I think Larry Wall has a lot of nerve talking about language design--Perl is an abomination as a language.
One aspect where Coders unintentionally shines is as a
guide to finding and hiring programming talent. Even non-technical
managers will benefit greatly by reading those excerpts of the
interviews concerned with hiring programmers.
Another unexpected aspect of the book is the breadth of topics discussed — everything from debugging machine code to women's issues in computing workplace and education.
One area where Coders could stand improvement is in its length. Not all of the coders interviewed possessed the gift of brevity, and many interview answers could have been edited to reduce their length without affecting the message.
In her interview, Fran Allen makes an interesting assertion — programming and computer science need to become more socially relevant. Other scientific and engineering fields are filled with well-known personalities, described in prominent interviews, biographies, and major Hollywood films. The only "software people" to appear in the public spotlight are the CEOs of major software firms. Ultimately, its role in helping programming assert its status as a socially relevant profession may be the most important contribution of Coders at Work."
Another curious licence is the Affero GPL - - which aims to close the "Application Service Provider Loophole". What it means is that if I install an AGPLed program on a public web-server and modify it then I must make my modifications public. However, the Free Software Definition , says that one must have "The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to his needs.". As a result, I personally don't consider the AGPL as free (because I may wish to run it on my publicly accessible web-server and modify it), but the FSF thinks otherwise. We have enough problems with the suitability of the GPL for embedded systems, that we don't need to kill the prospering web-apps market too.
Apparently the author thinks that if he has to share modifications, then his "freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to his needs" has been compromised, and the license is "curious". Why not just argue that the GPL itself is not a Free Software license?
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