QCon 2007 Notes: Meijer Keynote

Erik Meijer, Democratizing the Cloud

I really liked two things about Erik Meijer’s talk: he seemed to show Microsoft channeling ThoughtWorks with his remark that one should “make irreversible decisions at the last responsible moment”, and he made the remark about IDEs and other tools helping us, as though they were intelligent paper, which I’ve been running with since.

Aside from that, the talk was interestingly provocative, but seemed largely to be advocating a tool-emphasizing approach in which the complicated problems would be taken away from the simple programmers and solved by cleverer framework programmers instead. Some remarks:

  • “No human being should be forced to write SQL: it’s an assembler language”. (So, for that matter, is javascript)
  • “The back-button problem is just an aliasing/concurrency problem. Solve the general case and the back-button problem just falls out.”
  • “Don’t leave DSLs in the hands of the domain experts: SQL is a DSL designed by domain experts.”

That said, Meijer’s work with LINQ 2.0 could be an extension of the old adage about solving problems by adding layers of indirection. It doesn’t strike me as ripe enough to apply to any of my problems yet, but it’s definitely interesting: more coverage of the talk is here.

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