Re: What databases have taught me

From: Marshall <>
Date: 23 Jun 2006 08:45:18 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Bob Badour wrote:
> OO proponents in an effort to create some kind of mysticism have
> systematically discarded existing precise vocabulary for imprecise
> verbiage often using the same word to mean many different things. For
> instance, established computing terms like variable, value, type, data,
> state machine, etc. are lost in a haze of nebulous terms like object.
> This mysticism incapacitates OO proponents. They invariably talk around
> issues without ever naming them directly, which leaves one wondering
> whether they really understand what each other are saying. Your
> inability to identify a formalism as a formalism preferring instead to
> call it a 'tech/paradigm' demonstrates my point.
> I direct your attention to Dijkstra's comments on elixirs and the
> illusion of power. I observe that OO is as damaging to minds as COBOL or
> Basic, and I suggest Dijkstra's comments about them should apply equally
> to OO.

I never fully understood Bob's favorite "elixer" quote until the recent crosspost thread with comp.object. Sure, it means that the OOP stuff is fuzzy, but what else? There's another force at work.

You can think hard thoughts, or you can think easy thoughts. Easy thoughts are so much easier! One can get in to a state where one is faced with a choice between formalism, which is hard, and fuzziness, which is easy. If one picks the easy path, one is *relieved* of the necessity of doing hard work. Life appears superficially better. And you have the added bonus that, if everyone around you lacks any kind of formalism, no one can prove anything you say wrong.

It really isn't so much an elixer as it is an opiate.

Marshall Received on Fri Jun 23 2006 - 17:45:18 CEST

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