My emailer is acting weirdly… Sorry if I've responded in a confused way, Ian.
On Oct 2, 2012, at 10:09 AM, Ian East <ian.east@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Yes, I think it is often going to be cheaper, if you count the real cost, which includes dealing with unanticipated side effects of the code (through all of subsequent history), and with the fact that centralized coding entities form a stumbling block for further development, since they are inimical to modularization.
The question of "cheaper" brings you into the world of economics. This includes the reality of "externalities," which are costs that don't get charged to the principal parties. All of "hiding" in the computing world has proved to be a huge externality. It gets worse and worse, the deeper the layering.
Some development that is based on the hardware/software equivalence, even if it includes apparently farfetched things like tree broadcasting using a 2D barcode analogy, can be extremely valuable if it allows one to control these externalities --- because that, too, will apply through all of subsequent history.