Codephilia

Adam’s comment yesterday got me thinking that for me, part of the joy of programming is being able to share the code I write with others. Currently there is less opportunity to do this than there could be. Because programming is culturally situated as a relatively solitary activity, people don’t share their code, or their process of programming, nearly as much as they share other sorts of intellectual creations.

Also, since many of the people whose company I enjoy are not “programmers”, I can at best only share these sorts of things with them at a high level. It’s a bit like not being able to share a story you’ve written with a friend, but only being able to, at best, summarize the plot for them.

I am becoming convinced that one of the prerequisites for universal programming literacy is a mode of interaction in which the programs that people write will become part of the conversation between people, and indeed part of the fun of hanging out with people you like.

2 Responses to “Codephilia”

  1. I think the little programs that you share, the ones that run immediately in a browser, are good ways to share with non-programmers.

    And, once your “view the code and the product of the code at the same time” (VTCATPOTCATST) tool is available, that will make the process even better.

  2. I find myself in the same situation, I know many different types of people, but there are very few that I can even talk to about my code in a high level way, let alone the actual code.

    I think part of the reason could be attributed to the fact that programming is still, relatively speaking compared to spoken/written languages, a young language, and also a liquid language. Something comparable would be American English, it’s a young language compared to some in the world, and is also VERY liquid. When I say liquid, I mean that there are more ways of saying one thing than you can count. Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to be liquid, it allows people to be able to express themselves more freely, however the more liquid it becomes, the harder it is to interpret what is actually meant. The same could be said about programming, there are multiple languages already made (and they’re making more every year it seems), and each has their own quirks and rules.

    I’m sure this is something that will become more generalized over time, and more people will be able to pick up the concepts of the languages more easily as more people work with it and have their own ways of explaining it.

    Who knows though, if, even when programming is a common thing, it will be easier to talk to people about. Consider, again, American English. Many people know how to speak and, to an effect, write it. But, not as many people really understand it on a deeper level, they merely know how to use it. A copy-paste concept of sorts. But, I guess that can be said about any common concept, be it math, english, geography, etc. There are those that understand the basic concepts, and then there are those who truly understand it, and try to expand what is seen as the norm.

    Well, I have to say that I wrote a little more than I initially intended. But, the thoughts and concepts started realizing themselves as I was writing. Anyways, though I may be a complete stranger, I am always up for a good discussion.

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