The concept of Good Enough, and yay piracy

Here’s two articles for your persual: First, this Guardian Unlimited article attacks one of those ‘well-known facts’ that Betamax failed despite being better than VHS. The title says it explicitly: Why VHS was better than Betamax. The author even manages to mention the Windows vs. Unix idea that is an offshoot of this.

Second, a New Yorker article for those who care about patents and copyright: The “Piracy Paradox” describes how a lack of copyright in fashion design had led to better business – perhaps this could apply to software design too?

Both links via things magazine. So, do you all (the readers) like when I go off the beaten path for related material like this?

Programming languages, then and now

Some entertainment: This article at American Scientist talks about programming language choice and the arguments that have come up over the years. The bibliography at the end of this 5-page essay is worth special attention, because of the links to early documents describing these battles over languages and choices nobody thinks of these days, like PL/I or Cobol.

Some specific links to articles cited:

All the citations are worth investigating – take some time to read them.