[erlang-questions] Fear and Loathing in Programming La La Land

Jan Burse <>
Thu Apr 5 19:25:27 CEST 2012


Miles Fidelman schrieb:
> I'd kind of beg to differ on this.  New tools lead to new methods lead
> to new architectures.  ("Gee, we have a steam engine, let's see what we
> can do with it." Or, "hmm... nails and a hammer, I bet we could build
> bigger, taller buildings.")

How I use the term "architecture"
in information technology:
Architecture == Fabric, Architecture != Building

You cannot just build a new tool. First there has to be an
architecture already in place, where the tool can work on.
And second there has to be some method around, which gives
the tool a place in a process.

The end product that you are building with a particular
tool are applications. And they will share the same
architecture, independent whether they are innovative
or conservative, small or tall, etc..

The method is not so much part of the end product. But
yes I guess the relationship architecture - method
- tool is not a DAG. It can be a mesh, so the same tool
could be used for different methods.

Of course you can also build new tools or also new
architectures with old tools. This is called
bootstrapping. But the dependency between a new tool
and its architecture remains the same.

Eventually the same tool could be used for different
architectures. But this is quite difficult. First of
all the tool must allow plugability of the architecture.
Second the tool must be generic enough to support
different architectures.

For the later situation I would rather see each
different instance of the generic tool as a
separate tool. What these tools share is a certain
tool design or somesuch.

But generic plugable tools are currently omnipresent,
systems such es Eclipse, IntelliJ come to mind. These
tools combine for example frameworks for syntax high-
lighting with plugins for various languages. So they
are multiple tools in one.

Like one of those (swiss or not) multi-tools:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitool

Bye



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