Biography of a Programming Project

Or, "Making It Go"

The idea of writing a log, or history, or journal -- what be it -- of my art project came rather late. I've already been coding for two or three weeks. Really, I should have been writing entries every day. Too late for that.

The direct inspiration was an essay I read on-line called "The Programmer's Stone"[1]. It's about the process of hacking. It's not a perfect essay -- I think the author's categories of "mappers" and "packers" get spread much too thinly, becoming "stuff I like" and "stuff I dislike" -- but it has lots of very good observations. I once wrote a much shorter, much less coherent tract, "Holistic Programming"[2]. I was groping towards the same ideas, but I didn't have much to say about them.

Anyway, "The Programmer's Stone" got me thinking about how I work. Because, as I said, I was two or three weeks into this art project. Not a very large project, as hacking projects go, but very concentrated.

So why not write it up?


I intended this to be an detailed and interesting essay about programming. I rather think it's become merely detailed. If you find the close-up of the waterfall overwhelming or dull, please don't feel obliged to read it.

Take it as a photograph, if you like. Realistic, and -- if not objective -- at least clinical.

On to the essay proper...

Table of elements:

And finally, the footnotes.

Last updated December 2, 1999.

The Tarot Art Tool Project

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