software-design   1009

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Objects as Contracts for Behaviour
I’d love to see a programming language that puts method calls before the object, but leaves the method arguments at the end 3: pay.invoice(anAmount) and reschedule.appointment(aDate).
oop  software-design 
14 days ago by dhartunian
Limp Versus Die
To correct the analogy: if a bone breaks in an animal, the animal can limp away, but not because a single system is fault tolerant. That animal lost its bone, that system. It doesn't limp away on the broken bone; it uses its other 3 legs to limp away. It abandons the broken system and relies on backups. The animal has a large of redundancy of systems to accomplish this. It's an organic system, horribly inefficient, but very resilient. Most computer systems are not organic with many interrelated backup systems. They are generally made of a very small set of horribly brittle systems with little to no redundancy whatsoever. Just like an animal each individual system is brittle, but unlike an animal there are very few to no backup systems.
If you want to take ques from nature, for a mission critical system bring along 3 computers, each with their own hardware and independently written algorithm, and bring along a voting-holding machine which takes acts on the most popular vote and reboots the machine which makes an unpopular vote.
A resilient system in the real world is not a system made resilient all the way through. A resilient system is a collection of brittle systems with many backups. It's not to say you can't make a single system resilient the whole way through; it's just much more expensive to do that, both in nature and in programing. It's simpler to abandon a broken system and rely on backups until the "main" system can be fixed. To try and make a system resilient all the way through requires a exorbitant among of error checking code, most of which is nigh impossible to test, thereby actually increasing bugs and brittleness.
software-design 
19 days ago by swlaschin
See No Evil
"Modular systems manage complexity by 'black-boxing' information; that is, they separate code or information into discrete units. A programmer need only know about the module with which she is working, because managing the complexity of the entire system would be too much to ask of any single individual. Modularity is the method we’ve devised to manage complexity at a time when we’re drowning in information. How do you manage the complexity of a system that procures goods from a huge variety of locations? You make it modular: when you black-box each component, you don’t need to know anything about it except that it meets your specifications. Information about provenance, labor conditions, and environmental impact is unwieldy when the goal of your system is simply to procure and assemble goods quickly. 'You could imagine a different way of doing things, so that you do know all of that,' said Russell, 'so that your gaze is more immersive and continuous. But what that does is inhibit scale.' And scale, of course, is key to a globalized economy."
a:Miriam-Posner  p:Logic  d:2018  w:3500  logisitics  international-trade  manufacturing  infrastructure  software-design  from instapaper
5 weeks ago by bankbryan

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