If we want to speak about both beauty and programmers, then it would probably only make sense to consider one specific case of beauty - beauty of software. In this wording the question is far from original, it was asked by Linda Rising, for just one example. Before we can start thinking about answer, we should define what "beauty of software" is. The most natural approach would be to treat it as a subjective measure of quality of software. As such, it has index nature, if to use Pierce's classification of ways to represent things. Here "beauty" indicates "quality" and "beautiful" is a synonym to "good". Then how do we, as programmers, know whether our code is "good" ("beautiful")? Just few thoughts, to start a discussion. One intiution (or should we call it "pragmatics"?) is based on minimalism principle. If we have two ways to achieve the same result, one that does it with minimal use of resources is percieved as "more beautiful". Another intiution of "software beauty" is a notion of "form matching it's function". I think we all had an experience, possible in our early years as programmers, with doing something "against language spirit". When your programs work, but are designed in an extremely ugly way... From this point of view, beauty is only possible with a non-violent way of programming…
[This message has been edited by Mapraputa Is (edited November 26, 2001).]
My spelling errors are actually a form of slashdot-esque art, so don't let them interfere with my intention. Programs are beautiful, in source code or finished form. The awesome complexity and symmety of a computer is as great as many of the natural wonders that poets laud. Both programming theory and the actuality of written code (from perfectly indented and documented Java to anime-shaped obfuscated c) is a mixture of the great world of science and computers with the masterpieces of artists like raphael, escher, van gough, monet, orson scott card (ender's game qualifies as a masterpiece), et al. So too we can praise the works of the great software makers, be they companies or individuals. I still remember the name of Thomas Nussbaumer, who's C code for the TI-89 calculator was some of the first beautiful code I saw (ticalc.org is in a recession, but has everything Thomas published. Thomas has closed his TICT project ). This post is really getting kind of absurd so I'm gonna stop before I say something that might be used against me by the cruel world (good thing I took out the reference to Macciavelli too).
Perhaps java geek meant: Are programmers beauty-challenged? But speaking of beauty... why do we consider an elegant solution beautiful? Consider the solution to the problem stated in this thread. Where does the beauty lie? In its simplicity, or in its intricacy?
[This message has been edited by Nanhesru Ningyake (edited November 27, 2001).]
Pourquoi voulez-vous mon nom?
Leverager of our synergies
posted 18 years ago
Originally posted by Nanhesru Ningyake: Where does the beauty lie? In its simplicity, or in its intricacy?
Epiphenomenon of both The beauty is a subjective feeling of unexpected simplicity that underlies and explains visible complexity. Not my idea, though.
Lalooprasad, I found an example of what you are talking about. Fermat's Last Theorem: xn + yn = zn has no solutions if x, y, z and n are positive integers with n > 2 That's all. The proof, that was found in 1993 by Andrew Wiles, a 40-year-old number theorist from Princeton University, "is up to 1,000 pages in length and uses intricate arguments from highly abstract areas of pure mathematics" Is this what you call "beautiful"?