Continued discussion of age of programmers

Or he is too high strung. :slight_smile:

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That’s basically what I’ve been saying, and you accused me of being “nostalgic” :slight_smile: Preview and Final Cut were great until someone decided they could make them better, and they made them awful instead. In the words of Voltaire, “Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien”.

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I am not sure we are good judges of current software. We use tools so intensively and for so long, it grows second nature. Any change is felt as painful.

On the other hand, software marketing demands that software evolves. Let alone to keep a competitive edge. Programs that were simple to use, effective and fast would not compete when you see so many comparative tables with checks in front of features that may or may not be useful. But they participate in customers decision. There is some environmental pressure towards features inflation, and bloat.

Another environmental pressure, I feel, comes from user experience. An increasing number of users actually start with mobile, and that means different expectations in terms of UI (or habits). Publishers tend to be influenced by that fact, and more or less successfully try to catch up with the mobile look and feel. Apple does that a lot. As a long time user dating back to the Apple III era, I don’t like the toyish look of these new apps. But perhaps they please the current crowd.

I have to confess that my own apps tend to gain features as times comes by. I have resisted up until now the urge to make them look like mobile, but if it becomes the norm, I won’t hesitate giving in to the trend. Note that I already have the same apps in iOS and Android, with the same features, so I already know what I would need to do.

As software developer, I have little choice but to please buyers.

Completely agree.

Recital has become FoxPro 2.x for Linux basically (100% character interface) and Lianja is, sort of, FoxPro 9 for Windows/Mac/Linux GUIs. But it’s much more centered around a drag and drop codeless / low-code way of making CRUD apps and while it has the choice between the FoxPro (which they call LianjaScript), Python, PHP and JavaScript languages (and very shortly, C#) which gets rid of the stigma of FoxPro (or Basic!) I just don’t get the vibe that Xojo gives me of having all the primitives if you need them (structs, methods for manipulating memory, talking to ports, etc). About the only thing it lacks is native bindings to .NET managed .DLLs, which I could really use – but can get by with exposing that code as web services I guess, or maybe using COM on Windows, as long as my API is chunky enough to minimize the calling / marshaling overhead.

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Yes, Paul. A writing teacher on Twitter said it well yesterday. She’s convinced there are only two basic problems for writers: (1) I don’t yet know what I want to say or (2) I know but am afraid to say it. It’s not that different for software development. People like us have developed a deep experience base and a philosophical framework for our processes and know how to wade in and feel our way to a good solution. And we lack fear, especially the kind where we are obsessed with finding the “right” or “best” way. We understand that there are usually a half dozen ways that will work and it’s less about the technology than the application of it.

this is going to apply to anyone who uses software and, not just “us” (presumably by “us” you mean programmers?). The problem is that change, if it’s not solving a real problem or adding a valuable feature, typically hurts end users more than helps them.

@Julia_Truchsess references Final Cut, which is a great example. Apple decided we didn’t need tape capture anymore in FCPX, so they removed that functionality. This was well before tape had disappeared as the primary medium for capturing and storing video. And now, what? 10 years later? we’re still capturing tape on a weekly basis for customers. We keep FCP 7 around on a really old mac running a really old OS, just so we can do this. Thats just one example, though. They so oversimplified the app, they basically lost the entire professional market, and all the cachet that brings with it. Nobody seriously uses FCPX if they have any clue what they’re doing.

Well, to FCP’s credit, Adobe including Premiere with the CC subscription really hurt the rest of the market. Pretty much every creative professional has a subscription anyway, so why wouldn’t they just use Premiere? Especially when they probably already use After Effects too.

People who program indeed, but also computer users for a long time.

The professional (non-Avid) video world went from FCP to Resolve or to Avid, pretty much, with a brief dalliance with Premiere before Resolve became available for much less money. Some shops we work with still use Premiere, but most of the users of it I know don’t like it very much. Resolve is very much like FCP7 in terms of how it performs as an editing tool, plus it has excellent color correction capabilities - something that is absolutely required in these days of shooting raw picture formats. Much better capabilities than Premiere, which is definitely geared towards the YouTube “content creator” crowd, more than the pro market.

The problem with FCP was less about the competition (had they simply improved upon FCP 7 instead of throwing it out completely and building a new application with a completely different editing model and interface, they likely would have maintained their dominance in the middle of that market) than it was about arrogance.

As usual, Apple knows best what’s good for you whether they’re right or not.

The Apple III! I was at its Press launch in London. Steve Jobs, looking rather embarrassed, gave us a demo and spiel then invited questions. We (the Press) were so bemused that nobody could think of a question apart from the one we all thought but didn’t dare ask: “Why did you bother?” In the end the Apple PR guy Regis McKenna had to ask a few staged questions the replies to which brought no further enlightenment or interest. Clutching our Press packs, we hacks adjourned to a neaby pub. Of course, what we didn’t know at the time was that Jobs was already at work on the Lisa and his interest in the III was even less than ours.


This conversation seems to be based upon the ‘young’ making assumptions about the ‘old’. Age is not the factor, attitude is the real factor here. I am 67 and my attitude is I hope to always learn new methods, new ways of coding, learn new anything! To be young in attitude is to be open to learning always. Xojo is the vehicle that allows continuous learning and new practices. Be young.


Absolutely agree, it is about attitude. When we are young, we do not have much experience and knowledge and can learn fast. Advancing in age, we accumulate knowledge and experience (ideally). This is why our ability to spot patterns, draw conclusions and to foresee the possible consequences of decisions and actions grows with age (ideally).
This culminates in the adage: ‘what is worse than a young fool? An old fool’.

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This reminds me of the joke about a mature bull and a young bull standing at the top of a hill looking down at a field of grazing cows …

I’ll let you Google it … :wink:

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Less than age, I feel what defines good programmers is the desire to learn, and an open mind. I know youngsters and older with no desire to learn and opinionated preconceptions that prevent them from achieving what they want. Such people in general blame the tool and entire Earth for their failing.

Xojo is certainly not exempt of bugs, but no more than software in general. Tell me about any new version of macOS, for instance :smiley:

Anyone who tried to ask questions in StackOverflow, though, know how it feels when aggressive people make fun of newbies.

This forum, on the contrary, is full of people willing to help.