Posted by: 2stepsback | December 7, 2007

Spaghetti code may be good

I have no familiarity with UML, but with all due respect to the inherent information storing capacities of visual or pictorial representation of knowledge, I think a lot many of us programmers still feel comfortable with text.
That is bad, because it speaks so poorly of our organization as a technology-driven society. I mean, it took us so many years to develop ubiquitous GUI software and even more to make better input devices commonplace. Any reason for not making a stylus the default pointing device is essentially a lame excuse. Social and economic factors are to blame.
But, given the textual orientation of our minds in the present day, we could use GOTO’s very very effectively to make a markup language for web application flow definition.

Why I should use a mouse and follow precise symbol definitions just to tell the flow of logic in my web application, simply beats me. In any language, the smaller the core vocabulary or set of commands, the faster it spreads and the more useful it becomes, because the opposite of it is a kind of closed-sourcing of certain thought habits.
Deliberately obfuscating thoughts in the name of refining concepts is a typical expression of feudalism of the intellect. Much like saying this:

Only the intelligent and the well educated shall learn this. Lesser beings will follow blindly.

Plain BS.

“Lesser beings” are making web2.0 turn the tech industry on its head. Microsoft and its kind are trying its best to either kill or master SaaS. Kill they cannot. Master………. they cannot!

PHP is a language of kids. Kids are doing all kinds of cool things these days. Ask your average 40+ tech manager. And get the colorfullest of replies. Colorfullest.

So, coming back to web app flow diagrams, how do you like this:

10: start ;start page
20: gosub login ;action
30:
40:
...
...
...
50: Sub login:
60: begin sub
70: clean data
80: verify data
90: log data
100:
110: if valid goto setvals
120: else goto alertinvalid
130:
140: setvals:
150: gosub create_session
160: gosub create_resources
170: gosub send_response; valid
180: goto end_sub ; or return or whatever
190:
200: alertinvalid:
210: gosub log_invalid ;track bad login attempt
220: gosub send_error_message
230:
240: end_sub:
250: end sub
...
...

So, if you want kids (above 13 or whatever) to make web 2.0 apps in minutes, each them BASIC or LOGO or Pascal or FORTRAN well ( assembly is for “real men”, who could rewrite web services, SOAP and the works, without the slippery <, > and shtuff ) and give them a nice web2.0 system ( server + interpreter + libraries + IDE + debugger ) and this scripting capability. Then watch the web go into an uncprecedented maddening glut of activity.
Then, sit back and think – what stopped this all these years?
I know that you know the answer.
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Closed source.
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So, what should you do to make wealth-generation easy?
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Simple: Whatever your area of interest is, whatever your industry is, whatever your stated or unstated expertise is, opensource the process. Crowdsource the process.

And then watch the magic play out systematically.
Only people who don’t get the concept use the term “virally”.

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