Bob Armstrong

/(/ thu.oct.20041007.154356 /)/

Coherent Systems is perhaps the best overall link to CoSy's conceptual underpinnings which have changed very little in 25 years ( though you will find I was rather radical in my spelling in some of the older material ) . It's more that the world has caught up to many of the notions I incorporated as just the obvious things to do back when I did them . For instance , as I mentioned , CoSy has incorporated "hypertext" linking of its file folders or "Jobs" since before I ever heard of the word Ted Nelson claims as his own , and was multi-windowed before MicroSoft got there . An interesting note from evolution of CoSy hardware is that in 1984 ,
    in their dying days Gavilan , one of the long dead pioneers of notebooks , and the first user of the touch pad pointer system which has had a revival recently , came and saw CoSy in construction and commented if their plight were not so terminal , it might have been the environment which would have saved them .

    I believe there is still no competition to the fundamental philosophical vision underlying CoSy . It has a lot to do with opening continua . To break it out in bullet form ( many correlated ) :

    1. 1st person orientation : the programmer and the user are me . Or others of similar mind . CoSy is not an environment created by staff programmers to make something for their boss . I am my own boss . CoSy is for individuals who are their own bosses .
    2. Universal . If you need to tweek some hardware register and are interested in that end ( the FORTH end ) of the spectrum , you can reach it . If you need to implement some fat tails variant on Black-Scholes option pricing , no language can express it more succinctly ( the APL end of the spectrum ).
    3. Maximal power for minimal learning . Only a single universal language ( syntax , structure ) to learn , not the babel of different languages which exist now and programmers love for the barriers which keep their users incompetent and dependent ( see the opening paragraph of CoSy/Language/CoSyAPL ) .
    4. Open , self-defined . Because the language of the system is the language the system is itself written in , it is universally malleable and is full of examples of its own vocabulary .
    5. Instantly usable for the ordinary business of life . Simple tasks ( writing , arithmetic ) are simple for anyone of normal abilities .
    6. Hypertext Diary / computational Notebook . Hierarchical file folder or "Job" structure for all your tasks , clients , etc .
    7. Pervasive time notating . Time pervades all activities , so time stamped logs and calendars can be maintained in any Job . ( In a legal matter , an opposing lawyer once introduced me as someone who actually had records of every phone call . )
    8. Everything searchable . for what Bill Gates has called the "documented life" .

    Well , that will have to suffice for now .
    Because the foundations are so elemental , the upside potential is that of a language community like C or Java , but more universal because aimed at breaking down the barriers between simple usage and the most teky niches .
    The trick is to find that first niche in which it provides a compelling marketable advantage .

    As I mentioned when you were here , when I suggested FORTH to Ryu Osaki 20 years ago , it was extraordinarily primitive . It was impossible to bridge the gap from it to the immediate functionality of APL - which itself was much more primitive back then . Now , with links to OS supplied Windows objects and memory management , I estimate a minimal functional "CoSy" environment can be created in 3 months .

    While going for a much broader market , because the emphasis is on the practical business of everyday life , it is interesting to note that traditional APLs sell for around $2000 with K ( integrated with Kdb ) starting around $60,000 .

    Let me close with a quote from my notes on the APL 89 conference here in NYC :

      By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation
      sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in
      effect increases the mental power of the race.
      A.N. Whitehead quoted by Kenneth Iverson in his Turing
      Award lecture, 'Notation as a Tool of Thought', 1979.


     Thank you again for your time and interest . I believe there is enormous potential ;
    it's the opening wedge which needs to be identified .

    Peace thru Freedom ,

    Bob A

Note : I reserve the right to post all communications I receive or generate to CoSy website for further reflection .
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