Feeds

Boffins: Dark times for application development

Ex-Microsoft man holds flashlight

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

You know it's bad when two top programmers at different conferences in a two-week period say we're in the dark ages of software development.

Speaking at MIT's Emerging Technologies conference in Cambridge last week, Charles Simonyi - creator of Microsoft Office, friend of Bill Gates (and Martha Stewart - thanks ZDNet's Dan Farber), cosmonaut and all-round achiever - said current paradigms and tools for developing applications are primitive and must evolve beyond languages and methodologies.

Evolve to what? To include code written by business analysts.

"They are still in the dark ages," Simonyi said of current programming techniques, including model-driven development paradigms such as Unified Modeling Language (UML) and Domain Specific Languages (DSLs) - lately favored by Microsoft. They invite more input from domain experts and business analysts, but that still fails to encapsulate the business problem within the code.

"We are on the verge of the renaissance but we are not there in the practical world," the billionaire told hundreds gathered at MIT's Krege Auditorium.

That's the intent of Intentional Technology, a company Simonyi co-founded in 2002 after a 25-year career with Microsoft. The 20-employee start-up in Microsoft's Bellevue, Washington, has developed a platform and workbench technology that allows programmers to create generic "generators" that ordinary business analysts use to project a representation of the business problem in terms they understand.

"It's like a super-duper PowerPoint because it projects something that is machine processible," said Simonyi, who invented the first What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) word processor, dubbed Bravo - the precursor to Microsoft's evergreen Word.

This approach, which is platform-independent and not wedded to Windows, focuses on the recipe - and how to mix and cook the ingredients - rather than the meal itself. According to Simonyi programmers today spend too much time rearranging or adding ingredients rather than on finding better ways to mix them.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Bootnote:

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.