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Re: I. M. John W. Backus

From: Bruce C. Baker <bcbakerXX_at_cox.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 21:09:50 -0500
Message-ID: <tzlMh.78705$BK1.3279@newsfe13.lga>

"Bob Badour" <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:o2lMh.13415$PV3.138621_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
> Bruce C. Baker wrote:
>
>> "Bob Badour" <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>> news:DYjMh.13388$PV3.138425_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
>>
>>>Bruce C. Baker wrote:
>>>
>>>>"Bob Badour" <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca> wrote in message
>>>>news:mDjMh.13375$PV3.138160_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...
>>>>
>>>>>It's odd that the obit got things so wrong. Fortran is a monstrosity --
>>>>>one of those abominable things that was just good enough. It's greatest
>>>>>achievement was to show how not to write a compiler. Backus more than
>>>>>redeemed himself a few years later by learning from fortran how to
>>>>>write a compiler when he and Peter Naur came up with BNF.
>>>>
>>>>Compared to the languages and techniques we have today, the design and
>>>>implementation of the original Fortran (and C, and Pascal, and ...) are
>>>>pretty lame, but /compared to what preceded them/,
>>>>they weren't half bad.
>>>>
>>>>Getting back on topic, one might even go so far as to say that SQL is
>>>>the Fortran of its day.
>>>>
>>>>How about seasoning your future comments with a little dash of
>>>>historical perspective, Bob?
>>>
>>>In what way did my comments lack historical perspective? Fortran is an
>>>abominable monstrosity made all the more monstrous by its success. The
>>>only good purpose it served was to teach Backus how not to make
>>>compiliers so he could teach us all how to do it right.
>>>
>>>I am already aware SQL was disastrously successful too.
>>
>> The Wright Brothers' original Flyer wasn't perfect either; that doesn't
>> make it a "monstrosity".
>
> Having never described any Wright Brothers' product as monstrous, I fail
> to see the relevance.
>
> [snip]

Analogy, Bob! Analogy! :-) Received on Wed Mar 21 2007 - 21:09:50 CDT

Original text of this message

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