- what is the distinction between creative and aesthetic writing of source code?
- decide between writing and reading? usage and possibilities?
- what definition of code do i want to choose?
the aesthetics of clarity in executable source code
are the aesthetics of clarity language-dependent?
“experientialism” / experiential realism
questions of clarity vs. simplicity (how often do they correspond? oppose?) - is one within time, or within space, or within people?
semantics? -> programming languages have semantics (either denotational or operational, stratchey) -> operational is whatever the machine says, and we can realize/describe/use a sympbol without understanding it
understanding the symbol vs. understanding what the symbol refers to
there is always a bit of giving up the understanding (linux kernel, APIs, etc.). does it remove the essence or in contrary highlight it?
the role of case studies: develop an outline from looking at code, then confront that outline (which will probably be multifaceted) with case studies (2-3)
what do programmers have been implicitly saying in their discourses about code?
what is the difference between poetics and aesthetics? poetics put together an effect (formal, subjective) vs. aesthetics are more universal, inherent, contemplative?
draft a couple of paragraphs on machine understanding ++ the difference between poetics and aesthetics
STRATEGY VS. TACTICS
but tactics could actually be the tip of the manifestation of a yet unknown (the personal?) strategy.
ENGINEERING VS. CRAFT
could these be viewed as two kinds of writing?
- what are the literary standards to which code can be held to?
- how can source code lit be categorized according to different periods?
- linguistically (i.e. different programming languages)
- socio-economically (enterprise, hack, poet)?
object (object of code’s discourse)
- what is code trying to make visible (following deleuze on bacon)? forces? hysteria? time? space? can it, even? how (semiotically and aesthetically)? -> making the thought process visible
- how does the creative/aesthetic use of code start to involve the rest of the world rather than simply the self-reference?
“efficient code” depends on knowing the material that you are working with: in the 1970s, it was the compiler (kernighan, elements of programming style). in the 2000s, it might be just the language spec.
- double-meaning (paloque) is the fact that one can play between machine-language and human-language
- possible triple-meaning with an interplay in conceptual structures (OOP)
- creativity might then be that we’re applying software metaphors to classes of concordance
- referring to software itself
- referring to the environment in which software exists
- need to identify the place of uselessness in productivity
- but also the fact that the domain of application of software can always expand can always expand (from a computational perspective)
- there is also the idea that, even when the code might not work properly, or might barely work (in a functional perspective), it might still work in a literary perspective, the same way that flaubert works, or that beckett works, i.e. does what is intended of it to do (how do we know that? we need critical tools to assess the “aestheticity”). but that’s really just a subsection of the whole thesis
expressing vs. explaining (Kurosawa)
programming languages as actors in actor network theory?
- programming languages define sets of aesthetic relationships, and as such are resources for intellectual/thoughtful work/formulation
- this is kinda what los pequenos glazier was saying when he was asking “how does materiality influence the text itself?”
- on a less formal level, the sociohistorical approach to literature implies that literature judges a society, and a society can explain its literature.
- e lit can therefore help us formulate our being in this society (bouchardon)
- this could be extended to programming languages-as-literature.
- there is the reader, and there is the act of reading. does it need to be out loud? how are things pronounced?
- who is the subject, in a code-text?
- what are the tensions between lit and code?
- lit can create any word (joyce), code cannot (really? cf. growing a language) –but that is changing with OOP?
the opposite of an aesthetic of the frustration (in which the reader can not know everything) is an aesthetic of the XXX (sublime? demiurgic?), in which the reader is presented with everything, computationally, but still always reduced to the words used and read
- *In linguistics, prosody is concerned with those elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments (vowels and consonants) but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions such as intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm. Such elements are known as suprasegmentals.
Prosody may reflect various features of the speaker or the utterance: the emotional state of the speaker; the form of the utterance (statement, question, or command); the presence of irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus. It may otherwise reflect other elements of language that may not be encoded by grammar or by choice of vocabulary.* (wiki)
- marino: “Much of this preliminary work on code has tried to determine what constitutes this unique semiotic system, work that prepares the discussion of code analysis, but CCS needs techniques for developing particular coding structures.”
problematiques importantes: dispositifs et mediations
concepts / frames
- the dynamic (living in space/time, calculated in real-time, reacting to external input)
- a rhetoric of structs
- non-linearity of reading/execution (back and forth between source and compiled result)
acknowledgment of socio-cultural context within which code poetry emerges, then formal examination of language through which these are written, and circling back towards what these formal uses have to contribute about the purpose/meaning of writing source code poetry (communities, hackers, exploitative economic systems, etc.), and allow for a new perspective on contemporary literature.
- recap of existing work on why code is an object of study
- extending that range of study (what has been explored so far are themes, distribution, communities (at least CPB, Bouchardon)):
- (1) stylistically, at the micro-level (style), (developing theoretical tools, frames of analysis, close readings, new reading postures -e.g. readers as compilers and interpreters)
- (2) empirically, at the macro-level (genre), (other domains, such as style guides, comments, new corpuses that have been released since the previous studies (source code poetry, etc.))
- (3) linguistically (analysis and design of programming languages) (parts 1 and 2 will have to solidly argue as to why one should care about languages/materiality -classes and structs are the new materiality??)
- and then some of the poems/languages i write also
art is a breach in the system
Is there something that makes something inherently beautiful? As relations to humans/human condition of that time -studying tools.
speed run vs. 100% of the game vs. elegant gaming
which aesthetic standards are set by the machine vs. which aesthetic standards are set by human social context?
does each type of software have different aesthetic standards?
what is the aesthetic of a semantic system that is supposed to be understood by both humans and machines?
beautiful proofs in geometry?
how beautiful code defines its own beauty?
- the comment asks the question of the voice of the programmer
- the style guide
- aesthetic of cooperation? what does that even mean?
- the style guide transforms a readerly text into a writerly text (barthes, le plaisir du texte)
tzvetan todorov: “les effets de style ne pourraient exister que s’ils ne s’opposaient a une norme, a un usage etabli”
the programming languages
- esolangs have a “wimpmode”