On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 2:51 AM, Yu-Hsuan Lai <raincolee / gmail.com> wrote:

> And... after all, ruby is a language which more often be described by "art"
> than any other language I know.
> Many people call Matsumoto "great designer". I know programming is related
> to design. But is it "art"?


In my opinion, 99.9% programming isn't art.

The primary purpose of art is to communicate ideas between people, often
times ineffable ideas that can't be put into language. Art is not intended
to be utilitarian and typically has no intrinsic useful function in an of
itself.

The primary purpose of programming is to accomplish a utilitarian function
by providing a set of instructions to a computer. Rather than being
ineffable, the instructions are given in very precise language.

Ruby has a very flexible syntax that lets people do things solely for
aesthetic value, even things that might slow down your code or make it
harder to work with. I've often heard people refer to these sorts of things
as "poetic" and I like doing them myself. They make no sense when the
program is interpreted by a computer, only a human reader. I'd consider that
sort of thing artistic.

People who write entries for obfuscated code contents often times do fun
things with the formatting, making their obfuscated code into pictures and
shapes. This is particularly interesting with "quines", programs that can
output their own source code.

As a response to Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters" essay, I particularly
enjoyed this essay by an artist/programmer, called "Dabblers and Blowhards":

http://www.idlewords.com/2005/04/dabblers_and_blowhards.htm

-- 
Tony Arcieri
Medioh! Kudelski