Cover by Joel Spolsky

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seventeenTHREE WRONG IDEAS FROMCOMPUTER SCIENCE

TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2000

Not to rain on everybody's parade, but there are three important ideas from computer science which are, frankly, wrong, and people are starting to notice. Ignore them at your peril.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the three biggies that have been driving me to distraction:

  1. The difficult part about searching is finding enough results.
  2. Anti-aliased text looks better.
  3. Network software should make resources on the network behave just like local resources.

Well, all I can say is,

  1. Wrong.
  2. Wrong.
  3. WRONG!

Let us take a quick tour.

Searching

Most of the academic work on searching is positively obsessed with problems like "what happens if you search for 'car,' and the document ...

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