Tech in the 603, The Granite State Hacker

Functional Expression

So one more thing crossed my mind about implementing code with respect to art & science, and I had to express it…

I looked up the term “Art” in the dictionary. The first definition is:

  • the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

For me, regarding coding, it’s a matter of remembering a few points:

  1. implementation is expression
  2. significance is subjective
  3. beauty is in the eye of the beholder

So code can be expressed, fundamentally, in a bunch of ways:

  • Electronically,
  • Numerically,
  • mnemonically,
  • symbolically,
  • graphically,
  • gesturally,
  • audibly,
  • visually,
  • etc… ?

Simple, clever, elegant, seemingly natural expressions of all kinds are typically beautiful to a programmer, when they function correctly.

Of course, to me, the most beautiful implementations are implementations that elegantly express its business in a way that’s very clear to anyone familiar with the problem domain at that abstraction level, and to the target platform(s).

See also:
politechnosis: Art & Science

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