Horror Vacui

Tue 22 October 2019
By Bram

Aristotélēs postulated that Nature abhors a vacuum. There is probably an equivalent postulate for the Internet Age about unused computing resources.


I've been dumbfounded many times about the ridiculous amount of bloat in software.

Be it the 18,000 classes in an iOS app. That is 18,000 classes, mind you! Not 18,000 objects.

Or the enormous big ball of mud that imgur uses to serve an image.

Or the 1.2M lines of code to simply boot an OS. Not the OS it self, mind you, just the boot system that lives on top of the OS.

I think these things grew out of control purely by the grace of fast computers. Moore's law makes them faster, more powerful, and immediately sloppy engineers fill it with a plethora of layered frameworks.

It would be better if all software engineers were forced to use a decade old computer, so that teraflop machines will not be brought to their knees trying to load a webpage or something. Leave the modern and fast machinery to the users and clients, but develop the software on Raspberry Pi's maybe?

So, are you a software engineer? Please surrender your dual GPU, 16 core machine to the bureau of software simplification, and compile, link, test your software on the Raspberry Pi that will be provided to you. No ifs and buts... that Raspberry Pi is vastly more capable than the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer. It will do.

Nature abhors unused RAM and CPU cycles.