Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Programming & Poetry

What are the differences & similarities between programming and poetry?

tim
Monday, October 21, 2002

Poetry lacks pointers ;-)

Sorry...
Monday, October 21, 2002

plus does anybody know any good resources that deal with the concept of beauty in programming? i found like maybe 2 or 3.

tim
Monday, October 21, 2002

Poetry may not have pointers, but it does have allusions.  :-)

When thinking about beauty in programming, I am most reminded of Edsger Dijkstra.  And that leads me here.

http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/

I would pay special attention to his numbered manuscripts, linked from that page.

Paul Brinkley
Monday, October 21, 2002

Reflection...

Nat Ersoz
Monday, October 21, 2002

I think all the Windows OS code is written as a haiku.

Brian
Monday, October 21, 2002

Code doesn't rhyme.

Laureate
Monday, October 21, 2002

cf site of Richard Gabriel

http://www.dreamsongs.com

Robert Chevallier
Monday, October 21, 2002

I think the connection between coding and poetry is that 1) a lot of people want to connect coding with artistic expression (which it CAN be, but frequently isn't), and 2) that people who do both may find they get in `the zone' when they are doing both.

I honestly can't see any further connection personally, but I am not a poet either. And a massive difference is the immovable requirement of sequential, logical thinking in programming that is generally absent in most poetry.

Mike Swieton
Monday, October 21, 2002

With a degree in both playwriting (did some poetry too) and CS, I'd have to say that the overlap between poetry and programming is pretty slim. I can only think of two commonalities:

1. Both endeavors are very creative.
2. The stereotype of excellent programmers is similar to the stereotype of excellent poets: weird reclusive people.

Benji Smith
Monday, October 21, 2002

To paraphrase Coleridge:

Prose, words in their best order;
Poetry, the best words in their best order;
Code, not really words and not really in order;

JP
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

They are quite similar. You take a blank screen and fill it with words, beautifully indented.
I used to write poetry. It's wrong to think that poetry isn't logical. And it's wrong to think that logic isn't beautiful.
One difference is that someone is paying for your code and they expect it to do something.

PC
Friday, October 25, 2002

Programming as Poetry
http://www.elica.net/cgi-bin/eligen.exe?try/docs/poetry

Mschmuele
Friday, November 08, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home