Thursday, January 25, 2007

Programming as poetry

I just finished Scott Rosenberg's new book Dreaming in Code and it has inspired me to start this blog. There are many inspiring things in the book, but one of the concepts that really stood out was in the chapter titled "Engineers and Artists." It is Richard Gabriel's concept of "programming as literature." Gabriel is a Distinguished Engineer at Sun, and the core of his idea is that we should train developers the way creative writers, poets, or artists are trained - by studying the great works in their field. There is just one thing that has been holding us back from doing this, and that is that most of the great (or at least good) works of software are proprietary closed source.

Well, as you might have noticed, in the last few years the internet, search engines, and the Open Source movement have made the source to hundreds of programs available to anyone interested enough to seek them out. All we need to do to bring Richard's goal within our grasp is to list some examples of code that teaches good programming practices. That will be the overarching goal of this blog, to seek out new source archives, and to boldly code where no one had code before.

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