Friday, February 27, 2009

The poetry of code

For my job I am more and more involved with the developer side of the house. For most of my career at Adobe, I’ve focused on IA (info architecture), style for end user stuff. Now I’m broadening my view, my touch, for better or worse.

So tonight I was reading a tutorial on ActionScript (trust me this is important to Adobe). What struck me is how concise and charming this language is.

If, then.
Yes, no.

That’s what it takes to create the amazing interactive online world we swim in. And today I was charmed by the language rules that enable this world. Something very like the disciplined structure of poetry. You can create this most amazing of worlds in the simplest of software--notepad, simple text. This is a world of simple, logical, concise, disciplined language.

In the first 10 or 15 pages I read some very good advice on writing. . . . . . .

  • Language matters.
  • We will create container to keep track of important data (details, facts, info. . . . . .)
  • We need to attend to the syntax we use.
  • Be careful about names.
  • Some language is dynamic and some static or literal. Dynamic language depends for meaning on its context.
  • Conditional statements enable different responses for different contexts.
  • And now I am learning that code “listens” and “responds” to an “event.”
I’m trying to remember now why I went to English lit graduate school. . . . . . . . . .

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