Programmers and librarians

Bill Crosbie crosbie at AESOP.RUTGERS.EDU
Wed Dec 6 08:42:45 EST 1995

At 03:17 PM 12/4/95 -0800, Joe Schallan wrote:
> Back when I was associated with computer scientists,
>I recall "structured programming" (courtesy Dr. Dijkstra, I believe)
>and modularity being all the rage.  Has this translated into more
>easily maintainable and flexible software?

For those who use it, yes.  I have been able to pinpoint problems more
readily through structured programming techniques.  But now the rage is
object oriented programming... which takes the structured approach and adds
yet another layer of abstraction to handling data.  (And something else may
have emerged since I was taught that... ;-)

>The rapid prototyping system sounds quite interesting.  I recall
>that some years ago Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston (inventors
>of the electronic spreadsheet) had a neat little demo program.
>You could prototype screens to try out on users, without having
>to create underlying code.  What became of this product?  I saw
>it at Comdex, maybe about 1987.

There are a large number of RAD (Rapid application development) tools for a
large number of platforms.  Visual programming tools are available for UNIX,
Windows, and of course, Mac.  Bacically, it lets you draw your interface,
and then generates the code to handle all of the point and click work.  Then
you just flesh out the design by replacing the commented sections with
actual code that performs the actions.

My senior project (so long ago) was an attempted computer vision system for
the Macintosh.  My friend used an application development tool and was able
to complete his project.  My project was bogged down in the intricacies of
developing the user interface...  From that point on I swore that I would
use the tools whenever I could...  ;-)

>Joe Schallan, MLS    jschall at
>Reference Librarian   (602) 930-3555
 "For my purpose holds to sail		Bill Crosbie
   beyond the sunset, and the baths	Microcomputer/Network Analyst
   of all the western stars,	  	Rutgers University-Chang Library
   until I die."    ~ Tennyson		crosbie at
    					(908) 932-0305 x114

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