Re: what ship? I see no ship
Surely not the first time 'Das Boot' has landed someone in deep water.
15 posts • joined 16 Jul 2009
A program that has run reliably for nearly 20 years needed amending for changing business requirements. Half an hour of COBOL, it is up and running and everyone is happy. (And yes I admit, I enjoyed it!) Re-writing in something more modern would have taken several days for no added business benefit. There's life in the old dog yet.
The problem starts in school long before university: Programmers are not created by teaching how to use MS Office or answering questions like "what is a spreadsheet?" You need to get them writing simple code and getting the satisfaction when the damn thing works. An IT course with without programming is not an IT course.
Sadly, the way of thinking for IT seems to be better served by music syllabuses involving composition than IT courses. (That may sound daft at first, but music is about form, structure and obtaining a satisfying result using the syntax available: Anyone who enjoys harmonising Bach chorales can make a decent living as a programmer.)
IT needs engaged problem-solvers: turning them off the subject dilutes the talent available for the future job-market.
Both Google and Bing are rather good at returning relevant results and both engines require huge and expensive infrastructures to make this happen (paid for by advertisers, the information we provide and companies wishing to know more about their customers).
Monopolies are generally a bad idea and competition helps encourage the big-guys to concentrate and play nice (think IE6). Hopefully Bing will encourage Google in this respect and Mozilla's inclusion of Bing can only help this process.
We can dream of a Mozilla-type native total privacy-protected search engine but making this happen and break-even would be a much more difficult task than producing Firefox itself.
Still, it's nice to dream.
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