Are Programmers Decadent?

This is a discussion on Are Programmers Decadent? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I've spent most of my waking hours this past week pondering a question I consider to be truly important to ...

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    Board Conservative UnregdRegd's Avatar
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    Are Programmers Decadent?

    I've spent most of my waking hours this past week pondering a question I consider to be truly important to computing's future: Are programmers decadent? What I mean is this: Have we forgotten why we program and instead become lost in marketing trends, quickly devised hacks (short-sighted programming), ideology, and sanitized "best practices"?

    In the dawn of computing, programmers did not code with any greater purpose than to solve a problem generated in a narrowly defined domain--be it a program to decode military transmissions, a program to calculate a sequence of numbers, etc. In our decadent age, programs try to "do it all": Microsoft Windows and many GNU/Linux distributions, driven by an ideological envy for Windows, are bloated with more features than anyone could be expected to know or use.

    Our decadent age in computing must, therefore, be fueled by a decadence in ourselves. We flatter ourselves, calling our code art and poetry. We are lazy and write inelegant code because of this. We stuff our faces with caffeine-saturated drinks and high-calorie snacks as our compilers munch on line after line of our decadence. We rely more and more on automatic code completion, ultra-abstract APIs, and optimizing compilers to simplify our duties.

    Have I overthought this? Or...am I onto something?
    I am a programmer. My first duty is to God, then to nation, then to employer, then to family, then to friends, then to computer, and finally to myself. I code with dignity, honor, and integrity.

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    Registered User linuxdude's Avatar
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    many GNU/Linux distributions driven by an ideological envy for Windows, are bloated with more features than anyone could be expected to know or use.
    Which ones? none that I know of do this they come with what you want and nothing more. That is the good thing about linux it isn't bloated windows does try to do it all while linux programs do one thing and do it well ex: ls has [-1abcdfghiklmnopqrstuvwxABCDFGHLNQRSUX] for arguments(that is just the short ones) It doesn't try to do everything; just display what you want it to, the way you want it to be displayed. Gentoo Linux isn't bloated at all it comes with glib, glib-common, gcc, java, and like 2 other things. I dont' see where you got that from.

    I don't know many programmers here that rely on compilers to optimize there code,(besides maybe the register keyword(no one should fool with that)) I don't drink coffee or cafinated drinks; maybe you are just describing yourself

    calling our code art and poetry
    our code is art. the better, faster, and prettier you can get it, the better you are.

    P.S. No real Linux user would want Linux to be like Windows(why do you think I left) I am offended at that steriotype that Linux wants to be like Windows(Do you even use it)???
    Last edited by linuxdude; 03-29-2004 at 08:12 PM.

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    what the heck, programming itself is just the skill necessary to represent stuff on a computer. I program because I can make pretty stuff show up on the screen (search for some of my 3D engines in the game forum)

  4. #4
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I've spent most of my waking hours this past week pondering
    Too much free time.

    >Are programmers decadent?
    Yes, provided we are using the same definition of decadent.

    >Have we forgotten why we program and instead become lost in <snip>
    Some have. I don't believe most have. Decadence and blind conformance to bad practices or ideologies are rather different.

    >programs try to "do it all"
    Not because the programmers have changed, users just expect more now.

    >are bloated with more features than anyone could be expected to know or use
    Windows, yes. Linux, no. Windows forces you to install everything, but Linux gives you the option of installing what you need and ignoring what you do not. I think you see a general purpose operating system as being bloated because it offers options to many instead of a single domain.

    >We stuff our faces with caffeine-saturated drinks and high-calorie snacks
    I believe that junk food has always been a staple for hackers.

    >We flatter ourselves, calling our code art and poetry
    Flipping burgers can be called an art. Working on cars can be called an art. Why should programming be any different? Poetry I'm not too sure about, unless you're talking about Perl.

    >We rely more and more on automatic code completion
    This is a bad thing?

    >ultra-abstract APIs
    It depends on the API. POSIX is just abstract enough to be amazingly useful, but some API's are just awful.

    >and optimizing compilers to simplify our duties
    I have yet to hear a good reason as to why an optimizing compiler is a bad thing. Programming is one of the most strenuous mental tasks people regularly undertake day after day. Anything that simplifies our job, and thus improves the quality of the end result, is a very good thing. Good programmers think of the end-user and use tools that will give them a good experience.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

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    I wouldnt say it's the programmers fault. Caffeine and snacks are too tasty to resist!

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    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    >Poetry I'm not too sure about, unless you're talking about Perl
    You mean like this?
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

    You. Fetch me my copy of the Wall Street Journal. You two, fight to the death - Stewie

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    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    I think your history is a little off.

    Orginally they provided only the solution to a particular problem because they all they had room for or were able to do. It wasn't a limit imposed by the programmer but instead by the enviroment.

    Even back then I'm sure you had the general going I want this, and this, and this, and this, ... with the programmer providing as much as possible.

    You have to remember that the consumers are the ones that dictate what is put into a program, and commerical consumers want the world.

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    Registered User Aran's Avatar
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    and the scary thing is that they think we can give it to them in 4 weeks with minimal pay and overtime. (i'm interpretting commerical customers as people who buy products individually, not as the big company that is contracting you)

    It's scary how skewed some people's thoughts on software development are.

  9. #9
    & the hat of GPL slaying Thantos's Avatar
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    Whats the saying?

    "Fast, cheap, good" Choose two.

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