Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 15/6/2006The news that Google has built a Shakespearian microsite is too good to resist. The office quickly fills with bad Bard:"To be or not to be?

Thursday 15/6/2006

The news that Google has built a Shakespearian microsite is too good to resist. The office quickly fills with bad Bard:

"To be or not to be?" "To, be, or, and not are common words and will be ignored"

"Hark, what blight through yonder Windows breaks?"

"Beware the march of IDEs" (that's Integrated Development Environments, non-programmers. We know how to have a good time).

Thoughts turn to how Bill S would cope with the great dramas of our industry. How would he portray Steve Ballmer's "Developers, developers, developers!" rant? It works quite well in the the "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" speech from Macbeth - which could also do duty for Jim Allchin being asked when Vista's coming out -- viz:

HACKBETH:

Developers, and developers, and developers, Creeps on this petty project from day to day, To the last entry on recorded timesheets; And all our yesterdays have the wrong tools, The way to dusty deadlines. Out, out, brief code! The client's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and wastes his money on our wage And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing."

I don't know why the last couple of lines resonate so. Do you? And as for the story itself, where ruthless ambition and weakness combine to first trap and then destroy those who overreach themselves - it could so easily be the theme play for the entire industry. But what we need is a playwright who is comfortable with the Shakespearian yet capable of handling the gritty details of modern information technology, able to tease out the characters and their motivations from the bigger engines of power and politics which they pretend to steer. Also, someone who's not afraid of the odd outrageous pun.

There can be only one. Tom Stoppard should be appointed the Official Dramaturge of Data Processing, locked up in a shed with a Tandy Model 100 and a large supply of batteries, and not allowed out until he'd done the business and documented the last twenty years of IT nonsense in one stunning tour de force.

Bagsies I play Philippe Kahn.

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