I think we all agree 2020 has been, as the curse puts it, an “interesting” year. Going into it, I had intentions about making changes. Most fell by the wayside due to COVID-19; I still haven’t taken the bus to watch the St. Paul Saints play. Or the bus-light rail combo to Target Field.
As a life long hard-core introvert, “social isolation” mostly meant I shopped for groceries less often but stocked up more when I did. The pain was fewer occasions of meeting a friend for tasty food, drink, and chat. I’m really looking forward to dining out again.
All-in-all, the last four years, this year… It’s been exhausting.
This is part five of a series celebrating the passing of BOOL, the “ship in a bottle” computer language I’ve been tinkering with for three decades. It’s a design dream, and I’ve decided to wake up.
Last time I talked about how BOOL handles data and why that was such an issue. This time I’ll ramble on about some of the other snarls that ultimately made things more complicated than I wanted. Simplicity and elegance were key design goals. I intended the run-time environment, especially, to be utterly straightforward.
Unfortunately, the behavioral design goals — the way BOOL should to act at run-time — ended up in direct conflict with that.
This is part four of a series commemorating BOOL, a computer language I started designing somewhere around 1990. After 30 years of sporadic progress I finally gave up. There were so many contradictions and (for lack of a better word) “epicycles” in the design goals that it just wasn’t viable.
So I’m mourning the passing of an idea that’s shared my headspace for three decades. Previously I’ve introduced BOOL and provided a tour of its basic aspects. Now I have to start talking about why it failed.
It has a lot to do with data, but that wasn’t the only issue.
This is part three of a series mourning the death of a computer language I birthed around 1990. Now it’s turning 30, and I’ve decided it’s too old for this sort of thing. I’ve retired and now I’m retiring it (in the “sleeps with fishes” permanent retirement sense). These posts are part of a retirement party. BOOL might not be here to celebrate, but I’ll raise glasses in its honor.
First I introduced BOOL, a deliberate grotesquery, an exercise in “and now for something completely different!” Then I illustrated basic procedural programming in BOOL. This time I’ll get into the object-oriented side.
This aspect of BOOL is one of several that changed repeatedly over the years.
This is part two of a series commemorating a computer language I started designing somewhere around 1990. After 30 years of tinkering I’ve finally accepted that it’s just not meant to be, and I’m letting it go. These posts are part of that letting go process.
Last time I introduced BOOL, said a bit about about what motivated it, and started laying out what made it a language only a parent could love. Later I’ll explain why things didn’t work out, but for now I’d like to tell you about what BOOL was supposed to be:
A glorious deliberate useless Frankenstein’s Monster (insert mad laughter).
Somewhere around 1990 I started designing a programming language I named BOOL (Beginner’s Object-Oriented Language). It was always a personal “ship in a bottle” project — something more for aesthetic expression than utility. Like that guy constantly working on an old car in his garage, I’ve dabbled with it ever since.
I’ve decided to, at long last, take BOOL off life support and let it die (another dead dream). But enough of dreams. I’m tired of the weight of dreams; time to shed a pointless burden. I’ve carried it for 30 years, and I think it’s time to chalk this one up to experience.
So this is a eulogy and a memorial.
I’ve been encountering a bit of blog blah recently, and it’s tempting to go on another hiatus until I retire and don’t feel the work pressure and negative energy. But I have a growing backlog—new ideas keep popping up—and I really do enjoy the writing.
Things are returning to normal around here; page hits are finally back to their low numbers. The party has died down considerably, and that lets the host leave the remaining guests so he can whip up some new treats (and maybe open that bottle of wine I’ve been saving).
Speaking of which, I meant to open two bottles this weekend, but life did one of those unexpected detour things. I’ll pour both those articles very soon, but today’s snack catches up on some things.
I’m of an age to have seen the arrival of 1984 and 2001 as an adult. Those years are significant due, respectively, to the famous George Orwell book and to the famous Stanley Kubrick movie (authored by Arthur Clarke). Because of those stories, those years were mileposts in future imaginings. Would the world turn out per the dystopic 1984 vision? Or would space travel come along per the 2001 vision?
Fortunately and sadly (respectively), the answer was, “Nope.”
This evening 1984 came to mind due to thinking about 2001, and that came to mind due to thinking about this post. My 201st blog post. A small milestone for long-time bloggers, but a milestone nevertheless.