Issue No. 05 - May (1999 vol. 32)
<p>Software improvements continue to pervade the growing interconnected web of computers and communication. But are these improvements merely evolutionary or are they responsible for what some have been calling a software revolution? Computer turned to some of the very brightest in the field to find out. In "An Ongoing Revolution," Larry Wall thinks software design has been revolutionary all along--to the extent that anything in this business is revolutionary. In his view, hardware design hasn't been doing any better than software design. In "Programming for Everyone," David A. Taylor thinks scripting language technology lacks anything new or exciting and it all seems to be stuck in that awkward compromise-- too hard for nonprogrammers to do much with and too wimpy for real programming languages. In "Making Software Work Together," Chris Horn thinks middleware solves complex integration challenges and enables the delivery of exciting new applications and solutions. But a blizzard of competing technologies risks complete confusion for the developers and their organizations in the short term. In "Extracting Useful Patterns," Paul Bassett discusses how software technology improvements are limited only by the capacity to extract useful patterns from apparent novelty, which itself can be improved by software. In "Integration: A New Style of Programming," John K. Ousterhout predicts that for a business to introduce new technologies, it must be able to integrate them with existing systems. In "Domain Engineering and Reuse," Martin L. Griss notices that components and scripting are becoming the standard by which large-scale enterprise development will be judged. Taken together, these technologies could radically change the way people do reuse. In "Thought Converging," Richard Mark Soley believes that most advances in computing have stood on the shoulders of past giants. In "Portability Is Key," Jim Waldo sees the single most revolutionary trend over the past few years as the movement toward languages that are portable. In "The Future Is Intentional," Charles Simonyi thinks Intentional Programming (IP) is the most exciting thing happening today in soft-ware engineering. IP is simply an OS for abstractions, a new category of metatool that coordinates the cooperation of independently developed abstraction objects called intentions.</p>
K. L. Kroeker, "Software [R]evolution: A Roundtable," in Computer, vol. 32, no. , pp. 48-57, 1999.