Erik Naggum's Ideas and Principles


Programming is a form of art. Not only is elegance and beauty possible in programming computers, these are at the core of a good programmer's value system. Computers present to mankind the first opportunity to do what religions all over the world have failed to present: the ability to receive unambiguous answers to incantations and prayers -- computers are the man-made gods who listen. I am, of course, talking metaphorically about instructing computers to create what we want to exist.

Just as other information should be available to those who want to learn and understand, program source code is the only means for programmers to learn the art from their predecessors. It would be unthinkable for playwrights not to allow other playwrights to read their plays, but only be present at theater performances where they would be barred even from taking notes. Likewise, any good author is well read, as every child who learns to write will read hundreds of times more than it writes. Programmers, however, are expected to invent the alphabet and learn to write long novels all on their own. Programming cannot grow and learn unless the next generation of programmers have access to the knowledge and information gathered by other programmers before them.

Erik Naggum