© 2020 Strange Loop
Few of us have participated in the creation of our infrastructure—operating systems, compilers, terminals, editors, etc., even though many of us know how to build them in theory. Collectively, we suffer from a learned helplessness around them: to build new high-level tools, we'd also have to rebuild some of the infrastructure, sometimes going all the way down to the kernel. We can't imagine triggering such a large cultural and technological shift, so we don't even try to build truly new tools for ourselves. I've been working on such a stack-busting tool and, though I won't spill the beans on it here, I'll say that it's required me to reconsider and change some very old, universally deployed infrastructure. This talk will briefly demonstrate that project, but only as an example of the underlying trend: our failure to clean up previous decades' messes, the opportunities we miss as a result, and how we might break this cycle.
Gary Bernhardt is a creator and destroyer of software, compelled to understand both sides of heated software debates: Vim and Emacs; Python and Ruby; Git and Mercurial. He runs Destroy All Software, which publishes advanced screencasts for serious developers covering Unix, Ruby, OO design, and TDD.