Forty years ago the language Simula 67 was introduced to help facilitate the modeling of reality and thus allow help with simulations and other computing tasks that try to replicate real life. This led to what Brooks called the most effective advance toward a silver bullet in computer science we have ever known: object-oriented languages and systems.
- Guy Steele Jr. and James Gosling, both of Sun Microsystems, and co-creators of the Java programming language;
- Bertrand Meyer of ETH Zurich and creator of the Eiffel language and;
- Anders Hejlsberg of Microsoft and main creator of the C# language;
- Ole Lehrmann Madsen of Aahus University and co-creator of the Beta programming language.
An interesting, fun, and at time comical panel "celebrating" our resignation that the No Silver Bullet thesis is still very much in effect and that years of efforts have hardly put a significant dent into making good software easier to create. There was a slew of panelists, which made it a bit diluted, but noteworthy attendees were David Parnas of the University of Limerick, Ricardo Lopez of Qualcomm, Martin Fowler of ThoughtWorks, as well as the Silver bullet man himself, Fredrick P. Brooks of the University of North Carolina.
The final panel I want to mention is the SOA panel which assembled a group of industry representatives such as Kerrie Holley (IBM Fellow), Dave Thomas (Bedarra Research Labs), Brenda Michelson (Elemental Links), Nicolai Josuttis (IT Communications), and John deVadoss (Microsoft).
After the typical short introduction by each panelists, which saw a regurgitation of your typical SAO kool-aid, though this time with a focus on the importance of looking at the business-side of SOA; that is, separating the architectural concepts from implementations (e.g., Web services or WS-*), and the importance of standards. What followed was a series of interesting "friendly jabs" (pointed questions and comments :-) between panelists and audience members. Since I was part of the conspirators, I'll limit my comments simply to say that I will always attend any panel where Dave Thomas is present. While I don't agree with everything he says, Dave's flamboyant character and speak, along with no-BS attitude, generally results in the truth being spoken...
Visiting Montréal outside of the winter is always a treat. A wonderful city with kind folks working hard to hold on to their disappearing roots and culture. As a native french speaker, I always enjoyed to visit places where I am addressed in my mother tongue and also get to meet