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*Interesting* Projects all over the Net...

I have noticed that number of conceptually interesting projects (either commercial or academic) converges to nearly zero during past 5-7 years. Actually I don't remember the last time I looked on project and wowed, saying "This is a new concept".

Is it only me, did somebody else noticed the trend? If so, does anybody have an explanation of the effect?

This is my first post there. I want to thank Joel for taking the time, writing and putting the stuff together. My current "out of flow" gap was filled with extremely interesting reading. Thanks.

And please, excuse my poor English.

dk
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Please tell us what you find interesting.  For example, do you find Lambda the Ultimate stuff interesting?  Slashdot?
http://lambda.weblogs.com/

By the way, I agree that we were in a Dark Ages.  But I think we're coming out of it.  Part of it is that we've got a lot of computing power.  And the OS wars are over for a while; now people are getting bored of Windows/Mac and looking at new stuff.  Open source is coming along nicely, no longer copying but often being where the innovations prove themselves.

ssh
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

See www.sweetcode.org .

Matt Conrad
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Ok, a few examples of what I find interesting and what not.

Linux is "make just another UNIX clone". Not interesting.

KDE os "make just another Apple/Windows-like desktop". Not interesting.

World-Wide-Web + Mosaic/Netscape/IE/Whatever. Yes, I now this is a great thing, but this is more publishing breakthrough then interesting software project. So, Not interesting.

Lotus 1-2-3. Spreadsheet is clearly a genius idea.

UNIX (yep, that os invented in 60's) has an interesting and powerful concept - "everything is and is in a file system tree"

Interviews - a GUI toolkit (info available somewhere on www.berlin-consortium.org) with a nice concept "every gui component is a part of a graph"

Turbo C++ 3.x Editor. Guess where the big concept there? Actually this is a first editor (known to me) which filled the code with colors. This brings the whole idea of on-the-fly code parsing, so your editor makes part of the compiler work.

The game of Civilization. I am not a big fan of the game, but this was clearly a new idea.

Anyone to continue the list?

Ok, I expect a lot of criticism here, here comes the disclaimer: the examples above represent my own personal experience, and are mentioned here just to get hint on what projects I found interesting.

dk
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

What about complex adaptive systems, agent based computing, grid computing, genetic algs, ditributed compouting (folding), database file systems, wireless, new collaboration tools, quantum computing, chaotic systems, digital rights management, p2p, cryptography, ubiquitous computing, etc, etc..

I mean come on, to say that their are no interesting projects .. that's very subjective. I find more than enough to keep my mind busy. There are plenty of challenges that still need to be solved.

Ian Stallings
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

The computer game Civilization was based on the Avalon Hill board game of the same name.

Luke Duff
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

http://www.q12.org/ode/ode.html

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

[World-Wide-Web + Mosaic/Netscape/IE/Whatever. Yes, I now this is a great thing, but this is more publishing breakthrough then interesting software project. So, Not interesting.]


Funny how something that has literally changed the world is dismissed as not interesting. Pretty high standards. Geez, What do you want? Someone to part the Red Sea? Will that get the badge of "interesting".

Ian Stallings
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Lotus 1-2-3 was a genius marketing idea. Visicalc was the original genius spreadsheet idea.

Dan Sickles
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Surely WWW changed our lives but this is not my point. I am not in search of project impacting our social lives, I am in search of project with some new great concept.

Surely there are many interesting projects like clustering (I am putting p2p, grid computers etc... under this cover), genetic algorithms and other stuff, but think when all this stuff begun to appear? 5-7 years ago. I recall early quantum computing talks at 1996-97 or so.

dk
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

the WWW is based on a interesting concept for a distributed architecture : REST which made it quite interesting and different from what you could see before: RPC or MOM like distributed architecture

WWW works because of the loosely coupled and simple grammar. CORBA and other lost for massively distributed systems.

Just simply revolutionnary IMHO

Robert Chevallier
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

"Surely there are many interesting projects like clustering (I am putting p2p, grid computers etc... under this cover), genetic algorithms and other stuff, but think when all this stuff begun to appear? 5-7 years ago. I recall early quantum computing talks at 1996-97 or so. "

Dk, I think you are confusing  the "I had this great idea at the bar last night and here's my paper. I own your thoughts" with the actual hard work of doing things. Most of the "stuff" you refer to was old hat in the "last night at the bar" department decades before the 5-7 years ago you mention. Most of the truly interesting aspects of these subject in the knowledge/working department have barely been touched upon.
It is my vain hope that the "option 1" crowd will just stick to publishing in the "science fiction" section one day.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

"Funny how something that has literally changed the world is dismissed as not interesting"

the whel, fire, and christianity changed the world, many people don't find any of those things interesting

Daniel Shchyokin
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Congratulations dk, you are becoming a mature software professional. You have realized that everything hyped as new and 'kewl' is made of combinations of old ideas. There are very few new and totally original ideas.
When a truly new idea does come along, it usually takes years for someone to realize the significance and make something useful out of it. (Think about Xerox Parc and Apple/M$.)

Doug Withau
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

I find the Plan 9 operating system interesting - it takes the "everything is a file" concept even further than Unix, although it seems unlikely ever to become widely used:

http://plan9.bell-labs.com/plan9dist/

The notes for Rob Pike's talk on "Systems Software Research is Irrelevant" are interesting if depressing reading:

http://www.cs.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/who/rob/utah2000.pdf

Andrew Simmons
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Sir, that's the second time ODE's been mentioned here.  I'd just suggested it for Warren in

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=13822

It's nice to know that others find it interesting, let's just hope that they devote the time to make something of it.

David Blume
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

I find code editors that support refactoring interesting. And Python. And Zope.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

The Web is, on one level, just 3270s with pictures.  So while it sparked a lot of business and made the 'net worth using for many people, it's still not hugely revolutionary.

Everything old is new again...

Rodger Donaldson
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

"that's the second time ODE's been mentioned here"

Hadn't folowed that thread, but I guess this means at least two votes for ODE being *Interesting* at least.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Can someone please point me to anything human created that hasn't been built on the work of others? Isaac Newton built on the work of others yet one couldn't say that The Principia wasn't revolutionary. All of man's creations come from a combination of ideas and events, but that doesn't mean they aren't new.

IMHO your lack of interest sounds like a personal problem. If you are that worried about it why don't you create something new and stop waxing philisophical on it? Create something!

trollbooth
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

No, you're not the only one who's noticed this.
http://www.dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/FeyerabendInvite.html
http://www.dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Feyerabend.html

Looks doomed to failure, but interesting.  Their steps are wrong and insulting on so many levels, that I guess it will be pretty influential 20 years from now. ;-)

Sammy
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

"Can someone please point me to anything human created that hasn't been built on the work of others? "

Silly Putty?

Deely Bobbers?

Mountain Berry Kool-Aid?

Tom Blackwell
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Windows.  That was an original work.  Gates is a god.

Mr. Light Loafers
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Light Loafers,

(Guess I'll be the first to get caught in your troll.)  Lots of us here really do respect what Microsoft has accomplished.  But we don't deny the original contributions by Xerox and Apple.

The Beagle Brothers (San Diego, early '80s) were gods.
http://www.panic.com/~stevenf/beagle/

David Blume
Thursday, August 29, 2002

I'm feeling a bit aiiree today.  Floating ,really.

Mr. Gorden Light Loafers
Thursday, August 29, 2002

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