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Lindsey Kuper

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Please, please, please let this be true. [May. 27th, 2005|09:10 am]
Lindsey Kuper

From "Hackers and Painters":

Relentlessness wins because, in the aggregate, unseen details become visible. When people walk by the portrait of Ginevra de Benci, their attention is often immediately arrested by it, even before they look at the label and notice that it says Leonardo da Vinci. All those unseen details combine to produce something that's just stunning, like a thousand barely audible voices all singing in tune.

Great software, likewise, requires a fanatical devotion to beauty. If you look inside good software, you find that parts no one is ever supposed to see are beautiful too. I'm not claiming I write great software, but I know that when it comes to code I behave in a way that would make me eligible for prescription drugs if I approached everyday life the same way. It drives me crazy to see code that's badly indented, or that uses ugly variable names.

If a hacker were a mere implementor, turning a spec into code, then he could just work his way through it from one end to the other like someone digging a ditch. But if the hacker is a creator, we have to take inspiration into account.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: oniugnip
2005-05-27 02:35 pm (UTC)
Generally speaking, Paul Graham is right :)
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-05-27 07:19 pm (UTC)
I don't agree with everything he says in the essay, but that part struck a chord with me.
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[User Picture]From: jwithington
2005-05-27 11:13 pm (UTC)
interesting.

i thnk that contemporary art and progamming in this way are insular in similar ways.

DISCUSS.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-05-28 01:34 pm (UTC)
Programming in the "fanatical devotion to beauty" way, y'mean? Sure -- I think that doing anything in that way requires a similar mindset.
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[User Picture]From: jwithington
2005-05-28 10:41 pm (UTC)
i kinda meant in that "only people in the inner circle can understand it" way.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2005-05-28 11:09 pm (UTC)
So it's insular in that insular kind of way, then? ;)
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