TITLE: Same Footage, Different Film AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 22, 2018 3:50 PM DESC: ----- BODY: In In the Blink of an Eye, Walter Murch tells the story of human and chimpanzee DNA, about how the DNA itself is substantially the same and how the sequencing, which we understand less well, creates different beings during the development of the newborn. He concludes by bringing the analogy back to film editing:
My point is that the information in the DNA can be seen as uncut film and the mysterious sequencing as the editor. You could sit in one room with a pile of dailies and another editor could sit in the next room with exactly the same footage and both of you could make different films out of the same material.
This struck me as quite the opposite of what programmers do. When given a new problem and a large language in which to solve it, two programmers can choose substantially different source material and yet end up telling the same story. Functional and OO programmers, say, may decompose the problem in a different way and rely on different language features to build their solutions, but in the end both programs will solve the same problem and meet the same user need. Like the chimp and the human, though, the resulting programs may be better adapted for living in different environments. -----