OT: hacking and painting

Ian Wood revlist at azurevision.co.uk
Mon Aug 3 06:29:35 EDT 2009

An essay I just came across which I thought might be particularly  
appropriate for this list.


"If I had only looked over at the other makers, the painters or the  
architects, I would have realized that there was a name for what I was  
doing: sketching. As far as I can tell, the way they taught me to  
program in college was all wrong. You should figure out programs as  
you're writing them, just as writers and painters and architects do.

Realizing this has real implications for software design. It means  
that a programming language should, above all, be malleable. A  
programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing  
programs you've already thought of. It should be a pencil, not a pen.  
Static typing would be a fine idea if people actually did write  
programs the way they taught me to in college. But that's not how any  
of the hackers I know write programs. We need a language that lets us  
scribble and smudge and smear, not a language where you have to sit  
with a teacup of types balanced on your knee and make polite  
conversation with a strict old aunt of a compiler."

Sounds like a good description of Runrev to me...


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