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Berin Greenbear
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Didn't Hoffstadter already cover this in Godel, Escher, Bach? That is to say, Reductionism versus Holism? Then again, maybe it's because I spent more than a bit of time earning my undergrad CS poking around in scheme, but I find nothing wrong with lists. Provided, that is, I treat them as immutable and toss them in the garbage when I'm done with them. My point is, I use lists. It's very difficult for me to not. However, I used what I learned in computing theory to find a solution (of sorts) of the problem of pointless reductionism and wasting too much time trying to put everything that absolutely must be done on the list. Basically, I keep my lists short (no more than five items), and immutable (no adding items once the list is completed). To accomplish this, I set a time limit for creating the list of no more than five minutes at the end of my workday. Finally (the important part), I do all of this on paper and intentionally dispose of the list after 24 hours. My point is I intentionally treat the lists I do use as a collection of symbols to be manipulated, nothing more. This (for me, at least), effectively halts the endless reductionism and allows me to work on a more holistic level at whatever problem I am solving without being quite so absent-minded that important things that need to be done do not get done. My method may, or may not, work for you.
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2012 on Todon't at Coding Horror
Quite nice as an idea. However, I don't think it approaches solving the content->structure->effect problem. I think Nelson's idea is the correct-yet-unachievable statement by which we should just strive to get as asymptotically close to as possible. The problem is that Nelson's approach, while correct and provides for a living document that scales with the technology, required the work to be done three times. You can ask me to do the work once, even twice, but three times? A good example is something that I do on a daily basis: Kuali Rice (kuali.org) presentation. To do it "The Kuali way", I have to create a Java object, a JSP presentation layer, and a data dictionary. Same problem as above: I'm doing the same work three times. In practice, I don't do the data dictionary and simplistically do the JSP (i.e. just enough to make the customer happy). The correct approach isn't WYSIWIG, it's to present "good enough" structure and effect layers to start with, let content creation occur, and then alter the structure and effect layers as part of the editing process. Perhaps I should just shut up and create that system...
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2012 on What You Can't See You Can't Get at Coding Horror
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Mar 27, 2012