Behind the blip: essays on the culture of software by Matthew Fuller

By Matthew Fuller

A far-reaching and strikingly unique choice of essays at the “culture of software program” through British new-media critic Matthew Fuller, in the back of the Blip seems to be on the some ways within which the ostensibly impartial person interfaces, se's, “intelligent agents,” and observe processors which are now a part of our daily life are actively reshaping the way in which we glance at and have interaction with the realm.

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As your system becomes more configurable, the current system configuration is another great source of information. Because so much raw data is difficult to understand, extract a model from it. For example, once you figure out which components send messages to which logical channels, and which components listen to these channels, you can create a graph model of the actual communication between components. You can do this every few minutes or hours, providing an accurate and up-to-date image of the system as it evolves.

Instead, use a 1000 ft view as described by Erik Doernenburg, a level of abstraction that actually tells you something. On top of that, you can make sure your model passes basic validation rules, such as the absence of circular dependencies in a dependency graph, or no messages being sent to a logical channel no one listens to. Letting go of control is a scary thing, even when it comes to system architecture. But supplemented by observation, model extraction, and validation, it is probably the way only to architect for the 21st century.

Repetition in code is something that developers eventually learn to filter out and ignore when reading the code, once they figured out where the interesting variabilities are found, but even if the developers get used to it - it slows them down. Code like that is clearly written for computers execute, not for developers to read. Your responsibility is to remove it. To do that, you may need to harvest frameworks, create better abstractions, perhaps ask the toolsmith to setup an aspect framework or write a few small code generators, but the repetition won't go away unless someone does something about it.

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