Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Lispian
Complexity

I love Paul Graham’s comment on Dan Weinreb’s Why Did Symbolics Fail? article.

Complexity has driven me nuts for years. I don’t comprehend why everything has to be so complex. It’s as if there’s a secret cabal someplace that figures it has to be hard, it’s computers.

Thank God for Steve Jobs and his ability to ensure we have simplicity in our complex products. The complexity should be hidden as Alan Cooper in The Inmates Are Running the Asylum so clearly points out. This “complexity for complexity’s sake” has got to stop.

And the complexity keeps creeping into everything. The web used to be simple, and now a lot of the underlying complexity is showing itself. It’s unacceptable. Simplicity is key. Simplicity is what should be strived for. And if that means architects and designers and developers have to create systems/applications/software that is more elegant from the user’s perspective but harder to code, so be it. And it can’t come soon enough.

BTW, I loved the old Symbolics machines and I coded on them for a few years, learning the intricacies. But the manuals were daunting. And when I look at Scheme I see most of the expressiveness with little of the complexity. If Scheme had a decent set of libraries it’d be perfect. I can always hope. Or at least hope for Arc, if Graham ever releases it…

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January 2008
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