Just because creating commonality almost always requires supression
does not mean it MUST require supression you just repeated what I
said.  How does having standard hardware limit innovation of any kind
when no one is forbidden from proposing new standards?  You keep
saying things without actually thinking about them.  The fact that
there does not need to be an overly high degree of variation in the
genetic code of organisms on earth is totally irrelevant to the
underlying point that diversity is a double edged sword.  You are just
asuming that any attempt to create commonality is by its very nature
is negative.  I am telling you that under no circumstanxes is the
creation of commonality an absolute negative.

There was a dispute between Russia and China in the 17th century and
neither side spoke the same language so Latin was chosen for the
negotiations thus creating at least some commonality (things were
translated into Chineese by Jesuit missionaries.)

I'll take this back to computers for a second:
How is it a positive thing that rpm binaries for Mandriva,Suse, and
Fedora cannot be used interchangeably with each other? (With ease I'm
sure its possible to hack them to make them behave.)  How is it good
to have a situation where one package or set of packages is available
for one distro but not the one you happen to be using?  What good is
it to have two to three binary formats and then subdivisions therein
when it comes time for someone to generate binaries for distribution?
Installing things from source code doesn't even always work as
expected because of differences in where things are placed on various
distros and no real working method of handling things neatly across
dstributions?

Explain to me how diversity is actually helping people in this respect?

