2009-05-24

Design Theories: 19th Century Architecture.

Ok, I am not a coder. I am not an architect... but like most things on the Internet I can express an opinion. Please take the following with a grain of salt the size of Utah.

I was pointed to
David Millers's musings on computer designs and found it an interesting read. It does have a good point of view that a solid teaching can get you a beautiful architecture.. but I think it misses another point in that computer design and real-world architecture are not completely analogous. Architects of the late 19th century had a very fixed set of physics to deal with. Granite, concrete, steel (of various types), and glass. Gravity is the same wherever you build, and you can test and define that you need an iron or steel of this kind of quality. As has been said in many ways, the strict limitations can be very freeing to creativity and design.

Computers do not seem to be so limited. When architecting a design you need to deal with how many bits you have, endianess, registers, stacks, hardware interconnects etc.. that are like telling the 19th century architect that you need to get that design to work with both aluminum, titanium, and mud/wood plus allow for the fact that the building will be built on Mars, Earth, the Moon, and some non-Euclidean space.

Which may explain why this style of teaching is not used everywhere. [And why LISP machine people think like French 19th century designers :)]
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