we have seen that all software needs to be constantly "maintained" because the platform it runs on is a constantly shifting swamp.

Tell me why we can't make fundamental improvements to the foundations of our software stack?

@rain We can, but the infrastructural software is always changing because the underlying hardware always is, as also are the contexts of use. New types of hardware occasionally appear which change the landscape. Technology gets used in new ways which alters what is optimal. Engineering is always about tradeoffs and as hardware and its use cases change so do the necessary tradeoffs.

@bob this is true but i think there is also a 'update treadmill' of pointless changes that causes unnecessary work too

@rain The update treadmill happens because although your particular system may not have changed the background average has. It's because the operating system supports a lot of different hardware and use cases.

@rain: actually a lots of updates are updates which should scare most people... if only they understood what those updates imply.

@bob: I think there is a fundamental problem here. For example, at operating system level, all hardware COULD be exposed by abstract general purpose and composable interfaces.

My favourite one is the file system, with being a nice (if unpolished) example that you can indeed express anything by composing hierarchical .

The problem is that we are building on top of that lack any design (or lost and perverted it during their evolution). And this left space to abuse, as an application distribution platform, automatic execution of untrusted and so on...

That's why I started : we need to see how far a simple well designed interface (and distributed filesystem ) can go by simple composition of small programs.

Otherwise we face the Curse of Frankenstein


@Shamar @rain Hardware abstraction only goes so far and even with the same hardware if the use case changes then the abstractions may also need to. But probably more will be done to abstract hardware from the kernel to avoid things like the Android problem. Zircon might be attempting that.
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