9.609 whither software?

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 6 Mar 1996 19:04:36 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 609.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@phoenix.princeton.edu> (14)
Subject: software development

I would like to raise a broad question about where software development
might be going. I suppose I put as little faith in predicting the future as
anyone, but attempting it is sometimes a useful way of sounding the present,
and in particular what we at this moment want software to become. So let me
propose here an exercise in prediction.

Take, for example, software for textual analysis -- a particular interest of
mine. What will textual analysis systems look like in 20 years? I don't mean
to ask what functions will they have, rather how will they be designed so as
better to suit what we need? Another way of asking the same thing, I
suppose, is to identify the single most serious shortcoming of all present