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The Poetics of Code LCC 2700: Intro to Computational Media Fall 2005 Ian Bogost.

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Presentation on theme: "The Poetics of Code LCC 2700: Intro to Computational Media Fall 2005 Ian Bogost."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Poetics of Code LCC 2700: Intro to Computational Media Fall 2005 Ian Bogost

2 Aesthetics The philosophy of art Immanuel Kant (18th c) - the philosophy of perception The criticism of taste Literary, Visual, Gastronomic, Musical…

3 Poetics Aristotle, a subset of aesthetics (with rhetoric) The first literary theory On poetry: a form that carries out imitation Principally advice on writing tragedy Completeness: beginning, middle, end Unity of action: plot Struggle: agôn Comedy: imitation of “ low ” behaviors (presumably to encourage avoiding them)

4 Programming We’ve been talking about procedurality as it produces expression But is programming itself art?

5 Programming Style Standards for composing code Readability –Variable names –Consistency –Comments Typography –Indentations –Line breaks –Searchability Naming –Evocative variable names

6 Hungarian Notation A naming convention in which the name of a variable indicates its type Prefixes for variable names –strName, sName –intAge, iAge –lngUserId, lUid –datHireDate, datHire

7 Programming Efficiency Class structure –Careful use of inheritence –Final and other special directives –Methods should do one thing –When to class based on the environment (J2SE v. J2ME) Use error control for exceptions, not for flow control Python forces indentation for control flow

8 Coding Standards or Conventions get a b c if a < 12 and b < 60 and c < 60 return true else return false if(hours<12&&minutes<60&&seconds<60){return true;}else{return false;} get hours minutes seconds if hours < 12 and minutes < 60 and seconds < 60 return true else return false if (hours < 12 && minutes < 60 && seconds < 60) { return true; } else { return false; }

9 Programming Style Focused on productivity Collaboration and complexity Taken for granted (consider auto-formatting IDEs) Code as seen only by technical workers, and only used to produce programmatic output

10 Programming Languages Themselves designed for maximum productivity Object-oriented programming as a kind of Fordist manufacturing process “Automatic Factory”? Produce “poetic output” Facilitate “poetic productivity”

11 Code and the Program HTML as a possible example The markup and the layout are both viewable to the end user The markup’s “quality” is part of the experience “How did they do that” (e.g., t he single pixel)

12 Upsetting the constraints of languages International Obfuscated C Code Contest Hello World Palindrome She Loves Me… Poot

13 New Languages Entire programming languages devoted to constrained code-level and execution-level expression! Alternate flow control: WheneverWhenever Compresion: BrainfuckBrainfuck Programming from Hell: MalebolgeMalebolge Statement redundancy: OokOok Code as visual aesthetics: PietPiet Code as literature: ShakespeareShakespeare Code as cooking: ChefChef

14 Hello World in Brainfuck [ > > >+++>+<<<<- ] The initial loop to set up useful values in the array >++. print 'H’ >+. print 'e’ 'l'. 'l’ +++. 'o’ >++. space << 'W’ >. 'o’ +++. 'r’ 'l’ 'd’ >+. '!’ >. newline

15 Hello World in Brainfuck [> > >+++>+ ++.> > >+.>.

16 Hello World in Malebolge (=<`:9876Z4321UT.Q+*)M'&%$H"!~}|Bzy?=|{z]KwZY44Eq0/{mlk**

17 Project 7 - Write a program in Chef It must compile and run. It need not be the most meaningful program, but it must execute and do something coherent It must read like a coherent recipe. That is, the source code should be as readable as the executable code, and it should make sense as a recipe. If you want an 'A', your recipe must also be coherent enough to be prepared in the real world. This is harder than it sounds. Extra credit (5 points) for anyone who brings in a version of their Chef code for us to eat in class.

18 Hello World in Chef Hello World Souffle. This recipe prints the immortal words "Hello world!", in a basically brute force way. It also makes a lot of food for one person. Ingredients. 72 g haricot beans 101 eggs 108 g lard 111 cups oil 32 zucchinis 119 ml water 114 g red salmon 100 g dijon mustard 33 potatoes Method. Put potatoes into the mixing bowl. Put dijon mustard into the mixing bowl. Put lard into the mixing bowl. Put red salmon into the mixing bowl. Put oil into the mixing bowl. Put water into the mixing bowl. Put zucchinis into the mixing bowl. Put oil into the mixing bowl. Put lard into the mixing bowl. Put lard into the mixing bowl. Put eggs into the mixing bowl. Put haricot beans into the mixing bowl. Liquefy contents of the mixing bowl. Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the baking dish. Serves 1.

19 My Sample Chef Program Danger Flu. Creates a very dangerous danger flu. Beware! Ingredients. 1 cup yogurt 5 g sneeze particulates 3 capers 4 chives 1 level teaspoon chopped parsley 1 rosemary sprig Method. Put yogurt into the mixing bowl. Combine chives. Put capers into the mixing bowl. Add chopped parsley into the mixing bowl. Pound the chives. Combine sneeze particulates into the mixing bowl. Stir the mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Beat chives until pounded. Remove capers. Liquify contents of the mixing bowl. Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the baking dish. Add capers. Add rosemary sprig. Stir for 2 minutes. Liquify contents of the mixing bowl. Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the baking dish. Serves 1.

20 Danger Flu. Creates a very dangerous danger flu. Beware! Ingredients. 1 cup yogurt 5 g sneeze particulates 3 capers 4 chives 1 level teaspoon chopped parsley 1 rosemary sprig Method. Put yogurt into the mixing bowl.Stack = 1 Combine chives. Stack = 4 Put capers into the mixing bowl. Stack = 3 4 Add chopped parsley into the mixing bowl. Stack = 4 4 Pound the chives. Combine sneeze particulates into the mixing bowl. Stack = 20 4 Stir the mixing bowl for 5 minutes. Stack = 4 20 Beat chives until pounded. Decrement chives, loop until 0 (Stack = ) Remove capers. Stack = Liquify contents of the mixing bowl. Stack = a d Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the baking dish. Stack = a d, Baking Dish = a d Add capers. Stack = Add rosemary sprig. Stack = Stir for 2 minutes. Stack = Liquify contents of the mixing bowl. Stack = d e Pour contents of the mixing bowl into the baking dish. Baking Disk = d e a d Serves 1. Writes dead to stdout


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