What is different with Python ? (OT I guess)

Tom Anderson twic at urchin.earth.li
Thu Jun 16 15:29:49 CEST 2005


On Wed, 15 Jun 2005, Terry Hancock wrote:

> On Tuesday 14 June 2005 08:12 am, Magnus Lycka wrote:
>
>> Oh well, I guess it's a bit late to try to rename the Computer
>> Science discipline now.
>
> Computer programming is a trade skill, not a science. It's like
> being a machinist or a carpenter --- a practical art.

A lot of universities teach 'software engineering'. I draw a distinction 
between this and real computer science - computer science is the abstract, 
mathematical stuff, where you learn to prove your programs correct, 
whereas software engineering is more practical, where you just learn to 
write programs that work. Of course, CS does have quite a practical 
element, and SE has plenty of theory behind it, but they differ in 
emphasis. SE departments tend to grow out of electronics engineering 
departments; CS departments tend to bud off from maths departments.

> Unfortunately, our society has a very denigrative view of craftsmen, and 
> does not pay them well enough, so computer programmers have been 
> motivated to attempt to elevate the profession by using the appellative 
> of "science".
>
> How different would the world be if we (more accurately) called it 
> "Computer Arts"?

At one point, a friend and i founded a university to give our recreational 
random hackery a bit more credibility (well, we called ourself a 
university, anyway; it was mostly a joke). We called the programming 
department 'Executable Poetry'.

tom

-- 
Punk's not sexual, it's just aggression.



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