Orwell on programming

In the Micronews (our internal newspaper), there was an article talking about teaching English that used the following quote from George Orwell:

To write or even speak English is not a science but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.

As I read it, though, it occured to me that much the same could be said for working in a programming language…

Firefly: New lease on life?

Almost exactly a year ago, I mourned the loss of Firefly, a great sci-fi show that died way before it’s time. When I saw news that the Sci-Fi Network was going to pick up Firefly, I momentarily hoped that they were going to produce all-new episodes, but they’re just going to rerun the existing episodes (plus the three episodes that never aired but were on the DVDs). Although I doubt Firefly will ever return as a regular series, I’d encourage everyone to check out the show and the upcoming movie – it’s much better than the current sci-fi favorite Battlestar Galactica (which I think is only so-so)! With enough interest, maybe a miniseries or something might be possible to continue beyond the movie…

Updated 7/16/05: Corrected typo.

Language Specification 8.0 (Beta2) now available…

It’s a little later than planned, but we’ve now got the 8.0 VB language specification posted up for downloading. It covers all the new language features in VB 2005 and should be completely current with Beta2. Please let me know of any errors or corrections – it is a beta document, so it’s not going to be perfect.

In case anyone is wondering about 8.0 vs. 2005, the language itself is referred to by a version number, but the product has a year. So:

  • VB 2002 product contains Visual Basic 7.0 language
  • VB 2003 product contains Visual Basic 7.1 language
  • VB 2005 product contains Visual Basic 8.0 language

 

Focusing on PDC05

Since Brad’s already started the teasers, I guess I can add that my semi-hiatus this summer has a lot to do with the VB PDC05 session that Brad mentions. I know that PDC sessions are supposed to be about “the future,” but given the blinding amount of hype around PDC03 and the resulting blowblack I do feel a little funny about talking about future innovations on a product that won’t have actually shipped yet (although it will be very close at that point). Anyway, I think we’re going to have some stuff to show you that’s going to blow your socks off, but for now you’re just going to have to wait…

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