Computer science pioneers meet at historic location

Posted 29 Jun 2001 at 13:51 UTC by mvw Share This

Yesterday and today, a most interesting event to software developers takes place in the former German Bundestag parliament chamber in Bonn. There, during the sd&m Konferenz 2001, several important pioneers give talks about their contributions to the field.

The speakers list is impressive:

  • Friedrich L. Bauer (Stack, Algol)
  • Ole-Johan Dahl (Simula)
  • Niklaus Wirth (Pascal, Modula, Oberon)
  • Fred Brooks (OS/360)
  • Alan Kay (Smalltalk, Userinterfaces)
  • Rudolf Bayer (B-Trees, UB-Trees)
  • Peter Chen (entity relationship diagramms)
  • Edsger W. Dijkstra (structured programming)
  • C.A.R. Hoare (quicksort, correctness proofs)
  • David L. Parnas (module concept)
  • John Guttag (abstract data types)
  • Michael Jackson (structured programming)
  • Tom DeMarco (structured analysis)
  • Michael Fagan (inspections)
  • Barry Boehm (software economy)
  • Erich Gamma (design patterns)

And now the good news, all talks are available as video streams here.

Except for Professor Bayer's excellent talk on the events that lead to the creation of the relational database over at IBM, all talks so far have been given in English language.

These talks give interested software developers a chance to understand how many important developments came around. Not every paper older than 5 years is irrelevant, as one of the conference directors said in his opening note.


the content is unavailable due to crappy proprietary technology, posted 29 Jun 2001 at 14:47 UTC by Zooko » (Master)

This interested me, so I went to that page. First I had to enable JavaScript in order to click the links to the actual talks, and then clicking them opens up a new pop-up window that asks me whether I want to install RealPlayer or Windows MediaPlayer.


If someone gets copies of these in an open format please upload them to Mojo Nation and let me know.



Proprietary formats.., posted 29 Jun 2001 at 15:16 UTC by mvw » (Journeyer)

I feel unhappy about those proprietary formats too.

In fact I keep my Windows 95 partition around not for games anymore, but for being able to watch interesting video streams on sites like cnet, (e.g. about the walking dinosaur robot) and DDJ's Technetcast (e.g. they have very interesting lectures by Marvin Minsky, Donald E. Knuth, Bill Joy, Bjarne Stroustrup, ..).

Creepy, isn't it?

If FreeBSD had not an excellent Linux ABI implementation, I would not been able to listen to BBC Worldservice while I work with it. I hope that at least the public funded broadcasters would switch to non proprietary audio and video streaming one day. Perhaps the infrastructure isn't there?

The software pioneers conference I mentioned in this article, had another interesting technical feature:
While the talkers showed presentation slides to their audience in the former Bundestag, they showed up for the internet public as well, in a window next to the video window. Very useful for lectures, or remote studies indeed.

No idea, if it is possible to build such with present open source/freeware technology. While Vorbis ogg has improved the situation for audio, I don't know of any good free video codec. And of course I don't if such solutions scale well enough to be able to serve large audiences.

Microsoft already uses this as a lever.., posted 29 Jun 2001 at 15:24 UTC by mvw » (Journeyer)

.. because the latest Windows Media Player isn't available anymore for Windows 95!

Thus people are forced to update, if they want to view stuff that needs the latest video/audio codecs from Microsoft.

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