Revealing code : what can language teach software?
MetadataShow full item record
In the last twenty years, computer code has emerged from obscure beginnings to occupy a rather prominent place in our culture. We can see evidence of code's cultural presence in our everyday conversation, in the way we interact with computers and networks, and in many current advertisements. Code also occupies an important place in the study of new media; some in that field have gone so far as to call code "the language of our time." My thesis aims to comprehend the dimensions of this important relationship. I adopt an interdisciplinary approach to this comparison between language and code, using theory and examples from structuralist linguistics, information theory, computer programming, and literature. A group of experimental French authors called the Oulipo provides many excellent examples for our comparison of language and code. The science of cryptography provides another conceptual bridge between the two areas. The comparison will lead to an examination of some current efforts to engage in a criticism of software and will suggest additional future challenges.