By Z.H. Khan
Jun 05 - Jun 11, 2000
To say that a good programmer can write good software in any language
is like saying that a good pilot can fly any aircraft: true, but irrelevant. A passenger
aircraft is designed for safety, comfort and economic viability; a military aircraft is
designed for performance and mission capability; an ultralite aircraft is designed for low
cost and operational simplicity.
The role of language in programming has been downgraded in favour of
software methodology and tools; not just downgraded, but totally repudiated when it is
claimed that a well-designed system can be implemented equally well in any language. But
programming languages are not just a tool; they furnish the raw material of software, the
thing we look at on our screens most of the day. I believe that the programming language
is one of the most important, not one of the least important, factors that influence the
ultimate quality of a software system. Unfortunately, too many programmers have poor
linguistic skills. He/she is passionately in love with his/her 'native' programming
language, but is not able to analyze and compare language constructs, nor to understand
the advantages and disadvantages of modern languages and language concepts. Too often, one
hears statements that demonstrate conceptual confusion: "Language L1 is more powerful
(or more efficient) than language L2".
This lack of knowledge is a contributing factor to two serious problems
in software. The first is the ultra-conservatism that exists in the choice of programming
languages. Despite the explosive advances in computer hardware and the sophistication of
modern software systems, most programming is still done in languages that were developed
in 1970, if not earlier. Extensive research in programming languages is never tested in
practice, and software developers are forced to use tools and methodologies to compensate
for obsolete language technology. It is as if airlines would refuse to try jet aircraft on
the grounds that an old-fashioned propeller aircraft is perfectly capable of getting you
from here to there.
The second problem is that language constructs are used
indiscriminately, with little or no regard for safety or efficiency. This leads to
unreliable software that cannot be maintained, as well as to inefficiencies that are
solved by assembling language coding, rather than by refinement of the algorithms and the
Programming languages exist only for the purpose of bridging the gap in
the level of abstraction between the hardware and the real world. There is an inevitable
tension between higher levels of abstraction that are easier to understand and safer to
use, and lower levels of abstraction that are more flexible and can often be implemented
more efficiently. To design or choose a programming language is to select an appropriate
level of abstraction, and it is not surprising that different programmers prefer different
levels, or that one language may be appropriate for one project and not for another.
Within a special language, a programmer should understand in depth the safety and
efficiency implications of each construct in the language.
Sunrise Systems (Pvt.) Ltd., was incorporated in January 1995 in
Karachi, is subsidiary of Standard & Western group of companies (www.sw.com.sg), which
has its affiliated companies in USA, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia and Pakistan.
Standard & Western is an international group of companies with
branch offices worldwide. Main business activities includes wholesale and retail trading
in computers and spare parts, telecom equipment, accounting software, system integration,
IT consulting, consumer electronic manufacturing.
Sunrise Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. offers "Total Information Technology
Solutions", by providing Network systems integration, Web page development, Financial
Software solutions, Document imaging services, and Technical Training services. Sunrise
Systems has a solid appearance in the information technology industry of Pakistan.
"Excellence is not our act, but our habit" it is the theme which makes Sunrise
Systems a well-reputed name in the IT field.
Rooted semblance and proven record.
Sunrise Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. has been among the leading I.T. Solution
providers and due to our continuous interest to acquaint latest hardware, software along
with training, we have enabled IT users to implement the latest solutions to their
Sunrise Systems has successfully provided solutions based on most
advanced technology since 1994. With offices in major cities of Pakistan and a complete
network of dealers, we have been able to serve clients of different size and requirements
in all their networking and computer systems needs. In its four successful years of
performance, Sunrise Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. has acquired the profundity and extent of skills
required to successfully implement and operate the computers and peripherals that keeps
the sap of valuable information rippling in today's organizations and industries.