Was at the Flex show last night over at WCTC. It was very apparent I’ve had my head inside Rails lately. Kevin Hoyt, the Adobe demo guy, did his database access schtick (writing just a few lines of code and — hey, presto! — a fuctioning CRUD db screen appears) and while the rest of the room was going “Oooh” and “Aaah” I was simply thinking “Scaffolding.” Heh.
Seriously, the Flex demo did scaffolding one better by activating sorts on the columns (along with the gee-whizz-bang but of little practical use trick of being able to rearrange the columns on screen) so I can’t say it was just like scaffolding. But it wasn’t a big enough improvement to raise my eyebrows.
As I looked at it, I reflected a bit on the software development path I’ve been treading. “Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose” (yes there are various accents that should be there, but I’m too lazy to pop them in right now) is as true of software as it is of anything else.
I look at Ruby, Rails, Flex, and the like, and I go back a decade and more to when I started working with LabVIEW, and I realize that what’s new is also old, that we’re constantly recycling the same ideas, with minor refinements, and passing that off as innovation.
Indeed, we’ve become so conditioned to this that people who really should know better have convinced themselves this is the case. Can it be that The Preacher was right, that truly “there is nothing new under the sun?”