Linked by Ersin Akinci on Wed 7th Apr 2010 17:24 UTC
Internet & Networking Websites for over a decade have been transitioning to the Model-View-Controller paradigm, separating data from formatting and user interaction in their code bases. Unfortunately, this has meant not only the end of ugly early 90's vintage Geocities pages, but also of the era of digital, or more specifically computeral craftsmanship. The future of computers will depend on those artists, scholars, and programmers who can reunify content with format and remake programming as an art.
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pompous stranger
Member since:
2006-05-28

Not quite. The separation of view and model threatens a certain way of doing things that I'm calling "craftsmanship", which involves combining view creation and model creation, or more broadly format and content, in a single act just as when we write a sentence on paper it is content and format at the same time.


Let's take this "craftsmanship" contention as this appears to be the one you think most readers misunderstand.

I'd like to point out that most written craft has not been distributed in manuscript form since the Middle Ages. For almost as long as popular writing has been distributed this "single act" you describe consisted of (a) a writer scribbling a "foul" manuscript, (b) a scrivener transcribing this into a finished manuscript, (c) a copysetter or woodcutter formatting this into a print block, (d) the printed copy being produced. By the time the typewriter rolled around this cut the process down to three steps, but it was still true that that which came out of the typewriter was NOT what was represented on the book leaf. Content and format were completely separate acts almost always done by completely separate people.

Reply Parent Score: 1

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

I'd like to point out that most written craft has not been distributed in manuscript form since the Middle Ages. For almost as long as popular writing has been distributed this "single act" you describe consisted of (a) a writer scribbling a "foul" manuscript, (b) a scrivener transcribing this into a finished manuscript, (c) a copysetter or woodcutter formatting this into a print block, (d) the printed copy being produced. By the time the typewriter rolled around this cut the process down to three steps, but it was still true that that which came out of the typewriter was NOT what was represented on the book leaf. Content and format were completely separate acts almost always done by completely separate people.


As you yourself just wrote, the manuscripts were still being written out by hand, but that's besides the point. When I say that there's a "unified act" (I did write "single act" once, a poor choice of words), I don't mean literally one physical movement. As I wrote:

"This is unity in very deep sense: a craftsman's act isn't just a bunch of careful strokes and moments of thoughtful repose strung together, it is a dramatic narrative of those individual time spans brought together by a meta-act, which is the unified vision-creation."

I called this a "dramatic narrative" since drama is that way, really. Characters will do different things with different agendas at different points in time, but the entire play is unified by an overarching action. When we write something by hand, that action is really literal: glyphs are format and content. But in a broader sense, coding with MVC utterly lacks the dramatic unity of, say, designing a building or creating a sculpture.

Reply Parent Score: 1

pompous stranger Member since:
2006-05-28

When we write something by hand, that action is really literal: glyphs are format and content. But in a broader sense, coding with MVC utterly lacks the dramatic unity of, say, designing a building or creating a sculpture.


I disagree with the conjecture that other mulit-step, multi-skill, and often multi-person tasks like publishing, architecture and sculpting are uniquely unified in a way that MVC is not.

Reply Parent Score: 1