[NetBehaviour] code as literature as idiom

Bishop Zareh xchicago at gmail.com
Sun Jan 26 22:36:33 CET 2014


tldr; imagine paratrooping mimes descending.

As a Programmer and as an Artist, I can tell you that I frequently write Code as Literature, with the express intent of having it read rather than executed. At first it came from what they called "airplane code." Before airplanes were connected to the internet, especially during the era of "enterprise computing" no code could be run on an airplane because the compiler was online, on vpn even. Yet programmers with good intuition and experience could still write, even during an 8-hour flight - all sans compiler. Airplane Code was not poetry; it was not meant to be read, but when the programmer's prediction of the compiler's reaction became unclear, programmers resorted to psuedo-code buried in comments, for their eyes only but none-the-less written in a hybrid language of intention and execution - a combination of what they wanted and what they thought could work. And then the programmers starting showing these psudeo-codes to each other.

Then there comes Programming Education, where code tutorials are designed to be read by students, and the Open Source Community's tradition of having "well-commented source." Both with brilliant asides/insertions like "insert calculus here." These practices formed a toolkit for writing code as literature. GIST was designed for just this purpose. GIST uses the same principals (*sic*) as GIT, but is designed to be code that is read, rather than compiled.

I was surprised it did not come up in the initial discussion, and wanted to mention it here. 

A step from GIST to Literature is not hard to see,  especially among dilettante and savant programmers, passing messages/documents around, working without warrant or language, double especially for the ones called "artists". The realz question is why these coppers be bangin' on our Lit yo. Its gots to be about power 'cause if iran-contra was theater, then wtf. its Eitha' 'bout weapons or influence dog && my moneyz on influence.

In appreciation,
bishopZ
US

Ps, for the heads in the house, we seem to be a far cry from william james here; any help on bringing us back, eh?


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