Originally published in the January 1995 issue of Advanced Systems.

Advanced Systems readers respond

Notes is innocent!
To my dismay, the August review of Lotus Notes for Unix concluded with the review team experiencing a setback that forced them to reinstall the operating system and reload Notes. This was due to a hardware problem and had absolutely nothing to do with Notes. However, the way the article was written could have led some readers to believe the problem was caused by Lotus Notes.

Tony Parham
Group Product Manager,
Lotus Notes
Lotus Development Corp.

To clarify: The problem referred to was with the hard disk drive; Lotus Notes was not the cause in any way.
-- Editors

Hi, Robot
I just wanted to thank you for starting up the e-mailing of detailed reviews in Advanced Systems, particularly in connection with "Numbers to Pictures," November 1994. The detailed review contained the kind of information we need to help decide on products.

Keep up the good work!
Milton Cha

"Sweet" C++?
Chuck Musciano's Software Tools column, "Sweetening the language: C++," August 1994, suggests that I'd better switch to C++ from C (or else) real quick.

Well, now! I've been involved in development of the most demanding real-time trading systems in New York for three years. Interestingly enough, I manage with the help of plain old C and some great GUI builders like those from TeleUSE and Sybase. I look good, and most important, I deliver.

I would like to see OOP proponents step into my shoes and crank up class design and subsequent encapsulation, overloading, and multiple inheritance (and let's not forget code reuse), and still complete a mission-critical system in a couple of months.

Sorry for the tone, but it comes from the guts.

Mike Ignatovsky
Trecom Business Systems

Chuck Musciano replies: While good tools are worth keeping, understand that you are embracing a tactical solution, not a strategic one. While you continue to deliver with your current tools, you must look to the future and begin to acquire the tools you will need five years from now. In your case, continuing to use C in the short term makes sense, but failing to make the transition to object technology is tantamount to professional suicide.

Great article, [but] I find Objective C far more manageable and reusable. The Stepstone version is quite different from the NeXT Computer version. Both are a world apart from C++. Objective C is a paradigm shift from C (and C++), which makes reusability and objects a reality. Michael A. Duke
Corning Inc.
Corning, NY

I contend that the biggest advantage of C++ over C is that it forces programmers to think first, rather than just code.
Frank Greco

Too centralized?
Just read your November column, "Order without autocracy" (Unix Enterprise). Our administration group, Sunstaff, is completely centralized to the point where there are no local administrators. It's close to impossible to get anything done, because everything takes calling in to get a work order number and waiting anywhere from a day (for very critical tasks) to months to get the job done. They are loathe to give out system passwords so we can do the job ourselves, but will occasionally.

In general, in my area, printers stay broken at least a week, even when the queue just needs a nudge.

Maybe you should do a column on the perils of too much centralization. Name withheld by request

Harris and Randy reply: Centralized control only works if you have the processes in place to support and respond to problems and change. If you are perceived as a bottleneck then you have implemented the same old IS stuff (too much control). See this month's column (PAGE 74) in which we discuss automated tracking of problems and requests.

I read your November column with great interest. Where can I get more information about Paperless Reporter and SunDans?
Steve Edwards

You can call 800-225-4449, Sun Integration Services.
-- H&R

New Unix Pro
Kudos for your excellent article "The new Unix professional," October 1994. Every word was true.

The last couple of years as a C/C++ programmer have felt like one long losing battle. You put it very well: I am losing ground to Visual Basic-wielding hotshots.

You nailed the issue for me with your term "core competence." My expertise and interests are simply not in oil refining, which is my current employer's business. I have no career path here.

Your article couldn't have come at a better time for me. You have given me the first real concrete advice I have been looking for.
George Walden

We welcome letters, preferably by e-mail, to editors@advanced.com. Letters may be published unless sender notes otherwise, and may be edited for length and clarity. If you wish to subscribe please call 800-685-3435, or send address changes to Advanced Systems, P.O. Box 41534, Nashville, TN 37204-1534.

[Copyright 1995 Web Publishing Inc.]

If you have problems with this magazine, contact webmaster@sunworld.com
URL: http://www.sunworld.com/asm-01-1995/asm-01-letters.html.
Last updated: 1 January 1995.