The Wisdom of the

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-12-16 Print this article Print

Self-Taught"> Jay-Z later teamed with British-based Indian producer Panjabi MC to fuse hip-hop and Indian music. But I digress.
Many old school developers can tell you how they are largely self-taught. They talk of how they started with macros or Visual Basic only to graduate to the hard stuff.
For every Winton Marsalis, or Prince or Stevie Wonder there is a host of budding Kanyes out there. For every Anders Hejlsberg (the father of C#) or James Gosling (the father of Java) there are budding David Heinemeier Hanssons (creator of Ruby on Rails). And for each of them there are tons of workaday app builders doing what it takes to get their jobs done. They use OPP. This new craze around mashups? Pure OPP. Ruby on Rails 1.0 ships. Click here to read more. OPP is components, objects, frameworks, libraries, models, public APIs, domain-specific languages, software factories—whatever has been pre-built, can be built upon or used to build new applications. With the advent of OOP, there came the promise that thered be vast marketplaces of objects to pick and choose from. While that concept never really materialized full-scale for the enterprise, Microsoft fostered it with VB controls and Eclipse supports an ever-increasing number of plug-ins. But even better than that, perhaps the best model of what is truly OPP is open-source software, where folks are taking open-source stuff and bringing it into their own business models—using OPP to deliver new products and/or services around it. Open source is the epitome of OPP because so many other people can and do contribute to the code base of open-source projects. Thomas "She Blinded Me With Science" Dolby granted me a brief interview after his keynote at the last IBM Rational Software Development Conference, where he played music hed made based on sunbursts. At the time, he told me he agreed with my OPP analogy. He said he thinks what rappers like Kanye are doing is "fantastic," as long as they do it legally. "I myself didnt have any formal music training when I started out, but it didnt stop me from making music," he said. So, software development is like music, art, poetry and the like in that its all cumulative. You build on stuff thats already there. The great ones pay homage to those that came before. Hejlsberg will readily recognize the "shoulders of giants" he stood on to create C#. James Gosling, in the pages of eWEEK, also cited a list of others who influenced his work with Java. OPP, baby. Sun releases open-source Java database. Click here to read more. Rappers like to pay homage with particularly clever verses or samples submerged in their songs that point to their influencers. And programmers like to hide Easter eggs (hidden messages or features) in their code, often to do the same thing. Like the song says: "You down with OPP? Yeah, you know me! Whos down with OPP? Every last homie." You need to get yourself some OPP. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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