On 10/16/06, Austin Ziegler <halostatue / gmail.com> wrote:
> Note: this has moved far beyond Ruby. This will, therefore, be my last
>       post on the topic. This isn't a matter of having to have the last
>       word; this is a matter of not continuing a discussion that's
>       willfully fruitless.
>
> On 10/15/06, Kevin Olemoh <darkintent / gmail.com> wrote:
> > Having ten dialects of the same language does not nessecarily improve
> > anything at all. Just as having only one thing does not nessecatily
> > improve anything.
>
> Do you even know what you're talking about here, or are you just
> spouting off?
>
> In terms of human language, one doesn't get to choose the number of
> dialects that exist. They are created, destroyed, and merged on a
> regular basis by separation and reconnection. Sometimes, these
> distinctions become large enough or varied enough that a wholly new
> language is formed. Would you say that Australian English, Canadian
> English, American English, and British English are all the same? I
> should hope not (because to do so would be pure ignorance). Would you
> say that all of these (broad) dialects should be merged into one? Say,
> mid-west American English? Or maybe we should all be talking like Eton
> graduates? Or shall we put the dialects on the barbie, mate! Each of
> these dialects of English -- and they are very broad dialects, because I
> guarantee you that a Nova Scotian or a Newfoundlander doesn't sound like
> a Torontonian or an Albertan -- serves multiple purposes and exist
> despite (or in spite of!) the presence of modern communications.
>
> In terms of computer languages, few programming languages are truly
> dialects of one another. Sure, one could say that C++ is a dialect of C,
> but that's an uninformed and limiting view. C, C++, Java, and C# are all
> closely related, but they all bring different things to the table.
>
> * C is a low-level assembly.
> * C++ adds objects, and later added templates with which can be
>   accomplished some truly amazing and scary things (generic programming
>   is the beginning of it; it is possible to do functional programming
>   with C++ templates).
> * Java adds the JVM, restricts multiple inheritance, and adds a massive
>   library.
> * C# deviates from Java, but adds some nicities of its own and has a
>   different underlying technology (generated into MSIL running on the
>   CLR). C# 3.0 will even be taking some cues from Ruby and other dynamic
>   languages to make it less verbose than its prior incarnations or its
>   kissing cousin, Java.
>
> You can also make a close kinship argument for Pascal, Oberon, and
> Modula 2, Delphi, and Ada (if you look at Ada, it looks a *lot* like
> Pascal). You can clealy say that Oracle's PL/SQL is a member of the same
> family, and it is in fact descended from Ada. When Wirth developed each
> of the first three, he had slightly different goals in mind; when
> Heljsberg developed Delphi, he needed the ability to do both component-
> based and object oriented programming and extended the Pascal language
> to do so. Ada was developed by committee, but is a remarkably good
> language despite that, even if it is a bit like a straight-jacket at
> times. PL/SQL didn't need everything that Ada gave, so Oracle developed
> something that emphasized embedded SQL commands and gave faster access
> to the database.
>
> The C families and the Pascal families share almost no syntactical
> similarities, however.
>
> Then you have Lisp. The less I say about Lisp, the better, because I
> don't know it. But there are dialects of Lisp because different people
> had different ideas on how certain things should be represented. Once
> lisp machines went away, it became rather more important to consider
> Lisp differently, so that probably contributed some to the fragmentation
> of Lisp, Scheme, Guile (a dialect of Scheme, IIRC), and other similar
> languages. Lisp is a functional language, which means that it begat
> thinking about programming that begat ML, Caml, OCaml, Haskell, and even
> Oz/Mozart. Each of these is a functional programming language, but they
> cause you to think about the way that you're writing the program
> differently.
>
> Then we have the scripting languages. These things are meant to be glue
> that ties other programs together, but somehow many of them have grown
> into significant languages on their own. Some of these differences are
> evolutionary (and purposefully so): sh to ksh to bash. Some of them are
> revolutionary: sed to awk to Perl. Some sidestep: csh (and tcsh),
> Python, and Ruby.
>
> In every single one of the languages that I mentioned above -- and I've
> programmed in C, C++, C#, Java, PL/SQL, Ada, Pascal, Object Pascal
> (Delphi), sh/ksh/bash, awk, Perl, Ruby and several more that I
> haven't mentioned here -- there is a usefully different way of looking
> at how one would solve a problem. There's a different *purpose* for
> each. Sometimes, I use a particular language because it's the most
> useful for a particular platform; sometimes it's mandated. Sometimes I
> use multiple languages in a single program. I have an installation shell
> script at work that is written primarily in a Bourne shell dialect
> (assuming minimal capabilities) that uses various standard utilities and
> even has awk and sed miniprograms inside of it. This is written in the
> lowest common denominator because I don't control the installation
> platforms. My build scripts, however, are written to take advantage of
> bash 2.x features, because I control the build platforms. (And yes, I
> want to rewrite the scripts to Ruby. I'll have to get Ruby on all of
> them, first.)
>
> My point is that what you've argued is essentially ignorant and
> willfully so. You're coming in and assuming that these differences just
> exist because people are too lazy to make sure that they don't exist.
> No, these differences exist *for a reason* in every case. And as people
> lose the need for certain things, those things will go away. You don't
> see many people programming in 6502 Assembler these days, do you? (You
> don't see many people programming in assembler at all these days. It
> happens, but usually at a very late stage.)
>
> > It really is a balancing act for example as far as human biology is
> > concerned there is only about a one percent difference between any two
> > given people on earth. If there was too little differentiation at the
> > genetic level we would all suffer greater and greater genetic damage
> > due to inbreeding and eventually cease to exist. To call me arrogant
> > for pointing out that too much or too little difference (depending on
> > the situation) is a bad thing shows that you don't know what you are
> > talking about. The inability or human beings to focus on the things
> > that the have in common has been the source of so much greif.
>
> Kevin, the above is so much nonsense. Yes, I know that the amount of
> genetic variation among humans is a small value when you're talking
> percentages. But percentages aren't useful here: IIRC, we share 50% of
> our genetic code with most bacteria on Earth. Our genetic code is so
> large and complex that it only takes a tiny fraction of difference to
> express completely different phenotypes, for example. I call your
> statement about human language or computer language arrogant and -- more
> importantly -- painfully ignorant.
>
> > Furthermore as far as computers go limiting things to a set of agreed
> > upon standards is part of what allowed the desktop computer as we
> > understand it to take off. If every manufacturer used their own
> > standards people would not be able to easily replace parts and they
> > would probably end up locked into one or two vendors. (the situation
> > with laptops currently.) The vendor could also charge fairly high
> > prices since they are the only ones who produce the hardware; however
> > since we have an agreed upon standard for most hardware we have low
> > prices and the buyer is more or less in control of his or her own
> > machine rather than the vendors.
>
> Twaddle -- and ultimately self-defeating if you're right. Limiting
> things to standards retards growth. Not having standards retards growth.
> If someone comes out with a new capability that isn't covered by a
> standard, what are they to do? Wait until there is a standard? Right.
> No, they put it out even without a standard. Other people put out
> something that competes. Ultimately, this competition leads to something
> that *can* be standardized. In the interim, though, people have been
> using incompatible things which will need to be upgraded. I suggest you
> look at the history of C++ to see how it went from Cfront to a proper
> compiler, and how many compilers implemented different parts of an
> emerging standard. This wouldn't matter, except that sometimes these
> compilers are still in production. (!@#!!@#$! HP aCC.)
>
> (Your parenthetical about laptops, by the by, is nonsense, much like the
> rest of this paragraph. There *are* standards used, else you wouldn't be
> able to do much with a laptop. They're just not things that are
> necessarily made to be user serviceable or upgradeable. And I can extend
> the power of my laptop just fine, thanks, with USB and expansion cards.
> By and large, IME, by the time that you want to upgrade your laptop's
> capabilities, the state of the art is so much better that you're better
> off replacing it. Hell, at this point, I would be replacing my desktops
> rather than upgrading them in any case. It's a mook's game, even though
> there's a lot of standards-based extensibility.)
>
> > Creating a common culture or language need not suppress diversity of
> > culture and ways of thinking in the attempt to bridge the gaps between
> > people and in the case of a programming language what can be done with
> > the various languages.
>
> Excuse me? You *don't* know what you're talking about here. Creating a
> common culture almost *always* depends on suppression of the divergent
> cultures. Read some history. You might learn something about that which
> you're spouting nonsense. I suggest reading about the British
> subjugation of Ireland and what it did to the Gaelic subculture. Or
> maybe the American and Canadian reservations and residential schools.
> (The residential school stuff is a particularly shameful part of
> Canadian history.) Or why not look at various cultural behaviours which
> have been outlawed in history?
>
> France is going through this right now. In France, the wearing of
> religious symbols is illegal in public schools and government jobs. As
> (as near as mandatory to be indistinguishable from mandatory) outward
> expressions of their religion, Sikhs wear turbans, have uncut hair
> (unshorn beards), wear a special iron bracelet on their dominant hand,
> and must carry a kirpan (a short blade). In France, the intersection of
> the secular laws with these religious injunctions means that it is
> highly unlikely that a Sikh would become a police officer or a
> government worker. It's something that was created for good reason
> (reducing control of the Catholic church over the French state) but has
> since become a powerful tool of marginalisation against a wide variety
> of groups. To be fully accepted in France, Sikhs would have to
> *suppress* their religious differences. If they don't do that, they
> aren't going to be fully accepted.
>
> Monocultures require the suppression of the different. It's not a happy
> circumstance, and reading a bit of history would tell you that.
>
> -austin
> --
> Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com * http://www.halostatue.ca/
>                * austin / halostatue.ca * http://www.halostatue.ca/feed/
>                * austin / zieglers.ca
>
>