Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mourning Superior Dead Technologies

I was thinking this morning about buying a Macintosh, which lead me to ruminate on the fate of sometimes superior technologies that nevertheless fade away (not that I think that's happening to the Mac -- honest!). I can think of a bunch of examples off the top of my head: NextStep (I only heard about it, never got to use it), Magellan (the greatest navigation aid for a file system ever, never made it to Windows), Sprint (the best Word processor, never made it to Windows), and the list goes on and on. Even something like IntelliJ, which is creepy smart (side note: today, I realized that it will generate default variable names for you, based on the class type, even make good guesses -- for JButton, it offers both jButton and just button) -- I wonder if it can withstand the onslaught of Eclipse?

So, I reached a conclusion: don't mourn dead technologies. Use the best while it's available, but don't lament what could have been. I'll support Apple, IDEA, and the other technology stuff that I think exemplify good design. But, if market forces deign that they not survive, I won't fret -- just move on the find the next best thing. Besides, the really great ones sometimes live again, in different guise: OS X is really just NextStep reborn, Ruby is SmallTalk with some differences. Now, excuse me while I go shopping at the Apple site, with my iPod firmly implanted in my ears...

1 comment:

Chris said...

Watch for the PowerBook G5 before you plop down cash for that 17" PowerBook G4. ;)