I recently started to clean up the http://www.lazyhacker.com website some parts of which I haven’t touched in 10 to 15 years. One of the pages that I was cleaning up with the utilities page that I had put together.
It was very interesting to see how much has changed (and in some cases how much haven’t). Some observations:
A number of the tools and programs that I linked to no longer exists, but a surprising number still do. Mostly it was the commercial software that disappeared while community and open source stuff are still going strong.
The programming environment has sure changed a lot. Back then, we tend to look for “utilities” that helped us with our work. These days things are more on-line web applications and rather then small utilities it’s more large applications.
Back then the major online programming resource was DejaNews (Usenet). Software was obtained from FTP servers and now how many kids even know what FTP is?
We used to share code by zipping it up for download and now you have Github, Pastebin, etc.
EMACS and VIM. Many will come and many will go, but these two always remain in the conversation.
One noticeable exception around commercial software was Microsoft. Most of the Microsoft tools that I linked to were not only still alive, but Microsoft continue to make sure all the URLs to them still worked! They actually do a better job then open source projects such as Fedora (moved from redhat.com to its own domain but no redirect from the old url to the new) and Jikes (IBM didn’t redirect the old jikes page to its new domain).
I removed the Java related stuff since I don’t do much Java anymore (not terribly sad about that), but I do wonder about the future of Java. Perl has kind of faded from public view while C is always and will be C. I haven’t touched Scheme if forever! I added a link to Go.
If I were to create a new page, I think the whole classification of things would be totally different with categories that wouldn’t have been there 15 years ago and many of the old categories be unknown to the new programmer.