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comment-2002-05-01-1Visualize Context (requires Java Plug-in)
CREATED BY David Ness • LAST EDITED BY David Ness 6352 days AGO
I have comments of two kinds on the Gates snip. First, as to content. Two things about it are amusing. (1.1) The mention of the Exidy Sorcerer brings back fond memories. I made heavy use of one for a good while just as we were moving from the era of Time Sharing to Personal Computers. I did a wonderful (to me, that is) implementation of TECO for the Sorcerer that was essentially indistinguishable from the one that ran on our DEC10. Indeed the usual way to tell it was the `local' TECO running was that it was much faster than the apparent speed (on a 300 baud line, of course) of the one running on the remote DEC10. The Sorcer was a wonderful machine, and had Exidy not been run by idiots it could well have taken the core out of Apple.

(1.2) The notion that APL was a `coming thing' in 1979 strikes me as hard to imagine. We taught a lot of APL in the late 1960s and early 1970s at MIT and Wharton (at least) but it was already well on the decline by the mid 70s. Indeed my best guess is that the high-water mark of use was probably in the mid-70s, so predcitions of impact in 1979 and beyond seem particularly ill-considered.

As to the second general point about the snip, I find `dates' on snips to be particularly helpful. Every day I seem to encounter a higher percentage stale links as I chase down projects. Lots of them have pages that haven't changed since the mid or late 90s. While this isn't proof of inactivity, it is at least an indication that the line is effectively dead, and I am usually disappointed that it took me a fair amount of time to beat my way down a path that proves to be essentially dead. I wonder if there could be a `mode' that makes the age of the downstream link available in much the way that Chris hilights the `age' of our comments by putting them `on the clock'. It strikes me that this becomes ever more important as the number of pages grows.



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