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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Science, Art and Personality

Last summer, I had a discussion on whether programming is science or art. The common opinion is that programming and code is science, but why? This raises a more fundamental question - what IS art? When is something science, a tool, an object, and when does that object become art?

Take a chair. The one you'r sitting on right now. It's an object, it has no significence whatsoever. You can sit on it, use it. It isn't an art. But now, take the same chair, put it in a glass box, in an otherwise empty room, and call people to look at it - voila - it's art. Suddenly, the simple object became a piece of art.

Following that logic, code is just another tool. It produces an application. It has no other significence or value. Thus, programming, as in "creating code", is science. However, code, just as the chair in the previous example, can become art, if you say it is art.

What difference does it make? Compiler doesn't care how the code looks like. End-users never see the code. From scientific perspective, there's no difference.

There is a difference. There are things that cannot be classified, explained rationally, or justified; not many notice them, people can rarely explain them, but nearly everyone feels that. The difference is in personality. And personality goes a long way.

A code with personality, an application with a personality, a project with a personality - you instantly notice it, you can feel it. And it is that feeling is what creates brand loyality. It is that feeling is what brings people together. It is that feeling is what makes the difference between two otherwise identical chairs [projects/applications].

Websites, user interfaces, logos, names - they are all inherent from a specific personality. Without personality, the chair [website/logo/project] is just that - a chair. You can sit on it, but that's that. But a chair with a personality is a completely different story.

Personality goes a long way.

Madcat.



Comments:
art is a matter of taste so a definition is hard to form

some people considers the submissions to "The International Obfuscated C Code Contest" art, while other people consider cars art, art is in the eye of the beholder

and personallity counts, thats why i enjoy my citroen bx 19 gti so much, despite its falling apart with age
 
Happy birthday Madcat... :-)
 
Thanks :)

Madcat.
 
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