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.
- 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
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
This interested me, so I went to that page. First I had to enable
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
Mojo Nation and let me know.
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
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.
.. 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.