May 2020
Issue #2
May 2020 Issue #3
Collins Software's Newsletter
May 2020
Issue #4
I should start with The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), The International Organization for Standardization, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.  These represent three of the many standards organizations around the world. I will just say that there is no such thing as "software standards". These types of organizations should stick to standardizing wire size and bolt details, and not concern themselves with software.

The term "Standard", in the context of software development means the values or procedures that are known by the computer. The term we should be using when dealing with software is "Common Knowledge". The difference in these terms is the amount of human effort that must be applied for the computer to known something. The technology difference is: does the computer already know (future technology) or will it have to be programmed (current technology). Do we think in terms of the past or of the future. If I teach every computer all the ISO facts. The computer would think of the information as common knowledge.

Artificial Intelligence is a scam. It is touted as a bridge between art and science, not in my lifetime.  Repeating something  661 million times does not make it true. Any site that mentions "AI" or "Big Data" is a scam, feeding you what you want to hear.

Not their fault. Software sucks, saying it ain't so does not change the fact. We can't all be Dudley Moore in "Crazy People" telling it like it is.. "Volvo -- they're boxy but they're good."

"Consistency is the true foundation of trust. Either keep your promises or do not make them." -- Roy T. Bennett

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." --  Muhammad Ali

"If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all." -- Michelangelo

"The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library." -- Albert Einstein

"I am humbled by the books I read" -- Clif

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all." -- Abraham Lincoln


Stuff Scattered on the Floor:

Association of Computing Machinery (ACM)
The world's largest educational and scientific computing society, delivers resources that advance computing as a science and a profession.

Software Engineering Institute (SEI)
A organization in Carnegie Mellon University, providing online documents pertaining to the software industry.

A storehouse of software stuff.

** Do these sites and many others just like them provide any advancement to software development technologies? 

I cannot find any example, out of the billions of articles, white papers, and videos, of any suggestion on how to change software development. There might be of course, but in the decades of looking, nothing. 

** Have sites like these done harm or have they helped? 

I cannot say that they have helped or harmed software development technologies. I can say they have definitely harmed the overall computer technology. Not in a direct way, but as promoters of the computer software technologies, failing to promote library science above all other considerations.

I should probably direct all my future newsletters toward library science as being a critical element that we need to fix before we start programming with Jane. In 1982 the first public library cataloging system came on line. I knew at that time, library science was dead.

From the original concept of the library card, the typewriter, the assembler, and the compiler the invention of these four concepts has stagnated almost to the point of non-existence. That is, they are so fragmented and in such a disarray that they have become [almost] useless.

The more information we obtain the less knowledge we have using computers.  Library Science is to optimize access to knowledge of many sources. Computers science came in and said: "screw that, we can just search character groups and we can obtain identical results". WRONG. 

If organizations are to support computer science, then I believe they need to address the problems.

This will just piss you off, so I will not explain the complications in writing software. I will just stay "Compu Global Hyper MegaNet" -- Homer Simpson

Basically a really stupid idea is to allow software procedures to be patented. It is good for the monopolies, bad for anybody who does not have billions of dollars to fight lawsuits. The patent law is a double edge sword, if you have money it works for you, otherwise it kills technology, so it remains in place, and is growing.

There are 1,456,331 patents pertaining to software in the U.S.. It is impossible to determine if any logic you write will infringe on a patent due to the vagueness of the applications and the pure volume. Software logic by default always takes the most obvious path, therefore in reality patents on software methods should never be awarded in the first place. (i.e. "a patent cannot be awarded to an invention if it would be obvious to the typical person in the field")

Patents are killing technology. If the legal system was not self serving, had no cost to defend, and speedy, all of this would go away. There are currently over sixty three thousand software patent infringement cases in the federal courts. Apple is being sued for the IPhone.

Jane is a trivial technical issue, a system to create perfect software, this is easy. The flip side of the coin is the subconscious ability to retrieve information that is not consciously known, this is what I call library science, this is the hard part.

The 3x5 library card I consider to be one the greatest technologies ever built. That is because it is a bridge between science and art. The bridge between the art of indexing to the science of cataloging. Which gives us access to the thing we want. I fear I can do Jane but may not have the talent to do the flip side.

The three things that must be addressed in any endeavor are the science, the art, and the politics. The science I have worked on for six year to perfect, I will now look at the art side of the technology in future newsletters.

Author: Clif Collins
Houston, Texas
May 13, 2020