programmers using. The C++
> language prevents formality from the outset; the draw is more the
> process-oriented approach. Hence my preference for the term
> process-oriented programming, but is fighting with communicating
> process architectures and concurrency-oriented programming. A
> consistent nomenclature would help more than it should (in an ideal
> The other issue is reaching the right people. I admit that this may be
> an argument from ignorance, but I'm not convinced that ACM/IEEE is
> necessarily the best avenue. A lot of things go in the world of
> computing without really being much to do with the ACM. Perl, Python,
> Java, .NET and almost every other language did not spring out of the
> ACM community as far as I'm aware. Admittedly the latter two had
> big-company backing but the former two have taken off without it.
> If we really want our tools in the mainstream, (in my opinion) we need
> to get it out to the big companies, not the big conferences. Marc's
> suggestion of Intel is perfect. Sony and IBM back the Cell processor,
> and Microsoft is another good example. Word on the street is the way
> to go - get IBM devworks articles, slashdot submissions, whatever. I
> realise this makes us sound more like marketers than researchers, but
> what use is research that no-one is using!
> That's my two-penneth anyway. I hope you will at least find it
> interesting, even if you don't agree ;-)
> P.S. I'm not too sure which list this was sent to originally so I'm
> sending it to both. I second Mario's suggestion of combining the two
> lists, although I seemed to gather that java-threads may have a
> different (wider?) readership than occam-com. At the very least, a
> clear division of each list's purpose would be useful.