Elegance of Reason

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What Was Old is New Again

I don't know if blogs are going to kill Usenet, but today even I got to realize that the overlap is significant - better late than never, I guess. Usenet was network news, and you subscribed to the groups carrying topics of interest in order to get informed of novel developments.

Now, one of my interests is programming language design and evolution, and today's news came from blogs: a presentation about speculations about the future of Java in an otherwise unrelated posting over at The Cliffs of Inanity, and a very promising concept from none other than Bjarne Stroustrup himself from the blog of Carlo Pescio. This was the kind of news that was usually found on Usenet, possibly buried in a thread flaming one language over the other; this was the kind of news that made Usenet an useful source of news.

Now, don't get me wrong: Usenet had a number of cool features, and news dissemination was only one of them; for example, the news might be actually somewhat ... old, but it was brought up while discussing a topic of interest and often to illustrate a point, giving it context and depth; in the above cases, for example, the link about Java lacks this, but there is at least a glimmer of hope that Pescio will write about Bjarne's work in depth at a later date.

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