I love articles like this, that introduce small amounts of new detail but really formalise and consolidate what you think you already know. It takes in software factories, industrialisation of the software development process, buy vs. build etc.  Most importantly it establishes some criteria for architectural decomposition along component boundaries.  Effectively, how to use components effectively.  Though it doesn’t say it specifically, this means sensible steps to manage risk for software projects that use components – which these days, even if you’re only using the component set that came with Visual Studio.NET, means all of them.

Frans Bouma has posted a multifaceted muse about the nature of operating systems as collections of components. In talking about Vista, he touches on something very close to my heart – the allocation of resources to the OS:

How it’s going now is that the OS is starting to become (or already has become) an application on its own. And IMHO that’s a bad thing. If the effectively amount of raw computer power left to my applications under Vista is roughly the same as it was under Windows 2000 on a P3-933, what have we won in all those years? IMHO not much besides pretty pictures and shiny mirrors. But trust me, shiny mirrors and pretty pictures don’t get the job done you have to do.

He also mentions the Amiga (I had a 500 and then a 1200 with a 120MB HD):

My Amiga 500 with 1MB ram and a 7.16MHz processor was perfectly capable of task-switching the cr*p out of different threads/processes, so it’s not the core-OS that needs all that power.

Every now and again, I look at Windows and I baulk at the fact that the heap of components in front of me is doing (year on year) more and more in the name of housekeeping than in dealing with the computing tasks I throw at it. Continue reading »

For years I’ve been dreaming about modelling with software the same way you model with clay – with two hands. This isn’t quite it yet, it’s “only” in 2D but it’s stunning nonetheless.

I had something particularly angry to say about ASP.NET 2.0 Themes and their half-hearted approach to CSS styling, and rather than just going and getting a Blogspot account I spent half an hour setting up this WordPress blog. Now I’m impressed and distracted. Maybe I’ll rage about it tomorrow when I’m not in such a sudden good mood.

Happy Valentine’s day (well, it is if you’re Hallmark) in the meantime :)

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