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And That's Why We Can't Have Nice Software 2022-07-27


The best desktop OS ever? XP. Yeah, you heard me. And it was made in 2002. Sometimes I wish the XP source would get stolen and published so competent developers could make it usable again. The bad news is that hardware vendors wouldn't make drivers for it and application developers wouldn't go back to VB6, so it would be pretty limited anyways. Perhaps more useful than TempleOS, but not by much. Still, I think that XP [and the other software of that time] was the pinnacle of software development. Perhaps XP was one of the things that encouraged a lot more software development to actually happen. The early 2000's were certainly a time of digital expansion.

Unfortunately, that expansion [the number of programmers] just got fatter and fatter. At the same time, so did the frameworks used to make applications. For example, not long after that time Java saw some changes and I think it is fair to say it saw a surge in popularity. It is also garbage. Maybe a competent developer can make it tight, but the majority of Java applications I have seen are terrible with handling memory and the version dependencies are a joke. I don't want any interpreters installed on my desktop, let alone multiple versions of the same one! Another mess is Python, which arrived in the early 90's but didn't see its biggest popularity until the early 2000's, with the release of Python v2. Wikipudia even claims that:

Since 2003, Python has consistently ranked in the top ten most popular programming languages in the TIOBE Programming Community Index where, as of October 2021, it is the most popular language (ahead of Java, and C).

However, Python is also a mess. v2 and v3 applications each depend on their own frameworks and usually require that users have both [and a parade of supporting crap] installed. I clearly don't like it and try to keep it off any desktop I run, yet here we are:

libpython-stdlib:amd64              install
libpython2-stdlib:amd64             install
libpython2.7:amd64                  install
libpython2.7-minimal:amd64          install
libpython2.7-stdlib:amd64           install
libpython3-stdlib:amd64             install
libpython3.7:amd64                  install
libpython3.7-minimal:amd64          install
libpython3.7-stdlib:amd64           install
python                              install
python-minimal                      install
python-talloc:amd64                 install
python2                             install
python2-minimal                     install
python2.7                           install
python2.7-minimal                   install
python3                             install
python3-asn1crypto                  install
python3-axolotl                     install
python3-axolotl-curve25519          install
python3-cairo:amd64                 install
python3-cffi-backend                install
python3-crypto                      install
python3-cryptography                install
python3-cssutils                    install
python3-dbus                        install
python3-entrypoints                 install
python3-gi                          install
python3-gi-cairo                    install
python3-gnupg                       install
python3-idna                        install
python3-keyring                     install
python3-minimal                     install
python3-nbxmpp                      install
python3-olefile                     install
python3-openssl                     install
python3-pil:amd64                   install
python3-pkg-resources               install
python3-precis-i18n                 install
python3-protobuf                    install
python3-pyxattr                     install
python3-qrcode                      install
python3-secretstorage               install
python3-six                         install
python3.7                           install
python3.7-minimal                   install

That just makes me sad. Anyways, the various software development environments have been getting worse, in order to accommodate the ever expanding population of developers. Which is expanding in order to accommodate the ever expanding population of users who do not care how anything works... they just want to click the button and see photos of grandma at Krizmiss. Maybe it is time we created two streams of hardware and software. Kind of like how Microsoft had lamer Windows versions [like 95] and less-lame versions of Windows [like NT]. Regular users could get stuff that just works "magically" and people who give a shit could get hardware and software that isn't crippled by poor decisions.

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