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Thread: Have software programs gotten better?

  1. #1 Have software programs gotten better? 
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    I know the hardware is better, because there's more capability, more devices with more options, but I don't know if software is better. It seems that programs are still crashing, still requiring patches, and still being infiltrated with viruses. They may be more bloated, which requires more upkeep and more programmers, but I don't know they're better.

    The York Times (NYT) has an article on how the new version of HTML would be better than the last, but, while this version may be able to do more stuff, given the more powerful hardware, I'm not sure it's better, because I don't know if it's less crash prone, less vulnerable to viruses, or require fewer patches.


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  3. #2  
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    That's from my personal experience:
    Small shareware programs (like WinRAR, UltraEdit, Total Commander) are getting better and better from version to version. Large software packets (like Matlab, Mathematica, MS Office, Windows) bloat.


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  4. #3  
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    Thanks. Is the shareware less crash prone and require fewer patches than previous versions? That's what I'm getting at.

    Anyone else?
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  5. #4  
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    Software is getting easier to use (Thats better in my opinion). Think about the old DOS command line days (Im too young to have ever had to use that though). To simply use a computer you had to already have vast knowledge of computers beforehand. These days, pretty much anyone can use a computer through the use of GUI (Graphical User Interface).

    And, sure programs are still crashing but they are better at crashing. How? Well, take Microsoft Word for example, it may still crash but it is smart enough to usually save a copy of your work so that if it does crash, you don't have to completely start over whatever it was you were working on.

    So, in my opinion, yes, software is getting much better.
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  6. #5  
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    Well, we wouldn't have the Y2K problem now, and our code is definitely better than the spaghetti code of Fortran and Cobol of a few decades ago. And, now that I think of it, my Windows hasn't had the blue screen of death in ages - it used to die quite often during the 1990's.

    So there have been improvements, yes. But is that an improvement that comes once every ten years, or are there yearly improvements, like Moore's Law? Anyone? I have certain reasons for asking, so this is not rhetorical.
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  7. #6  
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    Well, in the case of Microsoft its monthly updates. They release updates to patch exploits, missing things, and performance enhancements. I would consider these to be minor updates though. Big updates would be like going from Windows XP to Vista to Win7. These are where they update the software to support more advanced hardware and add new capabilities.

    And, I promise im not a Microsoft salesman, haha. They are just the first example I thought of. These are just my opinion though.
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  8. #7  
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    True, but Windows is better than 10 years ago, isn't it? And definitely better than the 3.1 version.

    My office computer is a few years old, and it will be due for replacement soon, but I haven't had a crash in years, and I don't think it has received any patches, as far as I know.
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  9. #8  
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    Yah, I totally agree, im saying that each new operating system is an improvement and the software gets way better over time. More functionality and easier to use. I actually think that software improves faster than hardware.

    Example, Games. As of right now, PC games are pretty much the only thing that pushes computers to their limits (consumer wise). If you can play high end games, you can pretty much do everything else on the computer. Games are restricted by the graphic cards that run them though. About 3 years ago a game called Crysis was released that put top of the line computers at the time to shame when run at max settings. The hardware has finally caught up but there are always games that are pushing the limits.

    As for software improvements, I think Photoshop is a good example. Each latest version of the program adds crazy new features that you would expect to see in Si fi movies.
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  10. #9  
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    You've got my attention.

    I actually think that software improves faster than hardware.
    Why do you say that?


    About 3 years ago a game called Crysis was released that put top of the line computers at the time to shame when run at max settings. The hardware has finally caught up but there are always games that are pushing the limits.
    Tell me more. So games are now at the forefront of the consumer PC revolution?

    I read on the wiki entry that Crysis involves over a million lines of code. And this is not bloatware, I presume? If not, why not?
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  11. #10  
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    Well, as I said, so far the trend has been that its the software pushing hardware to the limits and not the other way around. I think part of that is that software is only limited by the imagination and hardware limited by physics.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that games are "at the forefront of the consumer PC revolution" simply because the truth is that while there are many people playing PC games, most people that are gamers would prefer to play on an Xbox or PS3 or Wii. They are however pretty much the only thing that pushes a PC to its limits. There are other things that push PC's like graphic and video editing software.

    As for the game Crysis, I don't think its bloatware. I think its bigger because it uses higher quality visuals. At the time it was released (maybe it still is) it was pretty much the best visuals that had been seen on a PC, or any gaming console. To make it so visually attractive they had to use higher quality textures in the graphics along with other enhancements, all of these adding more complexity to the code.
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