Friday, 5 January 2007

What shall we do with the lazy coder?

Perhaps more troublesome than the drunken sailor!

Wired news have an article here about how wonderful and fast PCs are going to become in 2007.

Lies. Well. OK. It's true, to a point. At least, it will be true until lazy coders fall into more bad habits and ruin the dream for everybody - again.

I remember when my PC had 32mb of RAM and a HDD measured in Megabytes, along with a CPU that was in the realms of 300mhz (and at the time - circa ten years ago, that was a pretty good system).

Now my PC is a dual core 2.2ghz, 2gb RAM system, and the total amount of storage available to me both locally and via my LAN is well over 1Tb. But if I want to do something simple, e.g. write a letter telling someone how much their poor service has infuriated me - I can't do it any faster.

It takes just as long, if not longer, to send an email now, as it did then.

Have you noticed that Outlook (note: I'm not Microsoft-Bashing, just using Outlook as an example) consumes upto 30-40mb of RAM? Thats more than most PCs had ten years ago.


Partly because we want everything to be nice and polished and happy-looking these days (this is a good thing, don't get me wrong - Windows 3.11 was butt-ugly, I'm much happier with XP), but its also partly because coders are much lazier.

They frequently use the tools/languages they know best, rather than the best ones for the job, and their test systems are normally top-spec machines, which they use for their development.

Personally I like to use my 800mhz VIA mini-pc for testing. If something runs quickly on there, it's definitely going to present a rapid user experience on a medium to high end machine.