The perils of Vivek Haldar – his article ( covers the idea that a computer language or system can be a closed or open world.

To some extent, this is true. For instance, JAVA can be considered a closed world, as it has it’s own tool set and virtual machine. Vivek uses Unix as the example of a open world, a loosely coupled system of programs and utilities which can be split apart and run on multiple systems; Unix being only one of many.

The multivalued database systems definitely fall into the closed world category. Considering that the heritage of all mvdbms comes from PICK, which was a standalone operating system with a database and programming tools added. Is this an issue? Vivek considers that all closed worlds eventually die; the multivalued market is not large, but also not dead yet. But then, it is so closed, that only VAR’s can get full access to development tools anyway. Maybe this is how it has survived for so long.

On another note, the Programming as Theory-Building sounds very interesting.