I’m in Portland for RailsConf where I met Matt Smith with Semantra. Some of the things we talked about put me in mind of some papers Prof. C.A.R. “Tony” Hoare did a while back and, while attempting to find them online, I ran across his 1980 Turing Award acceptance speech, “The Emperor’s Old Clothes” [pdf] in which he says,

“I have regarded it as the highest goal of programming language design to enable good ideas to be elegantly expressed.”

That ties in nicely with the belief I heard expressed years ago that complexity and beauty are intertwined such that over-complex things are generally not perceived as beautiful.

Incidentally, the search wandered me in and through Wikipedia’s List of Important Publications in Computer Science. A feast for the thinking geek.

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17 May 2007


computing engineering science thinking