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Is Programing Art or Science?

 
 
Xah Lee
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      03-30-2012
the refreshen of the blood, from Xah's Entertainment Enterprise, i
bring you:

〈Is Programing Art or Science〉
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/w...r_science.html

penned in the year of our lord two thousand and two, plain text
version follows.

--------------------------------
Is Programing Art or Science?

Dear friends,

You mentioned the title of Donald Knuth's magnum opus Art of
Programming in the context of discussion that fringes on whether
programing is science or art. I'm quite ****ed off at work at the
moment, so let me take the time to give some guide on this matter to
the daily programers.

At the bottom rung of programers, there's no question about whether
programing is science or art. Because monkey coders could not care
less. These folks ain't be reading this post, for they hardly will
have heard of lisp.

This leaves us with elite programers who have a smattering of
interests on cogitation and philosophical conundrums. So, is
programing a science or art?

For the programing morons, this question is associated with erudition.
It certainly is a hip subject among hackers such as those hardcore
Perl advocates and unix proponents, who would casually hint on such
realization, impressing a sophistication among peers.

Such a question is not uncommon among those curious. For example, “Is
mathematics science or art?”, is the same type of question that has
been broached by dabblers now and then. We can also detect such
dilemma in the titles conferred to blathering computer jockeys: which
one are thee: baccalaureate of science or baccalaureate of arts? It
really makes no ****ing difference.

Ultimately, fantastically stupid questions like these are not
discussed by mathematicians nor philosophers. These are natural
language side-effects, trapping dummies to fuzz about nothing; not
unlike quotations.

For these computing jockeys, there remains the question of why Knuth
named his books the “Art” of Computer Programing, or why some
computing luminaries litter the caution that programing is as much a
art as science. What elite dimwits need to realize is that these
authors are not defining or correcting, but breaking precepts among
the automatons in programing industry.

To the readers of hip literature, words like science and art are
spellbinding, and the need to pigeonhole is imminent. Of these
ruminating class of people, the problem lies in their wanting of
originality. What fills their banal brain are the stale food of
thought that has been chewed and spewed. These above-average eggheads
mop up the scholastic tidbits of its day to mull and muse with fellow
eggheads. They could not see new perspectives. Could not understand
gists. Could not detect non-questions. They are the holder and passer
of knowledge, a bucket of pre-digested purees. Their train of thought
forever loops around established tracks — going nowhere, anytime!

So, is programing a art or science? is it art or science? I really
need to know.

• Theory vs Practice
• Jargons of IT Industry
• The Lambda Logo Tour
• English Lawers

PS don't forget to checkout: 〈From Why Not Ruby to **** Python, Hello
Ruby〉 @ http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/w..._not_Ruby.html

yours humbly,

Xah
 
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ccc31807
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      03-30-2012
Programming is neither an art nor a science, but a trade.

It's not an art in the sense of painting, music, dance, poetry, etc.,
because the objective isn't to make a beautiful something, but to give
instructions to a machine to accomplish some useful task.

It's not a science in the sense of either physics and chemistry
(experimental) or geology or astronomy (observational) or cosmology or
psychology (theoretical) because the objective isn't to test
hypothetical s against data, but to give instructions to a machine to
accomplish some useful task.

Obviously, it's very much connected with art (e.g., user interface
design) and science (e.g., artificial intelligence) but the practice
of giving instructions to a machine is more like assembling machines
in a factory than the pursuit of an art or the practice of a science.

CC.
 
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Pascal J. Bourguignon
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      04-02-2012
ccc31807 <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> Programming is neither an art nor a science, but a trade.
>
> It's not an art in the sense of painting, music, dance, poetry, etc.,
> because the objective isn't to make a beautiful something, but to give
> instructions to a machine to accomplish some useful task.
>
> It's not a science in the sense of either physics and chemistry
> (experimental) or geology or astronomy (observational) or cosmology or
> psychology (theoretical) because the objective isn't to test
> hypothetical s against data, but to give instructions to a machine to
> accomplish some useful task.
>
> Obviously, it's very much connected with art (e.g., user interface
> design) and science (e.g., artificial intelligence) but the practice
> of giving instructions to a machine is more like assembling machines
> in a factory than the pursuit of an art or the practice of a science.


This is a narrow-minded definition of programming.


Watch: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/W...How-To-Compute


Read: Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-te...ook-Z-H-4.html
http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/classes/6...sman-lectures/


--
__Pascal Bourguignon__ http://www.informatimago.com/
A bad day in () is better than a good day in {}.
 
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Jrgen Exner
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      04-02-2012
"Pascal J. Bourguignon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>ccc31807 <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
>> Programming is neither an art nor a science, but a trade.


Oh, that's why it is tought in trade schools alongside butchery,
plumbing, masonry, and chimney sweeping and why you don't find any
programming classes at university.

jue
 
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Chiron
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      04-03-2012
On Fri, 30 Mar 2012 01:27:16 -0700, Xah Lee wrote:

> 〈Is Programing Art or Science〉


Why is this question important?

--
You are confused; but this is your normal state.
 
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Tim Bradshaw
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      04-03-2012
On 2012-04-03 00:52:35 +0100, Jrgen Exner said:

> Oh, that's why it is tought in trade schools alongside butchery,
> plumbing, masonry, and chimney sweeping and why you don't find any
> programming classes at university.


So, you know, no one would do law or medicine at a university. Oh, wait.

 
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Torsten Mueller
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      04-03-2012
Xah Lee <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> So, is programing a art or science? is it art or science? I really
> need to know.


Sience? Almost never.

It's handcraft.

Seldom, in very rare cases, it's true art for a very limited audience,
mostly it's routine, and in many cases it's also idiocy.

T.M.
 
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Alan Mackenzie
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      04-03-2012
Hi, Xah,

In comp.emacs Xah Lee <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> For these computing jockeys, there remains the question of why Knuth
> named his books the ?Art? of Computer Programing, or why some
> computing luminaries litter the caution that programing is as much a
> art as science. What elite dimwits need to realize is that these
> authors are not defining or correcting, but breaking precepts among
> the automatons in programing industry.


He was using art in the sense of "the exercise of human skill (as
distinguished from nature)". That's the second definition in my
dictionary. When people talk about, for example, the art of painting
water colours, they mean the techniques of mixing paints, depicting
objects on paper, etc. They are not referring to the artistic value of
the painting painted.

> yours humbly,
>
> Xah


--
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).

 
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Peter Davis
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      04-03-2012
On 3/30/2012 4:27 AM, Xah Lee wrote:
> Is Programing Art or Science?
>


Programming itself is a bit like being a natural language translator for
an autistic person. You have to understand the "message" to be
communicated, and then interpret it *very* literally for the listener.

Note that programming is just one of a set of activities and skills that
are part of software engineering. Others include UI design (which
combines visual design, psychology, etc.), software architecture (which
is like ... well, architecture) and various other skills.

Collectively, "engineering" is the best catch-all description. Is
building a bridge art or science? A little of both, and some other
things as well.

-pd

 
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Rainer Weikusat
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      04-03-2012
Xah Lee <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

[...]

> For example, “Is mathematics science or art?”, is the same type of
> question that has been broached by dabblers now and then.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_arts

HTH.
 
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