Thursday, July 08, 2004

Today's burning question

From the latest issue of the Communications of the ACM:


In future issues:
1. DOS vs SYSTEM V: Pros and Cons.
2. Gopher: a new method for data transfer...
3. Special IBM Issue: Does the world need more than 5 computers ?



  1. I don't know wheter the internet is dispensable, but CACM
    is very dispensable, and was so for the last five years (at least). Considering the number of people reading it, to the number of people getting it, I think it is can be safely classified as a crime against trees and the environment.

  2. What is worse, there is now Queue, a new magazine from the ACM, that if you are not careful will appear in your mailbox noce you renew your membership !

  3. For a few years, I actually let my ACM membership lapse, despite the increase in conference registration fees, because I preferred to pay $50 a year not to get CACM in my mailbox every month.

    What's truly frustrating about the current vaporous content of CACM is that until about 10 years ago, CACM was actually a fairly significant computer science journal, with a healhy focus on algorithms and data structures. Here's a sample of some ground-breaking CACM papers: Preparata and Hong's 3d convex hull algorithm, Sarnak and Tarjan's early work on persistence, Sleater and Tarjan's introduction of competitive analysis, early work by Valiant on computational learning theory, Aggarwal and Vitter's external-memory model, several of Bentley's multidimensional data structures, Nievergelt and Preparata's introduction of the plane-sweep technique, Pugh's skip lists, et cetera ad nauseam.

    Now, of course, most ACM members are "IT professionals", not computer science researchers. It's a wonder that they keep us ivory-tower academics around at all.

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