By coincidence, and without noticing it was the same article, I read
Edward A Lee's article on "The Problem with Threads" yesterday evening,
and add my commendation to Kevin's and Barry's. It's a little short
notice, but can Lee be invited to give a paper this year? |
Also in my reading pile was an article citing Herman Roebbers in Electronics Systems and Software from the IET (UK IEE as was). The article was "A new face for FPGA design" by Chris Edwards, and Herman is quoted in respect to his work at Philips using Handel-C. Herman gets in some good quotes:
"We have been able to complete projects that were thought nearly impossible using the normal way of doing things."Also, a few months ago, Jonathan Bowen had an article on myths of formal methods in IEEE Computer. If I remember rightly his overall message was that "formal" formal methods had not got very far, but used as a philosophy or way of working, they can have great benefits.
And there is still an opportunity to find out more about Microsoft's HPC initiative that was acknowledged to have been based on an original paper from Denis Nicole and other members of the WoTUG community.
So the WoTUG/CPA message is getting out. None of these examples is taking occam, CSP, or whatever as the only possible solution. But they are all using the principles and applying it to things where people really do have a problem, and in a way that does not seem impossibly revolutionary. Surely the way forward is to talk to these people, to find common ground, and to build on the common experience and common ground. And, as Kuhn suggests, find even a tiny number of niches where you give real value and are not rejected, so that you can then build out from the acceptance in those niches.
Of course it won't be easy. Everyone will have their own agendas and constraints. Everyone will have to bend a little and yet not abandon the key issues. And everyone will be rejected many times before finding willing ears. But there is now real evidence that there is a problem to be solved, there is real evidence that this community has tools and understanding that can *help* to solve the problem, there is real evidence that good papers on the subject can be published in RAE ranking publications, and there is beginning to be real evidence that a business case can be built for commercial exploitation (although Barry and I and others who have tried something similar know just how hard that can be).
Barry Cook wrote: