Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 15:22:09 -0800
From: Ward Cunningham 
Subject: The Cocoa Collection

Kurt -- The pamplet (understatement) you promised arrived today. I
dropped everything and read it cover to cover. I especially appreciated
the excellent commentary on each program. I was a little discouraged
that so many of my ideas were unoriginal but I finished excited and full
of even better ideas for new worlds. 

Of course my goal isn't to have the worlds, but to have the experience
of programming them. I'd like to reflect on this just a bit. It's not
all Cocoa can to, but it's what I love about it.


I like to program with other people. I find this works well with
professionals in Smalltalk and maybe even Java. I've authored stacks
with my kids but the experience is not the same. But writing Cocoa
together is close.

Programming Cocoa is best as a three way conversation: adult, child and
machine. It's like a board game where we are all on the same side. I
find the conversation balanced so long as I'm careful to talk only of
things already on the screen.


Consider my experience with my son's friend Danny. We made atoms, made
them move, taught them to react, confined them, released them, separated
them again, watched concentrations, reaction rates, partial pressures,
all as fast as we could talk. I never defined these words. I just used
them. They are natural enough words when the property is in front of
you. I never explained Cocoa either. It's behaviour is obvious enough.

Funny, the world we built together is now just a left-over, like marks
on a white-board after the meeting has adjourned. I added sound and
annimation later to try to reclaim some of the excitement of
programming. It didn't work. If I wanted to show the program to a new
friend I would just start with a blank world and write it over again.

"I read a book a few weeks ago that had some interesting ideas. Maybe
you would like to borrow it. I'm sure you would find it interesting.
I'll bring it in tomorrow."

Have you ever had that conversation? I have, and I've rarely read the
book. I'd rather have one percent of the ideas right now than all of
them later. Right now we can still go someplace unimagined, together. 

Cocoa aids conversation. It's more real than a hand gesture, moves
better than a sketch, and it's faster to make than a puppet or model.
And when the conversation's over you're left with a momento, the world,
that can remind you and hint to others of the event that begot it, like
a photograph of two friends talking. 


I hope you enjoy my photo album. Thanks for the camera. -- Ward

Ward Cunningham
v 503-245-5633  
f 503-246-5587