View Full Version : Programming as an Art?

04 Feb 2002, 10:38
Gotta question here, me and my buddy were going over...

I said people can express them self through art in technology, but I can only see in visual ways (ie. photoshop, bryce, anything where the product is visually shown) He instead he can express himself through programming as an art? I mean, not to knock programming at all, I'm just saying do people think of it as more a profession, then an art? I mean, I know people who can do simply amazing things in photoshop, creating visual wonders. I can see how they are expressing themselves, their art, through visuals. But when I see a great piece of code put together, such as vbulletin, I personally don't see any true art in it, but as more of a skill.

I explained this quite bad at 2:30am, so please correct me, and lend your thoughts?


04 Feb 2002, 12:06
I believe anything can be considered an art.

e.g. I make "art" every morning on the toilet :D

04 Feb 2002, 15:03
That's another problem when someone created a Web site to offer coding services. Designers have their portfolio and all, but what can be show as examples? No matter what, people will first look at the design and only after some time they will notice the internal coding.

Actually when I think about it... kinda like real life. When you first meet a wo/man, you first check out how s/he looks like, right? Only later you find out about her/is personality, etc.

Mark Hensler
04 Feb 2002, 19:59
programming an art... hmm..

Art isn't always something of beauty or visual at all. Martial arts, for example.. ;)

When programming, there is always more than one way to do something. It can be considered an 'art' to optimize code.

For example, I wrote a script to count the number of maps entries in a mapcycle.txt file for a Half-Life server. (snippet from my WAHL project)

//$tmp = "cat $mapcycle_path | grep -v '^$' | grep -cv '^[ ]*//'";
$tmp = 'awk \\'BEGIN{c=0} ($0!="^$" && $0!="^\s*//"){c+=1} END{print c}\\' ' . $mapcycle_path;

$mapcycle_number = exec($tmp);
I developed the command at a prompt in SSH, just playing with greps and piping them into each other. When I had a combo that worked, I put it in my PHP script. Later, I got 'creative' and decided to shrink it all down to one shell command.