Bulky, Legacy Programming Tools Cost Us More Than Money

Building great software has become too complex. I write many posts about the software development process and how to improve it but there’s an underlying problem. The art of writing software has become overly complex. That very complexity necessitates an overly complex approach to building it. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s time to get back to basics. There are several software development environments that need to go. Having a diversity of software languages like C, C++, Fortran, Javascript, Pascal, PHP, Ruby, etc. is fine. Being forced to run a bloated operating environment to support the language is not.

We already run an operating system — usually Linux, OS X or Windows. We run a browser that is an operating environment in itself — such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera. So now we have a software environment within an operating system. Then, some vendors want us to run yet another environment that supports the programming language. Enough!

Here’s a short list of bloatware languages that need to go.

Adobe Flash

Flash is old technology. It’s widely used to deliver animation. Advertisers are probably the biggest fan boys of Flash. They can produce banner ads that grab attention and even interact with users. Alas, Flash is big, slow and full of security holes. It’s no longer needed as HTML5 can now take over its functions. It’s time for Flash to go.

Oracle Desktop Java

Java was originally a product of Sun Microsystems. It’s widely used in application and web servers as a way to process user requests and return meaningful results. It makes sense on servers. But, why do we need it on desktops? It’s huge and full of security holes. Some developers like it because they can build the software in Java and run it on any desktop computer. They need to learn HTML5 and an associated web-based language like Javascript, PHP or Ruby. Desktop Java needs to go.

Microsoft .NET

From a user perspective, .NET is horrible. Have you ever looked at the number of .NET “updates” Microsoft ships each month? Every major .NET release has it’s own set of updates. We are forced to install multiple versions of .NET on our systems to support different applications because Microsoft has designed it poorly. .NET replaced Visual Basic which was (arguably) one the best software languages ever. .NET is not progress. Kill it!

Microsoft Silverlight

Silverlight is Microsoft’s answer to Flash. Just what we need, right? Flash in Microsoft clothing. Even worse, Silverlight sits within .NET. It couldn’t be any bulkier! Silverlight has not caught on and never will. That shipped has sailed.

It’s time to move on.

These big, bulky software environments cause our desktop and laptop computers to slow to a crawl. They demand large amounts of memory and fast processors. In turn, these items add unnecessary cost to our systems and expose us to needless security risks.

Fight back! Avoid desktop applications and websites built using these obsolete tools — the software likely won’t run on your smartphone or tablet anyway.

photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

Updated: January 22, 2013 — 10:06 pm