TITLE: Whither Programming?
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: August 14, 2009 3:13 PM
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.
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
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
Why Johnny Can't Read Perl. Courtesy of
Lambda the Ultimate
comes news we all figured had to be true: a formal
Perl cannot be parsed.
Who said the Halting Theorem wasn't useful? I guess
I'll stop working on my refactoring browser for Perl.