Re: failures

[Matthias Felleisen <matthias@ccs.neu.edu>]
> At Mon, 9 Dec 2002 19:02:57 -0600, matt hellige wrote:
> > 
> > i think it's a nice idea, but would there be sufficient popular
> > interest? gui design is something that many people feel compelled to
> > know something about and participate in, but not so many feel that
> > they're involved in language design (whether or not that's correct is
> > another question).
> Few people will ever design or implement an OS, yet at almost all 
> institutions that I know, the (so-called) OS course is one of the 
> most popular. The same is true for compilers or programming languages. 
> The purpose of a book on failures is not to have everyone design a
> programming language but to have everyone appreciate what a good 
> programming language does for programmers and how difficult it is 
> to get "good" right. 

Sure, I completely agree on what the benefits of such a book would be.
My only question was whether the general public would perceive those
benefits as clearly as the languages community. As you say,
programming languages classes are quite popular, so perhaps the
interest is there after all, at least among students.

In that context, maybe it would be better to pitch it to textbook
publishers rather than publishers of books for professional
programmers. In a way, I think that would be a shame, as I think not
too many software engineers continue to expose themselves to
textbooks, while a book like this could benefit a much larger community
(I believe) and deserves the wider readership of some of the O'Reilly
or Addison-Wesley professional titles.

Either way, I do think it's a nice idea...


Matt Hellige                  matt@immute.net