02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 The Danger of Black-Box Abstraction

When I was a graduate student, if you were going to convert some data or something like that, you would write the FORTRAN code to convert the data yourself. That’s how you would do it. Now there are these programs. There are these windows and you click. I .nd with my students all the time, they don’t know why something isn’t working. I’m like, well, did the data convert properly? Open the .le and look at it. It is so black box and it is going from the time when you knew how the data w...
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Where's Transparency With So Many Layers of Abstraction?

Some older scientists, for example, justify their use of opaque software by pointing to the infinite regress of computer representations. After all, they argue, it doesn’t really mean much to know how your simulation is programmed if all you are looking at is a high- level computer language. The “real guts” of the program is in assembly language and in all that lies beneath that, and no one wants to go to that level with today’s complex machines. In the 1980s, Professor Barry Nilo= in...
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
  1  notes
 
02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 Loss of Legacy Programmers Means Loss of Systems Understa...

At Livermore, a legendary senior weapons designer is about to retire. At the Spring 2005 MIT workshop, his colleagues discuss this retirement and refer to it as “a blow.” They are anxious about more than the loss of one man’s ability to make individual scientific contributions. He has irreplaceable knowledge about the programming that supports current practice.10 His colleagues fret: “He has such a great memory that he hasn’t written down lots of important stuff. How will people kno...
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
  1  notes

The newer users only know the interface, the abstraction, they don't know the code beneath it.

31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Bumper Sticker Computer Science

A few of my favorites, not found in the linked article: "There are two ways of constructing software. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. The other is to make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies." C.A.R. Hoare "The purpose of software engineering is to control complexity, not to create it." Dr. Pamela Zave "The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build." Bjarne Stroustrup "T...
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13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Why We Can't Have "Intuitive" Programming Languages

If a procedure named INSIGHT has been defined and then called seventeen times in the program, and the eighteenth time it is misspelled as INSIHGT, woe to the programmer. The compiler will balk and print a rigidly unsympathetic error message, saying that it has never heard of INSIHGT. Often, when such an error is detected by a compiler, the compiler tries to continue, but because of its lack of insihgt, it has not understood what the programmer meant. In fact, it may very well suppose that som...
Folksonomies: programming intuition
Folksonomies: programming intuition
  1  notes
 
29 SEP 2017 by ideonexus

 We Compile What We Read in the Context of When We Read It

Reading and experience train your model of the world. And even if you forget the experience or what you read, its effect on your model of the world persists. Your mind is like a compiled program you've lost the source of. It works, but you don't know why. [...] ...reading and experience are usually "compiled" at the time they happen, using the state of your brain at that time. The same book would get compiled differently at different points in your life. Which means it is very much worth re...
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
Folksonomies: worldview memory reading
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18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Programming as a Way of Thinking

Running programs is the whole point of programming, of course, but there is more to it. The ability to execute code makes programming a tool for thinking and exploring. When we express ideas as programs, we make them testable; when we debug programs, we are also debugging our brains.
Folksonomies: programming thought
Folksonomies: programming thought
  1  notes
 
11 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 pplapi.com

pplapi.com (pronounced “people API”) is a web-based data service that provides access to a synthetic world population, n = 7, 171, 922, 938. Researchers can submit queries to pplapi.com using its Application Programming Interface (API) to obtain samples consisting of synthetic agents drawn from this population. Because researchers do not need to host the synthetic population themselves, pplapi.com reduces start-up costs associated with using synthetic agents in research. pplapi.com provid...
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