Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I directly disagree that a complex system will be replaced by creating a new complex system to replace it. I do not think that will happen, because I don't think the world works that way. What happens is something slightly simpler is created to solve a simpler problem, and gradually accretes more and more functionality until it gradually replaces something, in a kind of process of innovator's dilemma; or alternatively (and IMO more likely), one or two pieces in the complex whole are individually replaced by (perhaps) one thing which is simpler. But there's never a moment of high drama where we suddenly realize what a pile of crap we have and switch forthwith.

Just about everybody knows that all our software is imperfect crap on top of imperfect crap, from top to bottom. Everybody, when met with a new codebase above a certain size, thinks they could do better if they started over and did it "properly this time". Everybody can look at a simple thing like a submit form in a web browser, and sigh at the inefficiencies in the whole stack of getting what they type at the keyboard onto the wire in TCP frames, the massive amount of work and edifices of enormous complexity putting together the tooling and build systems and source control and global coordination of teams and the whole lot of it, soup to nuts, into a working system to do the most trivial of work.

But this is not a new or interesting realization by any means. It's not hard to point almost anywhere in the system and think up better ways of doing it. Pointing it out without some prescription for fixing it is idle; and suggesting that it will be fixed by wholesale replacement by another complex system is, IMO, fantasy.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact