Making art requires putting a part of yourself into the weird thing you make.

(Let’s assume we’re talking in the figurative sense. I’m not prepared for the ads that will follow and haunt me after I search for literal examples.)

As a programmer (and by definition egotistical and self-aggrandizing), of course I tend to see code as art. Or at least as a craft that can be pretty artful at times. Not, eh, high art, you know? But I’d say it’s still up there. Code can be beautiful and elegant in addition to efficient and hopefully working.

So, then, if we assume that code is art or art adjacent, we should expect to see people somehow represented in the code they write, either through their ideas, their opinions, their philosophies, or the way they think, as expressed through code and code design.

But we usually don’t see people or their art when using a program. Interacting with a program tends to be impersonal and artless, focusing instead on utility and reliability. I have worked with computers for many years, and I have yet to hear somebody say, “The validation logic behind these spreadsheet cells was artfully implemented! I feel spiritually enriched with how the artist alerts me to the wrong number of decimal places I have used!” I’m only one person, though. Lots of spreadsheet enthusiasts out there. Such a thing could very well have been said.

Continue reading “Changelog”