TITLE: Digital Cameras, Electric Guitars, and Programming AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: July 26, 2010 3:28 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Eric Clapton at the Crossroads Festival 2010 I often write here about programming for everyone, or at least for certain users. Won't that put professional programmers out of business? Here is a great answer to a related question from a screenwriter using an analogy to music:
Well, if I gave you an electric guitar, would you instantly become Eric Clapton?
There is always room for specialists and artists, people who take literacy to a higher level. We all can write a little bit, and pretty soon everyone will be blogging, tweeting, or Facebooking, but we still need Shakespeare, James Joyce, and Kurt Vonnegut. There is more to writing than letters and sentences. There is more to programming than tokens and procedures. A person with ideas can create things we want to read and use. Sometimes the idea is as simple as hooking up two existing ideas. I may be late to the party, but @bc_l is simply too cool:
I'm GNU bc on twitter! DM me your math and I'll tell you the answer. (by @hmason)
@hmason is awesome. On a more practical note, I use dc as the target language for a simple demo compiler in my compilers course, following the lead of Fischer, Cytron, and LeBlanc in Crafting a Compiler. I'm considering using the new edition of this text in my course this fall, in part because of its support for virtual machines as targets and especially the JVM. I like where my course has been the last couple of offerings, but this seems like an overdue change in my course's content. I may as well start moving the course. Eventually, targeting multi-core architectures will be essential. If I want to help students who dream of being Eric Clapton with a keyboard, I gotta keep moving. ~~~~ (The image above is courtesy of PedalFreak at flickr, with a Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.) -----