• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL
Help

Part VIII: Brave New Software

Part VIII: Brave New Software

Introduction

You cannot not communicate. This is sometimes known as the First Law of Human Communication (Watzlawick et al. 1967). All action or inaction is a form of communication — it makes a statement — and all communication is, in some sense, in some sphere, political. From pointless prattle to significant silence, communication has an impact. Language and communication are matters of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. It's the pragmatics of human communication that makes it unavoidably political.

Software is a form of communication. As Ed Yourdon and I said way back in the turbulent 1970s, good software is written to be read; it's a message from one programmer to another programmer — or to a future self. It is also a message from the programmer to the user, filtered through the slow and somewhat inept interpreter known as the user interface, saying something to the user about how the developer viewed and made sense of the world. The system and its user interface are the media through which the programmer's mental model is communicated to the end user. Whether the message gets through and in what form depends on many things, among which both the intent and the ability of the developer are paramount.



PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint