A revolutionary OS/Programming Idea

Alaric B Snell alaric@alaric-snell.com
Thu Nov 13 07:38:02 2003

Kyle Lahnakoski wrote:

>  >You guys (aleric, newman, mdupont, some others on this list) just
>  >don't do your homework.

Wuh? Me? I was pointing the new fellow at existing work...

I spend a lot of time researching the lost concepts of computer science 
(since swamped by a rising tide of C-like languages on top of Unix-like 
operating systems), since they interest me. Manuals for early languages, 
processors, and operating systems adorn my shelves and bookmarks ;-)

> The Cliki is a well written and comprehensive tutorial on basic Tunes 
> concepts. Those newbies that think the Cliki looks more like a reference 
> manual rather than a tutorial are obviously stupid. Those newbies that 
> think the Cliki looks like a list of links rather than a description of 
> the concept titled are obviously ignorant of what those links contain.

Do I detect sarcasm? I'm not entirely sure!

>  >And before you go whining about how it's so hard to learn about Tunes, 
>  >keep in mind that it is still being *formulated*. It's still in the
>  >design phase. This is, for such a (truly) revolutionary project like 
>  >Tunes, the most difficult part. Once everything that makes Tunes Tunes
>  >is written down precisely, then it gets easy.
> To write anything down precisely will only result in something that is 
> not Tunes. The only way to understand Tunes is to have Tunes. So, until 
> the day that Tunes pops into existence, the concepts will be *very* 
> difficult to grasp.

Well, I wouldn't say that... they can be tricky to explain since they're 
very different to what most normal 'programming experts' are familiar with.

>  > If you are having a difficult time understanding Tunes, then
>  > honestly, you can't contribute much at this point. Spend your time
>  > learning, watch the interesting stuff that will happen ... and
>  > consider yourself lucky to be here seeing these geniuses shape our
>  > future. Oh, and shut your mouth. OK?


Here's what *I'd* recommend to newbies:

Read this document, which was written to address the problems of smart 
wise people being publically accessible, and people who have the 
potential to become smart and wise recognising this and swamping them 
with questions:


Then hang out in places like comp.lang.functional that have a mix of 
basic "I can't understand Haskell" and "here's an interesting idea" 
posts, and learn things. Try and learn as many programming languages as 
you can - if you have only learnt one so far and it took ages, you may 
think that learning languages is hard; actually, learning programming is 
hard. Learning languages is easy. So go out and study as many as you 
can. Particularly ones you've never even heard of! As you learn more, 
then each new one takes less time to understand. You don't need to 
become proficient in programming in that language, just get the 
concepts. With practice, unless there's a MAJOR paradigm shift like 
first learning functional programming, you can pick up the essence of a 
language in a few hours. When you have learnt lots of interesting and 
diverse ways of approaching programming problems and have well and truly 
escaped the mindset of most programmers, then you will be enlightened in 
the area of programming languages.