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Re: You must read this (20 May 99)


> ..........................  Secondly, only one person (from ESI in
> France) agrees with the essential principle of using something like
> CSP, but thought that this particular problem was too complicated
> for it.

As you say, this is a *most* peculiar point of view: "our stuff's so
complicated, we just have to hack it ... we can't possibly afford to
knuckle under some discipline that won't let us well and truly hang
ouselves ..." ???

> The rest more-or-less laughed at the idea, especially at occam.

THIS IS THE REAL PROBLEM.  I get this ALL THE TIME from most of my
colleagues.  And yet, if you ask them what they know about occam,
all they know is that you're supposed to laugh at it.  They know
practically *nothing* about it technically and less still about CSP.
If ever they wrote an occam program, it was over 14 years ago and
they gave up on it " ... cos the compiler kept rejecting my code".
There is wilful ignorance out there on a massive scale. It is un-
professional both from the standpoint of an engineer and from an
academic thinker.

But Brinch Hansen's paper, even though it does not mention occam,
makes all the points occamists have been trying to make for decades.
So, lets push it under everyones' noses -- like the committee you
were just talking about ...

Brinch Hansen went on to say (in public to occam-com):

> occam was an invaluable inspiration for SuperPascal. Years ahead of
> its time, occam set a standard of simplicity and security against
> which future parallel languages will be measured.

Tell that to the next committee whose members try to laugh occam out
of court!