07 Oct Language erosion and software
Give me a well-written article or literate software documentation over a video tutorial any day. Video is powerful, yes. But when it comes to conveying the inner workings of a programmer’s mind, it seems to me an excuse for poor articulation. Showing a series of mouse clicks on a long-winded video does not clarify the way a GUI (graphical user interface) fits together, whether narrated (poorly) or with taut demo-only silence. The soft erosion of the English language continues; lack of precision contributes to constant befuddlement and to the ongoing mystification of software.
Programming logic differs from user logic and a programmer layering her thinking onto usability builds on the initial obfuscation. Ultimately this gives software too much power: complexity should not be equated with efficacy. A programmer who loves his work appreciates code as a language of simplicity – the cleaner the lines, the fewer the lines, the more exquisite the language, the more triumphant the results. Let your code be readable, and let the workings of your GUI be just as clear.