Hey, did anyone see this paper on SlashDot
? All looks pretty weird to me!
- 'Two New Zealand computer scientists have a paper accepted for OOPSLA called Notes on Postmodern Programming, which identifies shortcomings in traditional views of computer science. With a section on the difference between "The Matrix" and the net, a bulleted list of new approaches called "We're All Devo", and a section called "Messy is Good" consisting of nothing but a scan of a hand-drawn diagram, this is not your father's computer science paper. It's thought-provoking stuff, though. And you know they did their homework--they cite Larry Wall's Postmodern Perl talk."'
- 'These notes have the status of letters written to ourselves: we wrote them down because, without doing so, we found ourselves making up new arguments over and over again. When reading what we had written, we were always too satisfied. For one thing, we felt they suffered from a marked silence as to what postmoderism actually is. Yet, we will not try to define postmodernism, first because a complete description of postmodernism in general would be too large for the paper, but secondly (and more importantly) because an understanding of postmodern programming is precisely what we are working towards. Very few programmers tend to see their (sometimes rather general) difficulties as the core of the subject and as a result there is a widely held consensus as to what programming is really about. If these notes prove to be a source of recognition or to give you the appreciation that we have simply written down what you already know about the programmer's trade, some of our goals will have been reached.'
The paper is not bad, but I don't think there is anything new or revolutionary in it. People who read wiki will be pretty familiar with all the points it raises. (I will give the "Messy Is Good" section points for originality, if not for clarity.)
I think everything stated in this paper is included in one or more of the following: SoftwareEngineeringVsComputerScience
Then again, every article I read that contains the word "postmodern" leaves me scratching my head, wondering what it means, so maybe I'm just missing something. -- KrisJohnson
Don't get too hung up on "postmodern", they don't use the word without some humor.
Is there any reason to believe this paper is not tongue-in-cheek? It will be presented at OopslaOhTwo
in Seattle, perhaps the authors, JamesNoble
, will be able to shed some light on it.
Clearly the references to postmodernism are intentionally tongue-in-cheek. However, the paper does not appear to be a deliberate parody of postmodernism or of software development philosophies.
The section "On the Notion of Program" is a paraphrase of Alexander's TheTimelessWayOfBuilding
Having been to OopslaOhTwo
and seen the authors present this paper, I still can't decide if they are serious or not. However, I will say this: taking No Big Picture seriously would imply that the search for meaning is, as any postmodernist could tell you, fruitless.
They are probably serious and not