Notes On Postmodern Programming

Hey, did anyone see this paper on SlashDot? All looks pretty weird to me!


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, ComputerScienceOrSoftwareEngineering, QualityWithoutaName, AllAbstractionsLie, WorseIsBetter, BigDesignUpFront, DoTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork, StopUsingMetaphors, DesignPatterns, TheyreJustRules

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.

See DeconstructAlmostAnything.


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 and RobertBiddle, 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.


See PostModernProgramming

EditText of this page (last edited July 29, 2006) or FindPage with title or text search