TITLE: Whither Programming? AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: August 14, 2009 3:13 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I've been thinking a lot about the Software Engineering course I'm teaching this fall, which commences a week from Tuesday. Along the way, I have been looking at a lot of books and articles with "software engineering" in the title. It's surprising how few of them get any where near code. I know I shouldn't be surprised. I remember taking courses on software engineering, and I've stayed close enough to the area all these years to know what matters. There are issues other than programming that we need to think about while building big systems. And there is plenty of material out there about programming and programming tools and the nuts and bolts of programming. Still, I think it is important when talking about software engineering to keep in mind what the goal is: a working program, or collection of programs. When we forget that, it's too easy to spin off into a land of un-reality. It's also important to keep in mind that someone has to actually write code, or no software will ever be engineered. I hope that the course I teach can strike a good balance. In the interest of keeping code in mind, I share with you an assortment of programming news. Good, bad, ugly, or fun? You decide. Hiding the Rainforest. Mark Guzdial reports that Georgia Tech is eliminating yet another language from its computing curriculum. Sigh. Thought experiments notwithstanding, variety in language and style is good for programmers. On a pragmatic note, someone might want to tell the GT folks that programming for the JVM may soon look more like Lisp and feel more like ML than Java or C++. Programming meets the Age of Twitter. A Processing programming contest with a twist: all programs must be 200-characters or less. I'll give extra credit for any program that is a legal tweet. Power to the Programmer! Phil Windley enjoys saving $60 by writing his own QIF->CSV converter. But the real hero is the person who wrote Finance::QIF. Why Johnny Can't Read Perl. Courtesy of Lambda the Ultimate comes news we all figured had to be true: a formal proof that Perl cannot be parsed. Who said the Halting Theorem wasn't useful? I guess I'll stop working on my refactoring browser for Perl. -----