You Either Think Graphically or You Don't

Sarah Reichelt sarah.reichelt at
Sun Nov 20 17:33:37 EST 2005

On 11/21/05, Greg Smith <brucegregory at> wrote:
> I really don't want to stir up a debate, but I feel lost in today's
> world of application creation.
> What kind of application do you want to make?
> What kind of appication like you want to make is already out there by
> the dozens?
-- snip --
> I'm an artist and an animator who wants to make his art "do something",
> but I loathe programming, what can I do, anyway?  Can Revolution help me?
> How come I can't think like a machine?

Hi Greg,

You raise some interesting points, but I believe there are answers to
most of them. I don't know about the other people on this list, but
most of my programming time goes into developing customised business
software. There are lots of general packages around, but they can
almost never be tailored to a specific business model without making a
lot of compromises. I can write a program specifically for a company's
needs. The users don't have to learn to work their way around the
unwanted features of a major package and they don't have to jump
through hoops to make the software do what they actually need to do
every day.

Apart from that, the main focus of my programming is utilities that
may only be used once, but make my job or someone else's job, easier.

Why does it take so long to produce anything? That depends on your
experience as well as your needs - I can make a single use utility in
a few minutes, but I wouldn't want anyone else to have to use it as it
will contain no error trapping, no documentation and the interface
will be a complete mess. Making a complete application takes a lot
longer. There will be sections of the code that I can grab from
previous projects or from examples on this list, but a lot will have
to be written from scratch. Since there is virtually no limit to the
different tasks a program can be asked to do, it is not possible to
have all the sections pre-assembled like Lego bricks, especially if
trying to produce something "unique". Testing, documenting and
allowing for user error in all it's possible forms will take a long
time and must be done well if you are hoping to produce a quality

Part of the reason people keep inventing new database software is that
the existing software doesn't meet their exact needs. I would qualify
this as "new database interface software" rather than new database
software as there are a few really good database engines available now
which can be used in multiple ways if people write interfaces for

As regards games, I would dearly love to write games, but although I
enjoy playing games, I don't have the imagination to design a game
that would repay my efforts, so I stick to business & utility software
where I know I have the skills to make a living.

Finally, most of us are here because we love it. Programming is the
ultimate puzzle and solving different parts of it every day gives
great pleasure. If you are not one of those people who enjoys this
sort of thing, then I recommend that you find yourself a partner.
Programmers are often not very artistic as can be seen from some of
the interfaces that have been designed. Why don't you stick to the
design side of things and find a programmer to make it "do something"?

And finally, the reason you can't think like a machine is because you
aren't one :-) You are something much better - a creative, reasoning
human being.


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