20 September 2013

In the beginning there was the command line


In the begging there was the command line, and it was good. Then came the user interface, the mouse and expediency of ease of use. The word was “Don’t let me think” and thus the web was begotten.

And the cometh forth a beast of many heads, or many releases which swarmed into one version, and Google Chrome rose into the world and brought the command line back into the fold.

At first it was the ease of search, ease of address typing, moving and blurring the difference of an url and a query. Now, it was the turn of the information and the knowledge Google brought about your needs, your work, your life. And thus the time of search cometh to the world and the word was good and the masses were fed by the wine of information and food of quick results.

And the devil of engineering said “It shall not be enough, what was before shall come again, the circle of technology and innovation will turn again bringing what was before into the new and bright” and developers brought search to their applications and then it was not enough to have search but commands typed after the url came as orders of the divine and users could use the shell as the address bar and the web page as the console.

Thus in the end there was the command line. And is it was cometh again. Technology turns, what was old becomes anew, rediscovered, dreamed again.

I' am student of technology, servant of engineering and topologist of software. During my travels trough countless projects, books, presentations, frameworks, languages, databases spanning decades now I remember things which once were during the first books I’ve read at the end of the eighties and the nineties and the stuff I read and do now, and often I see old ideas and technologies rediscovered and re-implemented in new spaces.

I’ve read a book about the basics of computer and operating system architectures, how hardware and memory functions and how thing communicate and stood amazed how the same solutions and patterns are copied trough the architectures I’ve done and those I’ve dreamed.

I came to see this as truth about our loved profession. Everything which once was will come again, thus making the study of old systems, old patterns crucial for the future of our advancement. The critical thing which needs to be adopted as practice in our companies and universities and training grounds, and which is known to all old hands who survived several decades of shifting technologies and trend is that regardless that a technology is not used and more, or is redundant that there are core lessons and practices which will prove useful in the problem spaces of now and tomorrow. 

2013-07-07 00.28.31

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