Agreed. Joel is growing old :-) He is young enough to keep up with major valley developments (Twitter and YComb) but too old to have a grasp on technical details (Java-to-JS-compilers, for instance).
Another thing he is wrong about is "moore law of bandwidth": it does not exist. While CPUs are getting faster and RAM is growing like crazy, bandwidth is not growing. In fact I am starting to notice an annoying trend of businesses running on slower and slower connections.
But his thoughts on parallels between terminal/HTML transition to Windows/FancySDK are cool nevertheless. He may not be right about everything, but something similar to what he's talking about sure will happen.
Steve Yeggie blogged about inevitable "Rails for the Client" some time ago. Similar idea but expressed in more technical terms.
Maybe because the U.S. along with Europe, Japan, S.Korea and some other countries already hit today's bandwidth limits, while the rest of the world is just catching up in this regard.
Although I'm a bit more optimistic about the possible application of Moore's law in communications. Some 20 years ago 9600bps seemed to be the physical limit for phone lines, and there was even proof for that based on physics. But see how many new protocols emerged since then. ADSL, for example, would have sounded like an alien technology 20 years ago, or take any high-speed wireless protocol in use nowadays. Essentially it's the same medium utilized by much, much faster protocols.
> While CPUs are getting faster and RAM is growing like crazy, bandwidth is not growing
This isn't really true. In 1997 most users were lucky to be on 56k dial-up. Now for the same price (at least here in Australia) I can get a 28Mb ADSL 2+ connection. That's an increase of 500x in 10 years. Granted bandwidth increases in fits and spurts, but it's increasing alright.
Joel is light on the technical details. He's old enough to remember when C was going to be the language for everything. But not guru enough to mention or properly analyze anything else from that time. (Eiffel, Forth) Joel is just one of the mainstream programmer sheeple, just louder and with a bit of panache.
Dvorak has enough balls to make a prediction. Does that make him clever?
Am I the only one who thinks his description of CICS is quite wrong? CICS was a transaction server, there were many layers usually in front of it before it reaches the terminal. The terminal was actually quite dumb, which was the advantage of the solution since it allowed for full backend integration. That is the problem Microsoft hit their head against in the late 90's, and their 'innovative' new direction was to move back towards thinner clients
Dude, I've been reading Joel since 2002, and every time he goes on to blog about hacking he looks silly. His posts about "harm of exceptions" (he prefers -1 as a return code), about "mistake of .NET" and, from relatively recent ones, about poor Ruby performance do not make him look good as a hacker in my opinion.
Besides, he never really was a programmer. If I remember correctly he started his career as a program manager at Microsoft.
He's great as a general technology trends observer and I find his thoughts on business side of software crafting immensely useful, bug a hacker? No.