Chad Perrin: SOB

28 April 2007

Incoming links can surprise you.

Filed under: Metalog — apotheon @ 01:59

I got some surprises when I checked my incoming links tonight.

Matz linked to me in regards to my SOB entry titled OOP and the death of modularity.

Yes, that Matz. Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, the creator of the Ruby programming language. If you’re a programmer, or just have aspirations in that direction, give Ruby a shot if you haven’t already — it gets OOP substantially more “right” than any other language I’ve played with. Just take the hints from my bit about OOP and the death of modularity for how not to do your object oriented programming along with you while you learn the language.

Of course, Matz’s comments are in Japanese and, while I did study it in college and watch a heck of a lot of anime, I still can’t really read the language. As far as I can tell, Matz thinks I have a new perspective on something related to how OOP, modularity, and Microsoft Windows relate to each other, but for all I know he could have panned my post pretty severely. Maybe he thinks I’m a dimwit that doesn’t know anything. As long as I don’t know exactly what he said, though, I can at least pretend it’s glowing praise. Coming from Matz, glowing praise is really very flattering. I feel good about myself.

In other news, Sterling linked to me from Chip’s Quips in one of his link roundups. In particular, he directs readers to sake-drunk ramble about introversion and blogging. Surprisingly, there were only two typos that I needed to fix later when I was sober.

In the same link post, he referred to the fact that Randy Morin apparently sold R|Mail to NBC. When you sell your startup (or “hobby”, if you like) to a huge corporation, I think that means you’ve hit the big time. Congratulations are due Randy.

In the post just before that “Chipping the Web” link roundup, Sterling discussed his son’s improved FBI warning for movies. Perhaps coincidentally (since the MPAA is largely behind those FBI warnings on movies), Jack Valenti died this week. He was the president of the MPAA for about 38 years, until he retired in 2004. He presided over the MPAA’s efforts in support of the DMCA and other tragedies of copyright law. So, he’s dead. I wish I could honestly say I’m sorry to see him go — but I can’t.

I think I had something else to say, too, but I’ve run dry.

(edit: There was a typo in the year of Valenti’s retirement.)


  1. According to David (who knows japanese), Matz seems to agree with you, more or less. Interesting summary, he doesn’t know if it’s OOs fault or not (though he thinks it might be).

    Comment by h3st — 28 April 2007 @ 08:11

  2. As one of your commenters said on your earlier post, it isn’t the language constructs of OOP that cause bad design, it’s the way people use them. Good Ruby programming demonstrates that OOP can be a Very Good Thing, if it isn’t used in knee-jerk fashion to solve every problem.

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 28 April 2007 @ 11:44

  3. Thanks for the links, BTW, and congrats on getting linked by the Matz! That’s “hitting the big time” in the Rubyist world.

    Comment by Sterling Camden — 28 April 2007 @ 11:48

  4. Thanks for the information, h3st. It’s good to know the knowledgeable and famous aren’t calling what I say drivel. At least, not in this case.

    I’m not sure I’d really say that OOP is the problem, of course. More that OOP is a powerful tool, powerful tools tend to be misused. In the case of object oriented programming, it was implemented badly in almost every single case, which leads to even greater potential for misuse, and greater encouragement of it among those prone to misuse it. When you use a specific programming paradigm religiously, you’re bound to end up making poor use of it — which is what happened to modern software development in general, to a non-trivial degree.

    When I first “grokked” OOP, I was really taken aback at the way it could provide some amazing benefits. It didn’t take long for me to recognize how its abuse over the years has led to some of the problems we see with low quality software today. I haven’t thought too much about it in the meantime, but I recently saw through the matter to an even greater degree than I had previously — which is what prompted me to write about it in the SOB entry, “OOP and the death of modularity”.

    In the end, the problem isn’t OOP itself (as Sterling indicates), but using it to the exclusion of other techniques that are often more suitable to a given task, and using it as a replacement for real modularity.

    Sterling — thanks for the congratulations.

    Comment by apotheon — 28 April 2007 @ 03:41

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