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Preparation & thoughts

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  • Joseph Bergin
    I think a lot of what has been said by many of you seems to point back to Gregor Kiczales Meta-Object Protocol. I havent read it, since I didn t learn Lisp
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2001
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      I think a lot of what has been said by many of you seems to point back to
      Gregor Kiczales' Meta-Object Protocol. I havent read it, since I didn't
      learn Lisp from my Mom, but in hearing him talk about it I get that the
      key idea is that every language should have a panel on the side through
      which it can be re-wired. Lisp and Smalltalk mainly allow this kind of
      thing of course. This MOP permits a language to be more expressive in a
      certain way as required by a given project, not necessarily forseen by
      the language desinger.

      Of course having such a tool would seem to put even more responsibility
      on the programmer to "do the right thing". and would likely enable really
      creative evil as well.

      Coming back to positions on a reset of IT, I think that we need to go
      beyond the "merely" technical and try to understand what kinds of things
      get built and who decides and what the properties are and who gets
      empowered and who dis"enfranchised" from the process. One key idea that
      I'd like to explore is that in the future it may be our job to enable
      others __NOT LIKE US__ to build creative software. Hypercard was a fair
      early attempt. Even VB enables people of little technical ability to get
      problems solved. Can we enable people of no technical ability to do the
      same -- but people with a lot of domain knowledge?

      RE the readings. If I'd read the first chapter of the Feyerabend book
      early in my career I'd have been a better mathematician, I think. I had
      a lot of good teachers who taught me a lot of fun mathematics, but they
      didn't teach me what is is to actually DO mathematics. I spent far too
      long thinking it was something like what happened in an advanced course
      and only learned later that it is completely unlike that. I was in my
      fifth year of grad study, for example, before anyone suggested I actually
      DO math and tread on unexplored ground.

      Why am I saying this? I think if we are to be successful we must step
      away (far away) from what we know how to do--especially in technical
      realms. What we seek is totally unlike what we know. One of the things
      I've learned from Alexander is that every time we release a new program
      we change the world. Do we understand the consequences of this?


      Joseph Bergin, Professor
      Pace University, Computer Science, One Pace Plaza, NY NY 10038
      EMAIL berginf@...
      HOMEPAGE http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/
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